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YCI Project Helps Develop Historical Understanding of Memphis’ Past and Present
YCI Project Helps Develop Historical Understanding of Memphis’ Past and Present
Oscar Tollast 
A creative-writing project initially designed to bridge divides and help Memphis’ underserved communities thrive will leave behind a lasting physical imprint. Project Gratus, the brainchild of Steven Fox, highlighted the theme of gratitude to create workshops that kick-started intergenerational conversations between the youth and elderly generation. In addition to project-based workshops, dialogue and reflection sessions also took place, which then evolved into financial literacy workshops for youth and an MLK50 project Fox was selected for. Fox said, “The mission of these workshops was to develop [a] historical understanding of past and current events, invoke empathy and leverage self-confidence, self-worth, creative and critical thinking skills necessary to help citizens thrive artistically, socially, educationally and economically. “The need for this innovative approach was and still is high due to the persistent issue of childhood poverty, high crime rates and failing students/schools in the Memphis community.” Fox is a writer and spoken-word artist who attended the third session of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. After participating in the session, Fox received a follow-on grant to push ahead with Project Gratus. In June 2017, Project Gratus hosted financial literacy workshops at Ed Rice Community Center in the Frayser Area of Memphis, Tennessee. Educator and volunteer Dione Smith used a financial literacy curriculum called JA Our City. In five sessions, twelve students from a third-grade social studies class were introduced to subjects such as the importance of economic exchange and how money is managed by people and businesses in cities. As a result of the program, students were able to examine the importance of money to a city, why people pay taxes and develop an understanding of how entrepreneurs promote a healthy economy within a city. Between August and September 2017, Project Gratus worked alongside Cliff Garten Studio, the City of Memphis, and the Urban Art Commission. Together they looked at community workshops focused on the I Am A Man Plaza, based next to Clayborn Temple, a gathering place for Martin Luther King Jr. and sanitation workers before they marched during the Sanitation Workers Strike in 1968.   As part of the interactive plaza, which opened last month a day after the 50th anniversary of King’s death, a stone sculpture was built. Fox wrote the text that is etched in it. He was recommended for the role by Lauren Kennedy, a fellow member of the Memphis YCI Hub. The plaza gives visitors the opportunity to interact with art and inspire future generations to stand up for positive change. Discussing the content of the workshops, Fox said, “Each workshop included project details and proposed design elements for the I Am A Man Plaza, as well as a review of quotes and text identified from prominent civil rights leaders that will be incorporated in the plaza design. As collaborator… I led a conversation with participants to derive contemporary text for the plaza design.” Project Gratus hosted workshops at the New Chicago Community Development Corporation, Orange Mound Community Center, Clayborn Temple, and Whitehaven Community Center. Fox asked visitors how to honor the sanitation workers and if there was something they could say to them now, what would that be? Citizens were encouraged to be present with one another, learn from one another, and recognize the impact of the Sanitation Workers Strike. Commenting on this methodology, Fox said, “When we do this, we will fulfill the purpose of the I Am A Man Plaza with intention, and it will truly be a place of reflection, inspiration and hard work. Through these workshops, our hope is that the community will recognize opportunities and actions through our commemorating the strike in the history of Memphis.” For more information about the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators, please click here.
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Young Cultural Innovator Creates Online Poetry Archive
Visitors exploring the 2017 Detroit Art Book Fair (Picture: Maia Asshaq)
Young Cultural Innovator Creates Online Poetry Archive
Helena Santos 
A young cultural innovator (YCI) has created a free poetry audio archive where artists from all over the world can share their work in their mother tongue. Maia Asshaq, a member of the Detroit YCI Hub, is hoping the Recording Reading Archive will provide a connection between artists that goes beyond the poetry readings she hosts in Detroit. Asshaq, co-founder of the Detroit Art Book Fair and founder of DittoDitto, said, “Since many of those performances occur undocumented, and many of the performers live elsewhere my focus has shifted slightly from events to figuring out a way to connect these artists and make their work more accessible.” The archive, which is available to access online, came about after Asshaq’s experience at the third session of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. During this session, Asshaq met a Japanese writer, Mariko Asabuki, with whom she connected through the power of poetry-reading. Asshaq said, “Even though I can’t speak or understand Japanese, I was so curious as to how she may read her own work and what I could learn about it just by listening. I began work immediately on collecting recordings from friends and poets I was familiar with.” After experimenting with playing pre-recorded poetry in both Paris and Berlin, Asshaq went back to Detroit where she designed a “sort of release party” with musician Matthew Conzett. Each month, Asshaq invites an experimental musician to incorporate recordings of their choice into a live performance. Musicians are then free to manipulate the recordings. Asshaq timed the first official release party with the Detroit Art Book Fair, an annual event which draws thousands of people. This event featured performances from Detroit musicians Claire Cirocco and Matthew Conzett, which have since been added to the Recording Reading Archive. The Recorded Reading Archive is available online, and even though the files cannot be downloaded, everyone can listen to the recordings for free. Asshaq said the archive gives “listeners a chance to not only listen to works by their friends and favorite writers but also to explore new work.” So far, the archive has more than 20 recordings. This project was made possible after Asshaq received a follow-on grant after attending the YCI Forum at Salzburg Global Seminar. Discussing the next steps for the archive, she said, “In addition to building the archive and the monthly releases, my hope is that bookshops all over the world that I’ve built relationships with will feature the recordings as well. I am also trying to tap into existing archives and feature those sounds on my site as well.”
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Young Cultural Innovators “Move from Me to We” at Regional Meeting
Fellows and program staff who attended the second US regional meeting of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Young Cultural Innovators “Move from Me to We” at Regional Meeting
Oscar Tollast 
Young cultural innovators (YCIs) from Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans have strengthened their network following the conclusion of the second US regional YCI meeting. This year’s program, supported by the Kresge Foundation, took place at the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans with 27 YCIs from both the third and fourth sessions of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators participating. The two-day program involved YCIs taking part in a series of discussions, workshops, site visits, and interactive exercises. Fellows from the New Orleans YCI Hub led site visits. This included an exhibition opening and performance of The Rent is Too Damn High, an event curated by YCI Fari Nzinga; an exhibition tour and talk from the Curator of the Contemporary Arts Centre, exploring new models for interdisciplinary arts centers; a walk-through of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, a cultural corridor in New Orleans; and a tour of Studio BE showcasing work of Brandan 'Bmike' Odums. The workshop’s theme was “Moving from Me to We,” exploring further what it means to be a YCI Hub and what YCIs want to accomplish as a community of Fellows in their cities and local communities. Salzburg Global’s Young Cultural Innovators Forum has hubs in six regions around the globe. Hubs include Adelaide, Athens, Baltimore, Buenos Aires, Canada, Cape Town, Detroit, Malta, Manila, Memphis, Minnesota, Nairobi, New Orleans, Mekong Delta, Plovdiv, Rotterdam, Salzburg, Seoul, Slovakia, Tirana, and Tokyo. Chase Cantrell, the founder of Building Community Value, based in Detroit, said, “Every time I get together with other YCIs, I realize how universal problems are in each of our cities. It has gotten me to think more about how to leverage the network for learning and collaboration.” Yasmine Omari, marketing and education outreach coordinator at Germantown Performing Arts Center, said “meeting the YCI Fellows from the year before was really wonderful. Reconnecting with the YCIs from my year was also really great. I learn so much from listening to their struggles and projects that they are working on and it really makes me feel less alone in the work that I am doing.” Alphonse Smith, director of place and civic design at the Arts Council New Orleans, said the experience of being able to evaluate his work and potential collaboration opportunities was productive. He said, “It challenged me to take a step back and critically reflect on the work. It was also nice to hear constructive feedback from non-New Orleans Hub members.” YCIs were joined in New Orleans by Susanna Seidl-Fox, program director for culture and the arts at Salzburg Global, and Faye Hobson, a program associate at Salzburg Global. Clare Shine, vice president and chief program officer at Salzburg Global, and Andy Ho, US development Director at Salzburg Global, also attended the meeting to engage with Fellows. The program was led by YCI Forum facilitators Amina Dickerson, Peter Jenkinson, and Shelagh Wright. Seidl-Fox said, “As creative change-makers, the YCIs confront similar challenges in their cities. Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans are all contending with social inequality, weak public education systems, high unemployment levels, economic disparities, and a general lack of public support for the cultural sector.    “Working at the intersection of the arts and social change, all 27 YCIs are committed to addressing these challenges. This regional YCI meeting in New Orleans provided a rich opportunity for the YCIs to share experiences, coach each other, and strategize for the future. They represent and will shape the future of their cities.   “Their energy, talent, and commitment are what Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans need to help them overcome the challenges of the 21st century.” The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators is a ten-year project of Salzburg Global Seminar that champions young artists and cultural change-makers who are using innovative and creative practices to catalyze civic, social, and urban transformation in their communities around the globe. For more information on the Forum, please click here. The Regional Fellows Event is part of the multi-year Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. More information on this event, which was supported by The Kresge Foundation, can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/594
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Salzburg Global Session Highlighted in International Journal for Quality in Health Care
Participants in discussion during the Salzburg Global session, Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement?
