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Looking Back - Chanel at the Schloss
A drawing of Schloss Leopoldskron by Karl Lagerfeld which was gifted to the hotel as a token of appreciation
Looking Back - Chanel at the Schloss
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron remembers hosting the late Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel's Austrian-inspired collection

Staff at Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron were sad to learn iconic designer Karl Lagerfeld passed away on Tuesday. We remember hosting his show in 2014 where he unveiled his pre-Fall 2015 collection for Chanel.

This show brought together the great and good of the fashion world and brought Leopoldskron to life in a new and exciting way. Our thoughts remain with Mr. Lagerfeld’s family and friends.

The article below was first published in December 2014.


Schloss Leopoldskron, home of Salzburg Global Seminar, has played host to people from across a multitude of backgrounds in its 400 years – from politics to business, civil society to the arts – providing many with “pure inspiration.” This month, the historic Schloss hosted the great and good of the fashion world as world famous designer Karl Lagerfeld unveiled his pre-Fall 2015 collection for Chanel.

Speaking from the lakeside terrace of Schloss Leopoldskron, Lagerfeld explained to Vogue magazine about his choice of venue: “Schloss Leopoldskron is where Max Reinhardt founded the Salzburg Festival. This was the seat of intellectual and cultural creative genesis.” 

In an exclusive interview with Salzburg Global Seminar after the successful show, Lagerfeld spoke warmly of his own memories of Schloss Leopoldskron, having visited previously and long held a fascination with the palace's history.

“I know Schloss Leopoldskron very well,” said Lagerfeld. “We took great photos here already 26 years ago... For me, the Schloss belongs to the history of the German-language theater and culture between 1920 and 1938, together with Max Reinhardt. These things are very dear to my heart.”

Following in the footsteps of Coco Chanel and her own Austrian experience in the 1930s when she saw a hotel bellboy’s jacket that inspired her famous braid-trimmed jacket, Lagerfeld’s “Paris-Salzburg 2014/15 Metiers d’Art collection” incorporates elements of traditional Austrian dress with a modern, fashionable twist.

A short film – Reincarnation – chronicling Coco Chanel’s bellboy encounter and starring model Cara Delevingne and singer Pharrell Williams premiered in Salzburg ahead of the December 2 show at Schloss Leopoldskron.

In the two weeks leading up to the show, the international team of Chanel had exclusive use of Schloss Leopoldskron as the whole of the first floor of the palace was transformed into an unorthodox catwalk with models such as Delevingne, Kendall Jenner and Lara Stone parading down the stairs to the Venetian Room and the White Room, through the Marble Hall, to the Chinese Room and the Max Reinhardt Library. 

Accompanying the sumptuous buffets in every room, additional period furniture was brought in, with floors re-polished, rooms re-painted and details re-fixed especially for the star-studded show. 

As well as actresses Rooney Mara and Geraldine Chaplin and singer Lily Allen, guests also included Salzburg Global Seminar’s own Vice President and Chief Program Officer Clare Shine and Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron General Manager Daniel Szelényi.

“We often tell both our Salzburg Global Fellows and hotel guests that this magnificent building isn’t a museum – it’s a living, breathing space. Reinhardt famously said that he had ‘lived every room, every table, every chair, every light, and every picture’ here at Schloss Leopoldskron. That Karl Lagerfeld has taken the same approach with his show is a great honor to Reinhardt,” said Shine.

“We were delighted to have Chanel choose Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron as the location for their pre-Fall show,” said Szelényi. “We are especially delighted with the various detailed improvements they were able to deliver for the show, which will continue to help us in our transformation and stewardship of this beautiful building,” he added.

Coverage from Chanel:

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Lala Pasquinelli – It’s Important for Artists to Experience Salzburg Global Seminar
Lala Pasquinelli (center) engaging in an activity at last year’s program of the Young Cultural Innovators ForumLala Pasquinelli (center) engaging in an activity at last year’s program of the Young Cultural Innovators Forum
Lala Pasquinelli – It’s Important for Artists to Experience Salzburg Global Seminar
By: Oscar Tollast 

Young cultural innovator reveals how her time in Salzburg has helped develop her project

A visual artist based in Buenos Aires has spoken of her gratitude after attending the fourth program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.

Lala Pasquinelli, the founder of Mujeres que no fueron tapa (Women who were not on the cover), has revealed how her time at Schloss Leopoldskron has helped her project grow in size and stature.

Mujeres que no fueron tapa encourages people to use intuitive artistic experiences to express their diversity and potential. This expression is achieved by hacking magazines and stereotypes and transforming them through art actions and workshops.

Since leaving Salzburg, Pasquinelli has taken on board the advice of faculty and has collaborated with fellow YCIs to create a Festival of Hacking Magazines, which is taking in place in more than 150 schools across Argentina until September.

Pasquinelli said, “The project and the activities are about [having] a critical view of stereotypes in media, and [discovering] what [is] the thing we love in our lives, and the distance between that and the things the media are trying to impose [on] us. The idea of the Festival is to share with the teachers from private and public schools the tools that we developed the years before.”

Schools participate for free and receive guides and materials as to what activities to undertake and how. Once finished, teachers will send photographs and surveys back to Pasquinelli and her colleagues. The results from these surveys will be compiled into a book featuring testimonies and images of the Festival, plus results of the research carried out.

“At [the] moment, some of the schools are hacking magazines in different cities of Argentina, and I am watching photographs of blackboards from different schools with the phrase, ‘When do you love being yourself?’ …. It is amazing,” Pasquinelli said.

For this project, Pasquinelli received help from fellow YCIs Moira Rubio Brennan and Luciana Chait. Pasquinelli said, “It was very important to me to attend the [YCI Forum] last year, to make this idea grow and develop.”

Pasquinelli also highlighted the influence of YCI guest speaker Uffe Elbæk, a member of the Danish Parliament and leader of The Alternative political party, and YCI facilitator Adam Molyneux-Berry, managing director of iceHubs, on her work.

She said, “Adam talked a lot about to do things without money, or about money, was not a limit to [doing] the things you dream to change the world. The story Uffe told us about how he started his own party was very inspiring.”

Pasquinelli said she wanted to thank Salzburg Global, the sponsors, and organizations which make scholarships possible for the Forum. She said, “I think it is very important for artists to have the possibility of [experiencing] the seminar – to grow in our work and develop our tools.”

Pasquinelli's participation at the YCI Forum was supported by American Express. For more information about the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators, please visit: https://yci.salzburgglobal.org/overview.html 

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Stefan Brandt - The "Future is a Very Abstract Topic"
Stefan Brandt speaking at the Salzburg Global Seminar program, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology, and Making Sense of the FutureStefan Brandt speaking at the Salzburg Global Seminar program, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology, and Making Sense of the Future
Stefan Brandt - The "Future is a Very Abstract Topic"
By: Helena Santos 

Director of Futurium speaks to Salzburg Global ahead of workshop opening

In the heart of Berlin, next to the German Bundestag and the German Chancellery, a building designed to give visitors a glimpse of the future has opened its doors for its first workshop week.

Ahead of its final launch in 2019, Futurium is inviting people to get to know them in an event that will cover topics such as digitization, civic involvement, climate protection and sustainability.

Between May 30 and June 9, people have the chance to experience the venue as a museum of the future, a future laboratory, a future forum, and a stage for the future.

Stefan Brandt, director of the Futurium, said the concept of a museum is a valuable part of the project. Brandt spoke to Salzburg Global Seminar while attending the program, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future.

Brandt said, "I think we definitely want to show and present things, objects on [the ] future but I think is not enough… We need all the other dimensions as well. There are many things, many problems, and challenges that you cannot fully address in an exhibition. You need other dimensions to deal with. For instance, you need a debate, a discussion, workshop… You need artistic performances because often in the past artists had a better feeling of what could happen in the future because they don’t think in a linear way. They rather associate or work [associatively]  with different observations and thoughts, and they get a completely surprising vision of the future that at the end is sometimes closer to reality than the more linear analysis that a scientist might do."

The workshop's theme is “Areas of Tension. Approaching Possible Futures.” This is something that falls in line with the thoughts shared by Brandt during his stay in Salzburg. After all, Brandt does not believe in a single future; he believes in multiple futures. Futures are just our different ideas of what the future might look like. These ideas may be consistent, complementary or conflicting and that’s why it is important to share them in an eclectic space like the Futurium.  

When Futurium opens at fully capacity in spring 2019 the first floor of the building will accommodate a permanent exhibition guided by the question “How do we want to live?” This exhibition will be divided into three different thinking spaces that will tackle the future relationship of humans with themselves, nature and technology.  

In the building’s basement, visitors will find the Futurium Lab, something Brandt considers essential because the hands-on approach allows for a more intimate experience.

“Future is a very abstract topic… What we have seen in our work with children, with pupils at schools is that once they are closely in touch with future, to objects or to books - to materials that are dealing directly with future - they feel connected somehow… Therefore, I think that the objects and the concrete doing is something so important for an institution like us,” Brandt clarified.

During his time at Salzburg, Brandt presented the Futurium as a translator, the missing link in a fragmented society where arts, science, and policy-makers have trouble communicating with each other.

“We think sometimes very simplistic about politics, and it’s good to understand what the problems for politics are to get things done. On the other hand, we also don’t value enough what arts can contribute to such a discourse because arts are not just the pretty flower on something. It is sometimes really the core of something - of our approach to future, for instance. On the other hand, without knowledge that comes from science, from scientific work we would not be able to further explore futures. Therefore, I would say that yes, we need to understand more the value of each other…to really start a qualified debate”, Brandt said.

Bringing all sectors of society together to discuss which future everyone wants is the primary goal of this groundbreaking project that also aims to change lives for the better.

Brandt says, “Keeping peace at least in a major part of the world will be a big achievement and the second is that we really try to solve problems solemnly and not superficially… [After questioning preexisting systems we] understand each sector is connected to the other sectors and we need holistic solutions, but it takes time, and it takes patience, and you need to have the will to go this way, and this is a difficult way. My hope is that we make at least some steps on this way.”

To learn more about Futurium’s first workshop week, please click here.


Brandt took part in Salzburg Global session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future, part of the multi-year series Culture, Arts and Society. The session is supported by the Edwards T. Cone Foundation. More information on the program can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter using #SGSculture.

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Young Cultural Innovator Creates Online Poetry Archive
Visitors exploring the 2017 Detroit Art Book Fair (Picture: Maia Asshaq)Visitors exploring the 2017 Detroit Art Book Fair (Picture: Maia Asshaq)
Young Cultural Innovator Creates Online Poetry Archive
By: Helena Santos 

Maia Asshaq creates free audio archive to highlight the work of artists from all over the world

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 InnovatorsFellows 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
By: Oscar Tollast 

Fellows from Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans take part in two-day program

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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Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
Report is now available to read online, download and share
Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
By: Louise Hallman 

New report explores the importance of multilingualism and inclusive language policy 

Language is fundamental to national identity and an important contributor to social cohesion in modern pluralistic societies. Learning a foreign language helps you to know that country and language skills can be very valuable. However, language policy decisions can also impact detrimentally on students’ life chances. All of this raises critical questions for researchers, policymakers and practitioners about the role of language learning and testing for two public good objectives: to “untap” and optimize individual talents and to foster social cohesion and dynamic inclusive economies.

To this end, Salzburg Global Seminar convened the session Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World at its home in Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria, in December 2017. The five-day session resulted in the Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World, which was published on International Mother Language Day and has since been translated into more than 50 languages.

A newly published report from the session is now available to read online, download and share. 

The session, held in partnership with ETS, Microsoft and Qatar Foundation International, formed part of Salzburg Global’s long-running multi-year series, Education for Tomorrow’s World. Together, the more than 40 representatives from policy, academia, civil society and business, representing over 25 countries looked specifically at language policy through the lenses of social justice and social cohesion; the relationship between multilingualism and dynamic and entrepreneurial societies; the role of language policy in achieving the fourth Sustainable Development Goal for quality education; and the evolving role of technology in this field.

The session report includes not only the Salzburg Statement, but also delves into the importance of language policy and practice from different perspectives, featuring summaries of each of the different panel discussions as well as insights from several of the expert participants: 

Language is both barrier and bridge to co-operation, peace and progress

Learning Languages in a Globalized World

Tackling the Inherent Politics of Language Policy

Increasing Social Cohesion – and Avoiding Monolingualism

Embracing the Economic Value of Multilingualism and Minority Languages

Humanizing Language Learning Through Technology

Calling for Multilingualism and Language Rights to be Valued, Protected and Promoted 

Hot Topic: Why is language learning so important?

Hot Topic: What makes good language policy?

Hot Topic: How do we promote the value of multilingualism?

Download the report (PDF)

As populations change and evolve, regardless of the reason, language policies and the programs that support them have a pivotal role to play in helping new arrivals better integrate into their new host countries and enhance social cohesion. Equally important, language policies are fundamental in ensuring millions of people around the world can maintain, enjoy and develop their languages of community. Multilingual policies can sustain the unique and vital resource of language diversity and drive positive change in the world – economically, socially and politically.

Like many other sectors, technological innovation has the potential to revolutionize and democratize the language teaching and learning fields, paving the way to fairer access to the job market. Led by input from session partner, Microsoft, participants considered the role disruptive technology might play in shaping future decisions about language policy.

Much emphasis in schools’ curriculum in recent years has been placed on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), with languages often valued less in comparison – despite the fact this goes against the latest thinking in neuroscience. Participants looked at how the research community could counter this misalignment of evidence and policy, and gain more traction with policymakers, practitioners and the public.

The final part of the session focused on the writing of the Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World, which was conceived as a way of synthesizing and bringing these complex issues to the attention of policymakers and people of influence and which can serve as an advocacy tool for people working for change in this area. The Statement is provided in full in English in the session report. All other translations – 51 and counting – can be found online: www.SalzburgGlobal.org/go/statements/multilingualworld  

The Statement has been circulated widely following the session and now will form the basis of a series of webinars to be held throughout Summer and Autumn 2018.


Salzburg Global Seminar would like to thank ETS, Microsoft and Qatar Foundation International for their generous support of the session Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World. Salzburg Global Fellows' scholarships were provided by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Capital Group Companies, the Korea Foundation, The Nippon Foundation, the Onodera Fellowship, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Thompson Fellowship and the Walter & Shirley Massey Scholarship Program. We also thank all Fellows for donating their time and expertise to this session. 

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Detroit YCI Launches Project which Identifies Ways to Increase Creativity
Melvin Henley leads a discussion during Creativity in "Non-Creative" PlacesMelvin Henley leads a discussion during Creativity in "Non-Creative" Places
Detroit YCI Launches Project which Identifies Ways to Increase Creativity
By: Maryam Ghaddar 

Melvin Henley hosts discussion on Creativity in “Non-Creative” Places in Detroit

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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The Shock of the New – Using Tech to Drive Social Innovation
Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash
The Shock of the New – Using Tech to Drive Social Innovation
By: Helena Santos 

Salzburg Global Fellows explore positive effects of technology in day-to-day life

When picturing a utopian or dystopian future, technology invariably features. Technology already plays such a ubiquitous role in today’s life; one can only guess how humanity’s relationship with it can evolve further. Is this something which should scare us or excite us?

Projects such as Chowberry and Wazi Vision, however, remind us of the positives contributions technology is making to society and the social change it can drive. Both were highlighted as examples during the Salzburg Global Seminar session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology, and Making Sense of the Future.

Through innovation and enabling technologies, Chowberry aims to provide affordable nutrition to millions of people. The cloud-based application service is the brainchild of Oscar Ekponimo and was developed as a result of his own experiences. Having gone through a period of financial difficulty while growing up, he was determined to improve access to quality food in Nigeria for others.

Through the app those in need get access to quality food from the stores that sell products reaching the end of their shelf-life for lower prices, thus combating food waste and hunger at the same time.

While a lot of requests to export Chowberry to countries in Africa and South America arrive at Ekponimo’s door, he is currently focused on starting a new project in Nigeria. With Ars Electronica as partners, he is working on the Gallery of Code to plug the intellectual gap in Nigeria and build a relationship for cultural exchange from both artistic and technological points of view.

Expanding on this further, Ekponimo says, “We have put together a lab, or what I would call a creative space that would have a blend of arts and also creative technology. A collaboration between artists coming in from all around the world to understand the contexts of the local community and produce installations, works of art, [...] creative technologies using a leveraging of skills and intellects from the West here in Europe to work with local hands on the ground, to develop creative technologies that can help solve problems.”

Giving back to the community is something that is also present in Brenda Katwesigye’s work. With Wazi Vision, she works alongside female artisans in Uganda to transform recycled plastic into affordable eyewear.

As the business continues to grow, Wazi Vision is preparing to launch a range of glasses on Amazon, taking their concept worldwide. Meanwhile, Katwesigye’s company is also developing an app that will make eye tests more accessible.

“The reason that people in hard to reach areas do not have access to [conventional testing methods] is because you cannot open up an optical center in the village or somewhere. So these people don’t have access to optical centers and also, at least in Uganda, optometrists and opticians they are not as evenly distributed in the country as they should be … You find all of them in Kampala, in the capital, and then outside of Kampala maybe one or two if any. What we are trying to do with the app is for everybody … that’s how technology is actually changing society and integrating into culture and into the way we do life overall,” Katwesigye explains.

WATCH: An Introduction to Wazi Vission's Mission

The Salzburg Global session Ekponimo and Katwesigye attended sought to bridge divides between creative talents and technologists, scientists, futurists, policymakers, and educators. Despite their different backgrounds, all were united behind the idea to chart collaborative pathways to more livable futures.

Accessibility is a theme which runs through Ekponimo and Katwesigye comments – whether that’s access to resources, people, or food. Technology can enable different parties to come together and provide more opportunities for people previously left out of the conversation.

When humans and their needs are at the core of projects, integrated change is possible, and technology can act as a social enhancer as these two innovative ideas show.

Ekponimo, who won a Rolex Award for Enterprise for his work in 2016, says, “People just need to be empowered with the right skills and when they have the right skills, when they have the right know-how they can solve problems whether it’s in health, whether it’s in agriculture because this is key because they understand the problem more than an outsider coming in.

“All they just need [are] skills, whether it’s technology skills for example and they can then use [those] technology skills and be creative … Technology gives you a huge amount of creative power, and with that huge amount of creative power you can solve problems within your community and be effective in that problem-solving approach.”.


The Salzburg Global program The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future is part of the multi-year series, Culture, Arts and Society. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. More information on the program can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter using #SGSculture.

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YCI Creates Intercultural Toolkit for Diverse Partners to Work Together
Participants take part in a group exercise at the Bottom Up Culture Project, an event organized by the Bulgaria YCI Hub
YCI Creates Intercultural Toolkit for Diverse Partners to Work Together
By: Oscar Tollast 

Memphis YCI Leni Stoeva collaborates with Bulgaria YCI Hub to produce new resource

An intercultural toolkit designed to bring partners together from diverse backgrounds has been created by a YCI Fellow.

Leni Stoeva, a member of the Memphis YCI Hub, has put forward a Cross-Partnership Development Toolkit, which will soon be available in multiple languages.

Stoeva views the toolkit as an “invitation to partnership and creativity,” which will allow individuals and organizations to gain more perspective, skills, and networks.

She said, “A significant takeaway from the [Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators] is new relationships formed. 21st century Europe is facing a growing complexity of societies and a standardization of lifestyles and cultures.

“Meanwhile, USA is facing a time of self-segregation based on class, race, and values at the root of the country’s pressing problems. The world’s future depends on inter-community connection and partnerships that foster understanding between people who may have little in common.”

Stoeva, who attended the third session of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in 2016, created the resource after partnering with the Bulgaria YCI Hub.

Both worked together last year during the Bottom Up Culture Project, a project designed to highlight and discuss the current issues the creative community in Bulgaria is facing.

Stoeva helped to facilitate two consecutive sessions, the first of which was a university talk in Sofia and later a workshop in Plovdiv. Both events brought more than 60 people together.

