Fostering Creative Innovation and Entrepreneurship





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Jan 30, 2020
by Mira Merchant
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Fostering Creative Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Fellows discuss events and notable changes in their life since attending the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators Returning YCI Fellows provide information on life "after the Schloss"

The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators continues to build a network of Fellows in city and regional hubs all around the world. We spoke to seven YCI Fellows to learn about how their lives have changed personally and professionally since they first arrived in Salzburg.

“Since I’ve been here last year, I’ve still stayed in my same role. But I would say one of the things that really changed my perspective since being here last year is just being more deliberate about the things that I want to achieve and the connections that I want to make. I've taken out some things that aren't making an impact to the work that I want to do or [be] the mom that I want to be.”

Amber Henderson, South Dakota, USA

Assistant professor of marketing, Northern State University

"My time here encouraged me to be more thoughtful about what I want. We often get caught up in the work that we do that involves others. One of my core values is service, and in the organization that we run, I serve as the development coordinator, sorting out fundraising and proposals. And for me, that is a work of service. It involves one of my favorite things, which is writing. But I also had another job at the time writing professionally; I was doing two things. So my time here encouraged me to tap back into writing for myself.”

Palesa Ngwenya, Johannesburg, South Africa

Development coordinator, Maboeng Township Arts Experience, and author of Boldly Bloom, Sis'

"I think the most the most important thing that I've done is slow down. I left the program last year, like everybody else, very excited and anxious to dive back into work. Obviously, you spend the week here with a lot of brilliant minds, and the gears start turning very fast. I left with this excitement on a very, very high note and had to go back to a very different environment, which in a lot of ways was really a blessing because it forced me to slow down. I started a new job at a community design center in New Orleans. I've been able to sort of get back to my architectural practice and my design practice a little bit as well. I also teach a course at the university. [YCI helped] me to reflect a lot more and set sail with my thoughts and explore them as much as I can."

Jose Cotto, New Orleans, USA

Photographer and designer at josecottoCREATIVE

"My intent back then [in 2018] was to really elevate artistic practice into more engaging cultural work in the Philippines… and to create probably not just an influence, but to activate people more and activate spaces back in my country… So I think I was able to… elevate that into a wider scale. I’ve been working around in the entire country now, not just in Manila and [I have] also been building a lot of relationships with my fellow people. YCI helped me realize why relationships are more important than ever."

Ralph Eya, Manila, Philippines

Independent Art Practitioner

"In the months that followed this program, I jumped into several new endeavors. I went from a highly local practice to a national practice, which has been amazing but at times, a steep learning curve. I have found myself using and building on the things that I learned and absorbed while at [the YCI Forum], and, now being back for a second time, also reflecting on being in this highly collaborative and creative space, the values that are embodied by the YCI cohort, and the opportunity it affords to think about and frame the impact we each want to make in the world."

Rebecca Chan, Baltimore, USA

Program officer at LISC National Creative Placemaking and Economic Development Program

"I met new people from my own country who were committed to very interesting and powerful causes. We got together after coming here, and we created a project together where we work with migrant communities. Most of [the other Fellows] brought in their amazing skills in filmmaking, photography, workshops, and art to combat gender stereotypes, and we work with migrant kids in Buenos Aires. We are all former YCI Fellows... I'm very happy about this project."

Luciana Chait, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Owner of Dijon – Media and Learning Experience

"Since leaving YCI, the one thing that probably got most of my energy was becoming a parent. One might wonder if it really influences anything professionally because it's private life, but I realized the moment I had this change that I became more sensitive towards certain issues. So all of a sudden, environmental and education and corruption and social issues, they became urgent and a high priority [for me], whereas when I was here the last time, I saw them as more distant."

Kleidi Eski, Tirana, Albania

Founder and creative director of Light and Moving

The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Cultural Innovation, Leadership and Collaboration: A Global Platform, is part of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators Forum multi-year series. The program is held in partnership with Adena and David Testa, Arts Council Korea, Arts Council Malta, the Bush Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, Japan Foundation, the Korea Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Nippon Foundation, Salama Bint Hamdan al Nahyan Foundation, Shalini Passi Art Foundation, and World Culture Open.