Salzburg Global Session Highlighted in International Journal for Quality in Health Care
Oscar Tollast 
A supplement highlighting the conclusions reached after a Salzburg Global Seminar session has been published in the International Journal for Quality Health Care (ISQua). The publication, authored by M. Rashad Massoud, Leighann E Kimble, Don Goldmann, John Ovretveit, and Nancy Dixson, reflects on the discussions and deliberations which took place at Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement?, a session held in July 2016. This program sought to examine how health and health care professionals could better understand how results achieved were attributable to interventions conducted. In the background section of the supplement, readers are informed, “The field is at a stage where we must now improve our understanding of how we learn about the changes we test and implement. This means that we need to better understand whether or not the results being realized are related to the interventions we are testing and implementing. If so, we must also understand to what extent, how they worked and why, as well as whether the changes are generalizable or only specific to that context. The answers to these questions are not straightforward. The purpose of the Salzburg Global Seminar — Session 565 was to convene and address these questions and to think through how to approach this concern emerging in the field of quality improvement.” Following an informative four-day program, participants took away knowledge to help in the design, implementation, and evaluation of improvement. They also left Salzburg with a greater understanding of which activities under which conditions were most effective at achieving sustained results in health outcomes. Salzburg Global organized the session in partnership with the USAID ASSIST Project and the New Ventures Fund. M. Rashad Massoud, director of the USAID ASSIST Project and senior vice president of the Quality and Performance Institute at University Research Co, took on the role as session chair. Work undertaken at the session helped enable several peer-reviewed articles to be included in the supplement, all of which address a key component of the discussions which took place. Among the conclusions reached, the authors behind the supplement agreed, “The session quickly revealed that to find solutions to these issues, implementers, evaluators and researchers must work together to better learn about improvement activities. This is in contrast to the current situation in which evaluators too often work independently, rather than collaboratively, with improvement program designers and implementers… “… In essence, participants concluded that the principal accomplishment of the Seminar was to ‘marry’ the world of improvement and evaluation to bridge gaps. A ‘wedding ceremony’ between rigorous implementation and insightful evaluation concluded the Seminar in the inspiring environment of the Schloss Leopoldskron and its magical surroundings where the 'Sound of Music' was filmed.” To read the supplement published in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care, please click here. To learn more about Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement? and explore other related articles, please click here. Salzburg Global’s report of the session can be read below.