Specific goals that were outlined ahead of the event to lead discussions included creating partnerships from a diverse set of interests, collaborating between major and smaller, local cultural institutions, establishing inter-sectoral partnerships, and introducing a specific cultural diversity strand to local partnerships.

This project held a forum that explored culture-led urban regeneration, cultural entrepreneurs, creative places, creative quarters, and neighborhood change and gentrification. After the event, Stoeva searched for the best practices of partnership development on national levels to present as a structured toolkit.

Stoeva said, “I believe that by participating in a cultural exchange seminar in Plovdiv provided me with compelling opportunities to continue conversations begun in Salzburg and foster learning across countries. With the project, we worked on identifying best practices for cross-partnership development.”

For more information about the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI), please click here.

Download an English version of the Cross-Partnership Development Toolkit 

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Amy Karle - "It's Really Important That We Choose and Focus on the Future We Want to Achieve"
Karle speaking during at the Salzburg Global session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future (Photo by Herman Seidl/Salzburg Global Seminar)
Amy Karle - "It's Really Important That We Choose and Focus on the Future We Want to Achieve"
By: Carly Sikina 

Transmedia artist and designer discusses the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration and exploring what it means to be human

From a very young age, Amy Karle was taught to envision a future full of hope, and as a transdisciplinary artist, she applies this optimism to her work.

Karle is an international award-winning bioartist and designer who examines how technology can be used to support and enhance humanity. Her artwork and designs combine digital, physical and biological systems to explore what it means to be human and how technology can be used to empower humanity. 

Karle attended the Salzburg Global Seminar session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future, which took place at Schloss Leopoldskron. Karle shared her work and insights during the session’s opening panel discussion.

Karle understands the importance of transdisciplinary exchange, as many of her projects cannot be created using art and design alone. While producing Regenerative Reliquary - a bioprinted scaffold in the shape of a human hand 3-D printed in a biodegradable PEGDA-hydrogel that disintegrates over time – cross-disciplinary collaboration was crucial. “I definitely had to collaborate with scientists and doctors and technologists to be able to learn how to build these scaffolds, to learn how stem cells will be triggered to turn into different kinds of bone cells… in a way that will biodegrade.”

Not only did she have to create partnerships across disciplines, but she also had to collaborate with other life forms. “It was really important that I collaborated with the actual stem cells and collaborated with this intelligence that creates life ...I see a lot of disciplines trying to harness nature and trying to harness the natural and control it. I’m more interested in witnessing it and letting it teach me how it grows, how it creates.”

Throughout her career, Karle has used art and design to explore what it means to be human. It’s a “very interesting” time in history, according to Karle, a point in time many still consider technology to be outside of ourselves. “However,” Karle says, “just in communicating with these devices and working with these devices, we have actually now reshaped out brains to think in different ways.” Although many people see these changes as negative, Karle recognizes the benefits of developing new technologies. By consciously thinking about how we integrate technology into our lives, Karle believes we can explore how it can help empower us.

Despite her optimism, Karle understands this issue is not always black-and-white. “Human induced evolution can occur much quicker than natural evolution and we can’t undo things like this [genetic editing] so this is where it takes the most conscious awareness.”

Images of the future can often appear dark or grim. There appears to be an underlying assumption parts of society will be unable to keep up with advancements in technology and will pay the price. Karle strikes a different note. She says, “When we look at combining artificial intelligence and genetic editing, we can easily see the potential doomsday scenarios, but we can also see enlightened futures as well.”

Karle identifies recognition and emotions as ways to explore what it means to be human. The vision behind Regenerative Reliquary was to create something “that was uniquely and immediately recognizable as human.” She chose a human hand design because of all of human bones, hands are one of the most identifiable.

She continues, “I feel my contribution to humanity as an artist is that I have a platform to first share these common emotions - common feelings - of what it means to be human. Beyond our skin tone or economic status, what country we are from, or what language we speak, there are common truths about being human that we all share, that we all experience, like death and suffering, and most of us also have an opportunity - even if it’s just for one small moment - to experience this joy and the awe and mystery of life as well.”

Karle’s inspiration derives from personal experiences. “What inspires me is human needs - some of them are my own needs and internal motivations that I can’t always identify.” She states, “They are what made me who I am from the moment that I was born – the way I tap into the world, the ways that I experience the world and I’m trying to share my exploration and reflections with others.”

When asked about her time at Salzburg Global, Karle speaks passionately about the ideas she’s heard, including the notion that the artist is not a PR machine for science. She says, “This is really hard for me because in a lot of ways, I am a scientific and a medical illustrator, and that speaks to me. But being a PR machine reduces the importance of the artistic and scientific stories. But it’s a tension because we need the PR in order to keep producing the work, to get the funding for the work research, whether that be an art or science.”

Karle has maintained an optimistic view of the future throughout her life. “From my very beginnings, I was painted a future of hope. I was born with a life-threatening birth defect, and most of the other cases before me had passed away from this, but my parents instilled and carried this vision of a future full of hope for me.

“I can see all these different kinds of futures that are available to us, and it’s really important that we choose and focus on the future that we want to achieve. We cannot always achieve that, but if we are working towards that, we can get a lot closer than if we are blindly going into the future without thinking about it – without being conscious about it. It does require some work.”


Karle took part in Salzburg Global session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future, part of the multi-year series Culture, Arts and Society. The session is supported by the Edwards T. Cone Foundation. More information on the program can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter using #SGSculture.
 

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Festivals as Future Labs - How Cross-Cultural Collaboration Can Lead to Social Change
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Festivals as Future Labs - How Cross-Cultural Collaboration Can Lead to Social Change
By: Carly Sikina 

Salzburg Global Fellows explore the role cultural festivals play in society and the importance of interdisciplinary exchange  

Festivals can provoke meaningful and productive conversations about the future(s). They are spaces where cross-sectoral exchange and collaboration can flourish and help shift the way we see the world and the future(s) of the planet.

If you want to drive a movement, inspire creativity and expand mindsets, a festival is a useful tool in this regard. While there may be some disagreement as to whether “festival” is the right word to describe such an event, what we can be sure of is an opportunity exists to utilize and explore cross-disciplinary collaboration.

During the Salzburg Global Seminar session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future, participants discussed the importance of cross-cultural collaboration when thinking about the future – or the possibility of multiple futures.

One participant who believes in the importance of festivals is Cynthia Selin, director of the Center for the Study of Futures at Arizona State University (ASU). During a panel discussion, Selin described ASU’s multi-year festival, Emerge.

Selin sees Emerge as a way to discuss and cultivate futures fit for everyone. “[Emerge is] designed to break down those walls between the university and the community.” She says the festival is unique because it creates a sense of “A collective experience that is unlike others that [people] have access to.”

Tom Higham, former executive director of FutureEverything and now creative director of York Mediale, builds on this point, citing the “unintended consequences” that can often occur. He adds, “They are experiments - they are experiments in time. They have different rules than normal life and amazing things can come from that – awful things come too – but it’s a powerful vehicle that can be used for amazing things.”

David Wright, founder of the f3 Futures Film Festival, shares a similar mindset to Higham. What sets him apart, however, is his apprehension of using the word “festival.”  He says, “Although [f3] started off as a futures film festival, we found in Australia, there’s something called festival fatigue, and people think ‘Oh god, another festival, no.’ So they kind of get put off by the idea.”

Moving forward, Wright is exploring alternative ways of defining f3. Options have included the future film transmedia event, super event, and mega event. Wright says, “We experimented with the word ‘fiesta,’ which is the Spanish word for ‘party’ because I see it as a bit like a party.”

Wright describes his vision for f3 as “a way to generate new kinds of means [and] synergies which brings in people from around the world who have futuristic ideas, not just high-techy, Silicon Valley kind of stuff, but new kinds of social experimentation ideas and so on.”

Despite his concerns regarding festivals, Wright understands the importance of bringing people together through shared interests and cross-sectoral collaboration. “From a general point of view, festivals are a way of bringing like-minded people together over a certain period of time and then bumping into each other and they generate new ideas…”

Selin emphasizes the value of cross-sectoral initiatives like Emerge. “[Transdisciplinary collaboration] matters because so many of our pressing social problems – whether you think about climate change, poverty, equality, even things like literacy [and] problems with our food system – there is no single discipline that is able to address it.

“We must re-gear our knowledge production, our educational systems… to foster this interdisciplinary collaboration. Emerge is really an opportunity to illustrate, to demonstrate what that looks like and [how to] foster an environment where that kind of work can thrive.”

Similarly, Higham and Wright recognize the importance of collaboration between the arts, sciences, and technology. Higham sees the arts and sciences as being able to collaborate in interesting ways that benefit both disciplines. Interdisciplinary exchange between an artist and a scientist can “create amazing things that neither could create on their own.”

Wright identifies the lack of common language surrounding futures as one of the key issues that can be remedied through cross-cultural collaboration. Wright believes there is “no shortage of compelling images” of the future, but they are largely scattered and therefore, must be brought together so that they have “shape, pattern, coherence, upon which people [feel] empowered to act in the real world.”

He continues by mentioning the power of cross-sectoral initiatives. He sees collaborative efforts, especially with the arts, as a way “to inspire futures-oriented behaviors.”

Selin discusses the amount of “common-ground” among the participants, despite their diverse backgrounds. “What’s beautiful about being here [at Salzburg Global Seminar] is that I think there’s similar points of inspiration to try to work in whichever way you are best equipped to - to create positive social change, more equity, more justice, more sustainability, [a] sort of better quality of life and well-being…”


The Salzburg Global program The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future is part of the multi-year series, Culture, Arts and Society. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. More information on the program can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter using #SGSculture.


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Interlinking Challenges, Interdisciplinary Solutions
Interlinking Challenges, Interdisciplinary Solutions
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Latest Salzburg Global Seminar session looks at targeting interdisciplinary research to meet the Sustainable Development Goals in climate change, conflict, health and education

The 17 global goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are nothing short of ambitious. Building on from the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to “transform our world,” calling for action in both developed and developing countries. While the broad goals each have specific targets, no one goal can be achieved in isolation. Efforts to achieve one goal will help to advance another—and failures to address some will lead to negative impacts on others. 

Quality education (SDG 4) greatly improves health and well-being (SDG 3), which in turn can increase prosperity, but increased consumption that often comes with that can hinder local and global efforts to tackle climate change (SDG 13). Similarly, reducing conflict (SDG 16) may have benefits for employment and economic growth, but these cannot be sustained unless inequalities in education and access to health care are also addressed. Without holistic action for equality and social justice, peace may be short-lived or conflict may continue by other means. Achieving the targets set out in any of the SDGs thus calls for an interdisciplinary and cross-sector approach. 

Recognizing the significant challenge that comes in adopting such an approach, Salzburg Global Seminar is convening the session, Climate Change, Conflict, Health, and Education: Targeting Interdisciplinary Research to Meet the SDGs, at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria, starting this Sunday, March 18.

The intensive three-day session will bring together 65 researchers, policymakers and development experts to explore how research can be more effectively translated into policy and practice in order to identify the interlinkages—and tensions—between the SDGs, and how top research funders can help lead the way.

One such leading research funder is session partner, the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), which is a £1.5bn fund established by the British government to help UK researchers work in partnership with researchers in developing countries to make significant progress in meeting the SDGs. Representing the GCRF at the session is UK Research and Innovation, a newly created body that brings together the seven UK research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

Professor Andrew Thompson, Chief Executive, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and UK Research and Innovation Champion for the Global Challenges Research Fund, said: “We're delighted to partner with Salzburg Global Seminar to explore the ways excellent research of the kind being undertaken through the Global Challenges Research Fund can help to tackle the most stubborn development challenges across and between the Sustainable Development Goals.” 

The session will enable discussion and exploration that span research, policy and practice. This will be achieved through a series of panel discussions and hands-on exercises that will examine the opportunities, challenges, and trade-offs involved in developing interdisciplinary approaches to the implementation of the SDGs related to climate change, conflict, health, and education. The session will also look to identify current research gaps and look at how to communicate the complexity of interdisciplinary research in order to shape evidence-based policy and practice. 

Through its programs, Salzburg Global Seminar seeks to bridge divides, expand collaborations and transform systems. In order to take the work of this session beyond Schloss Leopoldskron and advocate for change in their own sectors, participants will co-create a Salzburg Statement. The Statement will offer key recommendations for various stakeholders and serve as a call to action to help participants personally as well as their institutions and communities.

“Finding solutions to long-standing, seemingly intractable problems and the specific challenges that the SDGs look to mitigate against requires new ways of thinking and new approaches,” says Salzburg Global Program Director Dominic Regester. 

“We are delighted that so many experts across different sectors and geographies have given willingly of their time to come to Salzburg. We very much hope that the Statement that will be collectively authored during and after the session will help advance understanding of and opportunities for interdisciplinary research.”


The session, Climate Change, Conflict, Health, and Education: Targeting Interdisciplinary Research to Meet the SDGs, is being held in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). More information is available online: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/605 To join in the discussions online, follow the hashtag #SGSsdgs on Twitter

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Michael Edson - Collaboration and Partnerships Are Essential to UN Live
Michael Edson presenting at The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology, and Making Sense of the Future. (Photo by: Herman Seidl/ Salzburg Global Seminar)
Michael Edson - Collaboration and Partnerships Are Essential to UN Live
By: Helena Santos 

UN Live co-founder reflects on how the project will be built with everyone’s input and ideas

Michael Edson introduces himself as a painter who fell into technology. While working at the Smithsonian Institution’s two museums of Asian art in the 1990s, he wanted to educate himself further on the role of technology and new media programs. Being an autodidact in this field led him to becoming the director of web and new media strategy for the Smithsonian. With this experience behind him, Edson joined the founding team of the Museum for the United Nations - UN Live - a museum that goes way beyond its’ physical presence. 

“I fell in love with the project when I saw how much our stakeholders were committed to being a truly global institution. A world-class building would be critical, but the digital presence and the network of partners would be where the real global action was going to happen,” he explains.

UN Live will try to engage as many people as possible in problem-solving across the world on three platforms: UN Live Online, UN Live Network, and the UN Live Building. The latter is scheduled to be open in 2023, but public engagement on the other two platforms is expected to begin later this year.

“The network, I think, is the most powerful part of UN Live. It’s a structure that allows a lot of people in the world to understand how they can collaborate and amplify each other’s work. It also brings us very close to local communities, which is one of the most important aspects of the museum. I’m beginning to think that there’s no such thing as ‘global’. Global, to some degree, is just weaving together a lot of different people’s local realities.”

This idea of building a bridge between awareness and action, involving as many people as possible, is something Edson expressed during the panel “Designs on Tomorrow” and was reaffirmed through his conversations with other participants at Salzburg Global Seminar.

“Collaboration and partnership are essential to UN Live. We’ve recognized that there are hundreds or thousands of very effective organizations already doing great work, many of whom have told us they wish to be connected to each other, they wish to have their work amplified, they wish to be networked. We think that we can create more impact in the world, faster, if we serve as a convener — a guide and an aid with many partners — than if we try to do everything ourselves.”

According to Edson, the UN Live project will try to connect everyone in the world to the values and mission of the UN through the idea that local communities already have an abundance of unique skills and expertise that could benefit from more direct links to the United Nations — and to each other.

“A starting point for us has always been to try and unlock people’s understanding of the UN’s work and values on a personal level and try and understand what it is they have to offer as individuals, communities, as societies to the larger challenges of the world,” he states.

The UN Live will bring dialogue about intricate topics such as the Sustainable Development Goals down to the language people use in their everyday lives. Leaving jargon out of the equation, this project hopes people will understand they are already working on the same issues as the United Nations with their communities, but they simply use other words for it. “For millions of people, working on global goals is just solving problems, helping their neighbors, and making better communities,” Edson clarifies.

Having worked for a long time in the way arts and technology will define the future, Michael Edson decided attending the Salzburg Global Seminar session,The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future, was an opportunity he couldn’t resist. 

Edson, who proudly labels himself a Salzburg Global Fellow on his social media profiles, says, “When I saw the invitation I realized that this seminar was asking the same questions I’ve been wrestling with for the last 20 years. The chance to spend a few days here, with this global, diverse, talented bunch of people was an opportunity I could not pass up. It was unimaginable that I would not be here. Whatever I had to do to be here I would do…”


Michael Edson was a participant of the Salzburg Global program The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future, which is part of the multi-year Culture, Arts and Society series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture.

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Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino - "Technology Has the Power to Connect But Also to Make Us Very Lazy About Our Connections"
Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino at The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology, and Making Sense of the Future. (Photo by: Herman Seidl/Salzburg Global Seminar)
Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino - "Technology Has the Power to Connect But Also to Make Us Very Lazy About Our Connections"
By: Helena Santos 

Designer and entrepreneur outlines what the future might entail for the Internet of Things (IoT)

Since 2011, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino has brought people together in London once a month to hear about the latest developments affecting the Internet of Things. Talks have centered on urban infrastructure, smart grids, open hardware, the quantified self, open data, smart homes, and more. The group has amassed more than 12,000 members and shows no sign of slowing down.

As an interaction designer, and founder of the Good Night Lamp, Deschamps-Sonsino has an interest in this field. In 2014, BusinessInsider.com named her as one of the 100 most influential tech women on Twitter. Deschamps-Sonsino was a participant of the Salzburg Global Seminar session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future. During the session, she spoke to Salzburg Global about the Internet of Things, open data, and whether technology brings us together or makes us more isolated.

Salzburg Global: Since you are involved with the Internet of Things (IoT) community, what do you think should be the next steps toward  its’ protection?
ADS: Well, the Internet of Things is a very dynamic space that is unregulated, and that is open for entrepreneurship. What that has led to are a number of unfortunately bad design decisions that have led to security breaches and to a degree of uncertainty for both entrepreneurs and consumers. So I’m currently working to stir a global community to talk about what trust marks might mean for connected products. What I mean by trust mark is the equivalent to something like the fair-trade mark. So when you put fair-trade on a banana, you know that banana comes from working conditions that are better.

What does that look like for the Internet of Things? Can I put a sticker on a connected thermostat where I know that connected thermostat is not selling my data on to a third party, that has been designed in a secure way, that it is reparable, that if the company goes bankrupt can I still use my physical product but with a digital service offered by someone else? These are some of the things we are exploring.

SG: In your opinion should there be any limits to open data?
ADS: I think open data as a concept is important. I think that there are of course different types of sensitivities around what kind of data. Whether your lamp is on or off is interesting, but not that interesting a piece of data. Where you are in the world, what your health is like, where you are eating and what you’re eating… These start to become very personal pieces of data, and so we have to treat it in a very secure way, we have to treat it in a way that complies to something like GDPR, which is the incoming legislator and we have to enable consumers to use archive and keep their own data.
So, open in the sense of open and owned by people. We also have to make people care about that because right now they don’t.

SG: What’s your take on the dichotomy of isolation/connectivity regarding technology?
ADS: I think technology has the power to connect but also to make us very lazy about our connections. We assume that a like on Facebook or a comment is as powerful as a face-to-face conversation and it isn’t of course. We see that everywhere people suffer from more and more isolation, depression, mental illness regardless of the advanced technologies that we have.

What I try to do with the Good Night Lamp is provide a context for people to engage with each other more often. Right now, especially with families who have young children, it’s very hard for a grandparent to know when the right time is to catch up either with their children or with their grandchildren. So to create that opportunity, that opening of time and that window for these complex family structures to actually know when is the right time to sync and to call each other, and to have a meaningful connection.

So I think that it is a dichotomy in the general tech sector, something I try to address in my small way with the Good Night Lamp.

WATCH: An Introduction to the Good Night Lamp



SG: From all the discussions that took place during the session, what do feel are the most important remarks for the IoT community?
ADS: I think I will come back with a sense that there are communities in the world who are talking about the interaction between arts and sciences and technology in ways that will reach small companies eventually and it may be in the shape of innovation processes, in the shape of policy-making and I think that most entrepreneurs around me are very concerned with the next six months of their work, with the next engineering challenges and not so much the policy challenges, not so much the cultural shift not so much the innovation processes around them. I would like to highlight those for them. I would like to invite them to be more strategic and to be more high-leveled with the conversations that they would have themselves as small companies. 


Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino was a participant of the Salzburg Global program The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future, which is part of the multi-year Culture, Arts and Society series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture.

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Nature and Childhood - Designing Policies for Change
From left to right - Clare Shine, Alexander Plum, Trinnawat Suwanprik, and Andrew Moore (Photo by Sandra Birklbauer/Salzburg Global Seminar)
Nature and Childhood - Designing Policies for Change
By: Oscar Tollast 

Fourth session of the Parks for the Planet Forum begins at Schloss Leopoldskron

Change-makers from different sectors and regions have convened at Salzburg Global Seminar to help more children around the world grow up with nature and outdoor play.

Participants of Nature and Childhood: From Research and Activism to Policies for Global Change (March 6 to 10, 2018) are taking part in an interactive program featuring presentations, cross-sector panel discussions, curated conversations, and small group work which will lead to the creation of a Salzburg Statement.

This document, to be collectively drafted by the Salzburg Global Fellows of the session, will contain a list of recommendations to help governments, businesses, and community stakeholders put words into action and put forward policies that promote nature access for urban children.

What do good policies look like, however? This was the first question participants were asked to consider after introducing themselves to one another at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg. To help broaden their thinking, three panelists spoke from their experience.

Speakers included Andrew Moore, director, Youth & Young Adult Connections, at the National League of Cities; Alexander Plum, director, Development and Innovation, at the Global Health Initiative; and Trinnawat Suwanprik, a local coordinator in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for achieving low carbon growth in cities through sustainable urban system management.

Moore suggested cities had the opportunity to connect children to nature equitably through policy infrastructure, programs, and experiences. One way of connecting people from disadvantaged communities to nature is through the creation of green career pathways.

When discussing policy, Suwanprik reminded participants it was important to consider the bottom-up approach as well as the top-down model. The group heard the bottom-up approach was gaining popularity and that leadership, communities, and stakeholders can enact policy change together.

In 2012, the Welsh Government introduced the Play Sufficiency Duty, which requires local authorities to ensure children have sufficient play opportunities. One participant remarked that the word “sufficiency” was used because the concept is difficult to measure.

Linking to this, Plum remarked on the lack of sufficiency in the United States when it came to collecting data surrounding the social determinants of health, suggesting there wasn’t a centralized way to talk about these issues.

Discussions will continue over the next four days, exploring the role of local governments, grassroots movements, urban planning and design, and policymakers. A “webinar” will be publicly broadcast on Facebook Live on Thursday, March 8 on “Policies that Promote Equitable Nature Access for All.”

Download Issue 1 of Nature and Childhood: From Research and Activism To Policies for Global Change


Nature and Childhood: From Research and Activism to Policies for Global Change is the fourth session of the multi-year series, Parks for the Planet Forum. The Forum is hosted with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in partnership with the Children and Nature Network, the National League of Cities (NLC) and Outdoor Classroom Day. More information on the session can be found here. Follow the conversation on Twitter using #SGSparks. 
 

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Salzburg Global Seminar to Host First Facebook Live Event During Fourth Session of Parks for the Planet Forum
This live event is being hosted in partnership with the Children & Nature Network and the National League of Cities
Salzburg Global Seminar to Host First Facebook Live Event During Fourth Session of Parks for the Planet Forum
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Panel discussion on policies that promote nature access for urban children to be broadcast on Thursday, March 8

Members of the public are invited to take part in Salzburg Global Seminar’s first-ever Facebook Live event during next week’s session, Nature and Childhood: From Research and Activism to Policies for Global Change.

A panel discussion titled, “Policies that Promote Nature Access for Urban Children,” will be broadcast live on Salzburg Global’s Facebook page on Thursday, March 8, 2018, starting at 18:00 CET.

This upcoming session, which features as part of the multi-year Parks for the Planet Forum, and in particular the Salzburg Statement from last year's meeting, aims to discuss ways to transform the city into an outdoor classroom, involve children in designing and planning green spaces, build curiosity and care for nature and establish cross-sectoral partnerships to promote an inclusive culture of health in cities.

Drawing on previous sessions of the Parks for the Planet Forum, panelists taking part in this discussion will examine evidence-based, scalable examples of policies that promote regular, equitable access to nature and outdoor play for healthy childhood development. Following this conversation, which will be moderated by Clare Shine, vice president and chief program officer of Salzburg Global Seminar, panelists will take questions from session participants and members of the audience watching online.

Panelists include:

  • Dima Boulad, designer and co-founder of the Beirut Green Project
  • Karen Keenleyside, vice chair for People and Parks, IUCN WCPA
  • Margaret Lamar, vice president strategic initiatives, Children & Nature Network
  • Priya Cook, principal associate, Connecting Children to Nature, National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families

Join us on Thursday, March 8, 2018, on Salzburg Global’s Facebook page between 18:00 and 19:00 (CET) to learn about the importance of creating equitable access to nature as well as to engage in this stimulating discussion. Let us know you are taking part by registering your interest on Facebook.

This broadcast is presented in partnership with the Children & Nature Network and National League of Cities, who both collaborate on the U.S.-based initiative, Cities Connecting Children to Nature. This organization provides city leaders with technical assistance, training and peer learning opportunities to increase access to nature so that children, families, and communities can thrive.

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The Shock of the New – The Next Steps Forward
Participants of the Salzburg Global session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the FutureParticipants of the Salzburg Global session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future
The Shock of the New – The Next Steps Forward
By: Oscar Tollast 

Five-day program concludes with participants presenting findings from focus group discussions

A search for quotes about the “future” will bring up at least 3,000 results on Goodreads. Each quote, whether from the world of fiction or non-fiction, offers a unique perspective or poses a different question. Mahatma Gandhi, a primary leader of India’s independence movement, said, “The future depends on what you do today.” The science fiction author William Gibson, meanwhile, said, “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.”

It’s a topic not short of debate, and this difference of opinion was present in the exchanges at the Salzburg Global Seminar session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future. During a five-day program, artists, technology specialists and cultural practitioners convened at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria, to discuss the world’s future and the nexus between the arts and technology.

Panel discussions centered on artists at the cutting edge, design, the festival as a future lab, strategies for reimagining the future, and cultural institutions as catalysts for thinking about tomorrow. These conversations influenced the focus group meetings, which saw participants narrow down their interests and concentrate on different themes which had emerged. On the final day of the program, focus groups presented their ideas before providing recommendations on how to continue their work.

Arts and Creative Practice

How can art contribute to society? How can science be harnessed for art’s sake? These were a couple of questions several participants explored before they put forward the “Duck and Rabbit Manifesto.” The document's name pays tribute to the famous illusion in which both a rabbit and duck are visible in one image. One participant remarked that they wanted people, in the future, to see both the rabbit and duck, not just one or the other.  He asked how society could facilitate it so people could look at both images.

The manifesto states that the artist is not the PR machine of science and technology. Art can oppose governments and policies while galvanizing change. Participants in this focus group agreed art can exist for its own sake and not for an audience nor a market. Artists use text to protect the context of their work. Art is not the moral compass of a society.

Cultural Institutions Influencing the Future

During the session, participants considered the role of cultural institutions and what influence they might have on the future. One focus group presented the idea of potentiating an Institute of Foresight/Foresensing. While brainstorming, the group referred to the work of Harold Lasswell, Sohail Inayatullah, and Ziauddin Sardar. The Institute would be a “post-normal” organization, taking ideas from creative industries.

The speaker for the group suggested there is not one single encapsulating problem the world faces. Instead, there are a lot of smaller difficulties. Reaching out to the room, he suggested all participants had globally reaching networks, both formal and informal. If the group could remain intact, it could act as the cultural organization to bring about change. Alternative and compelling images of the future can be generated, in addition to new kinds of stories.  The presenter concluded the presentation by calling for a common language of and for alternatives future engagement.

Policymaking Spheres

The third focus group to present considered how to help inexperienced people influence policymaking. Participants created a framework which focused on policymakers and system structure. The presenter conceded the group had concentrated on policymakers as the latter approach had constraints concerning time and complexity.

The first step for someone who wants to influence policymaking involves mapping out the issue. This approach provides a deeper understanding of what the issue is and helps identify relevant stakeholders. By understanding who these stakeholders are, the person learns to tell different stories to different people. There is a range of ways to communicate a story, and it is essential for someone to know they can avail themselves of the full range of storytelling. Possible and preferred stories of the future are ways of engaging people.

A Global Lab for Creative Systems Change

What could a global effort for creative future thinking look like? What initiatives or labs already exist, and how can they be linked? Participants came together to put forward a global lab available for radical collaboration and transformative system change that unites communities, organizations, and policymakers to share insights to enact change locally and globally.

The lab would be community-focused and community-driven. It would profoundly and humanely understand global challenges, recognizing that people who sometimes affect change from the outside don’t understand the problems on the ground. During the presentation, one participant suggested this was a “real thing” which could happen. While details may seem vague at the moment, the idea could connect many bridges that already exist.

Tools and Tactics: Moving from Thought to Action

“The ‘thought to action’ group” is only as good as you make it,” proposed one participant, who tweeted ahead of the group’s presentation. Participants collaborated to create a checklist for ethical change-making. The list is a tool for colleagues to help them avoid pitfalls, generate action, and feel proud of their work. While presenting this checklist, one participant said people had to be open to listening to others. Not me, but we.

The list is about transparency, belief in others, resilience, courage, and information sharing. To quote the checklist’s description, “Ethical change-making is what happens when you, as a would-be agent of change, take on a role knowing you can deliver something that an impartial observer would consider a good result. This means measuring your strengths against the task at hand.”

Being Human in the Anthropocene

To listen, to talk, to maintain hope, to be conflicted, to love, and to be connected to nature and one another. These were just some of the suggestions put forward by participants when asked, “What does it mean to be human in the Anthropocene?” These ideas were put up on a noticeboard for everyone to view and consider. The group behind this presentation looked at the foundational things in human experience which could be used as an anchor for dealing with challenges ahead. The group itself concluded the “Seven C’s” of being human in the Anthropocene were connection, consciousness, control/care, choice, consequence, creation, and collaboration.

Participants questioned whether humans were evolving or devolving as they merged closer with technology. They also asked what kind of agency does humanity want to have over purpose, technological discovery, evolution, and loss. There is a growing awareness of how humanity’s actions shape others and the environment, but how does society deal with the effects it cannot control? During the group’s presentation, one participant remarked they saw a trend today of people wanting to hear more from others, and progression will come as a result of compromise and not making assumptions.

Defining Future/Futures

The final group to present had the small task of answering, “What do we mean by ‘future’?” As part of this presentation, all participants were asked to stand in a circle. A pillow was passed between them which was initially supposed to represent a newborn child. Each time the pillow was given to another participant, the child’s age would increase by one year. Participants had to provide a vision or lesson for each year of that child’s life. Visions and lessons were given right up until the "child" entered their 30s. The exercise highlighted how the future is understood differently in different places, as is time.

The group warned that when we imagine futures, we should be aware of agendas that might be personal, political or profitable. To create futures beyond us, participants suggested we should remove the ego from our lives. We, as humans, can be more empathetic and have the freedom to envision a better future, whether that’s with us or in spite of us.


The Salzburg Global program The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future is part of the multi-year Culture, Arts, and Society series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. More information on the program can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture

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Martin Bohle - The Smile of 'The Imaginator'
Strawberry Fields, New York, United StatesPhoto by Jeremy Beck on Unsplash
Martin Bohle - The Smile of 'The Imaginator'
By: Martin Bohle 

Salzburg Global Fellow Martin Bohle reflects after attending The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future 

This article was first published on Martin Bohle's blog, "What's Prometheus doing today?"

New complexities, irritating disruptions of trusted practices, and accelerating change seem to characterize our times. Uncertainty about the future is acknowledged by many. The rate of change is unmeasured; hence it is felt. Curiously, artists, intellectuals, and laypersons, each seem self-de-rooted.

Hence, what is 'The New'that is up to us, in a world of somehow self-driving cars, subsistence fishermen and first climate refugees? Our views focus' on the next corner, the next turn of a road. Where are the signposts? Who has a sketch of the roads ahead? Does vision lack? What marks the debates? The technology-fascinated disagree. Yet, their vision is just 'scale-up,' massively to reach a singularity. Does this change in quantity leads to new quality? Hence, is Mr. Hegel calling?

Questions to the participants at #SGSCULTURE #593:

  • What will our planet look like in 2050 or 2100?
  • Who or what will control our lives?
  • What will it mean to be human? [*]

Let's drop the big stone, the rock, the landslide into the deep water, and observe the waves. What to envision for the years 2050 to 2100, times when my children and grandchildren will be getting old, respectively?

Ten statements are offered here. Each implies a considerable alteration of the present state of people's dealings; some deem clear-cut some are underlying. How would artists, designers, and culture-activists anchor them in emerging trends? What seeds they could plant to give them lives.   

  1. People overcame the multiple societal-environmental emergencies of the 2030-ties; then life-expectancy had stalled globally. During this crisis, luckily the use of arms of mass destruction got hindered; although some 'conventional warfare' occurred.
  2. By 2050, collaborative Earth System Governance has emerged and the life-expectancy (number of healthy years) of people started to increase again.
  3. In most regions, the species extinction rates got capped. The deterioration of the vital global ecosystems has halted.
  4. In 2100, the global human population has stabilized at little less than 11 Billion people; slow decline seems possible now. Open societies have led to about equal levels of development in all urbanized regions.
  5. Networks and circular supply-chains enforce participatory handling of societal-environmental problems including large-scale migration of people.
  6. Joint efforts are ongoing to relocate people from the ocean shorelines (and some other now uninhabitable zones); 'managed human retreat' because of sea-level rise and 'rebuilding of (coastal) urban areas' is a global policy.
  7. The rate of change of societal-environmental systems has been capped, and the diversity of the 'human niche' is made a 'species goal.'
  8. Most production systems use processes that are derived from synthetic biology with embedded quantum-technologies.
  9. Since 2050, emotions emerged spontaneously in complex information systems, and since then they consolidated into stable societal features. Since then, such 'feeling systems' and the various (collective and individual) 'people-tool systems' got a dedicated legal status in most countries.
  10. Our outpost on Moon and Mars may be reopened soon after the burial of the bodies of the early colonists on Earth.

Such a new may stretch our imagination to the breaking point. Hence, Irritation! That's the purpose. The eyes stay shut, facing 'The New,' listening to the orange clockwork.

For many of our fellow citizens, 'The Future,' with capital "F," is the march towards "About-the-Same." It may be a bit more of the same. For most people, The Future is nothing that is 'made.' It is something to be endured. And, disasters or war deem ready to disrupt its regular gait. It is this eon-old view, "Nihil sub sole novum" (nothing new under the sun) that for many provides a sense of security. Astonishingly, 'The Future' is a reference frame. It embeds our myopic starring at the next turn of events. Yet, what to do when this reference frame seems to change, to wobble and, hence gets uncertain. Then, menacingly, 'The Unknown' frames the stages of our plays. Irritatingly, 'The Counter-Intuitive' seems to consolidate out of our plays. Threateningly, they block the way back. The horsemen of the modern apocalypse,'The New,' 'The Unknown,' and 'The Counter-Intuitive' threat with insecurity, loss of competences, altered divisions of societies, and lost sense!

Some people relish the 'The New,' 'The Unknown,' and 'The Counter-Intuitive.' Artists, Explorers, Scientists feel a deep sensual pleasure when confronting them, as a person and as citizens. The artist's psyche, the explorer's spirits, the innovator's minds, the researcher's souls are resources vibrating with imagination and passion. Hence, nurtured by them the citizenries may confront Quantum-Technology, Earth System Sciences, Artificial Intelligences, and Synthetic Biology. Then the citizenries will draft the new 'guides to these galaxies.' They will tell, whether '42' is still the right answer, why your towel might be sufficient, and who moved the restaurant(s) at the end of the universe(s)? [**]

Only as citizens, the artists, cultural practitioners, inventors, and scientists can push the boundaries of the human imagination. As citizens, jointly they may move beyond the familiar and transcend the borders towards the future. But, are they ready to assume this task? Do they invest collaboratively in path-changing discoveries, different fates of our planet, and charting pathways to liveable futures? Only then,'The New', 'The Unknown', and 'The Counter-Intuitive' will face the broad, vigorous smile of 'The Imaginator' - Surrender!


[*] This post is the second 'modulation' of the scene setter for the Salzburg Global Seminar #593 "The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future" (Salzburg, 20-25 February 2018). This text was drafted after the seminar during my travel home. The first 'modulation' of the scene setter had been published as the post “The New, The Unknown, and The Counter-Intuitive” before the seminar. Hence, borrowing a notion from music, these posts may be seen as a prose-variations of the theme of the seminar.

[**] See plots in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams.


The Salzburg Global program The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future is part of the multi-year Culture, Arts and Society series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture.

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Mainstreaming Innovations in Social and Emotional Learning in MENAT
Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash
Mainstreaming Innovations in Social and Emotional Learning in MENAT
By: Carly Sikina 

Practitioners, policymakers and researchers meet for regional workshop in Jordan 

Social and emotional skills are critical for children to learn. While promoting happiness and well-being, these abilities can also help individuals manage their emotions, work with others and achieve their goals. Although these “soft” skills are essential, they are often overlooked by policymakers within different educational systems in favor of “hard” skills like literacy and numeracy, which are often consider easier to teach and measure.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) can be taught, improved and measured using many approaches and technologies. Teaching these skills in schools can raise student well-being while improving learning outcomes, employability prospects, and social cohesion.

Following on from Salzburg Global Seminar’s 2016 session, Getting Smart: Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills, part of the multi-year seriesEducation for Tomorrow’s World, Salzburg Global is co-hosting a regional workshop in Jordan to further examine SEL within a regional context.

Mainstreaming Innovations in Social and Emotional Learning in MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey) will take place at the Crowne Plaza Dead Sea Resort from February 26 to 28, 2018.

Both Salzburg Global and the British Council are working in partnership with ETS to bring together policymakers, practitioners, and researchers from 15 countries to develop and enhance SEL understanding and practice across the MENAT region.

Participants will explore several questions during the session, including: why are social and emotional skills important at this point in time? How can SEL be developed in formal and informal education in MENAT? What does current SEL practice look like? What SEL training will teachers and other educators need? How can we create better collaboration and learning across the formal and informal sectors?

This workshop combines various presentations, cross-sectoral conversations, panel discussions and small group work to develop new SEL perspectives and learning opportunities. It combines theory, policy, and practice to explore SEL processes to stimulate educational reform and policy change.

To create effective change within the educational sphere, participants will develop a Salzburg Statement, recommending policies and initiatives to integrate SEL practices across formal and non-formal sectors. An impact report will subsequently be published, which will summarize the discussions and results of the workshop.

Mainstreaming Innovations in Social and Emotional Learning in MENAT is the second regional workshop in this series, following a similar event that took place in Santiago, Chile in November 2017. The third workshop will be hosted in Princeton, the USA from June 6 to 8, 2018.

The recommendations for policymakers from each workshop will be explored further during a “global synthesis” session, Mainstreaming Innovations from Social and Emotional Learning Around the World, which will take place in Salzburg, Austria, later this year from December 2 to 7, 2018.

Dominic Regester, program director at Salzburg Global Seminar, said, "Social and emotional skills have never been more necessary. These skills help people manage their emotions, get along and work with others and achieve their goals. They improve employability prospects, they are proven to improve learning outcomes and academic achievement, and they are essential for the health and well-being of children and adults. All of this is true in the MENAT region. 

"This workshop is exciting and timely as it provides a platform for expert educators from both the formal and informal education sectors in the region to exchange ideas, insights, and examples of practice with a view to developing a shared understanding of the importance of social and emotional learning and strategies for achieving it." The British Council’s Connecting Classrooms program is developing the skills of teachers and school leaders around the world.


