Reports and Publications

All Salzburg Global reports are available to read online in our Issuu Library

Contested Histories in Public Spaces: Principles, Processes, Best Practices
Contested Histories in Public Spaces: Principles, Processes, Best Practices
By: IHJR, IBA and Salzburg Global Seminar 

Join the virtual launch of landmark publication, produced in cooperation between Salzburg Global Seminar, the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation and the International Bar Association

The virtual launch of the eBook Contested Histories in Public Spaces: Principles, Processes, Best Practices will be held on Thursday, February 11 (18:00 – 19:00 CET).

The publication is the first volume of case studies to be produced through Contested Histories in Public Spaces, a multi-year initiative intended to address controversies over statues, memorials, street names and other representations of disputed historical legacies in public spaces. It is a joint project between the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation (IHJR), the International Bar Association and Salzburg Global Seminar. The IHJR was founded at Salzburg Global Seminar and is now a research center at EuroClio.

The initiative seeks to provide decision-makers, policy planners, educators, and other stakeholders with a set of case studies, best practices and guidelines for addressing historical contestations in an effective and responsible manner. As of February 2021, the initiative has identified more than 230 cases of contested histories in public spaces.

The landmark publication is intended for policymakers confronting controversies over historical legacies in public spaces like statues, memorials and street names. It presents ten case studies and discusses their significance, interpretations and possible remedies – placarding, resignification and repurposing, to relocation, removal, or destruction. Iconic examples are disputes over Christopher Columbus, Edward Colston, Robert E Lee, and Cecil Rhodes, among others.

The webinar will be chaired by Timothy W Ryback, Director and Co-founder, Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation. Opening and introductory remarks will be provided by Mark Ellis, Executive Director of the International Bar Association, and Baroness Usha Prashar, CBE, PC, a crossbench member of the House of Lords, and chair of the Contested Histories Task Force, with closing remarks by Benjamin Glahn, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Salzburg Global Seminar.

Participants will hear from the volumes’ co-editors, along with practitioners and scholars. Speakers will include His Excellency Lamberto Zannier, former OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities; Harriet Senie, member of the New York City Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers; Shahid Vawda, Professor of African and Gender Studies, University of Cape Town; Lecia Brooks, Chief of Staff, Southern Poverty Law Center; Joanna Burch-Brown, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at University of Bristol, and commissioner for the "We Are Bristol" History Commission (Bristol), Marti Burgess, lawyer and Chair of Black South West Networkl and Klaus Kraatz, Vice-Chair of the IBA's Art, Cultural Institutions and Heritage Law Committee.

Register for the book launch webinar here:

What Future for Festivals?
What Future for Festivals?
By: Susanna Seidl-Fox 

“We need festivals – now more than ever!” declares Salzburg Global report on the current state and what comes next for the beleaguered sector, post-pandemic 

One hundred years ago at Schloss Leopoldskron, Max Reinhardt, Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal founded the world-renowned Salzburg Festival as a “Festival of Peace” to transform “the whole town into one stage.” To celebrate this centenary so inextricably linked with our home – Schloss Leopoldskron – Salzburg Global Seminar originally scheduled the program What Future for Festivals? for March 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was postponed to October and subsequently moved online due to continuing travel restrictions and health regulations.

Little did we know while developing the session in 2019, just how compelling and urgent the question at the center of our program – what future for festivals? – would be. Few sectors have been hit as hard by the pandemic as the cultural sector, with festivals being particularly vulnerable to the fallout from the compounded global crises – not just COVID-19, but also the climate crisis, and worldwide social and economic upheaval.

We know that festivals of all types and sizes have energized communities since time immemorial. Rooted in rituals, stories and faiths, they have embodied local and indigenous cultures and celebrated deep bonds to nature, land and the seasons. Modern festivals range from intimate experiments to gigantic mega-events, showcasing ever more diverse creative practices, from the performing, visual, and traditional arts to photography, film, literature, street arts, food, light, design and ideas-based, future-focused, eco-inspired events. Whatever their intended focus – creative innovation, activism, city branding, wellbeing, community building, pure entertainment – festivals have always spoken to fundamental human needs. They have allowed us to share in a density and intensity experience, revel in specialness beyond day-to-day routines, and join – as the German word “Festspiele” infers – in “celebration and play.”

But what is the future of festivals as we look ahead to continuing travel constraints, unpredictable limitations on public events, and looming economic crises? And, even with COVID-19 vaccines now forthcoming in some parts of the world, how will both the festival landscape and festival goers themselves have changed in the interim? How will festivals adapt and cope with these altered circumstances? These and many other questions were at the center of our online discussions in October and November 2020.

This report and the accompanying series of thought-pieces authored by several program participants (to be published weekly from February to April 2021) share reflections on the past year and insights on the challenging path ahead for festivals. While we identified even more questions than answers during our conversations, one thing is certain: we need festivals now more than ever. The coronavirus pandemic has brought into sharp relief that festivals are not just “nice to have” – we must have them to thrive and not just survive.

Human beings need to gather, to celebrate, they need their spirits to soar, to witness artistic genius, to feel chills and goosebumps run down their spines, to revel in the thrill of live performance and shared experience, to clap and be applauded, to amaze and be amazed, to laugh, shout, and be joyful together.

Without such experiences we may function, but we will not be truly alive.

Download the report as a PDF

Moving from Me to We Online in Times of COVID-19
Moving from Me to We Online in Times of COVID-19
By: Faye Hobson & Louise Hallman 

The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators moves fully online for 2020 - embracing both the challenges and opportunities of online convening

Communities around the world are facing radical social, environmental, political, and economic disruption, while confronting complex challenges that range from the COVID-19 pandemic to structural inequity and racism, outdated systems of education and work, and climate change.

Shaping a creative, just and sustainable world calls for action at all levels and collaboration across many sectors. We need bold ideas and innovation to build a more vibrant and resilient arts sector that can advance inclusive economic development, positive social change, and urban transformation for livable cities. The cultural sector is essential to regenerate and energize societies, but artists and creative innovators have never been in a more precarious situation. This is especially true of members of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum), many of whom have been severely impacted by lost income as a result of venue closures and cancelled work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Against this stark background, the 2020 programs and activities of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators – from the emergency grants and half-day regional programs in the spring through to the ambitious 10-day program and the follow-on Workshop Week and Hub Huddles in the fall – have all sought to connect, support, empower and inspire this growing global network of emerging creative leaders.

Moving from in-person to online convening presented challenges but in responding to those challenges creatively and innovatively, a great many opportunities were harnessed and successes achieved.

Read all about the YCI Forum in this year's report A Global Platform for Creative, Just and Sustainable Futures:


First Book from New Series Explores Social and Emotional Learning in the Mediterranean
A red apple is balanced on top of some school books. Next to it on the right are some coloring pencils and A B C building blocks.Image: Element5 Digital/Unsplash
First Book from New Series Explores Social and Emotional Learning in the Mediterranean
By: Josh Wilde 

Publication explores how countries in the Mediterranean basin are stimulating SEL and what can be learned

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is crucial in teaching skills such as self-awareness, problem-solving, and empathy, prerequisite traits for positive development in an era of substantial social, economic, and technological change.

SEL has become a valuable tool in tackling challenges faced by countries in the Mediterranean basin, including violence and forced displacement, which can hinder quality education delivery.

The first volume in the Brill | Sense series on Comparative Education in the Mediterranean, Social and Emotional Learning in the Mediterranean: Cross Cultural Perspectives and Approaches, is a pioneering publication that explores how this region is stimulating SEL, the barriers to its implementation, and what can be learned. It aims to raise awareness of effective practices and critically reflect on challenges with recommendations for policy-makers, intervention, and future research.

The book features a diverse range of contributors from both within the Mediterranean region and further afield. They include series editor Ronald Sultana and volume editors Carmel Cefai, Salzburg Global Seminar Program Director Dominic Regester, and Leyla Akoury Dirani. 

Salzburg Global is proud to have facilitated an SEL session with many authors that fostered this volume idea.

Speaking on Monday at the latest program, Social and Emotional Learning in the Mediterranean Region, part of Salzburg Global’s Education for Tomorrow’s World series, Cefai explained there is now a consensus on how SEL varies across different contexts.

“Research evidence shows high-quality programs which have been very effective in one context did not travel: when they were implemented in other contexts they were not effective at all,” Cefai said.

“Rather than trying to carve out a new niche for SEL in a curriculum which is already overloaded, it might be more feasible, practical, and culturally sensitive to make use of existing overlapping structures and try to introduce SEL on the back of that existing framework.

“One issue which I think SEL can be helpful with is to promote and advance children’s rights and children’s voice. Children themselves will have the opportunity through SEL to talk about what they would like to see in their education.”

This volume is dedicated to Samar El Ahmadieh from Lebanon, one of the authors who sadly passed away during the publication process.

Other contributors include: Claudine Aziz, Özden Bademci, Marc Brackett, Roxane Caires, Valeria Cavioni, Yvonne El Feghaly, Nahla Harb, Maria Kalli, Wael Kazan, Amina Kleit, Nagwa Megahed, Gihan Osman, Amor Ouelbani, Maria Poulou, Anwar Hussein-Abdel Razeq, Rémie Rhayem, Katia Terriot, Carly Tubbs Dolan, and Emmanuelle Vignoli.

The book is available to purchase here from the Brill Publishers website.

Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined: Special Edition E-Book
Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined: Special Edition E-Book
By: Ana C. Rold 

Salzburg Global Seminar and partners - WISE and Diplomatic Courier - launch e-book covering school responses to the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic

It is no longer news that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about massive disruption to the education ecosystem—to the learners, teachers, school leaders, parents, and policymakers alike. The changes have been so pervasive, fast-moving, and frequent that one could blink and miss them. After all, there have only been few instances in human history when disruption at this magnitude happened in the span of less than a year.

Since early February, more than a billion students have been out of school—some of them will not be able to return. UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently called this a “generational catastrophe” and indeed, some of the gains we have made in the past 25 years through the Millennium Development Goals and now the Sustainable Development Goals, were erased just in the first five months of the pandemic.

But this is not a story of despair. This is a story of resilience and hope.

The special edition e-book—Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined: Responses from education’s frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond—launched on September 21, was produced in real time, as Salzburg Global Seminar, in partnership with WISE, convened key stakeholders and education leaders from over 98 countries in a three-part series of global conferences aimed at bringing the global education community together. The result is a contemporary historical record of how schools, NGOs, governments, and international organizations responded to school closures during the crisis and how they are attempting to use this crisis as a springboard to reimagine—and even transform—education in their communities and countries.

Key stakeholders on education’s frontline during the crisis, including from schools, NGOs, governments, and international organizations, contributed over 40 articles and essays, documenting the experiences, struggles, successes, and innovations of key institutions on education’s frontline.

From documenting the crisis in real-time to offering short- and long-term solutions, one question remains now: what’s next; what will change?

The e-book offers an opportunity to a global audience to make sense of what happened but it also offers a breeding ground of ideas from some of the world’s top education thinkers. It is the editors’ sincere hope that through this publication we provide the education community with a reference point from the crisis from which future research, policy, and innovation can grow. 

“It is our hope that this publication will provide the education community with a reference point from the crisis from which future research, policy, and innovation can grow,” said Dr. Asmaa Al-Fadala, editor of the publication and Director of Research and Content Development at WISE and multi-time Salzburg Global Fellow.

Salzburg Global Program Director for the series, Education for Tomorrow's World, Dominic Regester said: “In in many ways this e-book acts as a record of education responses to the disruption caused by the first phase of the pandemic. It also contains some compelling visions of achievable changes to education systems that would produce more equitable outcomes that are more relevant to 21st century lives. The pandemic has reiterated how important school is to young people and their families and has also shown many ways in which the experience of school can change.” He added: “This feels like the beginning of a much longer term project between WISE and Salzburg Global Seminar and we are excited to be a part of it.” 

Contributors include:

  • Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al-Thani
  • The Right Honorable Gordon Brown
  • Marc A. Brackett
  • Andreas Schleicher
  • Stefania Giannini
  • Manos Antoninis
  • Olli-Pekka Heinonen

Download the e-book here: 

Confronting Power and Privilege for Inclusive, Equitable and Healthy Communities
Image: Erin White/Unsplash
Confronting Power and Privilege for Inclusive, Equitable and Healthy Communities
By: Ascala Sisk and Salzburg Global Fellows 

Salzburg Global Fellows set out a call to interrogate power and analyze privilege to create and sustain healthy communities 

This article is part of the British Medical Journal's Building Healthy Communities collection.

