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New Report - The Asia We Want - A Clean and Green Asia
New Report - The Asia We Want - A Clean and Green Asia
Salzburg Global Semianr 
In November 2017, as the world met in Bonn, Germany to agree upon the finer details of the Paris Agreement, 25 young Asian leaders gathered in Salzburg, Austria to develop a shared vision of a “Clean and Green Asia,” strengthen commitment to sustainable and equitable development that is inspired and informed by inter-regional cooperation, and to advance innovative approaches to environmental sustainability and inclusive low-carbon development in their communities.  The inaugural session of the new, multi-year program The Asia We Want: Building Community through Regional Cooperation, supported through a generous grant by the Japan Foundation and with support from the Korea and Nippon Foundations, was the first step to form a network of dynamic young leaders from across the region and to build their capacity to work together to address such environmental, climate and energy concerns. Over three intensive days, the 25 leaders heard from veterans in the region and devised their own innovative projects to achieve “a clean and green Asia”: promoting regional, integrated approaches to address air quality; catalyzing small, sustainable and scalable (3S) financing; encouraging community-led waste management schemes; and designing a framework for multiple sectors to achieve goals in contributing to a low-carbon or decarbonized society. “Rising leaders in Asia are aware of their responsibility to steer transition to sustainable and climate resilient economies and are strongly committed to Asian community development inspired by cooperation at local and global levels,” said Tatsiana Lintouskaya, Program Director, Salzburg Global Seminar. “Our new multi-year program, The Asia We Want: Building Sustainable Communities Through Regional Cooperation, is there to support and empower young leaders working to advance inclusive low-carbon development in their communities. We aim to expand this program in the coming years and build a dynamic cross-border network for practical collaboration and lasting results in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.” The report, written by Lintouskaya and Salzburg Global Fellow Roli Mahajan, was dedicated in memory of multi-time Fellow and friend of Salzburg Global Seminar, Surin Pitsuwan. The former secretary general of ASEAN died three weeks after helping to facilitate the November 2017 session.  The report also compiles the Fellows and facilitators’ insightful and often provocative op-eds written ahead of the session. A full list of their op-eds is available below. Download the report as a PDF
Marifrance Avila – “For us to achieve the Asia that we want, we need to start with achieving the country that we want” Wilson John Barbon – “Disasters are not natural phenomena. They are the result of human and social conditions” Xixi Chen – We need integrated, collaborative and bottom-up leadership to build a cleaner and greener Asia Sandeep Choudhury – “Asia we want should be one based on equitable growth and not the disparity we see today between the rich and the poor” Chochoe Devaporihartakula – A clean and green Asia needs compliance and transparency Salinee Hurley – Replacing kerosene with solar power: an incomparable way to mitigate climate change Abner Lawangen – “Asia can truly be a resilient towering continent if all countries pull together” Tari Lestari – “A clean energy transition is the only way to create a better future for Asia” Roli Mahajan – The case for mandatory environmental service Niall O’Connor – We need to take a “business as unusual” approach Minh Nguyet Pham – “Air pollution is a spider web” Magdalena Seol – Business and Investment Can Drive a More Sustainable Asia Trinnawat Suwanprik – “We must know the past, understand the present, and plan for the future” Qingchan Yu – “A credible alternative to fossil fuels is critical”
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Baroness Usha Prashar Warns Liberal Democracy is in “a Desperate State”
Baroness Usha Prashar with Stephen Salyer and Clare Shine (Credit: Salzburg Global Seminar/Rebecca Rayne)
Baroness Usha Prashar Warns Liberal Democracy is in “a Desperate State”
Sarah Sexton 
“It is not an exaggeration to say that liberal democracy is in a desperate state,” said Baroness Usha Prashar, speaking at Salzburg Global Seminar’s fourth Palliser Lecture. The audience, made up of Salzburg Global Fellows, board members, and supporters, gathered in London on March 16 would likely have agreed with the crossbench member of the House of Lords. Baroness Prashar, one of the UK’s most experienced policy advisors, pointed to the election of US President Donald Trump and Central Europe’s populist revolt against the European Union as evidence of a shift toward “illiberal democracies.”  In her lecture, titled “Democracy and Civil Society – A Shrinking Space?”, Prashar said: “Political regimes may be based on electoral politics, but the rule of law, minority rights, freedom of the press, and other liberal protections are in danger.”  Prashar warned against dismissing such events as temporary outpourings of populism. “We must not hunker down and think this is an aberration which will pass... Freedoms once lost are difficult to regain. We must understand causes and develop strategies to respond to them.” Prashar underscored the importance of democracy not only to ensure free elections, but also to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority and to value dissent, dialogue, and participation.  