Making A Statement




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Jul 06, 2016
by Patrick Wilson
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Making A Statement

From early childhood development to human rights in North Korea, Salzburg Global Fellows have tackled priority issues for the international community and offered structured frameworks for action, committing to take up the challenge themselves and with their institutions and networks. Since its founding in 1947, Salzburg Global Seminar has been dedicated to bringing some of the most insightful and original voices together to share ideas and accelerate improvements to the world we live in. One way Salzburg Global harnesses the expertise and energy of our Fellows and partners is to develop “Salzburg Statements”.  These calls-to-action give clear recommendations to key stakeholders to influence policy and advance key actions for shared goals.  “Our programs tackle issues that are highly complex, involving many different stakeholders and levels of intervention,” notes Clare Shine, Vice President and Chief Program Officer. “A Salzburg Statement can distill this into a clear and compelling case for change. This provides real value-add to partners and Fellows who are often under extreme pressure in their day to day operations.”   Collaboration has always been central to Salzburg Global’s work. Salzburg Statements are co-drafted by Fellows and our own program and communications staff, ensuring shared investment and ownership as well as direct relevance for priorities on the ground and at policy level. By drawing on expertise and insights from across geographies, sectors, and generations, the resulting Statements are unusually representative of different perspectives and cultures.  Earlier Salzburg Statements have included the 2011 Salzburg Statement on Shared Decision-Making, which was submitted by health advocates as evidence to the Public Bill Committee of the UK’s Health and Social Care Act (2012), and the 2014 Salzburg Statement on New Dynamics in Global Trade Architecture: The WTO, G20 and Regional Trade Agreements, presented at the annual OECD Forum in Paris.  In 2015, Salzburg Global expanded its production of Salzburg Statements, offering recommendations on issues from data use in health care to human rights violations in North Korea: 

The joint drafting process motivates Fellows to proactively disseminate Statements to their networks after leaving Salzburg, urging their peers into action. After the session International Responses to Crimes Against Humanity: The Case of North Korea, the Statement –  written with input from the three Commissioners of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – was translated into Korean, featured on Voice of America’s Korean-language service, and rapidly published by the Korea Economic Institute of America, the Germany-based DPRK rights NGO Saram, and the dedicated news service, NK News.  The Salzburg Statement on Realizing Human Potential through Better Use of Assessment and Data in Education was the front-page feature of TES, one of the UK’s widest-read education publications and the world’s largest online community of teachers. The recommendations of the Salzburg Statement on Advancing Innovation and Equity in Aging Societies were featured in the bi-weekly column of Salzburg Global Fellow Gerardo Esquivel Hernandez in El Universal, Mexico’s most read newspaper. Fellows also use Salzburg Statements to leverage their professional effectiveness.   Sherrie Pugh, a consultant with Vital Aging Network (a community wellness project for over 50s) and a member of the Minnesota Board on Aging and ACT Alzheimer State Leadership, used the Salzburg Statement on Advancing Innovation and Equity in Aging Societies in her presentation to Minnesota legislators. She hopes her proposals will be included in a 2017 bill that aims to create a holistic approach to aging societies, and now she plans to run for political office in the November 2016 elections to lead even deeper policy change on this issue. Since participating in the symposium International Responses to Crimes Against Humanity: The Challenge of North Korea, James Burt, a UK research and policy officer for The European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea, has acted on the recommendations of the resulting Salzburg Statement. Burt’s charity – Human Atlas – designed, organized, and sponsored a conference on North Korean women and girls held in the UK’s Houses of Parliament in London. The conference assembled exiled North Koreans and global experts in gender issues, women’s rights, and human rights to discuss the often overlooked stories of the women and girls of North Korea.  Charlotte Cole of the US-based Blue Butterfly Collaborative used the Salzburg Statement on Quality Early Childhood Development and Education for All Girls and Boys as a resource while co-producing a new children’s media series in Haiti. The series, Lakou Kajou, is designed for kindergarteners and first graders and promotes a range of early childhood curricular skills.

FELLOWS' TESTIMONIESMarcelo Caetano, Economist at Brazil’s National Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA)
“Part of my work is making speeches about pensions. The great experience that I had in Salzburg and making use of the direction of the Salzburg Statement on Advancing Innovation and Equity in Aging Societies is helping me to improve them and to present better policy recommendations to the general public and to policymakers.” Sara Watson, Director of ReadyNation
“We’ve actively shared the statement in our ReadyNation newsletters. The statement provided great principles and recommendations to accelerate progress for children and forwards the outcomes we all strived for at the session.” Charlotte Cole, Founder and Executive Director of Blue Butterfly Collaborative
“A document like the Salzburg Statement helps support work and propel it forward. It brings together a lot of learning in a very succinct way. It’s a way to help other educators who are working in this domain see that there is an international interest, and to elevate the importance of the most recent thinking around important topics.” Martha Buell, Director of the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood
“The statement we created was used to advocate for the inclusion of early childhood development in the University of Delaware’s strategic plan. The draft plan originally had education starting at kindergarten, so it was incredibly useful to have such a document to advocate for earlier education in the plan.”Yael Harris, Senior Researcher at Mathematica Policy Research
“Since the session several Fellows and other colleagues have begun to develop a further white paper call to action following the direction in our Salzburg Statement... bringing the concepts from the statement to an international organization focused on health and using health information technology to promote health care improvement.”
FIND OUT MOREYou can find all the Salzburg Statements online at: