Mini Program - Major Ambitions

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Jun 25, 2015
by Louise Hallman
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Mini Program - Major Ambitions

Exploring the importance of the Annual Board of Directors Weekend

Every June, the Salzburg Global Board of Directors Weekend brings together board members and staff with major donors, long-serving Fellows and prospective partners. The program offers an opportunity to learn more about Salzburg Global’s work – and provides a launch pad for multi-year programs.

Convening board members as well as major donors, long-serving Fellows and prospective partners, the annual June Board Meeting Weekend program at Schloss Leopoldskron serves not only as a reflection of the year’s work, but also as “Salzburg Global Seminar in Miniature,” with each year’s two-day program covering cutting edge topics that serve as a taster of larger Salzburg Global programs to come.

The 2014 program Bridging The Rift: How Can We Reconnect Youth To Their Future? went one step further and kick-started a new multi-program intervention: Designing a Social Compact for the 21st Century.

Youth unemployment rates are sky high across the world. Pension deficits loom large. Economic inequality is widening. Too often, young people’s life chances are tied to social determinants that provide gloomy predictors of educational, health and professional outcomes. As the costs of higher education, medical care, pensions, and planetary degradation spiral upwards, intergenerational justice will pose complex challenges in the decades to come.

What innovations do we need to build the skills needed and renew social mobility? How can we ensure adequate care for all generations when facing changing demographics? How can we better connect voices, votes and talents across social strata?

Applying the unique Salzburg Global “triple lens” of Imagination, Sustainability, and Justice, the panelists together with an audience spanning high-level executives, young professionals, college students, and retirees, examined the challenges facing education systems, the future jobs market, and intergenerational justice.

Panelists included Erion Veliaj, Albanian Minister of Youth and Social Welfare; Lord Wei of Shoreditch, founder of several British education initiatives including Teach First; Alexa Wesner, US Ambassador to Austria and venture capitalist; Rosanna Wong, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups; and Pieter Vanhuysse, a leading aging researcher, at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research.

Building on from insights gleaned from these expert panelists, Salzburg Global will convene a number of programs in 2015 tackling the diverse but interlinked topics of early childhood development and education; innovation and equity in aging societies; youth, economics, and violence; and education and skills building needed for the jobs of the future.

Participants in these sessions will include not only educators from early years through to university, but also policymakers, economists, researchers, civil society actors, and service users—of all ages.

There are of course no easy solutions to these issues – if there were, politicians would have implemented them already – and complex solutions will not be found in one sector alone. A concerted effort will need to be made across governments, education and welfare systems, the private sector, and civil society.

Salzburg Global, with its commitment to bringing together diverse voices, is well-placed to help solve these issues of global concern.


Board Events

March and November 2014

As well as the June program, Salzburg Global uses other board meetings as occasions to hold topical events.

In March, a panel discussion was held in Pasadena, CA, USA, entitled: Designing for Deep Change: The Transformative Power of the Arts and Philanthropy. Building on the on-going Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI) and the session Value(s) for Money, panelists including Eric Nee, managing editor of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and YCI alum Patricia Garza addressed the question: how can we better harness human and financial capital and creativity to generate workable and equitable solutions that last? 

In November, Eric E. Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, delivered the annual Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law at the US Supreme Court, followed by a live panel discussion at National Public Radio (NPR)’s headquarters.


Download the Salzburg Global Chronicle 2015 in full (PDF)

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