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Detroit YCI Launches Project which Identifies Ways to Increase Creativity
Melvin Henley leads a discussion during Creativity in "Non-Creative" Places
Detroit YCI Launches Project which Identifies Ways to Increase Creativity
Maryam Ghaddar 
What does it mean to be creative in a work environment that often challenges the very definition of the word? How is creativity integrated into sectors and communities that are not considered creative per se? Everyone has a creative streak, whether or not it’s immediately apparent. Melvin Henley, who attended the third session of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in 2016, sought to explore this notion in a project titled Creativity in “Non-Creative” Places in Detroit, Michigan. The event was hosted in October 2017 at Lawrence Tech University’s Center for Design and Technology, which welcomes people from various backgrounds, fosters design thinking, and serves students, professionals, architects, artists, designers, innovators, entrepreneurs, etc. Henley received funding for the event through a follow-on grant from Salzburg Global after attending the forum for Young Cultural Innovators. Initially intended to convene industry experts from sectors not typically seen as “creative,” such as food, government, sports and education, Creativity in “Non-Creative” Places evolved into a series of group discussions, panel presentations, and an interactive activity between professionals from both “creative” and “non-creative” sectors. The aim was primarily to bounce ideas off each other, form networks, and engage in a friendly and open atmosphere for inspiration on creative brainstorming and idea generation. Shelly Danner, co-founder and program director of Challenge Detroit and another Detroit YCI from the 2016 Forum, led some of these idea generation exercises. Reflecting on the event, Henley said: “Four core competencies were identified as being essential for creative expression: capturing, challenging, broadening and surrounding. All are measurable and trainable, which means that no matter what a person’s current creative output is, when you build on these competencies, your creative output is likely to increase.” Conversations were prompted by a straightforward, yet thought-provoking inquiry: “Innovation and creativity are critical to our personal and professional growth as well as our economy. Do you agree or disagree?” Four dynamic panelists were convened to speak at the event and were chosen based on their diverse work and experiences in the community. The speakers included Sandra Yu Stahl, lead evaluator at Citizen Detroit; Abir Ali, director of design and culture at The Platform; Delphia Simmons, chief strategy and learning officer at COTS, and Rachel Perschetz, director of community investment at Quicken Loans. This particular project brought together 23 people from both “creative” and “non-creative” sectors, nurtured peer-learning opportunities for attendees, highlighted how creative thinking is used every day and offered ways to tap into that creativity in the workplace. In essence, it challenged participants to apply creative problem solving and encouraged individuals to acknowledge and embrace their creative confidence. While Creativity in “Non-Creative” Places was geared towards peer-learning, coaching of young and green programs, and applying brain science and social intelligence in work settings, Henley explained that it was a “prototyping event” and that there is still much room for improvement. For instance, gathering more individuals from the community and focusing more on age diversity would emphasize the project’s central goal. “Moving forward,” Henley noted, “the event has the potential to turn into a series of conversations that happen quarterly, but would like to start with one and see how it goes from there and/or if we can secure additional funding. One of the things that did emerge that I would like to build on is how creative can make room for “non-creative” in their creative output. Sometimes it feels like creatives produce work or spaces or experiences that can only be enjoyed by other creatives.” Creativity in “Non-Creative” Places investigated creative leadership and the many methodologies that can emerge when a group of individuals endeavors to bring about positive change. With this in mind, Henley said that “the THNK program in Amsterdam comes to mind as a great case study. One of the takeaways from the conversation is that people are unsure how to embrace creative ideas and use them to propel ideas and movements. The people in the room were unsure how to design programs for scalability, relevance, and impact outside of traditional business models. There appears to some [an] opportunity to further develop a framework or materials that could be helpful. If possible, I’d like to use more remaining funds to further investigate this subject and develop a Creative Leadership toolkit that is shared with others.”
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Salzburg Global Board Member Andreas Dombret Recognized for his Services to Austria
Andreas Dombret (left) is presented with the Great Golden Medal for Services to the Republic of Austria by Governor Ewald Nowotny (Photo: Niesner/OeNB)
Salzburg Global Board Member Andreas Dombret Recognized for his Services to Austria
Oscar Tollast 
Salzburg Global Seminar board member Andreas Dombret has been presented with a prestigious medal honoring his services to Austria. Dombret, a member of Deutsche Bundesbank's executive board, has been awarded the Große Goldene Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich (Great Golden Medal for Services to the Republic of Austria). He was presented with the accolade earlier this month by fellow Salzburg Global board member, and Governor of Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB), Ewald Nowotny, at the Oesterreichische Nationalbank in Vienna. Governor Nowotny, who has served as a board member for Salzburg Global since November 2008, said, "Andreas Dombret has been closely associated with Austria for many years and is distinguished by his strong commitment to Austrian interests. This is particularly helpful in those international bodies where Austria is not directly represented, such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision or the G20." Dombret has been a member of the executive board of the Deutsche Bundesbank since May 2010. He is responsible for directorates general banking and financial supervision; economic education, University of Applied Sciences and technical Central Bank cooperation; risk control; and the Bundesbank's representative offices abroad. As a representative of the Bundesbank, Dombret has taken part in numerous international committees and has used this opportunity to represent Austria's interests. Dombret has been a board member for Salzburg Global since January 2016.