According to the World Health Organization, inclusive, healthy and just communities are places that continually create and improve the physical and social environment to enable all people to be mutually supportive in all functions of life and to develop their maximum potential.[1] It is suggested that only 16% of health outcomes are determined by the quality and availability of health care; and the social and economic determinants of health, including where people live play a more significant role.[2]

This goes beyond the quality of physical structures in the urban environment or the space inside a home. It is about understanding neighbourhood conditions and the availability and quality of other determinants of health, such as employment, healthy food, childcare, schools, transport and recreation space. We know geographic disparities in health, which often fall along lines of ethnicity and socioeconomic status, are growing and can exist even between people living in adjacent neighbourhoods.[3] Health professionals and urban development practitioners therefore have an important role to play to ensure the practices and processes governing the design and development of our urban environment are inclusive and equitable for all and ultimately contribute to improved population health.

A Call to Action: Interrogate Power and Analyze Privilege to Create and Sustain Healthy Communities

The scale of current and potential inequalities in the urban environment demands a revolution of purpose and accountability. The challenges we face in building and sustaining healthy and equitable communities demand new forms of thinking, problem solving, governance, and decision making. Most importantly, it requires that we learn the skills of interrogating power and analysing privilege. 

Whether resources do, or do not, flow to communities is a direct product of both individual and institutional power. Power is defined as the ability to direct laws, policies, and investment that shape people’s lives. Privilege is the accumulation of benefits of special rights. Both power and privilege have been extracted and hoarded, consciously or not, by certain groups at the expense of others based on social categorisations including, but not limited to, class, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, and gender.[4,5,6]

We call on health professionals, planners, public servants, developers, financiers, and engineers – in fact, all practitioners working at the intersection of health and the built environment – to shift their normal course of business towards adopting practices that recognise privilege and cede power. This requires pushing against conscious and unconscious practices and the societal beliefs and norms that marginalise, exclude and perpetuate inequity. We charge this community of practitioners to dismantle the structures, systems and practices that reinforce inequity. Even with best intentions, data-driven interventions, and evidence-based improvements, we will inadvertently perpetuate inequities and widen disparities if we are not conscious of our own power and the power structures within which we work.

We know that power and privilege can be complex and sometimes overwhelming concepts, but we can and must engage with them. We have proposed steps below for health professionals, policy makers and urban development practitioners and other stakeholders to begin the journey. We make this call to action to fundamentally shift the way we plan, build, program, advocate, and legislate our communities to ensure the health and quality of life for all. While it may seem a daunting task to connect this aspirational call to on-the-ground practice, we urge that this not be a reason for inaction since “professional silence in the face of social injustice is wrong.”[7]

Steps for Examining Power and Privilege in Support of Healthy and Inclusive Communities

1. Create and/or seek out “Brave Spaces” to explore the role of power in your work

Confronting power and its role in our work begins by creating “Brave Spaces”. Brave spaces are intentional environments and settings that facilitate the courageous, uncomfortable, and honest exploration of social categorizations such as physical ability, race, ethnicity, class, and gender identity and the privilege or marginalisation that is extended to individuals based on these categorizations.[8

Brave spaces are created and maintained by a transparent commitment to practices that allow difference and celebrate new forms of action and strategy. You create brave spaces when you:

  • Speak your truth and listen deeply to the truth that others speak
  • Learn the truth about historical trauma and accept its impact on yourself and those you serve
  • Understand and honour your own experience and the experiences of others in equal measure
  • Bring your vulnerability to the table and create the space for others to be vulnerable
  • Invite yourself to make mistakes and be generous with the mistakes of others 
  • Acknowledge the limits of expertise – an expert frame can shut down learning 
  • Hold yourself and others accountable to practices that affirm diversity and inclusion

2. Understand the role that power plays in your current work

Within the brave space created above, consider as an urban developer, policy maker or health professional, a program, policy initiative, or other effort that you are working on to improve the physical, social and economic conditions of communities and ask the following:

  • What is the problem I’m trying to solve?
  • What decisions, policies, and practices have historically contributed to the problem? What is the root cause of the problem?
  • What is the formal and informal, the visible and invisible, decision-making or governance structure shaping the problem?
  • What would it look like if the problem is solved?
  • Who consistently benefits from the problem not being solved?
  • Who consistently suffers from the problem not being solved?
  • Are the people most affected by this problem represented in the decision-making process?
  • In seeking data, what sources of data are considered legitimate, and by whom? Are there credible sources that are being suppressed or dismissed because the power structure has deemed them unreliable?

3. Analyze and Challenge Privilege

Privilege is the accumulation of benefits of special rights, often over time, to a certain group. Think about your work and your role in your community of practice and ask:

  • What are the areas of life in which you hold privilege?
  • Despite your work to change outcomes, what remains the same?
  • Despite changes in the wider professional or sociopolitical context, what remains the same?
  • What are the cycles, actions, and processes we repeat regardless of the outcome?
  • Does a new protocol or procedure worsen or help existing disparities?

Privilege often shows itself when the status quo is challenged. When such a challenge is presented, and conflict ensues, ask yourself:

  • Who or what is blamed for the conflict in the narrative describing the challenge?
  • Who or what is sacrificed to resolve the conflict?
  • Are there any patterns that you can observe?
  • If the problem was “resolved”, did the group or process return to the norm or status quo? 
  • Who or what restores things to what they were before the conflict?

Download the Salzburg Statement on Confronting Power and Privilege for Inclusive, Equitable and Healthy Communities as a PDF


Ascala Sisk, Deputy Director, Center for Community Investment, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; Odetta MacLeish-White, Managing Director, TransFormation Alliance; Vedette Gavin, Principle, Verge Impact Partners; Tamika Butler, Director, Equity and Inclusion and Director of CA Planning, Toole Design; Liz Ogbu, Founder + Principal, Studio O; Veronica O. Davis, P.E., Managing Partner, Nspiregreen LLC; Nupur Chaudhury, Program Officer, New York State Health Foundation, Urbanist in Residence, University of Orange; Sharon Roerty, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Hanaa Hamdi, Director of Health Impact Investment Strategies and Partnerships, New Jersey Community Capital; Kelly Worden, Director, Health Research, U.S. Green Building Council; Noxolo Kabane, Deputy Director, Western Cape Department of Human Settlements; Shelly Poticha, Managing Director, Natural Resources Defense Council; and Hedzer Pathuis, Strategic Project Manager, City of Utrecht.


We would like to thank the all sixty-five fellows who participated in Salzburg Global Seminar program Building Healthy, Equitable Communities: The Role of Inclusive Urban Development and Investment, whose vast and varied experience helped to shape our call to action. We’d also like to thank Salzburg Global Seminar and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for creating the space to make connections and cultivate bold ideas.


  1. World Health Organization “Health Promotion Glossary” (2006)
  2. Hood, C. M., K. P. Gennuso, G. R. Swain, and B. B. Catlin. 2016. County health rankings: Relationships between determinant factors and health outcomes. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 50(2):129-135.
  3. Woolf, Steven and Braveman, Paula. 2011. Where Health Disparities Begin: The Role of Social and Economic Determinants – and Why Current Policies May Make Matter Worse. Health Affairs, Vol. 30, No. 10: Agenda for Fighting Disparities,
  4. Project Change’s “The Power of Words” Originally produced for Project Change Lessons Learned II, also included in A Community Builder’s Toolkit – both produced by Project Change and The Center for Assessment and Policy Development with some modification Racial Equity 
  5. McIntosh, Peggy. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Wellesley Centers for Women, Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity. 
  6. Hobbs, Joseph. White Privilege in Health Care: Following Recognition with Action. Ann Fam Med. 2018 May; 16(3): 197-198. 
  7. Berwick, Donald M., MD, MPP. Moral Choices for Today’s Physicians, JAMA. 2017; 318(21):2081-2082. 
  8. Arao, Brian, Clemens, Kristi. From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces, a new way to frame dialogue and diversity and social justice. 2013, Stylus Publishing, LLC. 
Cultural Innovation, Leadership and Collaboration: A Global Platform
Cultural Innovation, Leadership and Collaboration: A Global Platform
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Latest report from the Young Cultural Innovators Forum now online to download, read and share

Many cities and regions around the world are facing radical environmental, social, political, and economic transformation, confronting challenges such as climate change, social injustice, the need for educational reform, and growing economic disparities. Addressing these challenges takes action at all levels and in collaboration across multiple different sectors.

Recognizing that some of the most imaginative solutions at the local and community levels are found in the arts and culture sector, where young cultural innovators are helping to drive change, Salzburg Global Seminar launched the Young Cultural Innovators Forum (YCI Forum) in 2014 to connect and empower a critical mass of talented change-makers across the world to shape a more creative, just and sustainable world.

In October 2019, 50 new members joined this growing global network of cultural changemakers and creative practitioners, by taking part in the sixth program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators – Cultural Innovation, Leadership and Collaboration: A Global Platform.

Supported by local partner organizations and individual philanthropists, the newest members of the YCI Forum came to Salzburg from 17 countries including Austria, Canada, India, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Malta, Philippines, South Africa, the UK, and the USA, and represented diverse artistic disciplines from the visual and performing arts, literature, and cultural heritage, to foods, fashion, architecture, and design. As ever, all participants were aged between 25-35 with at least two years of professional experience in the arts or cultural sector and a demonstrable passion for creating social change within their community.

YCI Program Director Susanna Seidl-Fox said, “By connecting this next generation of creative changemakers, Salzburg Global aims to support and strengthen the evolving cultural ecosystem, catalyze cross-sectoral connections, and expand the possibilities for civic innovation and social improvement through the power and creativity of the arts worldwide.”

Continuity and Co-creation

For the first time, the Forum also saw a large number of existing members of the YCI network from previous years’ programs return as facilitators, who helped co-create the program along with the long-serving faculty and Salzburg Global staff. 

Faye Hobson, YCI Program Manager, said, “The goals of the program in Salzburg are to welcome the new YCIs into the YCI Forum network, connect them with each other, and provide opportunities for them to reflect on their own practice, as well as on their role in their community, in their city or region, and as part of the YCI network worldwide. This year the YCI Forum is being co-created by Salzburg Global, the YCI facilitation team, and members of the YCI Forum network. We believe that co-creation taps into the collective insight and potential of groups, and is especially effective when bringing together YCIs from around the world who are facing common challenges in their work to generate breakthrough solutions that shape a better world.”

The annual week-long residential program at Schloss Leopoldskron, home of Salzburg Global Seminar, is designed to help participants develop the dynamic vision, practical skills, and global networks they need to bridge divides, expand collaboration, and transform systems at the local, regional, and global levels. The program combines theory and praxis, with capacity building sessions focusing on communicating value, principles of self-organization, cross-sectoral collaboration, and leadership and values. This 2019 program was also aligned with several Sustainable Development Goals. Participants examined how people within the arts and cultural sector can create sustainable cities and communities as well as positive innovation for the future.

Now entering its seventh year, the YCI Forum is growing and nurturing a dynamic international network that catalyzes an expanding range of local and cross-border collaborations. The Forum represents a major, ten-year commitment by Salzburg Global Seminar to fostering creative innovation and social entrepreneurship for more inclusive and sustainable development. 

This new report does give an overview of each of the programmatic elements in Salzburg, but the majority of the report includes interviews with and accounts directly from YCI Fellows about why they value the program. An account of the ongoing “Contested Histories” project, sparked by a protest at the 2018 YCI Forum, is also included.

Download the report as a PDF

The 2019 program of the Young Cultural Innovators Forum was held in partnership with Adena and David Testa, Arts Council Korea, Arts Council Malta, the Bush Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, Japan Foundation, the Korea Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Nippon Foundation, Sheika Salama Bint Hamdan al Nahyan Foundation, Shalini Passi Art Foundation, and World Culture Open.  

The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends
The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Latest report from the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) symposium now online to read, download and share

The USA has never had so many sources with which to inform itself and the world. But while the options of how to consume news are broadening, consumers’ views are narrowing. The rise of 24-hour TV news channels, hyperpartisan advertising and social media is widening cultural, political, and social divides in the United States.

In addition to its traditional communications goal of informing and shaping domestic and worldwide understanding, and alongside the three traditional branches of government – the executive, legislature, and judiciary – the media has become a more active and significant institutional political part of an increasingly polarized America. What does the future hold?

A new report explores the challenges faced by the media in America and around the world, summarizing the rich discussions and insights shared across the four-day program, The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends.

Download the Report as a PDF

For four days in September 2019, 49 media academics and educators, political scientists, journalists, communications specialists and Americanist generalists from 27 countries tackled the changing role of the media in American life and culture, exploring the past and emerging trends, at the 2019 symposium of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) at Schloss Leopoldskron, the historic home of Salzburg Global Seminar.

The intensive symposium included thematic presentations and panel-led discussions by distinguished speakers and participants, as well as small in-depth discussion groups to maximize cross-sector interaction with everyone present. 

