Spotlight Shines on New Opportunities for Collaboration

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Feb 11, 2019
by Lucy Browett
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Spotlight Shines on New Opportunities for Collaboration

Participants of Citizen Diplomacy at the Crossroads: Activating Networks for Change reflect on how their organizations can come together to reach common aims Participants of Citizen Diplomacy at the Crossroads: Activating Networks for Change pose for a group photo at Salzburg Global Seminar

While many fellowship and leadership programs appeal to different demographics and focus on different skill sets, it might be more advantageous for them to work together to achieve their shared goals.

This was the overarching message of Citizen Diplomacy at the Crossroads: Activating Networks for Change, a three-day immersive learning program which concluded on Saturday, February 9.

Salzburg Global Seminar hosted the program in partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance.

More than 40 participants from various foundations and organizations with fellowship programs convened at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria, to partake in workshops, panels, and case-study discussions.

The program concluded with participants presenting their group reports, consisting of ideas that could be implemented following everyone’s departure from Salzburg.

The theme of collaboration was prevalent in the groups’ suggestions. Using social media to promote other fellowship programs would be a way to redirect unsuccessful applicants and amplify a message when important work is being done.

Sharing calendars of events, establishing a “help hotline” and encouraging alumni to add their fellowship affiliation to their resumes would also encourage partnerships between alumni and organizations.

A participant proposed that specific themes could be utilized to create collaborative alumni events, e.g., a Women in Leadership conference featuring fellows from multiple alumni programs. Sharable documents with contacts or program profiles to encourage cross-communication were also discussed.

Increasing the diversity of fellows in participants’ various programs was a common theme among the suggestions made: a diversity of race, nationality and economic background, but also a diversity of thought. Throughout the program, there were frequent examinations of how fellowship programs often contain alumni with similar opinions and how that mold should be broken.

One participant recommended sharing everyone’s calls for applications as a method for appealing to a wider variety of applicants through the organizations’ networks.

Additionally, participants recognized the need for staff from fellowship and leadership organizations to continually develop themselves, with one participant asking, “Who teaches the teachers?”

Suggestions included sabbaticals for staff, where they could go to a different fellowship or leadership organization and learn from the team there. Peer-to-peer training would expand the perspectives of staff, which they could take back to their organizations.

While many proposals focused on long-term commitments and practices, one participant offered up a more achievable, short-term goal. They set a challenge to participants to, following the program, bring a fellow to someone else’s event or introduce a fellow into someone else’s network.

These small takeaways, they said, would have a tangible impact and could snowball into further collaboration.

Some participants anecdotally referred to partnerships they had already made with others at the program. From the promotion of internship programs to guest speakers, the ball began to roll even before the end of the program.

A participant also raised the idea of utilizing the contacts made at Salzburg for selection committees for their own organization’s programs.

A question raised by Clare Shine, vice president and chief program officer at Salzburg Global, proved popular throughout the program and served as food for thought for participants on return to their organizations. “Who don’t you know how to talk to?” Increasing diversity of alumni and growing collaboration between fellowship and leadership programs will answer and solve this question for many who came to Salzburg.


The program Citizen Diplomacy at the Crossroads: Activating Networks for Change is being 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).