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Research Communication Takeaways from Interdisciplinary Research for the SDGs
Research Communication Takeaways from Interdisciplinary Research for the SDGs
Sajid Chowdhury 
This op-ed was written by Sajid Chowdhury, director at Big Blue Communications. Chowdhury attended the Salzburg Global Seminar session, Climate Change, Conflict, Health and Education: Targeting Interdisciplinary Research to Meet the SDGs. In March, I joined a brilliant three-day seminar of 60+ researchers, funders and policymakers brought together to highlight opportunities and challenges of interdisciplinary research in meeting Sustainable Development Goals.The session was convened by Salzburg Global Seminar in partnership with the UK Global Challenges Research Fund and with UK Research and Innovation. Salzburg Global has held 500+ similar events since post-World War II, bringing people together to address complex challenges and build networks.Interdisciplinary research is what it sounds like. It brings together minds from diverse fields, attempts to break siloed thinking, and tackles research challenges from varied viewpoints. It also has challenges. According to journal Nature in 2015: ‘Research that transcends conventional academic boundaries is harder to fund, do, review and publish — and those who attempt it struggle for recognition and advancement.’ This sentiment was echoed through the seminar.Through interactive exercises and discussions, we mapped interlinkages and tensions between the SDGs that relate to four sectors of climate change, conflict, health, and education. We also discussed strategies for communicating complexity and shaping policy to help countries meet those SDGs. Finally, we jointly offered recommendations to research funders, policymakers, and practitioners for future research. Day 3 Panel: ‘Communication for the Infobesity Era’ On Day 3, our four-person panel discussed research communication in an era of information overload. How can communicators compete for audiences’ attention? How can research teams ensure that their engagement with audiences is meaningful, relevant, and current? Where do concepts such as social media, mobile phones, fake news, and increasingly aggravated perceptions of 'experts' fit in? My take: More than ever, research findings must compete with a whole lot of other messaging. That means research communication should be targeted, with the fat trimmed off so that a journalist or politician or citizen can understand the important bits right away.By nature, research findings can be complex, and complexity takes time to clarify. Assuming that audiences such as citizens and government representatives and politicians may not have much time, then it makes sense for research teams to ensure their messages are clear, compact, and punchy. Research findings will often need to exist in different formats, whether as news, a series of memorable events, communication campaign, or visual experience featuring stories that audiences can connect with. This can be a new, but exciting, world for research teams that may be more accustomed to [the] production of written content for academic publications.For research teams that want to rise above the noise, there is incredible value in finding great communicators. Just as there are people who love conducting cutting-edge research, equally, there are people who love to communicate it. A great starting point, then, is for research teams to align with people who know and love research communication. Yes, information overload is real, but there are also tremendous storytelling opportunities for research teams that take the plunge into the world of faster, visual, online communication. Four Key Research Communication Takeaways from Salzburg Not everyone sees science and research in the same way. In general, researchers see empirical knowledge, science, and expertise as necessary, but they are not the ‘be all, end all’ to influence behavior and lead to positive change. Some audiences may just value science and research differently or may see research as vulnerable to politics, corruption, and falsification.Dialogue, not dissemination. Researchers can tend to see ‘communication’ as one-way, and indeed, this is reflected even right down to project terms of reference, when research teams are asked by donor teams to produce a ‘dissemination’ strategy that assumes that production will lead to uptake. But at Salzburg, we repeatedly returned to the idea that localized, contextualized dialogue and conversation can be more effective creators of change.Communication throughout the research process. Communication and conversation around research needs to start before the research, not as an add-on at the end.Involve communicators, and craft your research messages. We talk about the gap between research and policymakers, but this overlooks communities and citizens. For well-thought communication, researchers need to consider message, language, and medium. The session, Climate Change, Conflict, Health and Education: Targeting Interdisciplinary Research to Meet the SDGs, was held in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). More information on the session can be found here.To join in the discussions online, follow the hashtag #SGSsdgs on Twitter.
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