The report was written by Nicola Mann. Mann is an associate professor of visual cultures and communications at Richmond, the American International University in London. Informed by urban culture studies and community activism, her current research considers dominant visualisations of London’s Heygate council estate in light of recent regeneration efforts. Through analysis of television shows including Top Boy (Channel 4), Nicola addresses the ways in which the estate is mythologized in popular visual culture as a racially- and politically-charged site that deserves to be demolished. Nicola has contributed her work to a number of publications including Afterimage, Aesthetica, Invisible Culture, and she recently released an edited volume along with Charlotte Bonham-Carter titled, Rhetoric, Social Value and the Arts: But how Does it Work? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). She holds a master’s degree in painting from the Royal College of Art, London, UK and a Ph.D. in visual and cultural studies from the University of Rochester, New York, USA. She is a Fellow of Salzburg Global Seminar.

Friend or Foe: How Should Directors Face Disruptive Risk?
Friend or Foe: How Should Directors Face Disruptive Risk?
By: Louise Hallman 

Report from the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum offers insights and guidance on how corporate directors can understand and respond to emerging risks

In today’s tumultuous world, corporations face conflicting and unsettling forces. Geopolitics collide with economics, new competitors disrupt industries, and the changing nature of shareholders challenges traditional concepts of corporate stewardship. Looking forward, directors need the right skills and tools to improve risk literacy and resilience of their companies.

The Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum – through its fifth annual program, Friend or Foe: How Should Directors Face Disruptive Risk? – sought to address some of these challenges. Bringing perspectives and experience spanning 13 countries, an international and intergenerational cohort of 35 company directors, lawyers, policymakers, investors, academics, and representatives of key civil society interest groups explored how directors can identify both the challenges and opportunities of disruptive risk, achieve resilience, and navigate an increasingly complicated landscape.

Critical Thinking

The Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum was launched in 2015 to enable critical thinking and discussion on the changing roles and responsibilities of directors across jurisdictions and cultures.

This new report – Friend or Foe: How Should Directors Face Disruptive Risk? – aims to capture those discussions and share them beyond the candid yet closed discussions of Schloss Leopoldskron and the Corporate Governance Forum. 

Authored by Kayla Winarsky Green, adviser in the Human Rights and Business department of the Danish Institute for Human Rights and with contributions from Melissa Obegi, Asia general counsel for Bain Capital, based in Hong Kong; Stephanie Bertels, director of the Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainability at the Beedie School of Business of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada; and Robert H. Mundheim, of counsel to Shearman & Sterling LLP, the report includes recommendations, takeaways, and questions focused on three key areas:

  1. Understanding Emerging Disruptive Risk
  2. Constructing a Modern Board
  3. Exploring the Shifting Role of the Corporation

Throughout the report, readers can find helpful breakout boxes offering guidance on such topics as Guiding Questions for Managing Disruptive Risks, Indicators of a Coming Scandal, Responses to Risk Indicators, and Skills or Characteristics to Consider for a Diverse Board.

Accompanying the report are a selection of articles written by Fellows of the Corporate Governance Forum for the monthly series The Salzburg Questions for Corporate Governance.

The report is now available to download, read and share:

Download the report as a PDF

The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Friend or Foe: How Should Directors Face Disruptive Risk? is part of the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum annual program. The program is held in partnership with the CLP Group and supported by Barclays, BNY Mellon, and Elliott.

What Future for Cultural Heritage? Perceptions, Problematics and Potential
What Future for Cultural Heritage? Perceptions, Problematics and Potential
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Report from the latest program in the Culture, Arts and Society series explores perceptions of the past, problematics of the present and potential for the future

How we think about the past and ourselves determines how we understand the present and how we build for the future. Cultural heritage shapes how we see the world. It influences the philosophy of societies and impacts education. It is based on knowledges, perceptions and contexts. Cultural heritage connects people to their histories, languages, values, traditions and lifestyles. It informs who we are as human beings and shapes our identities.

In today’s volatile world, links to the past and to place have become more tenuous and contested, and threats to cultural heritage – both tangible and intangible – are extremely difficult to counter. Against this complex backdrop, the Salzburg Global Seminar program What Future for Cultural Heritage? Perceptions, Problematics and Potential asked what cultural heritage actually means to different people and regions, especially in the digital era, and why it is more important than ever to preserve, enhance and share cultural heritage through all available means.

The March 2019 program, part of the long-running Culture, Arts and Society series, brought together creative thinkers and groundbreaking practitioners from around the world to reflect on and critique current approaches to cultural heritage, and to explore new frontiers in heritage innovation and collaboration.

The report from this program is now available online to read, download and share.

Download the PDF

Participants engaged in a highly interactive program that included plenary discussions and smaller work groups, curated conversations, informal interactions, knowledge exchanges, and practical group work. The program was structured along a continuum of inquiry, with three main focus areas:

Perceptions of the Past

Together and sometimes in contention with each other, participants interrogated the historical frames through which cultural heritage is viewed and how such predetermined frames color the view and value of cultural heritage. Discussions included reflections on ownership of knowledge, heritage and identity, and the exiting notions of tangible and intangible heritage.

Problematics of the Present 

The second strand of the program sought to explore the broader social and political contexts surrounding cultural heritage and to address ways to tackle the manifold threats to cultural heritage including climate change, overtourism, conflict, and a general lack of resources. Discussions addressed issues including restitution, the intentional destruction of heritage, and sustainable development.

Potential for the Future

Participants then transitioned to identifying some concrete and creative recommendations to energize the field in the face of its enormous challenges including intergenerational engagement and establishing connections between cultural heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

This report presents the key points of discussion, debate and learning from the Salzburg program, as well as recommendations developed by the participants.

What Future for Cultural Heritage? Perceptions, Problematics, and Potential is the latest program in Salzburg Global’s Culture, Arts and Society series. The program is being held in partnership with the Edward T. Cone Foundation, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Fulbright Greece, and the Korea Foundation. For more information on the program, please click here.

Salzburg Global Launches New Magazine
Copies of the first issue of Clemens on a tableThe inaugural issue of Clemens
Salzburg Global Launches New Magazine
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

First edition of Clemens offers opinions, big ideas, and special features on ways of shaping a better world

The inaugural issue of a new Salzburg Global magazine is now available to download, read, and share.

Clemens is a new publication which aims to capture opinions and big ideas shaping a better world. The first issue explores cultural innovation in Salzburg, social and emotional learning, the fourth Industrial Revolution, and one man's dream to make London a National Park City.

The magazine is named after Clemens Heller, the visionary founder of what is known today as Salzburg Global Seminar.

Introducing Clemens, Stephen L. Salyer, president and chief executive officer of Salzburg Global Seminar, said, "More than 70 years on, we continue to salute Clemens, the young Austrian with a dream he was determined to realize. And we celebrate his progeny, tens of thousands of young idealists, activists, innovators and leaders – Salzburg Global Fellows – who have followed in his footsteps....

"In these pages you'll meet people like Clemens determined to realize their dreams: survivors of the genocide in Rwanda and the child of Holocaust survivors instilling tolerance and pluralism in young Africans (page 15); an Indian lawyer using theater to change hearts and minds towards LGBT people (page 22) and an American lawyer determined to use the courts to shake the world out of its climate change complacency (page 32); a "guerrilla geographer" turning London into a national park (page 21); a Chilean tech entrepreneur forgoing riches to lead a government innovation lab (page 26); and young cultural innovators proving there's more to Salzburg than Mozart and The Sound of Music (page 11)...

"Clemens called that first summer at Schloss Leopoldskron a 'risky experiment.' The magazine that bears his name is exactly that too. Let us know what you think (email, and help ensure our next edition is worth picking up."

Download the first edition of Clemens

Clemens is also available on Issuu. If you would like a print version of the publication, please email for more information.

Agility for an Accelerating World: Can Governments Keep Up?
Agility for an Accelerating World: Can Governments Keep Up?
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Latest report from the Public Sector Strategy Network now available to download, read and share

In a fast-moving world, governments need to become more agile to rethink public service and envision institutions fit for new challenges and disruptions. How will innovations in technology affect governance? What are the opportunities presented, or challenges anticipated – are they fundamentally different from those in the past? Can they be dealt with through the same governance mechanisms or do we need to construct different mechanisms? What tools do public servants need to master to be fully equipped? 

The 2019 Annual Foresight Retreat of the Public Sector Strategy Network, held at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria, answered all these questions and more. This year’s Annual Foresight Retreat, entitled Agility for an Accelerating World: Can Governments Keep Up?, saw 30 senior public sector leaders from 19 countries gather at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria, exploring these challenges, exchanging their own experiences with each other, and enhancing international relationships across the strategic policy community. As ever, these senior leaders were able to speak openly among peers, focusing on the major disruptive forces confronting governments over the next 10-20 years. The program examined effective planning strategies to face those disruptive forces. 

The latest report of the Public Sector Strategy Network consists of:

  • A summary of the discussions at the Annual Foresight Retreat accompanied by:
    • Short case studies and examples shared in Salzburg;
    • Links and resources provided by Network partner Apolitical;
  • A longer case study provided by the Civil Service College of Singapore;
  • A series of interviews with Public Sector Strategy Network members conducted by Salzburg Global Seminar; and
  • A conclusion from Salzburg Global Program Director Charles Ehrlich.

Download the report as a PDF

Read the report online

The Annual Foresight Retreat is held under the Chatham House Rule, which has been adhered to in this report, with all attribution provided with approval.

The Public Sector Strategy Network equips governments to tackle complex challenges through improved foresight, innovation, and implementation. Co-created with senior leaders from around the world, it is building a mutually-supportive coalition of individuals and institutions on the frontline of digital, financial and societal disruption, promoting effective public leadership and strategic communication. 

Following on from the retreat in Salzburg, network members from both this and past programs will devise year-round opportunities for practical exchange and follow-up among involved countries and institutions.

The annual invitation-only retreat is organized by Salzburg Global Seminar and supported by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, in partnership with Apolitical. Additional country and institutional partners include the Australian Public Service, the Privy Council Office of Canada, the Irish Public Service, and the Civil Service College of Singapore, with additional programmatic support from Nesta.

Financial Services in the 2020s: Tectonic Shifts and New Landscapes
Financial Services in the 2020s: Tectonic Shifts and New Landscapes
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Report from the latest program of the Salzburg Global Finance Forum now online

The geopolitical landscape and the global economy are going through tectonic shifts with the pace of global growth becoming less vigorous and balanced. Growing polarization and protectionist tendencies give rise to continuous economic, political and financial fragmentation. The increasing importance of environmental threats as a result of climate change and their potential impact on the long-term economic and financial stability lead to a growing relevance of sustainable finance and extensive and consistent environmental, social and governance (ESG)-related disclosure. 

Additionally, the rise of new technologies, the increased maturity of players like fintechs, and the entrance of large, established technology companies into financial services are transforming the financial system from a centralized framework into an open architecture. Emerging platforms and fundamental changes in the distribution mechanism of financial services result in a range of activities being offered outside of the core jurisdiction of banking regulators and create new regulatory challenges regarding contextual finance, privacy and data protection. 

The ninth session of the Salzburg Global Finance Forum Financial Services in the 2020s: Tectonic Shifts and New Landscapes – brought together stakeholders from different financial institutions, regulators, and policymakers around the world to discuss how new global trends and emerging risks are impacting and challenging society and financial markets and what consequences they imply for policy, regulation, and practitioners. 

The newly published report provides an executive summary of the discussions from the two-day session (June 23-25, 2019) at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, together with a list of all participants in attendance.

Download the report as a PDF

The deliberations of the 2019 program of the Salzburg Global Finance Forum demonstrate that a new economic and financial system is emerging driven by technology, demographics, social and political pressures, climate change risks and the environment. New challenges ahead require new finance, which will be more greatly rooted in society, more inclusive, more responsive to the new needs of the real economy, households and entrepreneurs, and better able to support the transition to sustainable development, as well as to serve emerging digital needs. All this must be achieved while still retaining trust and maintaining resilience. 

As the world of finance continues to change, the Forum’s future programs will tackle this new role of finance and explore the new implications and redefining possibilities in the banking and financial markets industry, which in turn could help enable a more sustainable and resilient economy. 

The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Financial Services in the 2020s: Tectonic Shifts and New Landscapes, is part of the multi-year Salzburg Global Finance Forum. This year's program is being held in partnership with JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Oliver Wyman. The sponsors are Cleary Gottlieb, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Raiffeisen. The co-sponsors are Bearing Point, European Banking Federation, Dynex Capital Inc., and State Street.

Law and Technology: Privacy, Security, and Ethics in an Asymmetric World
Law and Technology: Privacy, Security, and Ethics in an Asymmetric World
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Report from the inaugural program of the Salzburg Global Law and Technology Forum now available online

Technology has led to fundamental disruptions across society, commercial sectors, and traditional spheres of governance. While these changes provide ample and exciting opportunities to develop products, systems, and structures designed to optimize public good, they also create new fields and grey areas that raise unprecedented challenges for policy, law, and regulation.