Mainstreaming Innovations in Social and Emotional Learning in MENAT is the second regional workshop designed to examine social and emotional skills learning from different geographic perspectives. It was developed following the Salzburg Global program, Getting Smart: Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills. This workshop is held in partnership with the British Council and ETS. Information on the workshop is available here. If you want to follow the conversation on Twitter, search for #SGSedu and #mainstreamingSEL. You can learn more about the series by visiting education.salzburgglobal.org 

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Salzburg Global Fellows Call for Multilingualism and Language Rights to be Valued, Protected and Promoted
Photo by Peter Hershey on UnsplashPhoto by Peter Hershey on Unsplash
Salzburg Global Fellows Call for Multilingualism and Language Rights to be Valued, Protected and Promoted
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

On International Mother Language Day, Salzburg Global Fellows call on educators, businesses and governments to promote language diversity as a global norm

In a world with more than 7,000 languages but where 23 languages dominate, linguists, academics, policymakers, and business leaders have come together to call for an uptake in policies that value multilingualism and language rights as part of a new Salzburg Statement.

“In today’s interconnected world, the ability to speak multiple languages and communicate across linguistic divides is a critical skill. Even partial knowledge of more than one language is beneficial. Proficiency in additional languages is a new kind of global literacy. Language learning needs to be expanded for all – young and old.

“However, millions of people across the globe are denied the inherent right to maintain, enjoy and develop their languages of identity and community. This injustice needs to be corrected in language policies that support multilingual societies and individuals.

“We, the participants of Salzburg Global Seminar’s session on Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, call for policies that value and uphold multilingualism and language rights.” 


The
Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World, launched on International Mother Language Day (February 21), offers clear recommendations on policy making, teaching, learning, translation and interpreting. The Statement calls on all stakeholders to act, which includes researchers and teachers; community workers, civil society and non-governmental organizations; cultural and media voices; governments and public officials; business and commercial interests; aid and development agencies; and foundations and trusts.

“In their unique way, each of these stakeholder groups can embrace and support multilingualism for social progress, social justice, and participatory citizenship. Together, we can take action to safeguard the cultural and knowledge treasure house of multilingualism for future generations.”

The full Statement – in English and multiple other languages – is available in full online: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/statements/multilingualworld 

Download the PDF version of all languagues
The Statement and its recommendations were co-drafted by an expert group of over 40 Fellows (participants) of the Salzburg Global Seminar session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, which took place December 12-17, 2017, in Salzburg, Austria.

This session, held in partnership with ETS, Qatar Foundational International and Microsoft, is in line with Salzburg Global’s overarching mission to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. It featured as part of the organization’s multi-year series Education for Tomorrow’s World.

During the five-day session at Schloss Leopoldskron, Fellows across multiple sectors collaborated and reflected on the importance and implications of national language policies; the role of language in creating social cohesion; strategies for language teaching; the advantages of multilingualism in the workplace; and the importance of linguistic diversity and language rights vis-à-vis the Sustainable Development Goal on Education.

To coincide with International Mother Language Day, the Statement has been translated into more than thirty languages, with many more in progress. All translations have been provided through the goodwill and voluntary efforts of the Fellows and their colleagues. If you wish to contribute a translation in your language, please contact Dominic Regester, Program Director, Salzburg Global Seminar.

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The Shock of the New – Preparing for the Future
From left to right - Clare Shine, Mark Stevenson, and Amy Karle speaking at Salzburg Global Seminar
The Shock of the New – Preparing for the Future
By: Oscar Tollast 

Fellows consider relationship between art, technology, the future and where we head next

What will our planet look like in 2050 or 2100? Who or what will control our lives? What will it mean to be human? These are some of the questions participants at the Salzburg Global Seminar session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology, and Making Sense of the Future, will consider over the next few days at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria.

The session will build on previous work focusing on the transformative power of the arts while taking the program portfolio in “new, radically forward-looking directions.” This point was reaffirmed by Susanna Seidl-Fox, program director for culture and the arts at Salzburg Global, as she welcomed artistic and intellectual game-changers from around the world on the first day of the session.

Change can be both frightening and exhilarating. Amy Karle, a transmedia artist, and designer based in California, believes we are at an exciting time in history. Presenting her work on the first evening of the program, she suggested the many technological advancements taking place indicated we were on the “cusp of a new renaissance.”

As a bioartist, Karle uses art and technology to understand who we are and make sense of the future. Technology is neutral, according to Karle, and it has the promise to unlock human potential, particularly in her work, which falls into three categories. This includes bioart, biofeedback, and garments/wearables. 

When creating Regenerative Reliquary, Karle collaborated with bio-nano scientist Chris Venter, and material scientists John Vericella and Brian Adzima. The end product was a bioprinted scaffold in the shape of a human hand 3D-printed in a biodegradable PEGDA-hydrogel that disintegrates over time. This has been installed in a bioreactor, with the intention that human Mesenchymal stem cells “seeded” on will grow into tissue and mineralize into bone on the scaffold. The sculpture featured in Ars Electronica Festival’s 2017 program.

By collaborating with others, we can make bigger advancements than we could by ourselves. This can also apply to working with machines and technology, according to Karle, as they open up a new way of thinking. She said, “Working together with art and technology, we can make sense of the future.”

Mark Stevenson, an author and futurist in residence at the National Theatre of Scotland, is helping others become future literate differently. While he never asked to be called a “futurist,” his bestselling books An Optimist’s Tour of the Future and We Do Things Differently led to that title being afforded.

Speaking after Karle, Stevenson discussed how he helped clients, including artists, investors, academics, and NGOs wake up to the challenges they are facing. He proceeds to adapt each of these organization’s cultures and strategies to face the questions the future is asking them. Among others, he has advised Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Earth Challenge, the GSMA, and the Atlas of the Future.

“Everything is fixable,” said Stevenson, in an optimistic tone. He explained it was important to paint a picture of the possible, which is good, but in a tangible way. He highlighted Martin Luther King Jr. as a positive example of a futurist, going as far to say he was his favorite if he had to select one. Stevenson said King used the power of language to show everything that was wrong in a way which couldn’t be unseen. At the same time, he painted a picture of a better future which was tangible.

Stevenson believes the next 25 years will be “messy” and how messy it gets depends on how willing our society is to build something different without leaving people behind.

Both Karle and Stevenson took part in a conversation moderated by Clare Shine, vice president and chief program officer at Salzburg Global. Together they offered their perspectives on “future illiteracy.” Discussing her experience, Karle said she had met people who don’t want to think about the future and turn a blind eye to it. Nevertheless, people are still able to access her work and engage with it. One example of feedback she has received is: “I don’t understand your work, but I love it.”

Stevenson suggested more future literate people will lead to better solutions. This involves speaking to everyone and painting pictures which people and organizations can transition to. Stevenson conceded cultural change takes a long time, but when having a conversation about scaling, we should begin to focus on where the money is and how that’s currently being used. He said, “If we don’t get the money to feel and think differently, we’re on a hiding to nothing.”


The Salzburg Global program The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future is part of the multi-year Culture, Arts and Society series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture.

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A Scientist-Artist’s Address to Today’s Future
López-González is a participant of the Salzburg Global session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future
A Scientist-Artist’s Address to Today’s Future
By: Mónica López-González 

Fellow suggests technological innovations offer people the chance to connect globally, rapidly, efficiently, and emotionally

This op-ed was written by Dr. Mónica López-González, co-founder and executive scientific and artistic director at La Petite Noiseuse Productions. López-González is attending the Salzburg Global Seminar session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future.

Any fear towards the future should be abandoned. To be shocked by novelty and uncertainty is to dissociate from the fundamentals of being human: creativity and curiosity. Both are part of our DNA.

We survive because we find new ways to adapt to our changing environment. We explore and experiment because we are aware of self and desire to give meaning to our lives. We share our tools and individual knowledge because we anticipate our collective future.

A glance at the progressive improvement of tools across our evolutionary history –from the earliest fist-sized stones and hand axes to our current automated machinery and handheld phones– reveals our growing cognitive sophistication across time. Why not hypothesize that we are evolving to become even smarter and better equipped for our transforming earth?

We are in a moment within our journey as a species where our technological innovations offer us the opportunity to connect globally, rapidly, efficiently, and, perhaps most importantly, emotionally. We are social beings – music is evidence enough. Yet there is a dread of the massiveness of data and the rise of artificial intelligence.

First, artificial intelligence is not ‘artificial.’ It is a human product made for humans to engage with and use. Since the recorded birth of robotics, around nine hundred years ago, robots have been designed to aid humans in their daily lives. Second, machine intelligence is only as good as the humans who construct it. Data points alone are meaningless; it is how we interpret and use them. If anything is to be feared, it is none other than ourselves.

Throughout history, we have loved, nurtured, tortured, and killed one another. And for what purpose? For resources, power, affection, and acceptance, to name a few – elements that give meaning to our fleeting, conscious existence. The good, bad, pretty, and ugly of our behaviors are what we need to deconstruct, understand, and shape so we can make well-informed and equitable decisions.

Education is paramount. Education in the richness of diversity of mind and body is what transforms fixed, siloed mindsets to empathetic, open-minded ones. The solution lies in a polymathic education available to all where science, art, technology, design, and medicine reside borderless, as unified disciplines of thought, experimentation, and expression. If a truth of the what and why of this world is to be uncovered, it will be through the seamless integration of knowledge past with knowledge present and knowledge to be.

Insight emerges when we are given the chance to learn something new, to experience the ups and downs of discovery, to ignite the unimaginable, to challenge the expected. The cognitive mechanisms to innovate are in place – we are an entrepreneurial species. Innovation is bred through the support of visionary minds, no matter how young, how restless. Urgency lies in the united agreement to shed old, orthodox ways and cultivate what is tirelessly theorized and debated into real action; enough chorus verses have been repeated. Dreams must soar, not remain cloistered among the fantasies of our minds.


The Salzburg Global program The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future is part of the multi-year Culture, Arts and Society series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture.
 

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The Shock of the New - Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future
The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the FutureThis series will enable artists to play a more central role in decision-making processes and encourage diverse fields to cooperate
The Shock of the New - Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future
By: Carly Sikina 

Artists, technology specialists and other cultural practitioners convene at Salzburg Global to discuss the world's future

Over the past 20 years, humans have seen more drastic and rapid technological change than ever before. For some, these advancements yield optimism, due to improvements such as the increased availability of information as a result of the Internet.

However, for others, especially for those who did not grow up in the digital age, these changes can cause an immense amount of uneasiness and anxiety, stemming from the uncertainty around  technology's effects on the world. We, as a society, are entering a time where the future of our planet raises immense questions and the arts can help us better imagine a future we want.

Salzburg Global Seminar’s session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future, which takes place at Schloss Leopoldskron, from February 20 to February 25, is part of the multi-year series, Culture, Arts and Society.

During the session, an international group of 50 artists, technologists, scientists, educators, policymakers and cultural practitioners will partake in creative, serious conversations about our world’s future.

Some of the questions that will be explored during the session include: how accurately have artists in the past been able to “predict” the future? What utopian and dystopian views of the future are currently emerging in different art forms and technology? How can collaboration between diverse fields reshape the future of our planet? How can we preserve humanity in the face of an increasingly technological world? And lastly, what do we want the future to be like and how can we work toward making this idealized future a reality?

This session will combine various presentations, performances, discussions and small group work to stimulate and inform public deliberation as well as cross-sectoral collaboration. It combines theory, policy and practice across various disciplines, generations and sectors in order to include more diverse perspectives and worldviews in decision-making processes.

Martin Bohle, a participant of the session who has over 25 years of experience in STEM-related fields, understands the importance of active collaboration between the arts and technology, as he believes that his own “knowledge is limited”.

“I think what we need at many interfaces, is more capability to imagine. More capability to relate bits and pieces, which normally are not related to each other. I hope to come back richer with ideas [of] how one can get people more imaginative, more creative…."

This session strives to broaden the foundations for creative future thinking through active collaboration between diverse fields. A further aim of this seminar is to raise awareness regarding the powerful role that the arts play in accelerating sustainable, social change.

This year's program will build on previous sessions from the Culture, Arts and Society series, including The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewalas well as Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability.

This series aims to enable artists to play a more central role in decision-making processes and to encourage seemingly diverse fields to cooperate and engage in new conversations with one another.

Susanna Seidl-Fox, program director at Salzburg Global Seminar says, "This session is a truly groundbreaking and forward-looking session for Salzburg Global. As part of our multi-year series Culture, Arts, and Society, this session aims to launch an unusual voyage into the future.

"Mobilizing intellectual and artistic resources from around the world, Salzburg Global will provide a generous space for exceptional conversations and hard questions: What will our world look like in 2050 or 2100? Who or what will control our lives? What will it mean to be human? With their ability to push the boundaries of the human imagination, how can artists and cultural practitioners influence the way in which decision-makers and innovators plan and implement our shared future?"      


The Salzburg Global program The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future is part of the multi-year Culture, Arts and Society series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture.

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A Message from Our Vice President and Chief Program Officer
Clare Shine looks back on the journey traveled, new projects and horizons.
A Message from Our Vice President and Chief Program Officer
By: Clare Shine 

Clare Shine reflects on a landmark year celebrating Salzburg Global Seminar's 70th anniversary

As 2018 gets underway, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your continued engagement with Salzburg Global Seminar. In reflection of a landmark year celebrating Salzburg Global Seminar’s 70th anniversary, I wanted to look back on the journey traveled, new projects and horizons.

Our 2017 theme of “Courage” resonated throughout this turbulent year. The 1947 vision of Salzburg Global’s founders – a “Marshall Plan of the Mind” to revive dialogue and heal rifts across Europe - felt fresh as ever. Cracks widened in societies and institutions across the world, compounded by a mix of insecurity, disillusionment, and isolationism.

Yet the world should be in a better position than ever to tackle common challenges. There is an open marketplace for ideas, innovation, and invention, and opportunities to engage and collaborate are growing fast.

In Salzburg, we are privileged to meet individuals from all walks of life who have the courage to tell truth to power, confront vested interests, express artistic voice and freedom, build coalitions for change, and see through tough choices. In divided societies, people need courage to stay true to their beliefs. Leaders need courage to curb their exercise of power. Together, we need courage to rekindle our collective imagination to rebuild society from the bottom up and the top down.

Three strategies guide our own work for this purpose.

1. Given Salzburg Global’s roots in conflict transformation, our programs seek to bridge divides:

  • Our American Studies series – a discipline born at Schloss Leopoldskron – focused on Life and Justice in America: Implications of the New Administration, including the roots of economic and racial division;
  • The Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change had its highest-ever participation on Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism and published an interactive playbook “Against Populism”;
  • Our Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention series is now applying tools developed in previous years to promote pluralism and tolerance and address issues of radicalization and violent extremism. Pilot projects to test these approaches are under way in five countries (Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa, Morocco, and Egypt) with the potential to expand to other countries;
  • The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum marked its fifth anniversary with a major report assessing the influence and personal impact of a cross-sector network that now spans more than 70 countries and has inspired new partnerships and cultural initiatives.

2. Salzburg Global Seminar aims to inspire new thinking and action on critical issues to transform systems, connecting local innovators and global resources:

3. Salzburg Global seeks to expand collaboration by fostering lasting networks and partnerships:

After six years living in Schloss Leopoldskron and meeting the most diverse and talented people imaginable, I often hear myself describe Salzburg Global Seminar as “deeply human.” 2017 brought many reminders of the special bonds forged during our lifetime and the enduring need to advance trust and openness around the key issues facing today’s world. 

Thank you again for your commitment and recognition of Salzburg Global’s importance in your professional and personal development. We hope you will consider joining other Fellows who have already made a donation to Salzburg Global this year. Please click here to learn more.

With very best wishes from everyone at Salzburg Global Seminar, and we hope to welcome you back to Schloss Leopoldskron in the near future.

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Life and Justice in America - Implications of the New Administration
Life and Justice in America - Implications of the New Administration
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association reflects on the first year of US President Donald Trump

In September 2017, 57 academics, professionals, practitioners, observers, and students of American Studies from 25 countries, convened at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria for the session Life and Justice in America: Implications of the New Administration.

As this weekend marks the one year anniversary of Donald J. Trump's inauguration as president of the United States on January 20, 2017, it is a timely occasion for the publication of the report from the 15th symposium of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA).

Since its founding in 1947, Salzburg Global Seminar has been examining, debating and dissecting America and its culture and institutions. Drawing on the 70 years of cross-border exchange that began at Schloss Leopoldskron in the aftermath of war, the multi-disciplinary four-day program examined what the “American Dream” means in today’s world and assessed progress in the United States toward fulfilling that potential. 

Fairness and justice, immigration issues, incarceration practices, demographic changes, implications and challenges of new policies, and the fulfillment of domestic and foreign expectations were all key elements of focus for the session. The ultimate question for scrutiny and discussion was “How does the apparent reality of life and justice in America today reflect on the historic ‘American Dream’ and the ‘Promise of America,’ globally and in the United States since the founding of the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies in 1947?”

This report offers summaries of each of the day’s thematic discussions and a list of resources provided by the participants, as well as interviews with some faculty members and speakers:

  • Elaine T. May: Despite being preoccupied with safety, Americans have made themselves less secure
  • Lecia Brooks: Dedicated to ending injustice in America
  • Linell Letendre: Justice requires a culture of leadership, professionalism and respect
  • Dreamscape: Exploring race and justice in America
  • Asif Efrat: The new US administration has shown less interest in international cooperation
  • Nancy Gertner: “Lawyers should effect social change”
  • Chris Lehmann: American justice is still a model for the world – but a flawed model

 

Download the report as a PDF

To request a print copy, please email press[at]salzburgglobal.org

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Young Cultural Innovators Hub Project Explores How Art Can Be Used to Help Build Healthy Communities
From left to right - Photos from the Let's Play art installation, Shelley Danner and Dr. Asha Shajahan
Young Cultural Innovators Hub Project Explores How Art Can Be Used to Help Build Healthy Communities
By: Oscar Tollast 

YCI Shelley Danner explores how to create a culture of active living in Detroit

A YCI Hub project designed to highlight the importance of healthy, active living through art has reached more than 350 people.

The Challenge Detroit YCI Art and Community Health Project led to four different art installations being created and showcased in various parts of Detroit.

The project was co-designed and led by Shelley Danner, program director of Challenge Detroit. Danner attended the third meeting of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in 2016 and is a member of the Detroit YCI Hub.

Danner looked at the intersection of art and health, collaborating with Dr. Asha Shajahan from Beaumont Family Medicine, Challenge Detroit Fellows, and other community partners.

Challenge Detroit’s mission is “to challenge leaders to learn by doing through a year of meaningful employment and intellectual work with area nonprofits designed to positively impact” a “diverse” and “culturally vibrant” Detroit. It invites 30 of tomorrow’s leaders to live, work, play, give, and lead.

The art installations, built by four teams of Challenge Detroit Fellows, included “Let’s Play,” “Elevated Cardio,” “Step into Something,” and “Limitless.”

These four pieces of art were showcased at Central City Integrated Health and its Clubhouse, as well as the Butzel Recreation Center and Chandler Park.

While on display at the Central City Clubhouse, “Elevated Cardio” allowed members with disabilities to use a set of decorated stairs as part of their physical therapy program.

“Step into Something New” highlighted the physical activities that can be undertaken every day, from jumping to dancing. Silhouetted motions on 4 by 8 foot banners, paired with oversized shoes and motivational phrases were created for this installation.

“Let’s Play” involved Challenge Detroit Fellows taking photos of themselves in parks based throughout Detroit to show how physical activity can be fun. The Fellows behind this project used refurbished windows from the Architectural Salvage Warehouse in Detroit to frame the photos.

“Limitless” saw Challenge Detroit Fellows co-create art using bikes with children from Detroit’s eastside with neighborhood nonprofit Mack Avenue Community Church (MACC) Development.

The project featured at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ National Arts and Health Symposium in September and was also included in Detroit’s Open Streets community festival in October. 

The design question for the project was: How might we use art as a medium to build healthy communities and create a culture of active living in Detroit?