Such democracy, Prashar said, depends on lively civil society. Civil society organizations must have the space and the ability to speak out, organize, and act together to fulfill their roles, be it as promoters of democracy, a watchdog holding authorities to account, a humanitarian actor, a partner in implementing government policy, or a catalyst for development.  Prashar reflected on the program series she launched with Salzburg Global Seminar in the early 1990s around civil society and democracy. As oppressive regimes collapsed and Cold War-era bipolarity faded, the role of non-governmental organizations and civil society was seen as crucial in building new emerging democracies.  “It was at that time that Civicus: World Alliance for Citizen Participation was founded,” Prashar said. “Its first Secretary General, Miklos Marschall, was an active participant in this program, and I am pleased that the current Secretary General, Danny Sriskandarajah, is here tonight.”  Marschall attended one of Salzburg Global’s first sessions on the role of NGOs as a young lecturer from Hungary. He became an early advocate of the third sector and credits Salzburg Global as being “directly responsible for the introduction and establishment of NGOs in Central and East Europe.”
View full set on Flickr As the state-dominated regimes of communist Eastern Europe receded, civil society organizations emerged as a powerful and influential force on the world stage, according to Prashar, influencing public opinion and effectively harnessing the communication revolution to expand their reach. In the 2000s, for example, the world witnessed a surge in the mobilizing power of civil society and the impact of digital campaigning as the uprisings unfolded across the Middle East and North Africa in 2011.  “Now the gains of the 1990s and 2000s appear to be under threat or are being reversed,” lamented Prashar. “Disillusionment with politics is rife, and many democracies are sliding toward autocracy.”  Institutions of democratic systems have come to be seen as dysfunctional, Prashar said, pointing to political gridlock, ideological polarization, and gerrymandering in the United States as an example.  Prashar suggested the consequences of capitalism and financial downturns have led to a crisis of inequality – manifesting in decreasing social mobility and diverging economic fortunes – which has compounded public disillusionment and spurred support for anti-establishment parties.  “To me, this is a wake-up call,” Prashar said. “Concern and outrage is not enough. We must understand the causes and develop strategies to respond to them.”  Prashar offered some examples of positive developments in civil society, including increasing public scrutiny toward technology platforms that spread extremist or false content with no regard for public interest.  She referred to a trust barometer produced by Edelman that recorded a recent plunge in trust for social media and an increase in public support for more traditional media.  “Citizens are also organizing and mobilizing in new and creative ways to defend civic freedoms, fight for social justice and equality, and to push back populism,” Prashar said, noting that civil society had advocated successfully for progressive new laws on access to information, protection of human rights, and women’s and LGBT rights.  Prashar highlighted the viral #MeToo Movement as an example of a campaign that harnessed the power of social media to give voice to the voiceless, shape awareness around a global issue, and spur a broader dialogue around power and wealth imbalances.  Social media has the power to change opinion, policy, and even legislation, but this power must be used responsibly.   Given the gravity of present threats to civil society and democracy, Prashar called for courage and leadership rooted in the civic values of human equality, social justice, and pluralism. She also challenged civil society organizations to be agents of change by building alliances with businesses, academia, media, and other partners on issues such as rule of law, freedom of expression, and inequality.  “The answers will come from collaboration between sectors – not just nationally but internationally – with one thing in common: concern for humanity and public interest,” Prashar concluded. This was the fourth lecture to be held in memory of the Rt Hon Sir Michael Palliser GCMG, who died in 2012. Sir Michael had a long and distinguished career in the British Diplomatic Service, served as Vice Chair of the Board of Salzburg Global Seminar, and was a founding trustee of the London-based 21st Century Trust, which now works exclusively with Salzburg Global.  Prashar said Salzburg Global Seminar has provided a base for such creative thinking, intercultural exchange, and collaboration between sectors and countries for 70 years. “It is institutions such as Salzburg Global Seminar, the dedication of individuals like Sir Michael, and the indomitable human spirit which make this a hopeful world.”  The fourth Palliser Lecture entitled “Democracy and Civil Society – A Shrinking Space?” was delivered by the Rt Hon the Baroness Usha Prashar on March 16, 2018 at the Grange St. Paul's Hotel in London, UK. 