Through its new Law and Technology Forum, Salzburg Global Seminar seeks to create meaningful partnerships and formulate tangible outcomes by encouraging participants to discuss the place of technology in today’s society, and how law and governance structures could improve this status quo. The inaugural program – Privacy, Security, and Ethics in an Asymmetric World – in April 2019 brought together stakeholders from a diverse set of technology companies, along with academics, regulators, and policymakers from around the world to tackle these issues. 

Working as a small group of peers, representing multiple sectors and countries, the discussions in Salzburg enabled participants to foster meaningful and ongoing relationships with stakeholders who may have different perceptions of technology and its role in the world.

Download the report as a PDF

Topics of discussion: 

  • Ensuring an ethical underpinning for technological development, consistent with the rule of law and global public good, seeking in particular to balance needs for security and privacy, law enforcement and human rights, and responsibilities for private firms and public institutions to each other and to citizens.
  • Resolving specific priority issues and global challenges through a comprehensive and cross-sectoral process within conditions of mutual trust.
  • Devising methods to equip rule-makers from judicial, legislative, and executive bodies with technological literacy, including both through facilitating continuing education or mainstreaming technical staff advising and supporting the rule-makers within institutional and legal processes.
  • Developing leadership skills and competencies that help to unleash human potential to lead technological change, exploiting existing capabilities and new opportunities.

The takeaways from this inaugural program, together with input from the Advisory Committee, will now inform the future topics of discussion for the Salzburg Global Law and Technology Forum, the next program of which will be held in 2020.

New Horizons in Social Investment: Global Exchange for Action and Impact
New Horizons in Social Investment: Global Exchange for Action and Impact
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

New report from the Philanthropy and Social Investment series examines how foundations and other emerging actors in the philanthropic sector can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

How can foundations and other emerging actors in the philanthropic sector help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? This question and more is addressed in the new report from Salzburg Global Seminar following the program New Horizons in Social Investment: Global Exchange for Action and Impact.

The program, held in partnership with Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) in October 2018, brought together 40 participants from 19 countries as part of Salzburg Global’s long-running program series on Philanthropy and Social Investment

An increasing number of foundations are moving beyond traditional grant making and expanding upon social investing practices, including social impact bonds, program-related investments, and impact investing. The diverse group of leaders representing foundations, academic institutions, social investors and entrepreneurs, addressed questions on global and regional trends around strategic and impactful philanthropy, which inspired, equipped, and enabled participants to develop commitments to action, and apply lessons and best practices to their own organizations.

The program offered a unique opportunity for many participants to share experiences and challenges they face in their daily work, while highlighting successful case studies and approaches. This provided further reflections for the group, who have since begun formulating next steps and discussing potential collaborations to progress on the themes identified in Salzburg.

Download report (PDF)

The program New Horizons in Social Investment: Global Exchange for Action and Impact is part of Salzburg Global Seminar's multi-year series Philanthropy and Social Investment. The program was held in partnership with the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, a network committed to building a vibrant and high impact social investment community across Asia, with further support from Capital Group, the Ford Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Trafigura Foundation.

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 Future
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Latest report from the Culture, Arts and Society series now available online

In times characterized by complexity, disruption and an unprecedented speed of change, uncertainty about the future is staring us in the face. Throughout history, artists have deciphered prospective futures in their work; from Neolithic shrines and cave paintings, to modern film interpretations of utopian and dystopian futures. But can these creative outputs be used effectively to help minimize the shock of the new, and allow for a positive unified vision of our shared future?

This was the main question facing a diverse group of artists, futurists, cultural theorists and activists, museum professionals, technologists, educators and policymakers when they met in Salzburg, Austria in February 2018

Salzburg Global Seminar gathered the 50 future thinkers from 25 countries to re-imagine the nexus between the arts and technology, questioning what it means to be human in the Anthropocene and beyond.

Their discussions, learnings and insights have now been gathered in a new report, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future.

Download the report as a PDF

The goal of five-day program, which forms the basis of the report, was to identify ways in which artists, technologists, scientists and futurists could harness the transformative power of the arts to make sense of and advance our understanding of the future (or futures). Recognizing that at the intersection of arts and technology is the ability to challenge the constraints of the present, the Salzburg Global Fellows – as participants of Salzburg Global programs are known – sought to discover how artists and cultural practitioners can expand their role in advancing policymaking for desirable futures.

Salzburg Global Seminar was founded on the intrinsic belief that we must look to the future in order to challenge the building blocks of our society. This program, part of the long-running multi-year series, Culture, Arts and Society, builds on Salzburg Global’s mission to challenge present and future leaders to shape a better world, while advancing its commitment to demonstrate the transformative power of culture, creativity and the arts by challenging participants to reimagine the possible. 

As well as summaries of each of the program’s panel discussions and group work output, this report also includes interviews with artist Amy Karle, musician DJ Spooky, designer Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, UN Live co-founder Michael Edson and Berlin’s Futurium director Stefan Brandt.

Download the report as a PDF

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 program was supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. 

Mechanics for the Future – How Can Governments Transform Themselves?
The 2018 meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Network took place between May 13-15
Mechanics for the Future – How Can Governments Transform Themselves?
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Latest report from the Public Sector Strategy Network now available to download, read, and share

Governments worldwide are under pressure to meet complex needs as populations age, countries urbanize, and technology transforms lives and work. They have a lead responsibility to prepare their societies for a radically changing world, yet face shrinking budgets and declining trust in the public sector.

The Public Sector Strategy Network, launched in partnership between the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, Salzburg Global Seminar and Apolitical, helps governments tackle complex challenges through better foresight, innovation, and implementation. Co-created with senior leaders around the world, the Network is building a mutually-supportive coalition of engaged individuals and institutions on the frontline of digital, financial and societal disruption, promoting effective public leadership and strategic communication.

The 2018 program - Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? - brought together 27 participants from 16 countries – mostly senior officials from governments and multilateral institutions – to engage informally, away from media and gatekeepers, and to test out ideas for immediate follow-up at the technical level.

The subsequent report focuses on two significant areas for public sector innovation: creating a new social contract and responding to external forces. This report also features specific publicly-available examples by the Apolitical team which help illustrate some of the talking points which emerged.

Download the report (as a hi-res PDF to read more)

The Promise and Perils of Technology - Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cybercrime and FinTech
The Promise and Perils of Technology - Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cybercrime and FinTech
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Latest report from the Salzburg Global Finance Forum now available to download, read and share

The “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is fundamentally changing society, economies and financial markets on a global scale. Significant and often disruptive technological developments such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, big data and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) have led to the digitization of assets and information, the emergence of new players, business models and ecosystems, as well as new ways of interaction between individuals and businesses. While these changes potentially increase productivity and growth, they may also trigger new risks for today’s market participants and society. 

How are these technological developments impacting and challenging society and financial markets? What consequences do they imply for policy, regulation and practitioners? What measures should be taken to mitigate the potential risks associated with the impending technology-triggered transformations? These questions and more faced the policymakers, banking and securities regulators and supervisors, and cybersecurity and data experts who gathered in Salzburg for the annual meeting of the Salzburg Global Finance Forum.

The 2018 program focused on The Promise and Perils of Technology: Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cybercrime and FinTech. The subsequent report offers valuable insights:

  • The rapid and often disruptive development of technological advances – from AI and robotics to big data and distributed ledger technologies – is fundamentally changing the financial landscape by altering the interaction between customers and providers of financial services, lowering the barriers for new entrants, and enabling the emergence of new business models and ecosystems. 
  • Banks have to adapt to the new competitive environment by becoming trusted custodians of clients’ financial data while at the same time intelligently analyzing clients’ data and behavior to anticipate needs and deliver tailor-made solution by collaborating with financial as well as non-financial partners. 
  • Key internal challenges are the acquisition of talents to achieve the perfect combination of core banking skills with tech-savvy innovative capabilities, as well as the mitigation and management of cyber risk. 
  • The emergence of new players and business models, as well as an increased disintermediation of the value chain of financial institutions, also create new challenges for policymakers and regulators. 
  • Activity- and principle-based regulation appears to be the most suitable approach forward to balance consumer and investor protection on one hand and the facilitation of financial innovation on the other, and to provide a technology-neutral level playing field for incumbents and new entrants. 

Download the report (as a hi-res PDF) to read more

The report also features:

  • The opening remarks of the program’s two co-chairs – J. Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and José Manuel González-Páramo, member of the board of directors and chief officer for global economics, regulation and public affairs at BBVA in Madrid, Spain;
  • An interview with the keynote speaker, Hal Varian, the chief economist at Google; and 
  • A list of all participants in attendance and the Salzburg Global Finance Forum’s Advisory Committee.

Salzburg Global President's Report 2018
Salzburg Global President's Report 2018
By: Louise Hallman 

The 2018 edition of the Salzburg Global President’s Report presents the renewed mission and strategic framework of the organization, announces an exciting new campaign, and reviews each of the last year’s programs

“How does a relatively small but influential NGO help shape a better world? That is the question Salzburg Global Seminar set out to answer as we entered our 70th anniversary year,” explains Salzburg Global President & CEO, Stephen L. Salyer in this year’s edition of the Salzburg Global Chronicle

Founded in 1947, Salzburg Global Seminar has the mission to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. Our multi-year program series aim to bridge divides, expand collaboration and transform systems. 


This year’s edition of the Salzburg Global Chronicle puts forth this renewed mission and strategic framework of the 70-year-old organization through a series of features and mini profiles of our Fellows and their projects.

A Positive Space in a Polarizing World
From Students to Statesmen

Combined Efforts, Maximum Effect 
From Ideas to Impact

Radical Reinvention
From Local to Global


The Chronicle also announced the launch of Salzburg Global’s largest-ever fundraising campaign. Inspiring Leadership: The Campaign for Salzburg Global Seminar will seek to raise $18 million over the next three years to expand our scholarship program, invest in developing innovative solutions to complex problems and secure this organization and our historic home of Schloss Leopoldskron for generations to come. 

“Campaigns are about vision. They support critical, compelling and transformational priorities,” states Salyer. “The Campaign Inspiring Leadership  — gift by gift, investment by investment — will empower people, policies, and placemaking that can transform the world.” 

For the Love of Humankind
From Scholarships to Schloss Renovations


Now in its fifth year, this year’s Chronicle is for the first time accompanied by a “Yearbook.” As Clare Shine, Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer explains: “Our 2017 Yearbook draws these rich strands together. It provides an overview of our activities and partnerships in Salzburg and around the world, highlighting our multi-year program goals and the concrete outcomes driving short and longer-term impact. We wish you good reading and look forward to working with you in the future.”

Download the Yearbook (PDF)

You can read all the stories and download both sections of the 2018 President’s Report on the dedicated webpage: 


Combating Extremism and Promoting Pluralism
Combating Extremism and Promoting Pluralism
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

The Salzburg Global Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention series publishes new report 

Xenophobia, racism, and violent extremism are tearing at the fabric of societies across the globe. Although contexts and specifics differ, many shared human values do not: the wish to live in peace and security, and to ensure a positive future for the next generation. At the same time, where atrocities have occurred there is a need to commemorate victims and to confront perpetrators without perpetuating a cycle of violence or creating a climate overwhelmed by vengeance.

Faced with a rise in violent extremism, policymakers are under pressure to invest in prevention and to show that it works. Structured efforts to reduce extremist mindsets and behaviors have existed for some time, but evidence of effectiveness is often not widely known or utilized. Many interventions require considerable time to effect change, making rigorous measurement of their success over the long-term resource-intensive with sustained political will around an often-unpopular topic. What works? How do we know? And will it work in different geographic, cultural, and political contexts?

These were the questions at the front mind for the educators, practitioners and museum curators invited to take part in a new phase of Salzburg Global Seminar’s Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention multi-year program series as they devised strategies to support cultures of prevention, with a specific focus on Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. 

Funded by the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the two-year project saw Fellows collaborate within and across countries to develop locally-driven, culturally-sensitive and -specific responses to combat extremism and promote pluralism in the five focus countries: Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Rwanda, and South Africa.

The new report, Combating Extremism and Promoting Pluralism, presents the findings of the project from August 2016 to March 2018, starting with a workshop at Schloss Leopoldskron, culminating in several successful pilot projects that are now being scaled-up across their regions, and generating a series of concrete recommendations for others wishing to implement their own projects to combat extremism and promote pluralism. Interviews with several Fellows are also included.

Pilot Projects

Fellows from Rwanda and South Africa collaborated in launching the Change Makers Program, a leadership program for high school students. Using case studies on the Rwandan genocide, South African apartheid and the Holocaust, students develop critical thinking skills and are empowered to be agents of positive change. 

In Egypt, educators at the American University of Cairo (AUC) established the Civic Peace Education Initiative. This strives to integrate community-based learning, intergenerational dialogue and storytelling into the curriculum and prompts students and faculty to think about societal divides and adopt values of global citizenship. Similarly, Fellows at the International University of Rabat in Morocco developed a graduate degree program in Conflict Resolution and Peace Governance. 

