Improving Transatlantic Relations and Bringing Out the Best in People




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Feb 15, 2019
by Oscar Tollast
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Improving Transatlantic Relations and Bringing Out the Best in People

Lora Berg, counselor for Inclusive Leadership at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, discusses new connections made in Salzburg Lora Berg at Salzburg Global Seminar

Lora Berg’s motivation is to help strengthen future transatlantic relations. In her role at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, she helps guide the Inclusive Leadership portfolio within the Office of Leadership Programs. What does that mean exactly? It partly involves developing partnerships on the international stage which strengthen diversity and inclusion. It’s perhaps no surprise Berg recently found herself at Salzburg Global Seminar.

Berg was one of more than 40 participants who attended Citizen Diplomacy at the Crossroads: Activating Networks for Change, a three-day immersive learning program hosted by Salzburg Global, the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance.

Reflecting on this arrangement, Berg said, “This is the Global Leadership Consortium, which is an informal network of people who are involved in leading leadership development programs that are global in perspective and bring participants from different countries. This particular year, it’s so special for us to be able to be here at Salzburg Global whose mission really aligns with the mission of our fellowship community and, in particular, the strengthening of transatlantic relations which we’re engaged in.”

The German Marshall Fund of the United States’ longstanding flagship fellowship program, the Marshall Memorial Fellowship, brings rising leaders from both sides of the Atlantic to an intensive learning across and builds long-lasting relationships. Berg said, “We look for people who would like to have a lifelong commitment to transatlantic relations in their work. Many are local leaders, but they keep that transatlantic lens in the work that they are doing.”

The Fund is also responsible for the Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders Network, a group which focuses on the demographic changes on both sides of the Atlantic and reaches out to rising and diverse elected leaders. One of these leaders is based in Salzburg: Tarik Mete, judicial and political advisor, and former member of the Salzburg State Parliament.

“It was a joy to be here in Salzburg,” said Berg. “Among other things, we were able to have an alumnus of our program, Tarik Mete, speak with the whole group here. He reflected a little bit on his experience in our fellowship. He is for us one of the very wonderful change-makers in that network.”

The program took place at Schloss Leopoldskron, the historic home of Salzburg Global Seminar. Its location enabled the Fund and the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance to invite more colleagues from Europe. Participants took part in workshops, panels, and case-study discussions.

Berg said, “Salzburg Global has a wonderful team - dedicated and visionary - who are so innovative in using this historic and meaningful space to bring out the best in the people who participate and to make it possible for them to have really constructive co-creation imaginative purposeful dialogue.

“With the right use of time and the right use of the space… creating these different ways for us to interact and to learn and integrate together in large groups and small groups in different timeframes and with a range of really gifted facilitators. We've been able to think about big ideas and innovations and the potential for collaboration, the synergies among our programs and to explore some of the big challenges that we're facing together.”

There were a number of “unexpected and wonderful things” which came up in every session, according to Berg, describing she had learned so much. Expanding on this point further, she said, “We’ve been thinking a lot of about the alignment of our leadership programs in the area of international engagement [and] global engagement: how do you create opportunities for our alumni communities to continue engaging throughout their lives in citizen diplomacy and in transatlantic leadership?”

The conversations may have started in Salzburg, but the work continues outside the walls of Schloss Leopoldskron. Berg said, “I’m definitely anticipating that every participant who has been here will leave with new and powerful connections, [as well as] a great sense of trust within the community that gathered here that can only be developed over a program like this that allows you sufficient time to be together to really grow to trust one another…”

The program Citizen Diplomacy at the Crossroads: Activating Networks for Change was held in partnership with The German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance, as part of the Global Leaders Consortium (GLC).