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Former CIA and FBI Director Calls for Renewed Trust in Beleaguered Intelligence Agencies
Former CIA and FBI Director Calls for Renewed Trust in Beleaguered Intelligence Agencies
Sarah Sexton 
“Help restore trust.”  According to the former CIA and FBI director, William H. Webster, this was the “most important thing” the audience of law students could do, “with the kind of training, education, and exposure you’re getting… to make a serious contribution to [your] country.” Webster, the first and only person to have served as director of both the CIA and the FBI, posed this challenge during the sixth annual Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program, which gathered 54 law students from the US’ top law schools last month in Washington, DC to explore how they could apply their legal training to careers in public service.  His challenge to this cadre of future top lawyers and public servants comes at a time of growing mistrust in America – mistrust of the mainstream media, mistrust of government, and mistrust of the intelligence services. The latter has surprisingly been led primarily by the country’s own president, Donald J. Trump. Now 94 years old but still chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, Webster reflected on his long career in public service – from his military service during World War Two, to his appointments as a Federal District Court and then US Appeals Court judge, to his work with the FBI and later CIA – commenting on the rising tension between the White House and the US intelligence community.  In the wake of attacks on the FBI for missing a tipster’s warning on the suspect who carried out the February 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which saw the deaths of 14 students and three teachers, Webster came to the FBI’s defense, stating, “This is one of the really great organizations of our country, and it attracts some of the ablest, most dedicated Americans that you could want to know or work with.”  “Now, they’ll make mistakes; they’re not infallible,” Webster continued, acknowledging the missed Parkland tip as one such error that exposed a need for improvement. “But we cannot afford to undermine the credibility and trustworthiness of the FBI as long as they continue to earn that trust.”  Webster recalled the day in February 1978 when he was sworn in as FBI Director, inheriting an agency tarnished by a variety of Watergate-era abuses, including illegal break-ins called “black-bag jobs.” Standing before President Jimmy Carter and US Attorney General Griffin Bell at his swearing-in ceremony, Webster knew he needed to address the need for change.  As he closed his remarks at the ceremony, Webster said, “Together, we’re going to do the work that the American people expect of us in the way that the constitution demands of us.”  To Webster’s surprise, his words would later be engraved on a bronze medallion that now adorns the entrance to a conference room at FBI headquarters.  This, Webster said, reflects the bureau’s ongoing commitment to fulfilling its responsibilities with integrity.  As a former federal judge, Webster came to the FBI with built-in credibility, and he preferred that his agents refer to him as “judge” rather than “director,” in part to convey his independence and probity. Webster also brought in assistants with law degrees to help evaluate proposals and to ensure that bureau initiatives conformed to statutes and guidelines.  Webster carried this practice over to the CIA after his appointment as director of central intelligence. One such assistant was John Bellinger III, then a recent graduate of Harvard Law School, who joined Webster as his special assistant in 1988, supporting the judge as he led the US intelligence community through the end of the Cold War, the invasion of Panama, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, and the Persian Gulf War.  Bellinger went on to serve as a legal advisor to both the US Department of State and the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration. Speaking at the same event, Bellinger also shared his experiences with the students.   “I remember vividly as a 28-year-old going with [Webster] to Europe after the end of the Cold War,” Bellinger recalled. “Sitting in the back rooms with the intelligence chiefs in Germany and in Britain to talk through what the future of Europe would be after that period in time – it was for me, as a young special assistant, an extraordinary period. I learned a lot from you.”  Bellinger urged the students hailing from law schools at several of America’s top universities – Columbia University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, New York University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, Stanford University, and Yale University – to consider working as special assistants to political appointees throughout the government.  “I had two special assistants when I was legal adviser,” Bellinger said, “and this is an extraordinary way as a young person to watch a successful leader do their job and to help that person.”  Bellinger and Webster now both serve on the advisory board of the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law, established by Salzburg Global Seminar in memory of the Washington “superlawyer” who served as White House Counsel to Presidents Carter and Clinton. Lloyd Cutler also served as chair of Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors for a decade and advocated passionately for mentoring young leaders – both from the US and across the globe – who displayed a commitment to shaping a better world through the rule of law. Since its founding in 2012, the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program has carried forward Cutler’s leadership in both public and private practice of law and continues to empower rising legal professionals from around the world. This year’s Salzburg Cutler Fellows represented 23 countries, including Argentina, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Pakistan and the United States.  “It’s been my privilege to be part of the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program,” said Bellinger, who also attended the 2016 event and later delivered the annual Cutler Lecture. “It’s an extraordinary way to both recognize Lloyd Cutler, who was my senior partner when I was a young associate at Wilmer Cutler, and to help shape the careers of a rising generation of international lawyers committed to public service.”  Recognizing that, as aspiring public servants, this new generation of international lawyers might someday work in agencies charged with sensitive responsibilities, often operating under secret or classified conditions, Webster closed by further underscoring the importance of gaining and maintaining trust.  “[These agencies] have to rely on your integrity – or what they perceive as your integrity – and you have to be worthy of that trust.”   The Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program is held under the auspices of the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law. The annual program collaborates with 11 of the leading US law schools. This year's session was sponsored by NYU Washington and Arnold & Porter. 
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Report now online Building a Global Community - Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: The First Five Years
Report now online Building a Global Community - Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: The First Five Years
Louise Hallman 
Since 1947, Salzburg Global Seminar has challenged current and future leaders to shape a better world. For seventy years, our Fellows have tackled issues of global concern including education, health, environment, economics, governance, peace-building, the rule of law and protection of human rights.  Since 2013, the advancement of LGBT human rights has joined that list of issues as we seek to shape a better world for everyone – including people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Founded five years ago, the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum was formed to establish a truly global space to reflect upon and advance LGBT human rights discussions around the world.  Today, the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum is an international network that connects over 150 Fellows in 70 countries across six continents, spanning multiple sectors, generations, cultures and sexual orientations and gender identities. This new, 200-page publication, Building a Global Community - Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: The First Five Years, chronicles the first five years of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: the Fellows’ stories that they’ve shared, the wide-ranging issues we’ve addressed, and the impact the Forum has had on individuals, institutions and ideas advancing LGBT human rights around the world. The report was generously supported by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.  “Fundamental human rights concern us all. The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum brings together queer and straight, representing gender in many expressions, in short: people with overlapping, changing identities. Whether homo-, bi- or heterosexual, cis-, inter- or transgender, our diverse backgrounds and lives are connected by our shared interest to advance LGBT equality globally.” — Dr. Klaus Mueller, Founder and Chair, Salzburg Global LGBT Forum “Throughout Salzburg Global’s history, the rule of law and protection of human rights have played a central role in our programming and impact – as critical elements for personal dignity and wellbeing, equality and social cohesion, successful economies and effective international relations. With this track record, the decision to create the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum was a natural and logical, yet bold, step.” — Clare Shine, Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar “I am extremely proud of how the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum has advanced human rights... Public understanding and public policy have advanced considerably, but the challenges across the world remain great. The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum is a place where they can be addressed.” — Stephen L. Salyer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar “For our ministry, it has been very important to support the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum financially… For us, it is important to make visible these different situations as they exist in Europe and in other parts of the world, and this includes discussing the problems too. We learn from the LGBT Forum how discussions in Germany influence other countries, and how their discussions in other countries influence us in Germany.” — Ralf Kleindiek, German State Secretary for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth Download the report as a PDF
* LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. We are using this term as it is widely recognized in many parts of the world, but we would not wish it to be read as in any way exclusive of other cultures, groups or terms, either historical or contemporary.