In Pakistan, as part of its mission to protect youth against extremist recruitment efforts, the Renaissance Foundation for Social Innovation, Pakistan (RESIP) used this funding to conduct a study on the effect of socio-religious identities in shaping university students’ behavior. Elsewhere in the country, Fellows at Kohat University launched a study circle to connect students across the country’s northwestern provinces. 

“After the Holocaust, people have repeated the mantra ‘never again’ – but then mass atrocities keep happening,” explains Charles Ehrlich, Salzburg Global Program Director.  “In Salzburg, we’ve heard first-hand accounts of tragedies taking place right now afflicting the Rohingya and the Yazidis, among others. Many of our participants in this program have themselves witnessed or survived unspeakable horror.

“As an institution based in Austria, a country which itself continues to have difficulty addressing its own Nazi legacy, Salzburg Global Seminar has an especially important role in working with our colleagues from countries across the world to both address their own difficult histories and, through grassroots action, to seek to create a future where these tragedies do not repeat. The network has grown organically – mostly consisting of Fellows from countries in the Global South – as a way to break the isolation, so they have the opportunity to share experiences and ideas and to learn from each other how to develop initiatives appropriate for the circumstances of their own countries.”

All five of the pilot projects are now poised for expansion or replication over the course of 2018 and 2019. For its part, Salzburg Global intends to continue this series on Holocaust education and combating extremism through the convening of future sessions in Salzburg, as well as by supporting in-region gatherings of Fellows to aid in the execution of these initiatives.

Download the Report

Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention is a multi-year program series held in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It is funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with further support from Ronald D. Abramson, the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

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:  

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. 

The Asia We Want - A Clean and Green Asia
The Asia We Want - A Clean and Green Asia
By: Salzburg Global Semianr 

Report from the first in new series on regional cooperation in Asia offers innovative solutions to achieve “a clean and green Asia”

In November 2017, as the world met in Bonn, Germany to agree upon the finer details of the Paris Agreement, 25 young Asian leaders gathered in Salzburg, Austria to develop a shared vision of a “Clean and Green Asia,” strengthen commitment to sustainable and equitable development that is inspired and informed by inter-regional cooperation, and to advance innovative approaches to environmental sustainability and inclusive low-carbon development in their communities. 

The inaugural session of the new, multi-year program The Asia We Want: Building Community through Regional Cooperation, supported through a generous grant by the Japan Foundation and with support from the Korea and Nippon Foundations, was the first step to form a network of dynamic young leaders from across the region and to build their capacity to work together to address such environmental, climate and energy concerns.

Over three intensive days, the 25 leaders heard from veterans in the region and devised their own innovative projects to achieve “a clean and green Asia”: promoting regional, integrated approaches to address air quality; catalyzing small, sustainable and scalable (3S) financing; encouraging community-led waste management schemes; and designing a framework for multiple sectors to achieve goals in contributing to a low-carbon or decarbonized society.

“Rising leaders in Asia are aware of their responsibility to steer transition to sustainable and climate resilient economies and are strongly committed to Asian community development inspired by cooperation at local and global levels,” said Tatsiana Lintouskaya, Program Director, Salzburg Global Seminar.

“Our new multi-year program, The Asia We Want: Building Sustainable Communities Through Regional Cooperation, is there to support and empower young leaders working to advance inclusive low-carbon development in their communities. We aim to expand this program in the coming years and build a dynamic cross-border network for practical collaboration and lasting results in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The report, written by Lintouskaya and Salzburg Global Fellow Roli Mahajan, was dedicated in memory of multi-time Fellow and friend of Salzburg Global Seminar, Surin Pitsuwan. The former secretary general of ASEAN died three weeks after helping to facilitate the November 2017 session. 

The report also compiles the Fellows and facilitators’ insightful and often provocative op-eds written ahead of the session. A full list of their op-eds is available below.

Download the report as a PDF

Marifrance Avila – “For us to achieve the Asia that we want, we need to start with achieving the country that we want”

Wilson John Barbon – “Disasters are not natural phenomena. They are the result of human and social conditions”

Xixi Chen – We need integrated, collaborative and bottom-up leadership to build a cleaner and greener Asia

Sandeep Choudhury – “Asia we want should be one based on equitable growth and not the disparity we see today between the rich and the poor”

Chochoe Devaporihartakula – A clean and green Asia needs compliance and transparency

Salinee Hurley – Replacing kerosene with solar power: an incomparable way to mitigate climate change

Abner Lawangen – “Asia can truly be a resilient towering continent if all countries pull together”

Tari Lestari – “A clean energy transition is the only way to create a better future for Asia”

Roli Mahajan – The case for mandatory environmental service

Niall O’Connor – We need to take a “business as unusual” approach

Minh Nguyet Pham – “Air pollution is a spider web”

Magdalena Seol – Business and Investment Can Drive a More Sustainable Asia

Trinnawat Suwanprik – “We must know the past, understand the present, and plan for the future”

Qingchan Yu – “A credible alternative to fossil fuels is critical”

Connecting Local Innovators with Global Resources
Connecting Local Innovators with Global Resources
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

New report from the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators chronicles how the annual convening in Austria is building a dynamic and impactful global network

“With more than 250 Young Cultural Innovators now connected in communities around the world, the YCI Forum is one of the most dynamic and impactful global cultural networks and a dynamic creative catalyst for innovation, civic transformation, and social change worldwide,” says Susanna Seidl-Fox, Salzburg Global Seminar’s Program Director for Culture & the Arts.

Now entering its fifth year, the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum) held its fourth annual session at Schloss Leopoldskron in October 2017.

The global reach of Fellows now extends from Adelaide, Australia, to Valletta, Malta, and 21 cities – called “YCI Hubs” – in between. The 2017 Young Cultural Innovators (YCIs) hailed from 13 countries, with each participant facing unique challenges, tied to their specific heritage and industry. They were met with 10 facilitators and five speakers, and the committed staff of Salzburg Global Seminar. 

Despite their geographical distances and differences in practice, the YCIs, the facilitators and speakers are intimately connected. A commitment to the arts and cultural sector, and shared ideals of community and justice make this a cohort of peers whose differences act not as barriers, but as bridges. The YCIs see themselves in a global context. They engage in international discourse without losing sight of their own communities.

The new report from the latest session, written by returning YCI Sanja Grozdanic, chronicles the week’s events including the plenary presentations, skills-building workshops, small group discussions and vibrant “Open Space” events, organized by the YCIs themselves.

“I have been in search of a world city that has intellectuals, artists and those trying to make the world better through their work, I have come to find that unlike the past there isn’t just one place for all these people they are spread out throughout the world and it really takes seminars like this to bring them together,” explains Yasmine Omari from the Memphis YCI Hub in Tennessee, USA. 

Linda Kaoma, from the Cape Town YCI Hub in South Africa adds: “I am walking away better equipped to continue to do my work as an artist, cultural practitioner and leader in my community and with a strong affirmation to always lead with the heart. Salzburg Global Seminar has introduced me to new friends, colleagues, accountability partners and future collaborators from all over the world.” 

The report includes many more testimonials from Fellows, as well as all their bios and those of the session facilitators and guest speakers.

Download the report as a PDF (low-res)

To receive a hi-res edition of the report, please email press[at]

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 FoundationAmerican ExpressArts Council MaltaCambodian Living ArtsCanada Council for the Arts, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Fulbright GreeceJapan FoundationThe Kresge FoundationLloyd A. Fry FoundationThe 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

Building a Global Community - Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: The First Five Years
Building a Global Community - Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: The First Five Years
By: Louise Hallman 

Publication chronicling the progress, successes and impact of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum and its Fellows is now available to read, download and share

Since 1947, Salzburg Global Seminar has challenged current and future leaders to shape a better world. For seventy years, our Fellows have tackled issues of global concern including education, health, environment, economics, governance, peace-building, the rule of law and protection of human rights. 

Since 2013, the advancement of LGBT human rights has joined that list of issues as we seek to shape a better world for everyone – including people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Founded five years ago, the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum was formed to establish a truly global space to reflect upon and advance LGBT human rights discussions around the world. 

Today, the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum is an international network that connects over 150 Fellows in 70 countries across six continents, spanning multiple sectors, generations, cultures and sexual orientations and gender identities.

This new, 200-page publication, Building a Global Community - Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: The First Five Years, chronicles the first five years of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum: the Fellows’ stories that they’ve shared, the wide-ranging issues we’ve addressed, and the impact the Forum has had on individuals, institutions and ideas advancing LGBT human rights around the world.

The report was generously supported by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth

“Fundamental human rights concern us all. The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum brings together queer and straight, representing gender in many expressions, in short: people with overlapping, changing identities. Whether homo-, bi- or heterosexual, cis-, inter- or transgender, our diverse backgrounds and lives are connected by our shared interest to advance LGBT equality globally.”

— Dr. Klaus Mueller, Founder and Chair, Salzburg Global LGBT Forum

Throughout Salzburg Global’s history, the rule of law and protection of human rights have played a central role in our programming and impact – as critical elements for personal dignity and well-being, equality and social cohesion, successful economies and effective international relations. With this track record, the decision to create the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum was a natural and logical, yet bold, step.”

— Clare Shine, Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar

“I am extremely proud of how the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum has advanced human rights... Public understanding and public policy have advanced considerably, but the challenges across the world remain great. The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum is a place where they can be addressed.”

— Stephen L. Salyer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar

“For our ministry, it has been very important to support the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum financially… For us, it is important to make visible these different situations as they exist in Europe and in other parts of the world, and this includes discussing the problems too. We learn from the LGBT Forum how discussions in Germany influence other countries, and how their discussions in other countries influence us in Germany.”

— Ralf Kleindiek, German State Secretary for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth

Download the report as a PDF

* LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. We are using this term as it is widely recognized in many parts of the world, but we would not wish it to be read as in any way exclusive of other cultures, groups or terms, either historical or contemporary.

The Courageous Director - Can Corporations Better Serve People, Planet, and Profit?
The Courageous Director - Can Corporations Better Serve People, Planet, and Profit?
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Report from the latest session of the Salzburg Global Forum on Corporate Governance now available to read, download and share

Within the last year, Volkswagen and several of its executives and employees have pled guilty to criminal charges stemming from a scheme to cheat environmental standards; Wells Fargo Bank received a $100 million fine for inducing its employees to secretly and illegally open unauthorized accounts; and Google grappled with how to respond to a leaked internal memo regarding diversity in the workforce that the public perceived as demonstrating male chauvinistic bias. All three corporations faced resounding criticism from shareholders, public and press alike. 

However, also within the last year, Kenneth Frazier, CEO of multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical company Merck was hailed by as “courageous”, “brave” and even “heroic” when he resigned from US President Donald J. Trump’s American Manufacturing Council in August 2017 and publicly declared that his reason for doing so was in protest to Trump’s response to the racially driven events in Charlottesville, VA, days before.

In today’s world, “courageous directors” have unprecedented opportunities to serve as global influencers. Even as private sector leaders achieve fame by engaging socially and championing brands that claim to improve quality of life, consumers, investors and employees increasingly demand that corporations act in ways beneficial to society. Looking forward, boards of directors will need to remain ahead of rapidly-evolving trends and address deceptively simple questions. What does the company seek to achieve, and where does it see its place in society?

Shaping a better world - and corporate sector

Salzburg Global Seminar’s mission is to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. Founded in 2015, the Salzburg Global Forum on Corporate Governance seeks to deliver on that mission in the corporate sector.

The third session of the Forum,The Courageous Director: Can Corporations Better Serve People, Planet, and Profit?, held October 2017, explored the role of the corporation as a good citizen, while assessing techniques to keep boards of directors alert, active, and effective in meeting their fiduciary duties in the current and future landscapes. It explored how directors might emerge as global thought leaders, to ensure multinational corporations can succeed both in achieving profit and in satisfying conflicting demands of the jurisdictions and societies in which they operate.

This new report from Salzburg Global Seminar highlights the significant outcomes from the discussions at the two-day high-level meeting, including breakout groups that analyzed the scandals affecting Volkswagen, Wells Fargo, and Google and offered key recommendations for the three corporations. 

The report also includes interviews from many corporate sector leaders, offering insights on what it takes to be a “courageous director”. 

As Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer Clare Shine notes: “Today’s corporations are under ever closer scrutiny. Like the rest of society, their operations and culture will have to change radically as the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ gathers pace. Attitudes to power, progress and value are already in flux. Against this backdrop, courage in the boardroom will matter more than ever before.”

Download the report as a PDF

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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


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

Trust, Media and Democracy in the Digital Age
Alberto Ibargüen delivers the 2017 Cutler Lecture
Trust, Media and Democracy in the Digital Age
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Alberto Ibargüen, President of Knight Foundation delivers the Seventh Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law

This text is the full transcript of the Seventh Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law, delivered on November 14 by Alberto Ibargüen, President, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, at the Newseum in Washington, DC, USA.