In a report about the project, Danner said, “Through the various presentations and site showcases thus far, we have interacted and raised awareness with over 350 community members and residents, and counting, of the importance of healthy, active living with low-barriers-to-access through these creative art installations.”

This project was made possible thanks to YCI project funds provided to Salzburg Global by the Kresge Foundation for follow-on work after last year’s YCI Forum. For more information about the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators, please click here.

 

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Springboard for Talent - Embracing the Value of Multilingualism and Minority Languages
Friederike Sözen and Thérèse Mercader speaking at Salzburg Global Seminar
Springboard for Talent - Embracing the Value of Multilingualism and Minority Languages
By: Louise Hallman 

Participants analyze the value of multiligualism, minority languages, and mother tongue instruction

It is widely accepted that multilingualism is valuable to sectors such as tourism and international trade, but how do we convince more companies, local authorities, educators and the public alike of the more intangible values of multilingualism and encourage the continued use of mother tongue languages?

Economic studies show that multilingualism in the workforce has great advantages. The economic value of multilingualism to Switzerland has been estimated to be 10% of its GDP, while the UK and US lose revenue due to a lack of language skills – and the accompanying cultural awareness – in the workforce.

Learning a dominant language offers great economic and social opportunities, but language policies that encourage the learning of another language in place of mother tongue language instruction can greatly hinder students in the long term, not only in their academic lives but also later professionally.

Panelists across different discussions on the third day of Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, agreed that, especially in multilingual countries, efforts should be made to offer education instruction in the mother tongue from an early age, with the predominant national language introduced later – and introduced using second language learning techniques, not submersion. Such policies not only ensure that minority languages are kept alive (unlike the linguistic genocide suffered by many indigenous languages as a result of the residential school systems for native populations in colonial Canada and Australia), but also better ensure students’ academic success by teaching them in a language they already understand.

While many countries do offer early years mother tongue instruction, this is often cast aside entirely at later stages in the education system in favor of the predominant national language. This results in a devaluing of minority languages. “Change the perception of local languages and you change many things,” noted one panelist.

One such change can be in the better provision of health care services. In Namibia, where medical students are taught in English, educators are now recognizing the value of maintaining high levels of local language competency as it enables future doctors to better treat their patients. While it is not possible to train all Namibia’s doctors in the country’s 13 national languages, it is possible to train them to be familiar with working in multilingual environments and through translation.

In Austria, while multilingualism is greatly embraced in its tourism industry and borderland outlet shopping malls, this is primarily focused on dealing with visiting foreigners rather than embracing the multilingualism already present inside the country’s borders. Austria has a large number of migrants from Turkey and former Yugoslavia, but they are encouraged to speak German, rather than the German-speaking workforce being encouraged to learn Turkish or Serbo-Croatian. German-language skills can be a barrier to these migrant populations entering the workforce or opening up their own businesses, with licenses denied if local authorities deem their skills to be insufficient. We need to recognize that many migrants bring useful skills to the workforce, even if they do not yet speak the local language, remarked a panelist.

Migrant populations should be strongly encouraged to maintain their own mother tongues rather than casting them aside in an effort to integrate, panelists advocated. In the Australian state of Victoria, where 20 different languages are taught in state schools and over 55 in community schools, a statewide campaign strongly encourage migrant families to speak the language with which they are most comfortable at home, rather than English. Research shows that this approach can help with students’ academic, cognitive and personal development.

For local populations, learning to speak the language or to appreciate the culture of an incoming migrant population also fosters greater social cohesion as they are more likely to welcome rather than fear the newcomers. Outside of schools, wider-spread production and consumption of cultural products (such as movies, TV, music and art) from other cultures can also foster this cultural and linguistic appreciation.

While the economic and social values of language skills are important to highlight, we need to also recognize the intrinsic, intangible value of language, urged some panelists. Students should be encouraged to learn languages for the “joy” of languages and the means of being able to communicate with others and enjoy other cultural products, not just get a different or better job.

“Learning a language is about more than just being able to buy tomatoes from the markets of the world,” remarked one panelist. Rather than teaching students to speak and use a single foreign language with the hope that they will be native-level proficient one day, we should instead teach about languages and their accompanying histories, cultures and peoples in other subjects, such as history, geography and art. This approach, currently being used in Scotland, can help those students who lack the opportunity to communicate with a native speaker of another language, either at home or aboard, to have a greater sense of the value of foreign languages and a stronger appreciation of and respect for other cultures and people.


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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Springboard for Talent - How Do We Promote the Value of Multilingualism?
Participants engage in an open space discussion during Session 586 - Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
Springboard for Talent - How Do We Promote the Value of Multilingualism?
By: Tomas De La Rosa 

On the third day of Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, participants gave their views on the session's last Hot Topic

“We can support the value of multilingualism by putting in place policies that promote the good in multilingualism. Many times, when we address an issue like multilingualism, we often look more at the problems, the “why we can’t implement it” rather than the good we would get if we implemented it.

If we look at things differently, firstly looking at the good we would get from it and then work around the problems, we can achieve the most out of multilingualism.”

Margaret Nankinga
Chairperson, Luganda/Lusoga/Lugwere Vehicular Cross-border Language Commission, Uganda

“Companies can’t exist without having multilingual people, otherwise they can’t do business. How do we convince companies of the value of that? This is about how companies perceive language skills… they are mostly perceived as very instrumental and not as a part of your personal development. We have to explain to companies that language is a tool to be able to communicate in foreign languages, get deals done, manage teams, convince people in a meeting, negotiate….”

Esther Van Berkel
Director of Studies, Language Institute Regina Coeli, Netherlands

“The basic problem is that decision-makers generally see languages and diversity not as a value, not as something to be preserved, but as a problem. I think we should begin by addressing comprehensible papers – research findings– which can be read or relayed on TV, or other media, and change public opinion...

If one looks at practices which have been proved to be effective, those practices were based on teaching officers – functionaries of the state – several languages, not only to know things better, which was one of the purposes, but also because of the intangible want which comes from someone speaking your language, which creates bonds.”

Tariq Rahman
Dean of Social Sciences, Beaconhouse National University, Pakistan

“For us [at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber] it’s very important that people can speak several languages…at least one foreign language, as we do trade over the borders. We also have incoming tourists, so it’s obviously benefit to speak one or two foreign languages.

In addition, we are an incoming country for migrants and refugees, so we have a large number of foreign workers who come here without knowing German, or any other language, and we make an effort to teach them languages as otherwise they wouldn’t succeed in jobs.”

Friederike Sözen
Policy Advisor, Educational Policy Department, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Austria

“It depends on the audience. Firstly, with younger students… it’s the parents that we have to convince of the value of multilingualism, we need to speak not only of the economic value – in other words “how is this going to help my child get a good job?” – we also have to look at the cognitive value, in terms of brain development. We also have to look at the academic value – how it’s going to help them being successful in school; societal value – how they can be more meaningful contributors to society...

When it comes to older students… it’s a matter of making sure that they’re aware of all of the same things themselves, so that they can see how learning a language, or continuing to learn the language, will be definitely valuable for them.”

Norman Sieweke
Consultant, Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education, Edmonton Public Schools, Canada

Have an opinion on our HOT TOPIC? Tweet @SalzburgGlobal with the hashtag #SGSedu


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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Kathleen Heugh – “This is Not a Game Any Longer, We Know That This is Extremely Serious”
Kathleen Heugh by the lake during Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized WorldKathleen Heugh by the lake during Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
Kathleen Heugh – “This is Not a Game Any Longer, We Know That This is Extremely Serious”
By: Mirva Villa 

Associate professor of applied linguistics urges governments and educators to recognize the sense of urgency in providing multilingual education

Kathleen Heugh has enjoyed a long career in linguistics, with her research focusing particularly on multilingual education policies and practices. She has advised 35 national governments on language policy in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and South America, and has engaged in a number of initiatives promoting multilingual approach in education.

Heugh was in Salzburg in December 2017 to share this lengthy experience at the session,Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World. According to Heugh, children coming from marginalized language backgrounds, particularly in the former European colonies across the world, often feel pressured to develop a high-level proficiency in a European language, such as English, in addition to or instead of a local language and a national language in order to succeed in life.

“The problem is that the sooner one drops into an English-medium education system, the less likely it is that people’s aspirations will be met,” she says.

Multilingual education is a valuable method for keeping children, especially girls, in school until the end of primary school. If the transition to an international language, such as English or French, happens too soon, the girls will be more likely to fall out of schooling, says Heugh, as they are often called home to take care of their younger siblings. If they don’t succeed in school, there is a lot of pressure for them to get married early on.

“Being schooled through home language means that you have a chance to stay in school for a bit longer, and there’s a chance to go into secondary school. And we know that the longer girls are in education, the better their family’s chances are of escaping poverty later on.”

Heugh’s interest in languages was sparked from a very young age, when she herself attended a bilingual (English and Afrikaans) school in South Africa. She wanted to become an English teacher for students speaking African languages, but after training she was unable to find job as she was considered to “politically problematic” by the Apartheid government.

“I went back to university to do a master’s degree in language education, and I then discovered the Apartheid’s system had largely been based on a language policy of separation and segregation. I realized very quickly that if language policy can segregate and separate people, there must be a better way of having a language policy that could draw people together.”

Shifting geopolitical power balances and the mass movement of people create an urgency across the globe to rethink multilingual education. Many countries receiving large numbers of migrants do not yet have systems geared towards multilingual education. Keeping children in school is important to avoid social exclusion, and while providing education in the mother tongue of every child may not be possible, there are other ways of ensuring multilingual education. However, this requires comprehensive working with teachers, rethinking of teacher education programs, and governments and education departments understanding the urgency of this need, Heugh says.

Heugh is currently teaching English at the University of South Australia. Most of her students are either international students or have migrant backgrounds.

“I cannot speak all the languages of my students, but I try to use multilingual techniques… In every assignment, the students are expected to do research in their home language as well as in English, and to bring in the resources and the knowledge that they glean from their research articles and academic texts in at least two other languages together in their assignment, and which they then craft into English.”

The use of multiple languages encourages the international students to cooperate with the native speakers of English, and vice versa. Heugh aims to bridge connections and build co-dependency between her students, and she has noticed this has increased the self-esteem of international students as they see that all of their contributions are valuable. The domestic Australian students have also been humbled and exposed to new knowledge of the world. “None of them can actually complete an assignment unless they have sourced information from another language or a student who has access to knowledge in another language.”

Heugh believes that one of the ways in which to achieve sustainable multilingual education across all ages is to engage with the people working in the administrative or implementation side of government policies. Unlike politicians who have limited term of office, administrators often have long careers in their departments, so it is important to build their capacity in understanding how to implement sustainable policies for multilingual education.

“This is not a game any longer, we know that this is extremely serious. We actually have to make sure that education systems across the world understand that we have to look at how we might be able to provide multilingual education, and what sort of systems can we put in place.”


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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Springboard for Talent - “Monolingualism Does Not Guarantee Peace or Cohesion”
Participants of Salzburg Global session Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
Springboard for Talent - “Monolingualism Does Not Guarantee Peace or Cohesion”
By: Louise Hallman 

Participants discuss the role language can play in making societies more cohesive and peaceful

Speaking a dominant language either in a local, national or global context can open up a world of opportunities. Conversely, not speaking a dominant language can hinder one’s prospects, leaving people feeling marginalized. But monolingualism should not be the goal.

Panelists on the second day of Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, examined the role of language acquisition in increasing social cohesion, sharing examples of where language policy had helped and hindered.

Australia formerly imposed a policy demanding new migrants speak English on arrival or be denied entry. This has since changed: today, the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) provides free language tuition to all who need it, better ensuring that new migrants can participate socially and economically. “The state has the responsibility to provide the linguistic means to integrate,” remarked on Fellow, urging Europe and the US to emulate the program.

While encouraging the learning of one dominant language can help build a sense of integration and shared cultural identity, mother tongue suppression can also give rise to greater conflicts. International Mother Language Day is held on February 21 in recognition of that date in 1952 when students in Bangladesh were killed for protesting for the right to use their mother tongue of Bengali instead of Urdu, the official language.

In Abkhazia, the roots of its conflict with Georgia can be found in the suppression of its language and identity. However, when it finally broke away from Georgia, the local language lacked some vocabulary and constructs needed to be fully used in all official capacities.

Children who lack instruction in their mother tongue often fall behind academically. 230 million children worldwide are unable to read by Grade 4; many of these students are from linguistically marginalized communities.

In communities where there are many languages, imposing one language may not be necessary. A school in Australia serving refugee children from across South Asia found the students would blend Farsi, Dari, Urdu, Hindi and Tamil to communicate rather than using the basic English they were learning.

“Academics are not usually activists,” admitted one panelist, but this is often where language policy experts find themselves as their research can help secure social justice for marginalized communities. “We need more activism!"


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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Springboard for Talent - Tackling the Inherent Politics of Language Policy
From left to right: Hywel Coleman, Mohamed Daoud, Prosperous Nankindu, François Grin, and Bessie Dendrinos speaking at Salzburg Global Seminar
Springboard for Talent - Tackling the Inherent Politics of Language Policy
By: Louise Hallman, Tomas De La Rosa, and Mirva Villa 

In a world of 7000 languages, how does policy affect which are used?

In English, the words policy and politics are distinct – this is not the case in all languages. “All language policy is rooted in politics,” remarked one panelist wryly, opening a discussion on “What makes good language policy?”

As another panelist further lamented, “If you want to build a house, you hire an architect... But language teachers are not seen as specialists,” further underlining the role that politicians – rather than linguists and educators – have in deciding national language policies.

Often, for better or worse, these policies are driven by national elites for some greater cause, from the enhancement of social cohesion and trade and diplomatic relations to the suppression of minorities.
In Uganda, for example, English is the official language and used as the primary language of instruction in schools. This is much to the consternation of the king of Buganda, who wants to see Luganda used as the language of instruction in schools in the region. Imposed by colonial rule, English is still highly valued by politicians as a means to access global trade and dialogue. Regional trade is conducted in Kiswahili, the second official language of the country, and the official language of many neighboring countries. However, “if you want to campaign and win elections,” politicians need to also speak Luganda, (the most widely spoken of the 40 local languages in the country) as this is the language most of their electorate speak and understand.

In China’s interior, language policy is more inclusive, allowing bilingualism with local languages – something that is not encouraged in the more restive borderlands.

Many post-colonial countries and other secessionist states have adopted local languages as their official languages, helping to affirm their national identity. For example, Tunisia adopted Arabic after the end of French colonial rule. However, Tunisian language policy has not been consistent, with the language of instruction changing to French in some subjects at different stages of education leading to confusion and accusations of elitism. A similar accusation was leveled at a university in Milan that offered degree programs in English rather than Italian – a move that the ultimately deemed unconstitutional.

Language learning – both as official national languages and foreign language acquisition – is often rooted in power. “The idea that English is a neutral lingua franca is a myth,” said one Fellow. While there are over 7000 languages in the world, 96% of which are outside of Europe, English is still the most common official and studied language in the world, followed by French and Spanish. But in a increasingly multi-polar and rapidly globalizing world, will this continue to be the norm? Or will Chinese and Arabic surpass them?

English teaching has long been advocated by institutions such the British Council, but some countries have already begun to shift their foreign language policies; Chinese is increasingly supplanting English as the foreign language of choice for students in Korea, for example. Private foundations and businesses are now trying to drive interest towards other foreign languages, such as the Qatar Foundation and now Qatar Foundation International and their promotion of Arabic learning and cultural understanding.

So what makes a good language policy? Following inputs from the panelists, one key recommendation repeated around the room was that language policy needs to be flexible; a top-down approach needs to be met with a bottom-up approach, recognizing minority speakers and their rights. Good language policy needs to reflect the reality of the languages used in a country and its various regions; engage and include a variety of linguistic communities; discourage ethnolinguistic conflicts; consult and adhere to the advice of language experts; and be well funded, implemented, promoted and understood.

To continue the discussion, as part of our Hot Topic we asked participants from the session, Springboard for Talent – Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, to give their views on what makes "good" language policy.

“Language policy is supposed to do good, and not to do harm, and that means you have to be very clear about your goals and be sure that you have a way to assess the extent to which you are approaching those goals. Not much language policy actually fulfills all the goals that it sets [out] to reach, but much of language policy can at least get us closer to where we want to be, but for this you really need to know where you want to get to and for what reason.”

François Grin
Professor of Economics, Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, University of Geneva, Switzerland

“The word good is relative… A good language policy is a policy we should not be seeing to cause problems, but rather to have solutions and resources to language issues in a community. A good language policy is also the one which involves all stakeholders as it is being designed. It is one which embraces the environment of what the communities need, rather than having one which does not consider the community needs. Good policy is where we have teachers trained to be able to implement the policy, especially if it has to do with education. A good policy should be relevant to the needs of a community, like trade, administration, political needs, and the like.”

Prosperous Nankindu
Minister of State for Education, Kingdom of Buganda, Uganda

“I wouldn’t use the word ‘good’. I would use the word ‘feasible’. I would use the word ‘successful’, but maybe necessarily not even that because most language policies fail, actually, like language programs in education. The majority of language programs fail – no matter how well-planned they are, no matter how much financing you put in them, no matter how dedicated the people are – because there are a lot of other stakeholders that play a role in how successful a policy is when it comes to implementation and actual adoption of the policy.

There’s much more reason for it to fail than to succeed, and that’s why we need this consensus: to develop that sense of ownership among the various stakeholders that this is a good policy. I like the discussion of the top-down and the bottom-up processes meeting somewhere in the middle, and manage all these conflicting interests of any particular language or languages. So ‘good’ is not the right term.”

Mohamed Daoud
Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Higher Institute of Languages of Tunis (ISLT)

"When we say good language policy there are three dimensions to this. Firstly, “Is the policy designed in a technically effective way?” This is one measure of being good or not so good.

A second dimension to this is “Is it good in its purposes?” In other words, are these humanistic purposes – purposes that will assist minorities and minoritized populations, [and] enrich society and culture.

These measures of good are about quality of the content, and then the third aspect of good would be “Is it able to be implemented?” This is an aspect of the design (the first one) but it goes beyond it; implemented, evaluated, and revised properly to be effective in the long term. Many policies are actually quite short term – they succeed, are adopted by political authorities, but they don't last very long and they're not sustained very far – so I think [long-term implementation] is a dimension of good."

Joseph Lo Bianco
Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Melbourne

"Good language policy depends on good for who and for what purpose; it really depends on who wants to implement what in order to make somebody’s life easier. We assume language policy to help people, but if language policy ignores the micro-level – the people who actually implement the policy – it will not be successful.

Good language policy depends on good for who, but successful language policy is actually to really pay attention to people who implement language practice and make the lives of people who use the language easier."

Kayako Hashimoto
Lecturer, School of Languages and Cultures, University of Queensland, Australia


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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Hywel Coleman - Every Language Encapsulates Knowledge; If a Language Dies, We Lose Knowledge
Hywel Coleman OBE in the Max Reinhardt Library during Salzburg Global session Springboard for Talent – Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized WorldHywel Coleman OBE in the Max Reinhardt Library during Salzburg Global session Springboard for Talent – Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
Hywel Coleman - Every Language Encapsulates Knowledge; If a Language Dies, We Lose Knowledge
By: Mirva Villa 

Honorary senior research fellow reflects on multiplicity of languages in Indonesia, its impact on education, and his own linguistic heritage.

When Hywel Coleman first came to Indonesia, he arrived straight out of university, having signed up as a volunteer English teacher. This spell led to lecturing in several institutions before he “stayed, stayed and stayed “in the country for more than 12 years. He returned to the UK for 14 years to teach at the University of Leeds, before moving back to Indonesia in 2001, working as a consultant and involving himself in projects with Indonesia’s Ministry of Education. He was awarded the 'Order of the British Empire' (OBE) in 1999 for his services to education in Indonesia.

“In total, I’ve lived in Indonesia for 29 years – it’s my home,” Coleman says, speaking at the Salzburg Global session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World. His interests now are in language policy in education and the role of the English language in Indonesia. There are approximately 700 languages spoken in Indonesia.

