Salzburg Global Seminar Expands Partnership with Nippon Foundation





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Jul 03, 2019
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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Salzburg Global Seminar Expands Partnership with Nippon Foundation

Terms agreed for a new program addressing the topics of conflict prevention and peace mediation, and human and planetary health From left to right - Charles Ehrlich, Ian Brown, Clare Shine, Tatsiana Lintouskaya, Ichiro Kabasawa, Benjamin Glahn, Stephen Salyer, Masato Seko, and Misa Tanaka

Building on more than three decades of partnership, Salzburg Global Seminar and The Nippon Foundation are excited to announce a new collaborative initiative starting in 2019-2020.

Working together, Salzburg Global and The Nippon Foundation are creating the Leadership Exchange Asia Program (LEAP), which will help elevate high-potential mid-career professionals to take up key leadership positions in their countries. While development opportunities for senior leaders and young rising stars are expanding in Asia, LEAP will address the near-total lack of networks aimed at Asia’s mid-career professionals working on important aspects of social change.

The program will be comprised of two network-based components: The Asia Peace Innovators Forum and The Nippon-India Forum. The Asia Peace Innovators Forum will address conflict prevention and peace mediation, and The Nippon-India Forum will focus on technological and social innovations to improve human and planetary health in India and Japan.

These two components of LEAP build on the clear linkages between both organization’s missions. The Nippon Foundation’s mission is social innovation. Through this innovation, the Foundation aims for a society where all people support one another, reducing the burdens and challenges they face together. Salzburg Global, meanwhile, seeks to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. Its multi-year series aim to bridge divides, expand collaboration, and transform systems.

A launch meeting for LEAP took place in May at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria, and was attended by representatives from both organizations.

Ichiro Kabasawa, executive director of The Nippon Foundation, was joined by senior director Masato Seko and program coordinator Misa Tanaka. The three foundation officials met with several members of Salzburg Global’s team, including president and chief executive officer Stephen Salyer, vice president and chief program officer Clare Shine, vice president for development and operations Benjamin Glahn, and European development director Ian Brown.

Program directors Charles Ehrlich and Tatsiana Lintouskaya, who are responsible for working with The Nippon Foundation to design content and outcomes for each of the program components, also took part in the discussions.

The Asia Peace Innovators Forum will create, engage, and build capacity of an interdisciplinary network of professionals with significant leadership and innovation potential to shape long-term peace, stability, and regional cooperation.

Participants will primarily come from three geographies in Asia, each with unique experiences of conflict: Myanmar, South Thailand, and Sri Lanka. In addition, representation will be sought to incorporate other Asian experiences from places such as Indonesia, the Philippines, the Korean Peninsula, and Nepal as well as experience from around the globe. The inaugural program will take place at Schloss Leopoldskron in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The inaugural program of the Nippon-India Forum, which is aimed at mid-career professionals, will be held in Japan in early 2020. This program will build a cross-sector bilateral network of mid-career professionals as well as a selection of institutional partners in India and Japan. Participants will be at the forefront of technological, financial, and societal innovations and their applications in improving human and planetary health in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The creation of LEAP expands the long-standing partnership between Salzburg Global and The Nippon Foundation. Since 1987, endowment funds from The Nippon Foundation have supported young leaders from Asia and the developing world to attend Salzburg Global programs.

For more than 30 years, this partnership has continued to blossom and has enabled nearly 1,000 leaders to participate in Salzburg Global programs on topics including health, environmental sustainability, education, the arts, and economic development. LEAP will provide further opportunities for rising leaders to participate in Salzburg Global programs.

Reflecting on LEAP, Stephen Salyer, president and chief executive officer of Salzburg Global, said, “The opportunity to partner with The Nippon Foundation is a great honor for Salzburg Global Seminar. Together, we will connect rising Asian leaders and facilitate ground-breaking collaborations.  This is not a dialogue for its own sake; both we and the Foundation want to see results in conflict prevention and transformation, and in the application of technology to improve health and reverse environmental deterioration. We are confident that through the Leadership Exchange Asia Program (LEAP) a powerful group of change makers will produce a major impact on peace, better health and sustainability.” 

Ichiro Kabasawa, executive director of The Nippon Foundation, said, “The amicable partnership between Salzburg Global Seminar and The Nippon Foundation has been formed since 1987 when the funding was first established. In 2013, a Salzburg Global Seminar program was held in Kyoto, Japan, to commemorate our 25-year cooperation. We are delighted to be launching a new program together again, while we expect the network built through this program will lead to a practical solution to current social issues.”

Further information about each program will be announced in due course. To keep up to date with program developments, register for our newsletter here. The organizational contact for LEAP is Ian Brown, European Development Director at Salzburg Global Seminar, who can be emailed at

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