MR. IBARGÜEN: I want to thank, first of all, Salzburg Global Seminar for inviting me to speak. In a world of new rules and lightning fast communication, the Seminar’s role as a haven for thoughtful exploration of complex issues has never, never been more important. And thanks, Stephen, for the privilege of offering the 7th Lloyd Cutler Lecture. My interpretation of the legal aspects of this is going to be very, very broad, but you know that, and you said it was okay.

It is an extraordinary honor to be associated even in a – in a small way with such a formidable mind, consummate connector, and public intellectual. I didn’t know Lloyd Cutler, as a number of you did, so I called a friend of mine, Jonathan Fanton, who did know him. Jonathan taught at Yale. He was president of the MacArthur Foundation. He’s now the head of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. So, he knows a good man when he sees one, and he saw one in Cutler. Jonathan remembered him with affection, as a man of great intelligence, good judgment, and meticulous in thought and action. And he said, unlike some leaders, Lloyd kept his own judgment until he had the necessary information. I’m sure that was not a commentary on current events.


MR. IBARGÜEN: I couldn’t be more pleased, too, that we’re here in the Newseum. I was proud to be chairman of the board of the Newseum when we inaugurated this building. I led Knight Foundation to become one of the Newseum’s founding partners and its biggest outside donor. This wonderful place was actually designed to be open and immutable.

Shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, we were nearing the end of the design phase of the building, and somebody suggested we really ought to change the design and make it something much more secure. We chose instead to keep the façade you see today, which is two-thirds glass and one-third stone, symbolizing both journalism’s quest for openness and transparency and our immutable adherence to free expression. I love the wall with the First Amendment carved on great slabs of Tennessee marble located more or less equidistant between the White House and the Capitol, reminding everybody that Congress shall make no law abridging the rights to speech, press, religion, assembly, and freedom to petition the government.

The Newseum promotes the values that we live and breathe at Knight Foundation with an endowment of now about $2.3, $2.4 billion. We made more than $140 million in grants last year to programs, projects, and people committed to informed and engaged communities honoring Jack Knight’s belief that an informed citizenry, determining its true interest in a democratic republic, is the highest, best form of government.

In that spirit, tonight I’d like to talk some about trust, about democracy and media, and the evolving role – critical role – of digital platforms, and the First – and the evolving understanding of First Amendment values. I’ll be very, very glad later also to talk with Charlie and take some questions. I think it – I think it is pretty fitting that Charlie is the – is the moderator tonight since – given his connection to Yale and to Knight, and it’s always wonderful to be back with friends.

So, let me begin by focusing a little bit on the technology companies that play such an incredibly dominant role in our current media landscape. A few weeks ago, representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter came to town to testify before Congress. They were sober hearings. Our representatives peppered them with questions largely aimed at understanding Russian social media activities in the 2016 elections.

That inquiry is important, I believe, but let’s look beyond the scope of those hearings and explore a broader conceptual issue that I think is massive and thorny, which is the role and responsibility of technology companies that began as platforms and transformed, I believe, into publishers. These are two very different things with different roles in society.

Are they merely platforms and tech companies, or are they publishers with social and legal responsibility for what they publish? That is a central question at the heart of how to use the internet for democracy, and it involves technology, evolving attitudes toward First Amendment values, and key questions challenging the big tech’s business models.

Throughout history, humans have grappled with how to identify truth, how to control information, how to empower people with knowledge. The Greeks struggled to balance common identity and purpose with free and democratic expression. We can each point to different periods in history when technology has complicated and charged that quest, sometimes using information for good, sometimes for evil.

As we think about this, and it isn’t the problem we’re going to solve tonight, but take some heart from Guttenberg. Before Johannes Guttenberg mechanized the Chinese invention of the printing press, there was order. Books were rare. They were distributed from the few to the few, and usually came with a cardinal’s imprimatur asserting truth. After Guttenberg, any Tom, Dick, or Martin Luther could print and distribute whatever he wanted. Information flowed from the few to the many, and soon from the many to the many, so many, in fact, that information and opinion became hard to control, unreliable, unruly. It took a hundred years or so, an evolving experience with technology and its governance for people to re-learn to trust information.

In a room full of people who know Bob Schieffer, and I’m sure you do, I should note that he makes this case in his new book, Overload. And if you really want to go deeper, check out Elizabeth Eisenstein, the brilliant professor at the University of Michigan, and her book, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change. It sounds like a – it sounds dense, but it is a wonderfully exciting and, I think, really uplifting scholarship.

But trust they did eventually. People did trust finally information, and we, I think, are at a similar place. At the beginning of our republic, the reach of media was local and largely verifiable. The public learned to trust information because they could see for themselves when the information was true, was, in fact, true. The circulation of leaflets and newspapers extended to roughly the area of electoral districts. The Founding Fathers publicly debated the core ideals of our republic through accessible argument. It wasn’t debate so much as argument. In doing so, they formalized the role of the press as staging ground – the staging ground for the middle, an area of words where common ground is the common prize, where left and right can come together in compromise.

And it remained that way with newspapers, pamphlets, and later radio, and even television. The signal of a radio station until relatively late in the 20th century or television local news was really about the same as a couple of congressional districts or a mayoral district. And none of this am I pretending that this did not come with major speed bumps of sometimes partisans, sometimes warmongering, sometimes bigoted press reflecting their owners and the times. But by and large, the United States grew up with local papers that established a direct relationship between themselves and their communities. That relationship held through most of the 20th century until the phenomenal rise of internet.

This discussion would’ve been difficult to imagine a few decades ago before the first electronic message traveled between two computers, or 15 years ago before Facebook, or just a dozen years ago before the first tweet. But conceptually, the issue is not new. Technology has upended society many times before, and internet represent the most fundamental change to media and society since Guttenberg. It is both, I think, the great democratizing tool in history and democracy’s greatest challenge. It gives us all voice and potential influence beyond previous imagining.

And at the same time, with the country – with our country dividing itself in real-life and online, into more and more homogenous communities described in The Big Sort, which I would highly recommend to you, internet has facilitated the creation not just of the filter bubbles, but the protective shields that allow us to block out dissenting or differing views. The success of any traditional news operation used to be measured by its ability to effectively and reliably inform society, but the business model that’s sustained newspapers for more than a century is now broken. Gathering and disseminating accurate information is expensive and revenue is short. We now have simultaneously a torrent of individual and small information efforts and have a potentially socially dangerous concentration of power in the hands of a handful of private companies with seemingly boundless potential for reach.

Media means digital and cable, cool mediums that require hot performance, and trust in all media, especially traditional media, is at an all-time low. Americans’ trust in institutions generally and in each other is at a historic low. According to Pew Research, only 20 percent of Americans trust their government. The same low percentage has a lot of trust in the national news media.

I agree with Nina Jankowicz, who – of the Woodrow Wilson Center, who recently wrote in the New York Times that, "It’s impossible to say definitively what causes this mistrust, but its growth has coincided with the rise of both the adrenaline-driven internet news cycle and the dying of local journalism over the past two decades. Without news that connects people to their town councils or county fairs, stories that analyze how Federal policies affect local business, people are left with news about big banks in New York and dirty politics in Washington." Said another way, there simply are fewer and fewer institutions unifying community by feeding news to the middle and setting the agenda for civil discourse for both left and right.

Social media has catalyzed the fragmentation of what was once a somewhat united public sphere. It has fractured and privatized the town square. The shattering of communal baselines has become a problem before the social media boom, of course, but the divides among us have only grown starker as we find less and less common ground and rely more and more on opinion presented as news.

Earlier this year, Knight Foundation partnered with Aspen Institute to form a Commission on Trust, Media, and Democracy to consider these questions. It’s led by New York Public Library president, Tony Marx, and former Tennessee state legislator, Jamie Woodson. The Commission will consider these fundamental issues of trust and recommend solutions to restore it. This is one of, I think, many such efforts, and I think this is something that the Salzburg Seminar would have a major role to play in.

What we know today, what we know or think we know, which leads to what and who we trust and who we deem trustworthy, is increasingly determined by five behemoths: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft. As examples of their dominance, consider that Facebook and Google capture more than 75 percent of digital ad revenue and make up 40 percent of America’s digital content consumption. In another time we might’ve looked at such dominance with the same jaundiced eye that Presidents McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt used to gaze on Rockefeller Standard Oil or Carnegie’s U.S. Steel. So far, we haven’t, but I think that could change.

Facebook and Google have become more influential purveyors of information than any New York Times or any Washington Post. Yet the Silicon Valley giants and others like them have shied away from accepting a publisher’s basic responsibility for the authenticity of their content. They have virtually limitless opportunity to define and form community beyond geographic boundaries, but they disavow responsibility for authenticity, for the truth or falsity of the material as a basic tenet of business.

As I see it, a publisher’s success is premised on consistently delivering reliable news and information. Today’s platform premise success on basic access tailored to personal preferences for any proposition, person, or group. Those are new rules indeed, and I think maybe unsustainable.

Jack Knight’s notion of a well-informed citizenry, eager to tackle questions with a common factual framework, is very challenged today. With the disaggregation of news sources and the rise of technology companies as leading publishers, Americans have lost their bedrock of democracy, which is a shared baseline of facts.

Today, people already view tech companies as media companies. Pew Research shows that a majority of American adults get their news on social media. Facebook is the top source of political news for the Millennial generation. In all age groups, the percentage of social media users who rely on those platforms for news is increasing. This dominance is no accident. The amount of information about ourselves, our habits, our preferences that we share with tech companies in exchange for their – for the convenience of their service is stunning.

In addition, tech companies already produce and will produce more content. Think of YouTube News. Think of Facebook paying to create video content to share on live platforms, or Amazon Studios for movies. These companies may shun the media label, but they proactively pursue media revenue streams. And like the trusts of decades past, the tech giants are horizontally integrated, saturating and dominating the market for information, and sometimes vertically integrated, exerting influence and control over content at every stage from generation, to production, to distribution.

They’ve been as successful as you know they have. You can’t blame them for not wanting to change. They never intended to shoulder responsibility for reporting news, but sometimes life is unfair and takes an unexpected turn. But why would they change? I think they would change because their role has – society has changed, and their role in society has changed, and they have to step up to the new responsibility, I think, if they’re going to be allowed to continue acting – functioning in the way they have. I think they’ll change because they have to. I think they’ll do that – they’ll change because it’s bad for business.

Think about the people talk about reading something on Facebook or even Google. They don’t say – people don’t say I read that Charlie Savage story in the – that was published in Thursday’s New York Times. They say I read it on Facebook. I read it on Facebook. If it turns out that the stuff you read on Facebook is not reliable, if it turns out that you – that you are proven consistently wrong, that is bad for business.

And I think there’s real hope in that for me, from my perspective. I think there’s – I believe in that kind of self-interested motivation that would drive a company like Facebook, and I think is driving a company like Facebook, to consider what they need to do in order to ensure authenticity. I don’t think – I’ve talked with many friends who say, well, but it’s so convenient, you’ll never get people to rebel, you’ll never get people to walk away from it. I don’t know what never is. Fifteen years ago, Facebook didn’t exist. How long ago was it that we thought IBM would always be, given the age group of us – most of us –


MR. IBARGÜEN: – with due respect to anyone not – who doesn’t remember when IBM was the great behemoth before Microsoft took them down, and then came Google. So, I don’t know when never is.

I can imagine, to borrow from Malcolm Gladwell, I can imagine a tipping point when our society says enough. Enough, when consumers change the game. These things happen. World wars are started. We don’t need to go that far. Think about – think about what’s happening now. I think we’re living in a moment now in the U.S. around sexual abuse and harassment after decades of silence and looking the other way. Those stories are the kindling, and the Harvey Weinstein disclosures were merely the spark that set the fire of change. I believe we’re witnessing a fundamental change in attitudes and practice.

In the market, if consumers feel they’re not well served by existing services, they’ll find other services. And remember that Yogi Berra is always right: if the fans don’t want to come to the ballpark, nobody can stop them.


MR. IBARGÜEN: So, if I were – if I were running a company and I was producing stuff that wasn’t believed, I’d be worried.

I also think platform companies may be forced to change by government, which, challenged by their power and supported by a potentially mistrustful public, might ultimately trust bust if only out of self-preservation. I think they’ll change because technology, and this is really important. I think they will change because technology will enable them to assume more effective control of their content, which presents all sorts of other questions about machine learning and decision making.

Meanwhile there are efforts that people are making to address some of these things, some within the companies themselves. I give credit where it’s due with Facebook, Google, and other places. I also know that organizations like the Trust Project, which is meeting here at the Newseum later this week, which is funded by Craig Newmark of Craig’s List, Google, and, full disclosure, Knight Foundation, at Santa Clara University, working with news rooms and technology companies to help the public and algorithms differentiate between news content and fakery.

