Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators

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Oct 17, 2014
by Louise Hallman and Jonathan Elbaz
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Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators

Ten-year project connects young innovators from cities around the world Fellows at the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders

A ten-year, worldwide project begins in Salzburg this Saturday, when more than 50 Fellows from ten "culture hubs"—cities as diverse as Rotterdam, Netherlands and Phnom Penh, Cambodia—convene at Schloss Leopoldskron for the inaugural session of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI).

Young minds in the culture and arts sectors are providing some of the most imaginative new impulses for social improvement and sustainable economic development around the world today. Young artists, creative entrepreneurs and cultural leaders are demonstrating the creative vision, talent, and energy that our societies need to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The YCI session will allow these change agents the opportunity to develop their visions, entrepreneurial skills, and global networks needed to advance their organizations, causes and communities. From October 18-23, the Fellows will participate in plenary discussions, skills workshops and peer meetings.

The YCI Forum is structured around ten culture hubs in six regions around the world, including Baltimore, Rotterdam, Phnom Penh, Buenos Aires, Tokyo and Salzburg. The Forum and its hubs will serve as a laboratory of new ideas, by bringing together these outstanding young creative minds, engaging them with each other, and providing a safe space in which their ideas can come to life.

Each year, five young cultural innovators from each of the culture hubs will be selected to join the program in Salzburg through a competitive application and nomination process, which assesses their achievements, leadership potential, and commitment to making a difference in society.

“Salzburg Global is committed to making the YCI Forum an ongoing, vibrant focal point for international exchange, emerging leadership, and innovation in the cultural sector,” said Salzburg Global Program Director for Culture and the Arts, Susanna Seidl-Fox.  “Over the course of the ten years, Salzburg Global hopes to generate a critical mass of 500 Salzburg Global Fellows who will continue to work together and collaborate with each other after the session in Salzburg, creating dynamic culture hubs to engage and act as a resource for other young cultural innovators at the local level.”

An on-going evaluation plan—comprised of post-program surveys and a longitudinal survey of the project—will allow Salzburg Global to monitor and measure the success of the Forum. Additionally, an “Innovation Prize” will be awarded three times in ten years to recognize collaboration, achievement, and innovation within or among the culture hubs.

The YCI Forum grew from the 2012 program “The Salzburg Forum for Young Culture Leaders,” held in collaboration with the US-based National Arts Strategies. Salzburg Global has a long history in programs around culture and the arts. Founded in 1947 as the “Salzburg Seminar in American Studies”, the independent, non-profit organization has held more than 65 programs dedicated to the cultural sector, including theater and cinema, literature and libraries, museums and galleries, and cultural heritage.

The YCI Forum is supported by The Edward T. Cone Foundation, the American Express Foundation, The Japan Foundation, The Korea Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and Fulbright Athens.