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Springboard for Talent - Humanizing Language Learning Through Technology
Microsoft's Mark Sparvell presents at Salzburg Global Seminar session on multilingualism
Springboard for Talent - Humanizing Language Learning Through Technology
Louise Hallman 
“Technology [in the classroom] should humanize learning, not just digitize the curriculum,” insists Mark Sparvell, education leader at tech giant Microsoft. Sparvell offered Fellows a multitude of technological tools to do just this as part of a presentation on “Humanizing language experiences – the promising role of new technologies” at the session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World in December. The first tool to wow his audience was the Microsoft Translator app. Via either the website translator.microsoft.com or the smartphone app, Fellows were able to read a translation of Sparvell’s presentation in real time in one of 11 languages. Microsoft currently offers text-to-text translation for 60 languages with more to be added to the speech-to-text service used in Salzburg. Microsoft’s VoIP service, Skype, also offers real-time speech-to-speech translations in eight languages with more than 50 supported text-to-text in instant messaging. While Sparvell readily admits that current digital translation services are by no means “perfect” he rightly points out that “they offer a means of understanding” that might not otherwise be possible. These services can be used to help facilitate cultural exchanges between students across the world (as demonstrated by Microsoft’s annual “Skype-a-Thon” which connected half a million students in 48 hours in 2017), but also aid better understanding with parents from immigrant communities.  As another Fellow shared, her Japanese immigrant mother was intimidated by language barriers when the family moved to English-speaking Canada, hindering her ability to engage with her daughter’s school teachers and resulting in her being mislabeled as a disinterested parent. While many schools cannot afford to hire professional translation services for events such as large-scale parents’ meetings or one-on-one parent-teacher conferences, especially in diverse multilingual communities, where there is not just one dominant foreign language,  using a free tool such as Microsoft’s real-time translator, while imperfect, could help parents overcome such language barriers. Digital translation tools are improving rapidly thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning. However, as Sparvell points out, “tech is a tool,” much like a fork, a spade or a digger, and tools can enable us to do things at greater scale, but tools still need some human initiation and guidance. But not everyone has access to the same tools. “Is tech breaking down barriers or just putting up more?” one Fellow asked. Software can be given away for free (as was the case for all the tools demonstrated in Salzburg), but if schools do not have reliable hardware, electricity or Internet access that free software is not useful. Recognizing this injustice, many large corporations, including Microsoft, are engaging in philanthropic ventures to offer hardware to schools, improve national electric grid access and stability, and roll out mobile and broadband internet. This is not a purely philanthropic gesture: “Education is everybody’s business.”  Useful links: OneNote in the Foreign Language Classroom Talking with Multilingual Parents with Translator App  Introducing Microsoft Translator [video] Using Translator for parent teacher interviews [video] Live Translate with Skype [video] The session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World is part of Salzburg Global Seminar multi-year series  Education for Tomorrow’s World. The session is being held in partnership with ETS, the Qatar Foundation and Microsoft. This project was also supported by The Erste Foundation. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGSedu on Twitter and Instagram.
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Alison Tickell – Salzburg Global is “a very special creature, and I think it needs our thanks”
Alison Tickell – Salzburg Global is “a very special creature, and I think it needs our thanks”
Oscar Tollast 
“I do think Salzburg has been very, very important to my thinking personally,” Alison Tickell says, reflecting on her experiences at Salzburg Global Seminar. “There’s nothing quite like getting out of your comfort zone for a bit… I have hugely appreciated it. I think it’s a very special creature, and I think it needs our thanks.” Tickell, the founder and chief executive officer of Julie’s Bicycle, first attended Salzburg Global Seminar to help examine the arts’ role in advancing sustainability. She was one of 58 change-makers who convened at Schloss Leopoldskron in February 2016 for Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability. Tickell says, “It was an incredibly exciting opportunity to meet with people who had been working in the same field as us but from completely different perspectives. It was a very compelling invitation.” The session concluded with Fellows putting forward proposals for new ways in which the arts could advance sustainability. These ideas ranged