A proposed new project, News Guard. It hasn’t gone anywhere yet. It might. It’s spearheaded by Gordon Crovitz who used to be at the Wall Street Journal, and Steve Brill. They seek to make the effort even simpler. They want to have – they want to have a marker that shows red, yellow, and green based on the authenticity track record of whatever the source is. Will that be perfect? Of course not. None of these things are. None of these things probably ever will be because it’s about judgment. But these are efforts dealing with the problem.

At Knight, we believe artificial intelligence will play a huge and increasingly important – increasingly central role. And so, with Pierre Omidyar, who founded eBay, and Reid Hoffman, who co-founded LinkedIn, we started a fund to work with MIT’s Media Lab and Harvard’s – Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center to explore ethics in government – governance of artificial intelligence.

When those tech solutions I just suggested are developed, how fast can they become dark implements in the hands of Big Brother? In a New York heartbeat. How obscure can tech companies be? Darker than Darth Vader, and they speak a language most of us, including members of Congress, don’t fully understand. So, it’s critical that organizations like ours, like Hasting Center’s, which works on these issues with regard to health, MacArthur Foundation, Democracy Fund, continue to do so, as well as Washington think tanks, our great research universities, because leaving the ethics in governance of how we know what we know to corporations whose primary purpose is commercial gain, or, with all due respect to whoever is in political power, it is not just bad policy for the short term. It’s bad for democratic society in the long term.

In the meanwhile, are there traditional media companies that are doing things? Yes, I think there are. I think right here, maybe the best – the best adapting big paper in the country is the Washington Post. I’d also look at what the Texas Tribune does in – out of Austin or ProPublica out of New York. These organizations have very different business models, and, again, I should tell you that we have funded projects with all three of those, with the Washington Post, with Texas Tribune, with ProPublica. They have different business models. Some are nonprofit, some are for, but they share a common commitment to verification journalism, and to the use of technology to find and reach their audience.

They believe, as my friend, Marty Baron, likes to say, that we have to focus on doing the work of getting the story right because that’s where the credibility will be proven and earned, but the technology has to be one-click advertising, one-click. Did you – did you see? Using the – using the techniques, the marketing techniques of selling on online to sell news.

Since we’re in the Newseum, I’d like to end my part of the remarks with some observations about the changing understanding of what free speech and free press mean to young Americans. Although the ferocity, reach, and frequency of today’s political attacks have ratcheted up the level of intensity, I’ve talked with too many people in politics to believe that their view of media is fundamentally new. What I think is new is a changing generational view of what "free speech" means.

In early 2016, Knight Foundation commissioned Gallup – the Gallup organization to survey attitudes among college students on First Amendment freedoms. The results suggest that there is a fundamental generational shift in our understanding of these basic rights among a broad and deep sample of young people training to become our nation’s leaders.

The Gallup survey showed that about three-fourths of college students believe in free speech. That’s good. They consider 25 percent maybe don’t. That’s maybe not so good, but three-quarters is good on any kind of a poll. And the thing that then really makes you scratch your head is that about two-thirds believe in safe spaces. This is really a major, major shift. So, three-quarters free speech, two-thirds safe spaces. Do the math and scratch your head. And among a representative sample of African-American students, some 60 percent did not believe that their right of assembly was secure. That is very significant when you think about the whole.

My own reading of this is that the younger generation values inclusion and freedom from psychological harm in the same way that previous generations valued freedom from physical harm. In the tradition of free speech, you weren’t allowed to yell "fire" in a crowded theater because you could cause harm. Now a substantial majority of college students believe "free speech" means stopping speech, censoring speech that would cause other types of harm, or cause exclusion or people – of people or groups.

The increased value of inclusion and protection from this sort of harm is intensified by the common use of social media, with its reinforcement of filter bubbles, of like-minded thinkers, and the ability to block anyone with whom you disagree. And anonymity, hate speech, and bullying all promote the sort of thinking that values protection over exposure.

We’re in the field with Gallup now, and we’ll have a 2018 version of that study ready pretty soon. It remains to be seen whether we have a trend or just a reflection of current events at that moment in time two years ago. If we’re right and this is a trend, it will be one of the many in the ever-evolving history of the First Amendment. As these new understandings of the debates occur, we at Knight felt that it was very important to ensure that the presence of a – of a disinterested advocate was assured, a disinterested advocate that argues for free speech.

Three years ago, we partnered with Columbia University to establish the Knight First Amendment Institute for that purpose. With an initial endowment of $50 million, it will be an independent affiliated – an independent affiliate of the university led by Jameel Jaffer and a team of outstanding attorneys, and guided by a board that includes Ted Olson, who I’m sure many of you know, from Gibson Dunn, and Eve Burton of the Hearst Corporation, with the very active support of Lee Bollinger, who is the president of Columbia and a leading First Amendment scholar. I’m also very pleased to note tonight the presence here of representatives from Omidyar Networks Democracy Fund, who have also generously contributed to creating that institute.

The First Amendment we enjoy today, the world’s gold standard, was significantly forged in battles over the last half century, largely paid for by newspaper companies. Those companies either no longer exist or they’re financially strained, but they left – but they have left a reasonably well-settled body of law affirming the rights of people and press articulated in the Constitution, carved into the marble at the Newseum, and the extension of those rights to broadcast licensees.

What is not settled are the free speech rights on internet. Will courts ultimately choose freedom of [speech] – as a right or the potential restrictions of a license? The consequences, I think, are enormous. The legal questions are wide open, and Knight Institute will engage in the courts through research, scholarship, and conferences always with a bias toward free speech and free press.

In summary, and we need to get on with the – with the discussion, I’d just remind you of some of the ground rules going forward. First, we must be in line with the First Amendment. Second, we must recognize the problem is not monolithic, and any response must be nimble and iterative. And third, we should remember that this challenge exists within a larger context. The massive questions regarding the decline of trust in all institutions makes this a civic emergency.

Not long ago, I spoke with a professor at MIT about the upheaval that communication technology was causing in society, and I asked him where he thought we were in that revolution on a scale of one to 10, with one being a brand-new technology, and 10 being a mature technology with understood impact. And he said without hesitation two, maybe three. You ain’t seen nothing yet. We’re very much in the early days of the new world. After Guttenberg, society adapted to embrace his disruption and thrived as never before. Here’s hoping history repeats itself. Thank you.



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The Child in the City - Health, Parks and Play 
The Child in the City - Health, Parks and Play 
By: Julia Bunte-Mein 

New report demonstrates impact of March 2017 session of the Parks for the Planet Forum

In 2009, for the first time in history, the world’s population became more urban than rural. By 2050, nearly 70% of the world’s population is expected to be living in cities – an increase in the urban populations of more than two billion people. 

In the face of a rapidly growing and urbanizing human population, coupled with ever-increasing climate change effects, now is the time to seriously address how we design our built environment. The current and projected state of our cities, if no change is made, neglects our fundamental need for nature and the health benefits of outdoor access, particularly for children. 

To address these issues, Salzburg Global Seminar launched the Parks for the Planet Forum in 2015 with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The third program of the Forum – The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play – was held in March 2017 and approached the intersection of play, nature and children’s outdoor experience of their cities. Eight months on, the impact of that five-day program is proving to be significant, as a new “Impact Report” published by Salzburg Global Seminar shows. 

The new, 60-page publication summarizes discussions in Salzburg, which led to the co-authorship of a Salzburg Statement by the program participations, and tracks the dissemination spread of the Statement and the various new initiatives launched since March.

Download the Impact Report as a PDF

Salzburg Discussions

This Impact Report highlights the key questions of how to make parks accessible and meet the needs for all children, including the vulnerable, marginalized and underserved. 

While children and their communities were at the forefront of conversation, the report also highlights the importance of environmental preservation in the Forum’s recommendations. Fellows also considered the future partnerships and alliance across the health, urban design, and environmental sectors needed to advance the “Child in the City” agenda.

Salzburg Statement
The culminating product of the session was the Salzburg Statement on the Child in the City – Health, Parks and Play, which was co-drafted by Fellows. The Statement includes shared principles and recommendations for clearly defined action steps, and asserts access to nature as a basic human right for children and thus that it is essential for children to “enjoy the right to safe, free play in a nature-rich space within a ten-minute walk of where they live.” 

The Statement has been widely shared among different international organizations and has been translated into another five different languages to further its global reach. 

In addition to summaries of discussions held in Salzburg, the report also explores the impact on individuals, institutions and ideas that both the Session and its subsequent Statement have had in the six months since the Statement’s publication.

On the individual level, many Fellows were inspired to take action. Two-time Fellow Juana Mariño, architect and head of private consultancy firm GUT in Colombia, launched “Outdoor Grannies,” which encourages all generations to go outside and enjoy nature together. Another Fellow, Sruthi Atmakur of Children Environments Research Group founded a program called “Play-Wheel,” which aims to focus on free and self-directed play close to schools and home environments. 

On the institutional level, constructive partnerships were formed between participating organizations, including the National League of Cities and Children & Nature Networking who have co-released four new resources inspired by the discusses held in Salzburg.

On the ideas level, Salzburg Global Seminar and its Fellows have been participating and driving forward global discussions around the importance of healthy nature for human health and wellbeing in multiple international fora, including the 15th World Congress on Public Health, convened in Melbourne, Australia shortly after the Salzburg session. 

Building upon this immediate impact, the Fellows will explore how to drive this agenda forward further still at the next session of the Parks for the Planet Forum, Nature and Childhood: From Research and Activism to Policies for Global Change to be held in Salzburg in March 2018. 

Home - Safety, Wellness, and Belonging
Home - Safety, Wellness, and Belonging
By: Julia Bunte-Mein 

Latest report from the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum now available to download, read and share

In recent years, much progress has been made to expand basic human rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender (LGBT) people and their communities. However, many barriers still stand in the way of full inclusion. LGBT individuals are often are excluded by their own families and prevented from starting their own because of legislative discrimination. LGBT refugees migrating to countries that recognize sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) laws continue to face discrimination in the diaspora communities, societies, and bureaucracies of these receiving countries. Furthermore, mental health, anti-LGBT violence, and LGBT-specific health care have historically lacked the societal and policy attention they demand.

In May 2017, the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum brought together 56 human rights defenders, activists, artists, researchers, diplomats, politicians, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and journalists from 33 countries to explore these important, interconnected issues at the session Home: Safety, Wellness, and Belonging. 

The recently published report from this session presents the discussions of the five-day long program, focusing on the core issues of family, LGBT migration and refugees, and wellbeing. 

Download the Report as a PDF

Through a series of panels and roundtable discussions held at the LGBT Forum, Fellows shared heart-wrenching and -warming stories, detailing both their personal or communities’ struggles and the strategies used to overcome familial and societal exclusion and legal discrimination. 

Group work discussions and workshops enabled the Fellows to devise plans for apps and social media campaigns and produce short videos to help advance LGBT rights in their own communities, building on the insights shared across the five days.

The 2017 session also saw the premiere of the short film Family is…? A Global Conversation. The film was produced over three years with support from the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. The initial premiere for the Fellows was held during the LGBT Forum to mark IDAHOT (the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) on May 17, with a public premiere held in Berlin, Germany the day after the session in Salzburg concluded, on May 19.

In addition to the session report, interviews, features and videos from the session can be found online:  

*LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. We are using this term as it is widely recognized in many parts of the world, but we would not wish it to be read as in any way exclusive of other cultures, groups or terms, either historical or contemporary.

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:


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.


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.


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. 


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]

Read the report online.

Download the Report as a PDF.

Order a print copy: press[at]

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.

Getting Smart - Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills
Getting Smart - Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills
By: Salzburg Global Seminar staff 

Latest report of the series Education for Tomorrow's World now available

The report of the Salzburg Global session Getting Smart: Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills is now available to read, download and share.

The 2016 session of the multi-year series Education for Tomorrow’s World brought together forty education leaders and other stakeholders from around the world to explore the challenges and benefits of fostering SEL (Social and Emotional Learning), including how this will affect the development of academic skills and more general testing of learners’ abilities. The session was held in partnership with ETS. 

Emerging evidence in education, psychology, neuroscience, and economics suggests that SEL skills can also be measured and developed to help improve academic achievement, reduce negative behaviors, and enrich interpersonal relationships. Cultivating SEL skills through a more systematic approach could therefore have long-term benefits for learners, schools and colleges, and workplaces.

Policymakers, educators, innovators and researchers benefited from structured exchanges to identify the state of the evidence, policy challenges and viable solutions for measuring and enhancing SEL skills. Participants approached this topic in session-wide discussions and smaller breakout groups to consider how best to strengthen social and emotional skills through education policy, curricular development, assessment, and whole school policies.