These languages range from local languages only spoken by 200 people to more prominent languages such as Bahasa Indonesia, Javanese, and Balinese. Bahasa Indonesia is the country’s sole official language and is used for all government purposes, including in parliament, law courts and education.

“There are several laws which say Indonesian is the only language of education, so the government schools must use Indonesian as the medium of instruction,” says Coleman. “This means that local languages have no official role at all in government or education. “This is a very sensitive issue because some people feel that if local languages are given a role, this will lead ultimately to the disintegration of the nation.”

While there is no historical evidence of that occurring, the fear of allowing local languages to be used in education remains prevalent. This belief remains despite Indonesian children performing poorly in comparison with other countries in international tests like the OECD Program for International Student Assessment.

Coleman believes children not learning in the language they’re most comfortable with is a contributing factor. He says, “The evidence is that if you don’t use the child’s first language, or the language the child is most comfortable with, their learning is going to be negatively affected, but the debate about this is hardly happening in Indonesia."

In Coleman’s opinion, Indonesia’s language policy threatens the survival of several local languages, which he feels would represent a significant loss.

“It’s a problem because every language encapsulates knowledge of the environment and the community in which it is used. If a language dies, then we lose knowledge. We lose knowledge about the environment, about the plants and the trees and the animals, which can be described in the local language, but which cannot be described in other languages.”

“We lose a way of looking at the world: every community, every ethnic group, every language group has a way of interpreting the world, making sense of the world, and we lose that. And if the world becomes more and more homogeneous, what a boring world it would be.”

Despite this concern about the language policy, Coleman believes there are lessons other countries can learn from people living in Indonesia. He says, “Putting aside language policy in school, a lot of Indonesians are naturally multilingual, because ethnic groups mix and overlap, and people are very open to languages. People talk about languages a lot, they joke about languages, and they learn each other’s languages very readily. I think that’s something that in Britain is completely absent.”

Coleman is currently investigating the language repertoires and attitudes of scholars in the pesantren, which are residential, Islamic educational institutions. These madrasas, as they are also known, are not part of the state education system, meaning they are not beholden to the official language legislation. Some schools use Bahasa Indonesia but many use Arabic, English or local languages. Some schools use the national language in the classroom but encourage the use of local languages outside the classroom.

“What really struck me was how all the children I interviewed were nonchalantly multilingual: ‘Yeah, I speak four or five languages, so what? Doesn’t everybody?’ That impressed me,” Coleman says.

Coleman was brought up in a Welsh family living in England. His mother was Welsh speaking, but would only use Welsh when her sisters came to visit. He says, “I always felt excluded, because I couldn’t understand what they were saying. I asked my mother to teach me Welsh and she wouldn’t, because she felt that her Welsh was inadequate… I think that left a hole in me somewhere – a gap.

“While in school, Coleman tried, unsuccessfully, to learn French, German and Latin, which left him convinced that he wasn’t able to learn other languages. This belief changed when he moved to Indonesia. “Being in the context where I needed to learn the language to survive and to make friends, I discovered that I could learn languages, and enjoy it, and find it fulfilling. And this was a revelation to me.”

Since then, he’s become more critical toward the role that the English language plays in the rest of the world. He also thinks the language policy in Indonesia needs to be rethought. His key message is: “The world is bigger than Europe, and language issues and language contexts are very, very varied… We shouldn’t assume that what’s appropriate for Europe and North America is relevant at all to other parts of the world.”


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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Springboard for Talent - Why is Language Learning so Important?
Participants gathered in Parker Hall during Session 586 - Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
Springboard for Talent - Why is Language Learning so Important?
By: Tomas De La Rosa and Mirva Villa 

Participants weigh in on the first Hot Topic of Salzburg Global session Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World

“It’s through language acquisition that young people make sense of their world. It’s how they contribute positively to their world. For language learners themselves, it’s interesting to note that students who have a second or third language at a national level – when looking at results – perform extremely well on other standardized tests. So there’s an interesting possible correlation between language acquisition and deeper learning in science, math, and other areas.

For language learners there’s also the development of empathy, as students are in a position to consider a point of view beyond their own. As we know language is an artifact of culture, so in learning a language you are learning a culture, and understanding an alternative viewpoint to the dominant viewpoint that you may have had from birth.

It opens up access to a world of information, perspectives, opportunities, both social as well as employment-based, for young people who are able to navigate life and live in a multi-language society.”

Mark Sparvell
Thought Leader for Education Marketing, Microsoft, USA

“I myself am a non-native ‘attempted’ speaker of Arabic, and have watched the language grow in influence and impact in the US since I started learning, which was over 30 years ago... For me, it’s really about... thinking differently about the world, because you’ve had the opportunity to do something in particular to do with a country that people think they know through headlines. The language was really just opening the door, it wasn’t the whole journey – it helps begin a journey.”

Maggie Mitchell Salem
Executive Director, Qatar Foundation International (QFI), USA

“Formal language learning gives people the opportunity to find out about each other, and people need to find out about each other if they’re going to learn well together. For Learner A and Learner B to be able to help them in a classroom setting, they have to have some kind of common language. To move to a place where they understand each other’s language enough, they may need to learn that language. It’s a strategic way that a teacher can bring together the linguistic resources different of learners in a classroom.

Informal language learning, on the other hand, goes on all the time. We’re constantly picking up bits of these different communicative practices that people use. … The point is that when people move, either great or small distances, suddenly they’re in a new communicative context, and they will naturally and instinctively start to learn the different language resources of other people.
What happens there, is language is much more mixed and there’s a big difference between what we do informally and often what teachers do formally and I would like to see more informal use in the classroom to help learners learn formally.”

Tony Capstick
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics, University of Reading, UK

“I live in the UK, where there’s a lot of monolingual people who think “This is not important for me” … For some people this is not a choice, because they’re learning a language for survival: you don’t get a job unless you can communicate, you don’t get health care, and you’re really going to have problems in a host country. These people wouldn’t even ask this question, they just do it, and they do it fast and are quite motivated.

I was really thrilled to be sharing their experience [learning in Denmark with other migrants]; I was far slower than them and they made a good job of it, and really helped them integrate because they started to read newspapers and understand the society. This question will be answered differently by different people, but I think it also opens your mind, you open up beyond your own culture, and that helps you understand others more.”

Gabrielle Hogan-Brun
Senior Research Fellow, School of Education, University of Bristol, UK

“Language learning is fundamental, because…it teaches us to see the world in multiple ways. I still remember the change that it made for me when I first learned a language. I have this sentence that has been stuck in my head ever since I was a child and I started learning French. I had this moment that I called “la perdita dell’ovvio” – things were not obvious any longer. Suddenly I realized that there wasn’t a complete adherence between the world and how we see it, because it can be seen in so many different ways.

I think that just by learning languages we learn to be plural and we learn to understand in different ways, and we learn to understand other people.”

Loredana Polezzi
Professor of Translation Studies, School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University, UK

Have an opinion on our HOT TOPIC? Tweet @SalzburgGlobal with the hashtag #SGSedu

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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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Springboard for Talent - Valuing Language Learning in a Globalized World
From left to right - Tony Capstick, Joseph Lo Bianco, Michael T. Nettles, Gabrielle Hogan-Brun and Loredana Polezzi speaking at Salzburg Global Seminar
Springboard for Talent - Valuing Language Learning in a Globalized World
By: Louise Hallman 

Participants consider the value of language learning and its impact across the world

As they introduced themselves at the start of the latest Salzburg Global Seminar session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, it was clear that the 50 Fellows gathered for the five-day program spoke many languages and understood the value of doing so. But why is learning a language so important?

This was the one of the questions facing the opening panel as they “set the scene” and considered language learning and language policy through the varying lenses of recognizing its economic value, resolving ethnolinguistic conflicts, enhancing transnational and transcultural understanding, and strengthening cultural resilience for migrant populations (both forced and otherwise).

While the value of learning languages may be apparent to those gathered in Salzburg, convincing policymakers, communities, parents, and even the learners themselves of that value can remain a challenge in many contexts.

To address that challenge, following inputs from the panelists, the Fellows gathered in small groups to establish their first “headlines” that will help to frame the Salzburg Statement, to be co-written throughout the week and published on February 21 – International Mother Language Day.

To gain the support of communities, families and learners in recognizing the value of language learning, “start early” was the key piece of advice.

Schools should be encouraged to accommodate linguistic diversity, and establish reciprocities among different language speakers to encourage both formal and informal language learning. Increasing linguistic diversity of teachers would help in this regard.

At the policy level, recognizing that state education system language policies can be destructive and distracting, Fellows urged for a flexible language policy, seeing multiple languages as a resource to enhance, not a problem to be solved. As language learning is frequently about power, leading some languages (such as English) to be valued higher than others, they encouraged a de-emphasizing of English as the default second language of bilingualism.

With regards to business and economics, Fellows acknowledged that there is currently a disconnect between global trade ambitions and the provision of effective language learning, and called for the embrace of the economic benefits of linguistic diversity within companies.

Fellows were left with much food for thought for the next days’ discussions, which will consider language policy, social cohesion, the role of technology, multilingualism and economic dynamism, and addressing the Sustainable Development Goals.

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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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Michael Nettles - “Language is Both Barrier and Bridge to Cooperation, Peace and Progress”
Michael T. Nettles delivering the opening remarks of Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
Michael Nettles - “Language is Both Barrier and Bridge to Cooperation, Peace and Progress”
By: Michael Nettles 

Session Co-Chair and multi-time Salzburg Global Fellow offers his opening remarks

Guten tag! Und willkommen in Salzburg.

Hopefully that means “Good afternoon and welcome to Salzburg” in German. But I got it from Google Translator, so it could mean almost anything. No doubt, we will have a robust discussion on the efficacy of translation technologies this week. Until then, I will stick to my mother tongue: American English inflected with doctorate-ese.

My name is Michael Nettles, and I am the Senior Vice President of the Policy Evaluation and Research Center at Educational Testing Service, of Princeton, New Jersey, in the United States. I would like to welcome you to this year’s Salzburg Global Seminar session, “Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World.”

This is ETS’ eighth session in partnership with Salzburg Global Seminar.  We previously have examined educational and social mobility gaps and how to close them; the experiences of students at the margins and the institutions that serve them; early childhood development, the use of testing and data in creating education and workplace opportunities for underserved groups; and advances in social and emotional learning, which was the topic of last year’s seminar.

This year’s session on language and language learning is organized under the heading “Education for Tomorrow’s World” — that is, the strategies, innovations and institutional changes that can meet societies’ future needs and help all learners flourish. It would be difficult to conceive of a lever more basic or useful than language for achieving those aims. Where people live together, nothing is possible without communication. And so I am very excited about our agenda and learning from all of you.

Setting Themes

Language, of course, is both barrier and bridge to cooperation, peace and progress. And if the urgency of appreciating this fact rises and falls with the level of turmoil in societies, then we picked the right time to talk about it.

As our colleague Joseph Lo Bianco put it in an interview published earlier this year, “Language is fundamental. We socialize infants into talking because it is the most human of acts. Our relationships, collective identities, political systems, education and economic activities are all inconceivable without effective communication, so it’s inevitable that language is also going to be involved in conflicts.”

If anyone understands ethnolinguistic conflict in multiethnic societies, it is Joe Lo Bianco. And I am looking forward to his input in our sessions on languages and social cohesion, identity, and intercultural understanding.

From a historical standpoint, we are currently in what another of our colleagues, Hywell Coleman, describes as the third phase of international development aid and language planning since the end of the Second World War.

He says the first phase, extending from the end of the war to the mid-1970s, was defined by what Robert Phillipson called “linguistic imperialism” under the cover of Western infrastructure and macroeconomic aid to developing countries.

The second phase, from the mid-70s to the end of the 20th century, shifted to aid in support of human development. It saw doubts creep in with regard to the appropriateness of English-language learning in the context of development.

Hywell says the signal feature of the third phase is a belief that early education is most effective when conducted in the student’s native language.

As for our work over the next few days, we will be like the ancient Hebrews and consider Four Questions:

•    One – How can we better communicate the complexity of research around language policy and learning?

•    Two – How can more be done to help newly arrived refugees and migrants learn the host country language?

•    Three – What role might disruptive technologies play in shaping future decisions about language policy?

•    And Four – What research and policy gaps exist in achieving these goals? And how can these be addressed in mono and multilingual contexts?

We intend to address these questions from the perspective of the individual; the state; and market and society.

It is a lot! But who better to ask and answer these questions than this group of renowned and accomplished experts?

Multilingualism and Nationalism

I think it is fair to say that all of us here respect and value linguistic diversity, among both individuals and societies. By truly learning a language, we learn a culture, since language and culture are so intertwined. And wonderful things flow from intercultural understanding: peace, prosperity, mutual respect, well-oiled gray matter — all good things! By protecting languages used by smaller populations, we are protecting humankind’s cultural inheritance.

Conversely, we recoil at linguistic imperialism, even under the guise of magnanimity.

Yet I would submit that it is not always vulnerable minority populations who wish to protect their culture and autonomy in part by protecting their native language. The powerful and populous do, too. And they often wield national language policy as a cudgel to control and subjugate, frequently under the patina of nation building.

Joe Lo Bianco reminds us that in 1952, students from what was then East Pakistan were set upon and killed for demanding equal recognition of Bengali with Urdu, which had just been proclaimed to be the sole national language. The dispute provoked the long, bloody war that resulted in independence for Bangladesh.

In South Africa, the government’s announcement of compulsory Afrikaans in the teaching of math and social studies provoked the 1976 Soweto uprising, a landmark in the often violent struggle against apartheid.

Nor has the United States, arguably the most ethnically diverse society in the world, been immune. During our “Indian Wars” of the 19th Century, the eradication of native languages was among the goals of federal boarding schools for Native Americans.

To this day, there is constant tension in schools and communities throughout the United States over bilingual education. It often produces the false assertion that English is the official national language of the United States, when in fact we have no official language. As in many other societies marked by ethnic conflict, our language disputes are associated with anti-immigrant, anti-foreigner, anti-other sentiment. To many observers, this has been especially pronounced under the current administration.

An Alternative Theory

Let me be a little provocative now. I think it is obvious that the mere existence of discrimination against linguistic minorities does not prove the converse — that a multilingual society is a peaceful society in which ethnic groups cooperate with and respect one another. Going a step further, it could be argued that while linguistic minorities are often shunted into ethnic enclaves, an argument can be made that people prefer to live with their own kind, and to keep their interactions with other communities at a minimum. A definition of multilingualism, after all, is a society in which people who speak different languages live side by side but not together.

In fact, an argument can be made that at some point, multilingualism contributes to ethnic tribalism. That has the whiff of blaming the victim, and it is not a theory that I subscribe to. But it is something to think about. Where is the tipping point at which multilingual societies become too fragmented to hold together?

I do believe that, by far, the greater threat to civil society is from ethnic and linguistic majorities seeking to impose the majority language on the linguistic minority, and to exile or abuse the minority when it suits their purpose. In fact, is part of the danger inherent in the rise of nationalist movements around the world.

But history goes in cycles. And it is possible that in the next phase of international development aid and language planning that the pendulum will swing back to once again view a lingua franca as the best path to peace within and among societies and nations. Whether that would be English, Chinese, Russian or some other language, who can say? As repetitive as history can be, it is also hard to predict.

Speaking of Lingua Franca …

We certainly live in interesting times! Never has a single language, in this case English, been so widely spoken throughout the world. Thanks in part to this common medium, international travel, commerce and communication have never been so simple or so ubiquitous. Never has it been so easy for talented academics and researchers to attend international seminars so far from home.

And yet for all this coming together, we live under a very real threat of a nuclear war breaking out at any moment between two societies that could hardly be more different politically, culturally, economically, and linguistically. …Communism collapses — and Russia seizes the Crimea and goes to war against Ukraine. Autocracies tumble in the Middle East — and are replaced by the nihilists of ISIS.

Are language policies a symptom of discord? Or are they a cause? Or a cure?

There is cognitive dissonance everywhere on the question. As Gabrielle Hogan-Brun notes, a lack of multilingualism among Britons costs the UK 3.5 percent of its GDP every year.  And a British Council survey two years ago showed that almost 60 percent of UK adults regret that they let their school-era language skills slip.  But rather than engage even more vigorously with other cultures for their own economic benefit, they vote to leave the EU and turn inward.

In the US, nearly half the states offer special recognition to bilingual K–12 graduates.  But at the college level, enrollment in foreign-language courses fell by 6.7 percent between 2009 and 2015.  One large state university system will now even allow students to count their high school computer courses toward their foreign-language requirements for admissions purposes.

In Japan, Kayoko Hashimoto tells us that more than a decade ago, the American political scientist Joseph Nye pointed out that Japan’s “weakness in languages” made it difficult for it to use its soft power to extend its influence around the world. But despite a decade of trying and despite the awesome international appeal of Japan’s cultural exports, little has changed, and the Japanese language is an official or common language in just one place: Japan. Foreign students who come to the United States to study in our colleges and universities take classes in English, the better to learn American culture and values. In Japan, they take classes … in English. Without learning the language, truly learning a culture is not possible.

Conclusion

That is the principle on which my company, ETS, is developing an interactive learning platform to help adult English-language learners understand the practical elements of English in a workplace context: what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. We are also developing an intercultural-competence module of our HEIghten higher education outcomes assessments. It is based on the belief that intercultural competence has become an essential skill for success in the 21st century workforce.

It may all be academic, so to speak, given the march of technology. Anyone who has used Google Translator knows that it is a long way from practical utility. You may think that you are asking where the bathroom is, only to learn that you have just ordered a cucumber sandwich for your parakeet.

But it is a good bet that translation technologies will be much improved. Will they promote cross-cultural cooperation? Or will they make the hard work of learning languages a thing of the past, and thereby diminish the value of multilingualism, and promote ethnic separation?

Of course, the answer to all these questions is “yes.”

Thank you


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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Springboard for Talent – Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
The session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, is being held in partnership with ETS, the Qatar Foundation and Microsoft
Springboard for Talent – Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Linguists, academics, policymakers and business leaders come to Salzburg to consider the social, political and economic importance of language learning

Language is fundamental to national identity and an important contributor to social cohesion in modern pluralistic societies. Learning a foreign language helps you to know that country and language skills can be very valuable. However, language policy decisions can also impact detrimentally on students’ life chances. All of this raises critical questions for researchers, policymakers and practitioners about the role of language learning and testing for two public good objectives: to “untap” and optimize individual talents and to foster social cohesion and dynamic inclusive economies.

To this end, Salzburg Global Seminar is holding the session Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World at its home in Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria, from December 12 to 16, 2017.

The session is being held in partnership with ETS, the Qatar Foundation and Microsoft, and forms part of Salzburg Global’s long-running multi-year series, Education for Tomorrow’s World.

The four-day program will bring together over 50 representatives from the varying spheres of policy, academia, civil society and business, representing over 25 countries, to look at the importance of language policy and practice from three perspectives – the individual, the state, and market and society – and examine how language learning can help integration, international relations and employment opportunities.

As many countries try to tackle large influxes of both refugees and migrants, participants will examine language programs that help the new arrivals better integrate into their new host countries and enhance social cohesion. Languages also play a large role for the state with regards to “soft power” and diplomacy, as seen by the emergence of English as a global “lingua franca” and the growing efforts in the West to learn Chinese to better engage with and understand the rising power of China. The third lens of the session will look at the economic value of language learning, with evidence showing that bilingualism and multilingualism bring strong economic benefits for labor mobility.

Like many other sectors, technological innovation has the potential to revolutionize and democratize the language teaching and learning fields, paving the way to fairer access to the job market. Participants in Salzburg will consider the role disruptive technology might play in shaping future decisions about language policy.

Much emphasis in schools’ curriculum in recent years has been placed on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), with languages often valued less in comparison – despite the fact this goes against the latest thinking in neuroscience. Participants will consider how the research community can counter this misalignment of evidence and policy, and gain more traction with policymakers, practitioners and the public.