from organizing a separate workshop to expand new alliances to producing a “Creative Communication Canvas” tool. “For me, it was very good to see the relationship between culture, climate and social justice very well-exercised,” Tickell says. “We had some great conversations about that, so it widened my perspective very much.” Participants benefited from hearing from others coming at the same set of problems but from different perspectives.” Tickell says, “It was also quite validating to recognize that actually we were doing some pretty unique work and that might be of value to others just as their work might be and has definitely been of value to us.” Julie’s Bicycle was established as a non-profit company in 2007 and set about helping the music industry to reduce its environmental impacts. Julie’s Bicycle has since extended its remit to other art forms and has become a leading organization for bridging sustainability with the arts and culture. In the same year Tickell attended Salzburg Global, she helped launch Julie’s Bicycle’s Creative Climate Leadership Training Program. This program is designed to support and strengthen the emerging cultural movements around climate and the environment. Tickell says, “We’ve run three sessions on it, and it was incredibly useful – Salzburg Global – both for the scale of the ambition, really feeling that there were lots of people out there internationally, but also in terms of format.” Tickell says she was able to take a few lessons from her first experience in Salzburg and focus on the idea of taking people outside of their comfort zone and pose them with leadership questions. She adds, “All of that has been incredibly useful. [The sessions] get better and better every time.” At the beginning of 2017, Tickell had the chance to return to Salzburg Global and help convene her own focus group of change-makers for The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal, which focused on understanding and identifying ways in which artists, cultural workers, and creatives imagine and strengthen the capacities of communities and societies to confront and adapt to the seemingly infinite sources of shock, violence, conflict and disruption. Among those Tickell invited was Nick Nuttall (pictured below), the director of communications and spokesperson at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). She says, “Although he didn’t attend the whole session, he did attend for enough of it for us to really make the case that climate and the environment needed to have the voice, and the complex and many narratives that culture and the arts provide. His big takeaway promise was to work to promote culture as a key mechanism to communicate climate.” Nuttall delivered on his promise. Alongside Tickell, he helped coordinate a new #Art4Climate series on the UNFCCC’s website. This weekly series provided a spotlight on arts and cultural responses to climate change and global efforts to take action. The series was launched in the run-up to the UN Climate Conference in Bonn in November, 2017. Among others, there have been features on the world’s first sustainable dance floor, art exhibitions, and comic art. Tickell believes it’s just the “tip of the iceberg” and anticipates further collaboration in the future. Tickell says she found both sessions at Salzburg Global really interesting and much more challenging than she initially thought they would be. Commenting on The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal, she says there was a much broader frame which looked at culture through a wider prism. The session covered topics such as sustainable development, immigration and refugees, post-conflict trauma and reconciliation, indigenous rights, and climate justice. “A lot of my assumptions needed to be prodded and poked and that was one of the great values of Salzburg Global. It’s precisely that. You come away often uncomfortably disturbed and thoughtful, and it takes a while to really process some of that learning and put it into positive practice,” Tickell says. Looking forward, Julie’s Bicycle is doing policy work with the World Cities Culture Forum and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. “A lot of that has had a lot to do with Salzburg Global because when I went [and] because I was able to curate a [focus group], they specifically asked me to bring people who could help the policy work. That’s why [the group] that I [convened] was very much focused on that, and we’ve really been able to build that into some super work.” Tickell says Julie’s Bicycle is developing some diagnostic tools for global cities to help bring together climate and cultural policies. She adds, “We’ve written the World Cities Cultural Forum Handbook for City Leaders and will be developing that work in at least six pilot cities [in 2018], so that’s quite exciting.” “We also are publishing this research which is on the seven cultural trends and, again, it’s been hugely informed by [Salzburg Global], which is really identifying what’s going on across the cultural sector globally and how the cultural sector is beginning to drive very positive change. We’ll be publishing that research in early March at an event, but hopefully, that will be the start of another bigger project.”