In an effort to promote the importance of language learning, as well as participating in panel-led plenary discussions and working groups, the participants will collaborate on both a “Salzburg Statement” and the formulation of a series of “Salzburg Questions.” The Statement will not only be circulated widely following the session, but will also form the basis of a new series of webinars to be held throughout 2018. The Questions will spark an online international debate, to be launched on Twitter on International Mother Language Day on February 21.

You can follow all discussions throughout the week on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #SGSedu.


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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The Role of Arts in Mitigating the Impact of Dementia
Left to right - Paul Camic and Sebastian Crutch discuss the relationship between arts and dementia
The Role of Arts in Mitigating the Impact of Dementia
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Participants explore how the arts can lessen the impact of dementia and maintain communication

The role of arts and culture can never be underestimated. The sector acts as a significant source of influence in many areas of society. On the fourth day of the Salzburg Global session, Changing Minds: Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities, participants considered how the arts could mitigate the impact of dementia, improve communication, and enhance quality of life.

They were guided in their discussions by clinical health psychologist Paul Camic and neuropsychologist Sebastian Crutch. The conversation began with Camic providing an overview of the relationship between arts and dementia in the UK. Participants heard how various artists came together to undertake projects with people with dementia.

Crutch then reflected on the work of William Utermohlen, an American painter. After being diagnosed with dementia, he began painting a series of self-portraits. This enabled artistic reflection and exploration of what he was living with. Arts isn’t just a form of intervention, according to Crutch, it’s a part of life.

During the panel discussion, participants were introduced to several positive examples of art being used effectively. This included a nod to BBC Radio 3’s Why Music? residency, which saw presenters explore choral music and how it can help improve the lives of people with dementia.

Camic showed a clip from the film Alive Inside - A Story of Music and Memory, which reinforced this view. It highlighted how one elderly man became reinvigorated when listening to personalized music and found it easier to communicate. He benefited from a charity called Music & Memory.

In response to this clip, one participant asked whether there was potential to produce a similar film concentrating on the work taking place in developing countries.

Another participant said that if the film was shown in her country, members of the public would find it hard to believe what they saw.

She suggested the film could be used as a tool for raising further awareness and helping people with dementia.

Arts can play a role in breaking down the stigma surrounding dementia, providing communities further opportunities to engage with people with dementia.

Art programs should ensure people at different stages of dementia are included, one participant argued. One way to fix this could be to embed arts and music in the daily care of people living with dementia.


The session, Changing Minds: Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities, is part of Salzburg Global Seminar multi-year series Health and Health Care Innovation in the 21st Century. This year’s session is held in partnership with The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice and The Mayo Clinic, with support from the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Tsao Foundation, and the University of Texas.

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Minneapolis YCIs Organize a Skills Sharing Workshop to Address Housing Issues in Low-Income Neighborhoods
Nia Umoja speaking at the Development Without Displacement: Skill Building & Knowledge Share workshop
Minneapolis YCIs Organize a Skills Sharing Workshop to Address Housing Issues in Low-Income Neighborhoods
By: Mirva Villa 

YCIs Carla Schleicher and Chaun Webster organize event to bring local communities closer

Passionate to bring about discussion on the issues related to land use in the city of Minneapolis, Salzburg Global Fellows Chaun Webster and Carla Schleicher set about creating a workshop bringing together local communities.

A group of 30 participants from multi-racial and indigenous working class communities came together to develop skills, share knowledge, and produce creative strategies to address the local challenges in housing by creating alternative economic models.

North Minneapolis, Webster and Schleicher explain, is a densely-populated historically black neighborhood that has faced decades of divestment. More recently, however, there have been sharp increases in housing costs while wages remain stagnant. This has led to an “extreme number” of evictions.

Notably, the
rising number of evictions is hitting the low-income neighborhoods in Minneapolis the hardest, with many families either being displaced from their homes or having to spend too much of their income on housing expenses, by the federal standard.

Both Webster and Schleicher attended the third meeting of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in 2016, where Webster together with New Orleans YCI Imani Jacqueline Brown facilitated a breakout session to encourage the YCI fellows to think about development in the context of their own backgrounds.

Titled “Development Without Displacement,” the breakout session encouraged discussion around how working class communities could be empowered creatively to engage with land use issues affecting them. The discussion was framed by the work of American Studies scholar, Bench Ansfield, on development as an extension of colonial logic.

Building on the themes of the breakout session, Webster and Schleicher created a day-long workshop titled ‘Development Without Displacement: Skill Building & Knowledge Share,” held in May 2017. The project was made possible thanks to YCI project funds provided to Salzburg Global Seminar by the McKnight Foundation.

Nia Umoja, from a grassroots neighborhood collective called Cooperative Community of New West Jackson, came to lead the session, which saw the participants develop their views on cooperation through discussion and group exercises.

A report about this project, authored by Webster and Schleicher said, “These exercises were points of tension and conversation as we thought through the rapid growth Minneapolis is facing and the extreme number of evictions that North Minneapolis has undergone that coincides with the lack of affordability and stagnant wages.”

The intense five-hour workshop allowed the group to think about next steps for Minneapolis, with the discussion ranging from just causes for eviction laws to banking accountability and electoral strategy for the municipal elections in November 2017.

The report continued: “The feedback that we got was that the space was rich with vision and was an important connecting point. The convening also functioned to do some important work in deepening the relationship between West Jackson and North Minneapolis and we are in the process of envisioning a Mississippi River Connection Network that would enable continued knowledge and skills sharing to take place.”

For more information about the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators, please click here.

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Young Cultural Innovator Includes Max Reinhardt Mirror in Art Installation
The Coming to See exhibition is taking place at the Salzburger Kunstverein until November 26 (Picture: Annelies Senfter)The Coming to See exhibition is taking place at the Salzburger Kunstverein until November 26 (Picture: Annelies Senfter)
Young Cultural Innovator Includes Max Reinhardt Mirror in Art Installation
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Annelies Senfter loans antique from Schloss Leopoldskron for Coming to See exhibition

Salzburg Global Fellow Annelies Senfter included a mirror that once belonged to Max Reinhardt in her first art installation.

The antique, recently acquired by Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron and Salzburg Global Seminar, was loaned to Senfter to be used in her Coming to See exhibition, which took place at the Salzburger Kunstverein between October 13 and November 26.

The installation included a collection of acorns from Schloss Leopoldskron, which were spread out in the Kabinett space. Completing the display was a photo of another antique mirror once owned by Reinhardt.

Senfter, a visual artist who lives and works in Salzburg, attended the third meeting of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators last year.

Describing Senfter’s work, the Salzburger Kunstverein said, “Annelies Senfter’s work is situated between photography, research, and poetic investigation, and investigating notions of memory and trauma. Her work resonates with an urge to uncover repressed subjects without stirring up negative sentiments.

“Thus this exhibition brings together these few elements, including the artist’s photographic work, to take a glance back 100 years and weigh upon not only the time caught between that moment and ours but also to weigh upon the immediacy of our collective present. Surviving through all that time is art, the great and pure mirror upon which we as a people may gaze. And if we choose not to gaze at this reflection, the reflection is still produced for others to see, nonetheless.”

Speaking to Salzburg Global, Senfter said, “This project belongs to another bigger project I started in 2014. I did a lot of research on sites in Salzburg the Nazis took away during World War Two, such as parks and gardens. I started with Schloss Leopoldskron.

“I started collecting leaves from elder trees, trees which were planted before World War Two happened – like all the trees here at Schloss Leopoldskron. I collected the leaves and then made a botanical collection…. I combined it with the story of the building.”

These stories and leaves appeared in Senfter’s Asking the Trees project, which also included leaves collected from Villa Zweig and Villa Trapp.

While continuing with this project, Senfter received an invitation from the Salzburger Kunstverein to put on an exhibition. She said, “I thought, ‘Okay, if the name of this exhibition (room) is Kabinett, maybe I should do something with a mirror. I did photographs of mirrors here because to Max Reinhardt, of course, mirrors were important. He was a theater man. Mirrors are important to create certain atmospheres.”

Ahead of the exhibition, Senfter returned to Schloss Leopoldskron to view Reinhardt’s mirrors in the Venetian Room and his former office. It was during this visit she was offered the chance to use one of Reinhardt’s former mirrors that had been recently acquired from the hotel.

The mirror is an original piece, crafted by a Berlin carpenter around the beginning of the 20th century. It previously hung at the palace nearly one hundred years ago. Carved out of coniferous, the mirror is silver- and gold-plated.

Senfter said, “I’m really thankful that the Schloss was so supportive with the mirror because I know that they just bought it this summer, and I’m taking it away for six weeks. I really appreciate that, and I’m thankful for it.”

Fellows from the fourth meeting of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators surprised Senfter by coming to the exhibition’s opening.

Having attended the Forum in 2016, Senfter described the experience as “breathtaking” and something which had helped her with her projects.

She said, “Very often I’ve heard of things we were talking about, like being brave, going forward, going to places you’ve never been before, doing something new – something you don’t know if it will out or not.

“Take the risk that if something is not working out, you will survive. If you never try, you will never know. This was very, very helpful if you’re working in the arts because it’s always something new. You never know what’s going to happen or you never know if it will work out. You can just say, ‘Okay, if I’m lucky, it will work out. If not, okay. This is what it is. I will do the next thing.’” 

WATCH: Annelies Senfter speaking in 2016 on developing projects in an intuitive way


Annelies Senfter took part in The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in 2016. The list of our partners for this session and further information can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/569

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Kristina Borg – “I’m Always Interested in Encouraging the People I Work with to Become Co-Creators, Not Just Participants”
Kristina Borg at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural InnovatorsKristina Borg at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Kristina Borg – “I’m Always Interested in Encouraging the People I Work with to Become Co-Creators, Not Just Participants”
By: Mirva Villa 

Visual artist discusses You Are What You Buy project and what inspired her career path

People and community are at the very center of Kristina Borg’s work. Through her career as an independent visual artist and arts educator, she has supported people in creating their own art and has invited others to take part in her art projects.

“I’m interested in working with specific groups of people, different communities… People brought together either because of a particular place they come from, like their town or city, or particular working place,” Borg tells Salzburg Global, speaking at the
fourth meeting of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.

“I’m always interested in encouraging the people I work with to become co-creators, not just participants,” Borg says. Her deep interest in bringing art to ordinary people’s reach and creating a dialogue is evident in one of her latest projects, You Are What You Buy,  an interactive performance set in a supermarket that she shared with other participants of this year's Forum during the open space showcase.

During the playful performance, performers would move around the store like robots, piling their carts full of items. Sometimes the group could be seen using the ordinary items in unexpected ways such as musical instruments or makeshift shelters.The confused and curious ordinary shoppers who watched these exploits as they unfolded became part of the audience.

The thought-provoking act aimed to highlight issues of sustainability and ethical consumption. The interdisciplinary project also contained an element of research on consumption habits with the main collaborators being social anthropologist Virginia Monteforte and academic Silvia Simoncelli. The year-long project culminated with a live performance.

“To a certain point it was an intrusion in this private, semi-public space, with an element of shock, maybe,” says Borg. “It was participatory at times, depending on how the clients reacted to it. Hopefully, it allowed us shoppers to reflect on what we buy and how we buy.”

Simple moments of connection

When asked what inspired her to take up her career path, Borg stops to think.

“This is a very interesting question because I’m in a transition phase. Three months ago I had a teaching post at a secondary school – so that’s one side of my career. But parallel to that, I always, as long as my memory takes me back, I remember being involved in the visual arts,” says Borg, adding that she had always been passionate about socio-community projects.

These parallel versions of Kristina co-existed, but for some reason, she never thought she would be able to merge the roles.

“But two or three years ago I started realizing that all this could merge. After all, it’s just me and part of my personality.”

Borg also felt the need to move away from “rigid” world of art schools for a while and focus on her own projects and freelancing.

Borg has recently combined her love for arts and people by coordinating a community project, entitled Naqsam il-MUZA (Sharing the muse), as part of the Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture program. The project aims to bridge a connection between the national fine art collection of Malta and the local community, finding ways for art to become a tool in everyday life and conversations.

In the project, Borg meets locals and discusses art with them. Meeting new people and being introduced to their lives is one of the most rewarding aspects of her artistic practice, she says.

“I always start off by having one to one meetings with the participants… I find it so fascinating that I meet this person. I have no idea who he or she is; they have no idea who I am… There would have only been some communication via email or the phone… and I find it so beautiful how they open up.”

Borg fondly remembers a time when a participant felt the need to share something very personal with her to set the ground for their conversation. She often finds herself being invited to people’s homes and being offered food they have prepared. “I find these simple moments beautiful,” says Borg.

Citizen of the world

The chance to attend the fourth meeting of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators came at the right time in Borg’s life.

“It’s an awesome experience on so many levels. It’s a learning experience and a self-reflective experience which I think I needed at this phase in my life,” Borg says. “I always had this dream in my life to be able to answer the question, ‘Where do you come from?’ and say, ‘I’m a citizen of the world.’ And for the first time in my life - in these few days here at the seminar - I’ve felt the possibility to say that.”

The Forum has also given Borg the willpower to realize her ideas. Before, she had a lot of ideas, but she never thought it was quite the right moment to put her them into action.

“What I’ll take away from here is, ‘Just do it.’ It’s either now or never,” Borg laughs.

“It makes you realize that what your worries are, and what you might perceive as a weakness are just common things with other participants, and just form part of the process,” Borg says.

“Without support, we can’t get anywhere. It’s important to exchange ideas, to exchange fears and experiences, and offer solutions.”


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.

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Jung-Suk Ryu – The Desire to Create Better Societies and Communities Transcends Across Different Sectors
Jung-Suk (JS) Ryu, executive director of the Indefinite Arts Centre, is also a classicallyJung-Suk (JS) Ryu, executive director of the Indefinite Arts Centre, is also a classically trained pianist and founding artistic director of the Ottawa Symphonic Ensemble
Jung-Suk Ryu – The Desire to Create Better Societies and Communities Transcends Across Different Sectors
By: Oscar Tollast 

Executive director of Indefinite Arts Centre reflects on his new position and multi-sector career

Jung-Suk Ryu can’t think of a better job right now that taps into his passions. The 32-year-old is four months into his new role as the executive director of the Indefinite Arts Centre – Canada’s oldest
disability arts organization.

Ryu, who also goes by “JS,” took on the role having previously worked as director of external and community relations for the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and director of public affairs for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). Ryu says, “Where I am now is [at] that perfect blend of both of those worlds that absolutely excites me.”

The Indefinite Arts Centre provides training, creation and exhibition opportunities for artists who live with developmental disabilities. Just over 200 artists visit the Centre’s studio space each week to take part in self-directed artistic programs where are they given the freedom to create whatever they wish.

Ryu, speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators, says, “Our organization helps them through that creation process all the way up to the exhibition where we exhibit their works both in our own gallery space within our facility but also within the city of Calgary, within the country, and also internationally.”

A whole new world opened up for Ryu during his time at CNIB, an experience he found extremely humbling.

“It certainly was extraordinary to realize the potential that is within countless Canadians across the country who happen to live with disabilities but are making tremendous contributions
in their own communities in their own ways.”

After two years with CNIB, Ryu moved across to the arts sector to work for the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Here he oversaw the growth of the Centre’s public sector funding at a time of economic uncertainty. In his words, he was “the first sort of in-house lobbyist for this organization.”

Ryu focused on strategizing and developing ways to increase the organization’s awareness within the public sector, strengthen relationships, and present a stronger case. He says, “I just helped capture what I was seeing into something that did indeed resonate with both levels of government that would
fund us. That was really exciting to see.”

The experience Ryu has accumulated in his career spans across multiple sectors including health care, politics, and communications. When asked if transitioning between these fields can be challenging, Ryu replies, “Absolutely not.”

Expanding on this point further, Ryu says, “Everybody, in all sectors, we’re innovating. We’re trying to create a better community and a better society. We’re trying to address different gaps and means. What I’ve realized – especially with my career starting off in politics – I’ve realized that desire transcends sectors.” For Ryu, each sector is driven by the same thing. “Your staff is still tapping into that desire for all individuals to aspire to create stronger more resilient communities – whatever the audience may be, whatever that particular client group you’re working with. I haven’t really found it that much of a
challenge. I think it’s tapping into that desire for change.”

Ryu was one of five Canadians to attend this year’s Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators, whose presence was made possible thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts.

He was made aware of the opportunity thanks to a connection at the Council he made at a summit in Montreal last year. “If I had not gone to that event in Montreal, I would not have known about it whatsoever. It’s the same thing today. If I’m not here interacting with 49 other peers, who knows what kind of other opportunities I might not be able to experience?”

Ryu described his first few days at Salzburg Global as “overwhelming,” highlighting, in particular, the opportunity to hear about a wide range of different initiatives and take part in informative skill-building workshops with different facilitators. “It is an incredible, unparalleled learning and networking experience and something that is so relevant to me because of the stage that I am in my career….”

“These types of opportunities that help ground us in realizing that there’s tremendous potential to take pause and learn but to also take pause and make more and make friends and make networks, I think is so valuable.”


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.

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Facilitators Guide YCIs in Lessons on Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Design and Sharing Their Vision
Participants at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural InnovatorsParticipants at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Facilitators Guide YCIs in Lessons on Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Design and Sharing Their Vision
By: Oscar Tollast 

Participants at this year’s YCI Forum received guidance to develop their dynamic visions, entrepreneurial skills, and global networks which are needed to help their causes to grow

A series of skills workshops represented a unique opportunity for participants to address how to use arts and culture to make sense of the world and themselves and make a difference in their communities.

Facilitators included Adam Molyneux-Berry (managing director of iceHubs Global), Amina Dickerson (president of Dickerson Global Advisors), Arundhati Ghosh (executive director of the India Foundation for the Arts), and Matt Connolly (chief executive officer of Tällt Ventures).

Design with and for your user

Financial resources are not as important as human resources. Participants were recommended to build movements around the work they’re doing and use human-centered design to create programs, projects, and businesses that are focused on the needs of the user rather than the perceived needs of the user. A project should be designed in such a way that it addresses the needs of the people
being served. To do this, participants were encouraged to design projects with communities, not just for them.

Explore different ideas of leadership

We are the CEOs of our own lives, in addition to being a part of an organization. Participants reflected on how they showed up as leaders and what they wanted to achieve through demonstrating leadership.
The workshop featured a strategy which referenced The Bigger Game, created by Rick Tamlyn. Participants were challenged to think about the compelling purpose of their work, their hunger for advancing a certain discipline, what vision to bring on board, the investments which need to
be made, and the bold actions required to escape comfort zones.

Understand your entrepreneurial self

Participants examined a list of attitudes and behaviors which had been created with both successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs. Together they thought about where they stood against these attitudes.
They then went through the transtheoretical model, which involved moving them to a level of awareness around where they stood presently compared to thoughts of where they want to be tomorrow, and the
actions and habits needed to achieve that.

Help others understand what you do

The cultural sector can build its own stories in a way that are compelling, evocative, and more efficient than the stories which presently make up the dominant narrative. Participants went through a process of finding their story, exploring who they were, what they did and why, why having a story mattered, and who it mattered to. Participants explored the structure of their stories and the best way in which to tell them to audiences, be it with passion, rationale, or emotion.


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.

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YCI Forum Highlights Benefits of Collaboration and Exchange
Participants of the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators reflecting on their experience at the final plenary discussionParticipants of the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators reflecting on their experience at the final plenary discussion
YCI Forum Highlights Benefits of Collaboration and Exchange
By: Tomás De la Rosa 

Young cultural Innovators reflect on their takeaways from the Session

The fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators has reached a resounding conclusion with a message of unity and cooperation.

After six days at Schloss Leopoldskron, 50 of the brightest and creative minds influencing urban and social transformation in their communities have left Salzburg with ideas on how to develop their causes.
This year’s Forum involved young artists and cultural leaders representing more than 30 cities and regions.

Participants exchanged their cultures, passions, opinions, and individual talents and explored how diversity in art is perceived and how it impacts communities.

In the program’s final plenary session, facilitators Peter Jenkinson and Shelagh Wright suggested the session marked the beginning of some of the most thought-provoking conversations of the participants’ lives, something they hoped would influence participants throughout their careers.

Referring to Muhammad Ali’s poem, “Me. We,” Jenkinson and Wright explained that by raising complex issues and dilemmas, participants were pressured to think outside of their safe spaces and develop a greater sense of intimacy with those they would not normally relate with, thus improving their understanding of group dynamics.

The skills workshops and small work groups created to incentivize discussion and facilitate exchange throughout the session received high praise from participants during the closing plenary.

The exchanges throughout the final few days of the program helped refresh the participants’ vision and entrepreneurial skills. A number of participants said the experience had allowed them to enrich each other through different beliefs and approaches.

One participant said that by asking them to face challenges that could only be solved through collaboration, the session had made them more committed to working with people from different backgrounds as the variety of inputs helped them complement each other and make the challenges “not feel like such.”

Several of the facilitators described the Forum as a safe space for courage and peace where Fellows act as a bridge to the future.

Looking ahead, participants discussed potential projects to implement in their communities going forward, as well as how to strengthen the existing YCI network.

The YCI network has now grown to more than 200 creative change-makers across all continents.


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.

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Luciana Chait - We’re Losing Great Art by Turning Our Backs on People Who Lack Access to Opportunities
Luciana Chait participated in the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural InnovatorsLuciana Chait participated in the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Luciana Chait - We’re Losing Great Art by Turning Our Backs on People Who Lack Access to Opportunities
By: Mirva Villa 

AulaVereda project coordinator calls for better access to arts and education for children

For the past four years, Luciana Chait and her colleagues at AulaVereda have visited a slum in Buenos Aires twice a week. With their help, more than 30 children and teenagers have been able to develop their view of culture, art, education, and values without imposition. “We think that children are agents of change,” says Chait, speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. “They’re change-drivers, not just receivers of what adults can give them. We live in a world centered around adults, but we think children can give a lot themselves.”

Chait, a coordinator for AulaVereda,says the project aims to empower children living in vulnerable parts of the city and the surrounding area. Chait’s work primarily involves people living in a slum called Villa 31. A problematic housing situation, unemployment, and a lack of access to schools and hospitals are just some of the challenges being faced by residents. Nestled right next to the wealthiest part of Buenos Aires, the contrast is stark.

AulaVereda (Classroom-in-the-Streets) looks to provide children with the same education and cultural skills that other children have. Chait believes culture is created from the bottom-up and ordinary people have great artistic skills and ideas to encourage cultural development that needs to be brought to society.

“Usually we think of “Culture” with a capital letter, that people who have the money can pay for it and have access to it. The “culture” of the peoples – lowercase - is forgotten, and so we try to reinforce the culture and artistic skills of children and teenagers in vulnerable areas.” Chait’s passion for supporting the education of these children and youth comes from her background as a teacher.

But she also feels passionate about ensuring that great talents are not lost due to lack of opportunity.
“The world is unfair, and it needs to change; that’s for sure. We’re losing a lot of great art by turning our back on people who don’t have the time or the tools to produce, so we’re losing a lot of great artists, great painters, great singers and other skilled people because they are either too busy working or dealing with a harsh everyday life. We have to look for a way to stop losing a lot of great things in the world.”

Chait hopes that her experience at Salzburg Global will provide her with ideas on how to make the project more professional and to help it grow – not only in size but also in quality. “I’m hoping to go home with more tools to make the project grow. I’m really convinced that this project needs to be everywhere, not just in a few places… I also think that there are experiences around the world from other people that will help me enrich the project.”

Finding links and creating new connections is also valuable for Chait as she seeks to advance the growing movement concerning children’s rights. Chait says, “There is a cultural movement, and there is a child movement around the world, so children are getting organized in different ways. I think we need networking for that.”

Another aspect of education Chait is working hard to revolutionize is electronic learning, which she has been working on for a decade. Several years ago, Chait worked with the government in South Africa, helping to tackle illiteracy. Now, she is involved in a project to train community health workers in the United States to fight against issues such as diabetes in vulnerable areas.

She recently co-founded Dijon - Media and Learning Experience, a body which helps organizations and people develop electronic learning materials.

In Chait’s mind, “Technology and education could bond together to help solve the world’s problems.”


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.

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YCIs Reflect on the Best Practices for Anchor Institutions
Participants at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.Participants at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.
YCIs Reflect on the Best Practices for Anchor Institutions
By: Mirva Villa 

Panelists discuss the global challenges faced by cultural practitioners and the key strategies for anchor institutions to best serve their communities

The issues faced by cultural practitioners and the best practices for anchor cultural institutions in
communities were among the topics discussed on the third day of the
fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.

Alberta Arthurs, a multi-time Salzburg Global Fellow, and member of Salzburg Global’s Advisory Council on Culture and Arts kick-started the discussion by reflecting on today’s global challenges.

Arthurs suggested the world had recently experienced significant geopolitical and geoeconomic changes alongside the rise of new leaders. With that in mind, culture and the arts could act as unifying forces.

How to harness that power to build connections on a global scale is – in Arthurs’ view – one of the biggest challenges for today’s cultural practitioners. She said, “We need proximity, the sense of
likeness and kinship that artists and activists create across countries and borders.”

Arthurs said the cultural sector also required more research to support and advance the work people do on a practical level. Sat next to Arthurs were Karen Brooks Hopkins, president emerita at the
Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Steven A. Wolff, principal at the AMS Planning & Research Corp.

Discussing research conducted by the Anchor Cultural Institutions Project, both Hopkins and Wolff focused on the question: How can anchor cultural institutions in low-income areas and communities in transition make maximum social, economic and artistic impact?

Several conclusions were drawn from studying three U.S.-based anchor institutions: The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, AS220 on Rhode Island, and MASS MoCA in Massachusetts. Key strategies included building meaningful partnerships in the community and “speaking in one voice.” This strategy
meant having a consistent and clear message reflected in all aspects of the institution. It was also essential to remove obstacles and make room for everyone in the community.

An ideal vision of a 21st-century cultural district is one where different institutions can co-exist side by side, creating a hub consisting of all levels of arts and culture. Hopkins cited the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, England, as a successful example of cultural collaboration. The historic area consists of hundreds of jewelry stores, but also has a mix of other businesses and a vibrant community event scene, attracting visitors with tours, performances, and creative activities.

Wolff discussed further the role anchor cultural institutions play in their community. The three case studies highlighted in the research thought the most impact they had was on the city identity, diverse programming, and youth education. Wolff suggested the institutions can continue to enable cultural awareness and understanding – “things that we desperately need today.”

The presentation raised a lot of thoughts among participants on the role large anchor institutions should hold in their communities and the relationship and exchange between smaller community initiatives and more prominent organizations.


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.

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Heinrich Schellhorn Welcomes YCIs to Province of Salzburg
Heinrich Schellhorn, Minister for Social and Cultural Affairs in the Province of Salzburg, speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Young Cultural Innovators Forum.Heinrich Schellhorn, Minister for Social and Cultural Affairs in the Province of Salzburg, speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Young Cultural Innovators Forum.
Heinrich Schellhorn Welcomes YCIs to Province of Salzburg
By: Oscar Tollast 

Minister for Social and Cultural Affairs visits as YCIs reflect on resilience in the face of adversity

At different stages in our career, and in life, we can feel as if we’re running on empty – operating on little energy or with scarce resources.

During this time, the need to remain resilient takes on an even greater significance when a big decision goes against us.

Participants of the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators reflected on this thought and how to respond to setbacks during an official welcome by Heinrich Schellhorn, Minister for Social and Cultural Affairs in the Province of Salzburg.

Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer Clare Shine asked Schellhorn where he found strength and resilience in light of the Green party’s performance in Austria’s general election this past Sunday.

While Schellhorn described the result as a “bleak day,” he felt the Greens would rise again, reflecting on the “ups and downs” he had experienced in his career.

At this week’s election, the Greens gained just over three percent of the vote. Schellhorn said the party had failed to provide the right answers to the questions voters were asking.

He indicated society was changing very fast, coming to terms with globalization, immigration, and digitalization.

Schellhorn suggested “simple answers” would not solve any of the concerns but that these types of messages appealed to voters. He told participants there was a need to remain optimistic and support the values of international cooperation and an open society.

One participant asked Schellhorn for his thoughts on where progressive change would come from, suggesting the message needed to come from the bottom up.

Schellhorn agreed and said the first thing required was for politicians to listen to the people. He then told participants that a “leadership of ideas” was needed. According to Schellhorn, democracy does not always mean the voters are right; it also means leaders being able to convince voters of their ideas.

The People’s Party, headed by Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, won enough seats in the election to give the party control of parliament in a coalition.

To what extent did the election result reflect a generational way of thinking?

Schellhorn said the young generation was “very divided.” In light of a declining birth rate in Austria and an aging society, Schellhorn predicted voters aged 50 and above, however, would play the most active part in civic society in the future.

Speaking after Schellhorn, Peter Jenkinson, YCI Forum facilitator, said this year’s cohort represented a “creative army that’s deeply human” that will be part of the growth going forward. Jenkinson said, “We have to believe there is a better way and there are no barriers that can’t be overcome.”


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.

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Julius Owino - "Who's Going to Change Things If It's Not Us?"
Julius “Juliani” Owino is one of 50 participants taking part in the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural InnovatorsJulius “Juliani” Owino is one of 50 participants taking part in the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Julius Owino - "Who's Going to Change Things If It's Not Us?"
By: Mirva Villa 

Celebrated Kenyan rapper speaks about building confidence and supporting others

“Being confident in yourself and having the courage to try – we didn’t have that,” says Julius Owino, speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. “Over time,” he adds, “I built that confidence for myself... For me, it takes small actions and being deliberate… And what I learned [at the session] is having courage, too. Having [the] courage to try. So over time, you try, and you try, and it starts making sense.”

Owino (also known by his rapper name Juliani) grew up in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. It was a harsh upbringing: he would see his parents and the parents of his friends work hard every day to try and make sure there was food on the table. He was 16-years-old when he got his first good pair of shoes. He lost friends who were killed as a result of crime.

For Owino, who started creating music as a teenager, it felt at the time like there was nothing to encourage him to strive for success.

“It’s really difficult to get somebody to tell you failure is not one of the things that is celebrated. You only celebrate when you’re successful.

“When you have hope, you can take anything that day. When you get people telling you that they see something in you, even when you’re not seeing it – that’s really inspiring and gets you [going].”

For the most part, Owino had to build that self-confidence on his own. Now, having become a well-known hip-hop artist, Owino wants to support people from his childhood community.

He has already founded several initiatives, including Dandora Hip Hop City, Mymsanii, Customer Bora, and Taslim. The projects all have the same goal: to give hope to young people.

“To just tell these guys that actually, I see something in you that your reality is not showing you now, and here’s an environment for you to try to bring it out of yourself.”

Owino is one of 50 participants taking part in the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.

Among other creators and innovators from the arts and culture sector, Owino is taking part in seminars and break-out groups discussing entrepreneurship, storytelling and leadership.

By the end of the session, participants like Owino will able to develop their ideas, skills, and global networks that will help them and their causes to grow in stature.

First started in 2014 to empower and advance young change-makers, Salzburg Global’s Young Cultural Innovators network now includes more than 200 creatives all over the world.

Uniting and empowering young people is something Owino feels strongly about. He raps in Sheng – a Kenyan language mixing English, Swahili, “and any other thing that can make sense” because in
a country divided by tribes and class lines Owino says that’s one of the things that unifies people, particularly young Kenyans.

“It’s a language that keeps changing… It was created by Kenyans to break barriers when it comes to tribal issues, class issues… Sheng is one of the main things that has been able to do that,” Owino says.

Speaking to Salzburg Global on the second day of the session, Owino says he has “already gained a lot” from the experience.

“For me, even to be here with all these 50 amazing people that I’m amongst, who are doing things all over the world… and I’m just a guy from Nairobi. It has increased my confidence and my validation,” says Owino. “If I can get to do a YCI [event] in Nairobi, that would be amazing.”

“Kutabadilishwa na nani Kama si sisi” is the name of one of the songs on Owino’s first album, which translates in English as “Who will change things if it’s not us?”

The song reflects on his experiences growing up in the slums. Its message is to empower young people to take up the responsibility to improve their own lives.

“It’s easy to become the victim, and it’s easy to have that perception about yourself, that you just have to survive and die… Through faith in [myself ], I actually realized that I have a lot to offer. So that’s why I’m saying, who’s going to change things if it’s not us?” 


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.

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Developing Models for Projects, Movements and Causes to Thrive
Uffe Elbæk speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural InnovatorsUffe Elbæk speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Developing Models for Projects, Movements and Causes to Thrive
By: Oscar Tollast 

Danish politician Uffe Elbæk reveals how he established a new political movement and cultural voice

The question of whether to follow your head or heart is often a difficult one to answer. Of the options in front of you, one is usually safe, the other risky. When this situation arises in your career, it can feel as if the stakes become even higher.

When Uffe Elbæk stood down as Denmark’s minister of culture in 2012, he had faced a similar dilemma. Before his resignation, he received criticism for holding official gatherings at an organization he had previous ties to and where his husband worked at the time. 

Speaking at the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators, Elbæk said reports in the media felt like the “bad side” of House of Cards. His peers told him the period would pass, but Elbæk felt he had to make a decision. He said, “I’m happy to say I chose my love.”

Elbæk stood down from his position and the Danish Social Liberal Party, continuing in his seat as an independent. He was later cleared of any misconduct. While this was a difficult time, he made the decision that gave him the most positive energy. He said, “In the end, I asked my heart. My best guiding tool in my life has always been my heart.”

This decision would have a significant impact on Elbæk’s career. In the spring of 2013, while standing on a street corner with two of his advisors, Elbæk expressed his disappointment with Danish politics. It led to one advisor suggesting the formation of a new political party.

This led to a more detailed discussion about how this party should look and what it should be doing.

Elbæk and his colleagues followed a specific model to move from idea to realization: an idea needs purpose, values, a concept, theme, structure, and action. This process provided a way to turn the idea for a new way of politics into a reality.

The game plan, concept, and structure of the party would stand on a platform of six values: courage, humbleness, transparency, generosity, empathy, and humor. The three big challenges the movement aimed to face included the climate crisis, lack of empathy, and the systemic challenges.

In November 2013, Elbæk announced his new political party - The Alternative - to the world. Today, it has 10 MPs in the Danish Parliament and prides itself as a political movement and cultural voice.

Elbæk said the project design could be applied to small or large projects and encouraged the YCIs to reflect deeply on their own processes and values and to lead boldly from the edge.

To learn more about how The Alternative came to fruition, please click here.


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators VI is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.

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Young Cultural Innovators to Convene in Salzburg for Fourth YCI Forum
Fifty of the world's most talented young innovators will take part in a six-day program at Salzburg Global (Picture: Michal Jarmoluk)Participants at the third session of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Young Cultural Innovators to Convene in Salzburg for Fourth YCI Forum
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

YCI network expands to more than 200 creative change-makers across the world

More than 50 of the brightest creative minds catalyzing urban and social transformation in their communities will convene at Salzburg Global this weekend.

Young artists and cultural leaders representing more than 30 cities and regions will take part in the fourth session of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI).

The six-day program, which begins on Saturday, will take place at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria.

Participants will develop their vision, entrepreneurial skills, and global networks which will allow them, their organizations, and their causes to thrive in new ways.

They will do this through a series of capacity building sessions focusing on storytelling, entrepreneurial thinking, human-centered design, and comparative styles of leadership.

YCI alumni will return as facilitators and resource specialists to assist this year’s participants, providing continuity and exchange of best practice.

The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators is a 10-year project which aims to build collaborative networks for human capital and leadership development within the cultural sector.

Most participants come from YCI hubs that Salzburg Global has developed with partners in cities all around the world. These hubs form the core of the YCI multi-year program.

YCI hubs convene mini-sessions, workshops and public events and act as a local resource for emerging innovators.

In previous years, the disciplines represented by participants at these sessions have ranged from the visual and performing arts, literature, and cultural heritage, to foods, fashion, architecture, and design.

This year’s participants are arriving from Adelaide, Athens, Baltimore, Bangalore, Buenos Aires, Bristol, Cairo, Canmore, Chicago, Copenhagen, Detroit, Hanoi, Cape Town, London, Manila, Memphis, Montreal, Nairobi, New Orleans, New York, New Delhi, Ontario, Siem Riep, Salzburg, Seoul, Skidegate, Tirana, Tokyo, Toronto, Valetta, and Vientiane.

Salzburg Global Program Director Susanna Seidl-Fox said, “With the fourth Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators coming up soon, membership in our YCI network will grow to more than 200 creative change-makers across all continents. We are particularly excited to be welcoming new Forum partners from Canada, Malta, and Kenya this year.  

“The YCI Forum connects and supports cultural leaders working at the intersection of the arts, civic innovation, and social transformation. Our world needs the creativity, energy, vision, and passion that these young leaders bring to their communities now more than ever. And they, in turn, can benefit greatly from the ongoing support, encouragement, and network that the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators provides.”


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the session can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.

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In the Spotlight: How Can the Public Sector Excel Under Changing Dynamics?
In the Spotlight: How Can the Public Sector Excel Under Changing Dynamics?
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Report from the Public Sector Strategy Round Table addresses constraints and opportunities for the sector's future

Rapid global transformations place governments under intense pressure to perform to ever-higher expectations at a time of shrinking public budgets. Populations are aging, countries are urbanizing, and technology is transforming the future of work. Many citizens have lost trust in the ability of public officials to cope – let alone to excel – under these changing dynamics and constant media scrutiny.

How can governments transform their culture and operations to address such challenges and disruptions? What radical changes lie ahead for the design, delivery and funding of core public services? What is the role of government in helping to change mindsets and prepare citizens for the “new normal”?

It was these questions and more that a high-level group of politicians, civil servants, and private sector experts came together in Salzburg to answer at the sixth meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Round Table. The report from this session - In the Spotlight: How Can the Public Sector Excel Under Changing Dynamics? - is now available to read, download and share. 

The report addresses three key concerns raised by the participants:

Urgency

The dramatic pace of change and the growing number of disruptive influences are creating a situation wherein governments need to be prepared for challenges they do not yet understand or even know will exist. Three particular areas of unknowns with which governments are grappling are future-proofing societies for changes to jobs and skills; harnessing advances in technology to deliver public services more effectively; and increasing tax revenues from new forms of economic activity.

Trust

Levels of trust in government institutions and elected officials have dropped to unprecedented lows, restricting the public sector’s ability to innovate and take risks with new approaches. A shrinking tax base, combined with rising expectations from citizens and the need to balance demands for greater transparency with effective communication techniques are putting on a strain on states’ ability to uphold their end of the social contract.

Complexity

Finally, the public sector must employ a complex array of responses and strategies to cope with this environment, whether through adapting internal structures, undertaking large-scale efficiency reviews, establishing new external partnerships or experimenting with new policy intervention approaches. 

Interviews

The report also includes several interview features, offering participants' insights on private sector innovation and risk-taking in the public sector, e-governance in Estonia, peace-building priorities in Colombia, and the need to "humanize" governments. All these interviews and more can also all be read on the session page.

Looking ahead

The intensive two-day session concluded with an agreement to transform the Round Table into a more formalized Public Sector Strategy Network. The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, Salzburg Global Seminar, apolitical, and other partners are now taking the next steps to develop the terms of reference for the Network. You can read more about the plans for this new Network in the report. 

Inquiries about how to become a member of this new Public Sector Strategy Network should be directed to Salzburg Global Program Director, Charles E. Ehrlich: cehrlich[at]SalzburgGlobal.org

Read the report online.

Download the Report as a PDF.

Order a print copy: press[at]SalzburgGlobal.org


Salzburg Global Seminar convened the sixth meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Round Table – “In the Spotlight: How Can the Public Sector Excel Under Changing Dynamics?” - in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and apolitical, and with the support of Chatham House. More information on the session can be found here.

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