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Kimberly Mann – “It’s key to present information to people in a way that allows them to understand the lessons that are to be learned from this tragedy”
Kimberly Mann – “It’s key to present information to people in a way that allows them to understand the lessons that are to be learned from this tragedy”
Louise Hallman and Tomas De La Rosa 
It happened in Europe over 70 years ago, but teaching about and learning from the Holocaust is still vital across the world today, says Kimberly Mann, Salzburg Global Fellow and chief of the Education Outreach Section in the United Nations’ Department of Public Information. Speaking at the session, Learning from the Past: Sharing Experiences across Borders to Combat Extremism, Mann discussed the importance of Holocaust Education: “I think that when we look at Holocaust Education, we have to focus on two things: education and remembrance. It’s key to present this history to young people in a way that they can understand the lessons that are to be learned from this tragedy,” Mann says. In her role with the UN, Mann devised the strategy and outreach program to be used by all 63 field offices of the UN around the world, which each has a mandate to observe the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 (the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp). In 2005, the first year of the outreach program, 10 Holocaust education and remembrance activities were held in 10 countries. By 2017, this had grown to 150 events and activities in 50 countries. “To me [that growth] says a lot,” says Mann. “To me it says that the United Nations has taken this subject very seriously and we have been very determined to encourage Holocaust education in countries around the world, in countries that are at risk and in countries that have had absolutely or very little connection to the Holocaust as it occurred at the time.” In April 2017, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) published Education about the Holocaust and preventing genocide: A policy guide. As Mann explains, the guide “defines what it is about the Holocaust that is universal; why it’s important for educators around the world to introduce education about the Holocaust in their classrooms; the relationship that it has not only with the preventing of genocide but [also] international law; and the role of the international community has in helping to prevent such tragedies from occurring again.” The document, which was contributed to by 10 Salzburg Global Fellows, makes the link between Holocaust education and global citizenship education and the role that all individuals have to help promote peace and sustainable development. The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme contributed to the document's guidelines. There are challenges in this approach. Mann attended an earlier session in the Salzburg Global Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program where she says there were many intellectual debates: “Do we teach about the Holocaust in order to protect human rights? Or do we look at human rights and then consider the Holocaust? There are some great sensitivities.” Mann believes that “the Holocaust is a very important subject in and of itself.” “You don’t teach about the Holocaust to learn about other genocides; you teach about the Holocaust to understand how the Holocaust came about – the specific history, the impact that it had on the Jewish people, and what that meant to the rest of the world.” “Comparative genocide [studies are] important but you can’t compare the suffering of the victims. There is no hierarchy of suffering,” Mann explains. “But you can look at certain warning signs. You can be more aware and take action to prevent these things from happening by looking at case histories like the Holocaust, and what happened in Rwanda or other countries.” For Mann, Holocaust education has an important role in teaching societies about what happens when there is discrimination, hatred and bigotry, and a lack of respect for minorities and diversity, as well as how communities – local, national and international – respond to such atrocities. She highlights the importance of learning how the Holocaust was perpetrated and by whom: “It wasn’t just the Nazis, it was the German people and their collaborators.” Sharing personal experiences such as The Diary of Anne Frank has great value, says Mann, as they can help to make the atrocities feel more “real”: “It’s so important that we continue to listen to the stories of survivors, that this history has been documented.” At a UN event in New York to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the publication of The Diary of Anne Frank, at which the accounts of Anne Frank and other young victims of genocidal violence were presented to an audience of than 500 13 to 18 year olds, Mann remarks that she was “very inspired by [their] reaction.” “The reaction from the young people was to ask: ‘Why? Why do we see people who are different to us as being less than us? Why do we think that people who are different than us don’t deserve to have same treatment, the same quality of life, the same standards of living and protections under the law as we do? Why?!’ …I really think that what I see [now] versus when I was younger in school is that there is a lot of critical thinking that is happening now.” “There is a lot of work to be done but I think the first step is for young people to analyze the information that is being presented to them and then question the assumptions that they have already made themselves or the so-called ‘truths’ that have been presented to them.”    Ultimately, Holocaust education is not only about learning about and from the past. Mann hopes that programs like as hers will “motivate [young people] to take some sort of positive action to defend human rights.” The session, Learning from the Past: Sharing Experiences across Borders to Combat Extremism is part of the multi-year series Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention (HEGP) Program, which is held partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and this year is funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Zukunftsfonds der Republik Österreich. Additional support comes from Mr. Ronald Abramson; the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research, and Economy; the Robert Bosch Stiftung; the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation; the HDH Wills 1965 Charitable Trust; the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung; and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. More information can be found on the session here, and you can follow along via the hashtag #SGShol on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
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