This report presents key points of discussion, debate and learning from the Salzburg session, as well as final recommendations summarized in the session Fellows' co-created Salzburg Statement on Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills.

Download the report as a PDF

The Salzburg Global session Getting Smart: Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills, which is part of the multi-year Education for Tomorrow's World. This session was held in partnership with ETS (Educational Testing Service). More information on the session can be found here:

Global Challenges, Regional Responses - How Can We Avoid Fragmentation in the Financial System?
Report from Global Challenges, Regional Responses: How Can We Avoid Fragmentation in the Financial system now available
Global Challenges, Regional Responses - How Can We Avoid Fragmentation in the Financial System?
By: Aceel Kibbi 

Latest report of the Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World now available

The report of the Salzburg Global sessionGlobal Challenges, Regional Responses: How Can We Avoid Fragmentation in the Financial System? is now available to read, download and share.

The 2017 session of the Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World brought together  57 financial leaders from 19 countries across different sectors and regions to discuss emerging risks to the financial system and potential solutions; to review obstacles to global coordination and cooperation in the light of increasing fragmentation; to assess progress in implementing the regulatory reform agenda against the backdrop of ongoing realignment in the global economy; and to outline priority steps to strengthen the global financial system.

The report, written by Silke Finken, Professor at the International School of Management in Munich, Germany, provides an executive summary of the discussions from the intensive two-day program. Also included is a list of all participants in attendance, the opening speech of the Session Co-Chair Ranjit Ajit Singh, Executive Chairman, Securities Commission Malaysia, and the remarks of Jerome Powell, Member of the Board of Governors, US Federal Reserve System.   

Download the report as a PDF

The Salzburg Global sessionGlobal Challenges, Regional Responses: How Can We Avoid Fragmentation in the Financial System? is part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World. More information can be found here:

Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators: Regional Fellow Event
Report from Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators: Regional Fellow Event now available
Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators: Regional Fellow Event
By: Aceel Kibbi 

Report from YCI Forum event now available

The report of the Salzburg Global session Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators: Regional Fellow Eventis now available online to read, download and share.

In its first major regional meeting, the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum) that was held on April 27 to 29 in Detroit, Michigan brought together 16 fellows from the YCI city hubs in Memphis, Detroit and New Orleans. For two days, fellows explored urban transformation, creative placemaking and storytelling in intensive discussions, workshops and peer-to-peer learning.

The YCI forum is a ten-year project that aims to foster creative innovation and entrepreneurship with the intention of advancing economic and urban development worldwide, while supporting innovators in gaining leverage on important social issues within their local communities.

Generously supported by the Kresge Foundation, the session recognized the importance of language and emphasis in communicating multi-faceted projects, defining challenges addressed by one’s work, and articulating what one hopes to gain for an exchange with a funder or policymaker.

Download as a PDF (lo-res)

The Salzburg Global session Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators: Regional Fellows Event is part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Culture and the Arts series. More information on the session can be found here: 

The Art of Resilience - Creativity, Courage and Renewal
Report from The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal is now available
The Art of Resilience - Creativity, Courage and Renewal
By: Aceel Kibbi 

Report from latest Culture, Arts and Society session now available

The report of the Salzburg Global session The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewalis now available online to read, download and share.

The 2017 session, which is part of Salzburg Global Seminar’s long-running series on Culture, Arts and Society, was held from February 7 to 12. Hailing from 21 countries, the 49 Fellows included creative entrepreneurs, artists, politicians, law enforcement officials, environmentalists, social scientists, media analysts, and cultural and community leaders.

The session tackled the polarizing challenges that art and the cultural sector face. Participants were invited to explore creative ways in which they can inspire and strengthen their communities and societies at large to courageously respond to sources of violence and disruption. Fellows concluded the session by highlighting the importance of the involvement of arts organizations and artists in multi-sectoral discussions and policy developments in order to find solutions for global challenges that plague our world today.

The session report, written by rapporteur Margaux Portron, summarizes the topics discussed and the several themes that were examined, including refugees, migration and integration; indigenous communities; climate resilience; urban upheaval; social injustice; post-conflict settings, reconciliation and renewal; and cultural heritage and resilience.

Download as a PDF (lo-res)

The Salzburg Global sessionThe Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal is part of Salzburg Global’s long-runningCulture and the Arts series. More information on the session can be found here:

Salzburg Global Chronicle 2017 - President's Report - report now online
The front cover of the Salzburg Global Chronicle 2017 - President's Report
Salzburg Global Chronicle 2017 - President's Report - report now online
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 
Anniversary edition of report looks back upon four distinct eras in Salzburg Global Seminar's history The 2017 70th Anniversary edition of the Salzburg Global Chronicle - President's Report - is now available online to read, download, and share. This year's report is a special edition, chronicling the seven decades of Salzburg Global Seminar through four distinct eras. It also includes an opening letter from Salzburg Global President Stephen Salyer and a farewell message from the Chair of Salzburg Global's Board of Directors Heather Sturt Haaga, who is stepping down at the end of June. Introducing the publication, Salyer says, "The following pages offer examples of thoughtful, committed and courageous citizens – thinkers, innovators, organizers – who have leveraged their experience and relationships gained at Schloss Leopoldskron to make the world a better place. In this 70th Anniversary year, we salute the power of their ideas, the strength of their resolve and the impact of their lives." The report begins with a focus on the inspiration behind the organization that was then known as the Salzburg Seminar in American Civilization. It then continues to examine several periods of time in Salzburg Global's history: 1948-1961, 1962-1989, 1990-2004, and 2005 onward. For each era, the report highlights a number of Salzburg Global Fellows who attended the Seminar during these years: the Founders, the Risers, the Globalizers, and the Innovators.  In keeping with the anniversary theme, readers can also enjoy a timeline depicting Salzburg Global's 70 years of change-making. This is accompanied by a list detailing every session that has taken place since 1947. Click here to download a PDF of the 2017 President's Report
View the anniversary edition of the 2017 President's Report on Issuu
Beyond Just Us: Crossing the Rubicon of Hope through Justice-centered Leadership
Beyond Just Us: Crossing the Rubicon of Hope through Justice-centered Leadership
By: Nicole Bogart 

Former Public Protector of South Africa Thuli Madonsela delivers inaugural Salzburg Global Lecture at the 70th Anniversary of Salzburg Global Seminar

“Courage is not simply the opposite of fear; it is the audacity to act in pursuit of a cause you believe in, regardless of fear,” said Thuli Madonsela, a human rights lawyer and former Public Protector of South Africa, during the inaugural Salzburg Global Lecture on June 23, 2017. With this speech, filled with reflection on the weekend’s core theme of courage, Madonsela set the tone for the 70th Anniversary of Salzburg Global Seminar at the annual Board of Directors Weekend.

Madonsela’s keynote speech highlighted some of the most pressing social issues of today; from homeless African students going days without food in their pursuit for higher education, to persistent economic inequality, and young people’s political disengagement. Yet, despite these challenges, good things continue to happen: such as technological innovations helping Africa enjoy its own industrial revolution. Madonsela called on global leaders to find the courage to fight for progress and justice, urging Fellows and guests to contribute to small acts of change.

“The peaceful world we yearn for lies in our collective hands. At the core of that world is social justice and the rule of law,” she said. “The invincible summer of hope that fueled the courage behind the Salzburg story lies in all of us. Together, through courage anchored in the invincibility of hope, faith and love, we are more than equal to the challenges of our time.”

Download and read the full lecture transcript

The Many Faces of LGBT Inclusion
The Many Faces of LGBT Inclusion
By: Louise Hallman 

Report from fifth session of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum now available online

The report from our fifth session of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum, The Many Faces of LGBT Inclusion is now available online to download, read and share.

The report was produced following the 2016 session held in Chiang Rai, Thailand - the Forum's first session to be held outside of Europe.

The session was held in Asia in an effort to amplify Asian voices often overlooked in the global LGBT discourse.

Speaking at the session, Salzburg Global LGBT Forum founder and chair, Klaus Mueller, said: “If Asian societies do not advance on LGBT rights, the global LGBT community will not move forward.” He added: “The Forum is aware of the strong Western discourse in LGBT human rights, and the under-representation of Asian voices within that global discourse.”

The 2016 session of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum was held in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Being LGBTI in Asia program, a regional program supported by the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The session was also supported by Austrian Development Cooperation, the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Michael Huffington, and the foreign offices of Sweden, Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The Forum this year brought together 58 Fellows and staff representing 33 countries, bringing the Forum's representation to 65 countries.

The report covers all five days of the Chiang Rai program, as well as giving an overview of the previous years' sessions, detailing the work under-taken since the end of the October 2016 session, and offering insights to how the Forum will continue in the years to come.

The 2016 program had four interrelated themes. The topic of Family encouraged participants to talk about the challenges LGBT communities face regarding family rights, social acceptance, and how family is perceived, defined and lived across our different identities. Continuing the dialogue started in the previous year’s session, Storytelling conversations helped writers, filmmakers, photographers, activists, and policymakers to exchange ideas and expertise on the work they produce, the messages they share, and the audiences they hope to reach. Strengthening International Connections is a key theme of the Forum, and one goal is to deepen the relationship between LGBT human rights groups and foreign embassies, governments, and international organizations which provide logistical, financial and network support to LGBT human rights groups. Transgender Asian Perspectives were discussed with particular attention given to the ongoing legal and social changes affecting transgender populations in Asia. 

Download the report as a PDF (lo-res)

Request a print or hi-res electronic copy

The Next Frontier - Transboundary Cooperation for Biodiversity and Peace
The Next Frontier - Transboundary Cooperation for Biodiversity and Peace
By: Andrea Abellan 

Report from The Next Frontier: Transboundary Cooperation for Biodiversity and Peace now available

The report of the Salzburg Global session The Next Frontier: Transboundary Cooperation for Biodiversity and Peace is now available online to read, download and share.

The November 2016 session, part of the 10-year Park and the Planet Forum, brought together 38 experts from 26 countries. The Fellows explored the challenges necessary to overcome to advance conservation and peace-building efforts across borders. Among other aspects, discussions looked for solutions to problems related to cross-frontier security, nature conversation, and economic growth in transboundary areas.

The report is written by Salzburg Global Fellow, Consultant of the Canadian Parks Council and operations manager at Club Monaco, Chúk Odenigbo. The document summarizes some the topics exposed on the four-day program, namely transboundary trade, resources management, climate resilience and peace. Interviews with some of the fellows can also be found in the report.

While in Salzburg, participants agreed on several initiatives that were collected in the Salzburg Statement for Transboundary Cooperation for Biodiversity and Peace. The document, drafted collectively by Salzburg Global Seminar and IUCN with inputs from the international cohort of Fellows, has already been shared by the Fellows within their networks. Such is the case of Trevor Sandwith, who presented it in the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity Cancun held in Mexico in December 2016.

The Parks for the Planet Forum was launched by Salzburg Global Seminar and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a ten-year collaborative platform to transform and catalyze leadership and action to deliver the Promise of Sydney.

Download a PDF (lo-res) of the report

Salzburg Global Session The Next Frontier: Transboundary Cooperation for Biodiversity and Peace is part of the multi-year Parks for the Planet Forum. This session was hosted in partnership with IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), MAVA Foundation, Arcus Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation, German cooperation (Deutsche Zusammenarbeit), Huffington Foundation, Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Foundation, and others. More information on the session can be found here:

The Corporate Balancing Act - How Can Directors Manage Conflicting Pressures?
The Corporate Balancing Act - How Can Directors Manage Conflicting Pressures?
By: Oscar Tollast 

Report of second session of The Salzburg Global Forum on Corporate Governance now available

A report of the second session held by The Salzburg Global Forum on Corporate Governance has been published and is available to share.

The Corporate Balancing Act: How Can Directors Manage Conflicting Pressures? took place at Salzburg Global Seminar between September 29 and October 1 in 2016.

The session, which brought together 40 participants from 16 countries and of various disciplines, was held in partnership with Shearman & Sterling LLP, BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs, and UBS. It was sponsored by Bank of America and Barclays. Additional support was provided by the Mexican Business Council Fellowship Program.

In addition to highlights from the plenary discussions on topics such as the role of boards as monitors, the importance of independent directors and board diversity, the prominence of shareholder activism and short-termism, and the growth of corporate social responsibility, the report, written by Rupa Briggs of Shearman & Sterling, also includes the following expert insights:  

  • Directors’ Liabilities: Civil vs. Criminal by Patrick C. Leyens
  • Strategic Oversight and the Redefinition of Context by Stephanie P. Bertels
  • The Obsession with Independent Directors by Mariana S. Pargendler
  • Board Diversity: Thoughts and Predictions by Rupa Briggs
  • Short-Termism: Problems, Evidence and Solutions by Edward B. Rock
  • Shareholder Pressures and the Evolving Expectations of US Corporate Boards for Climate Change and Sustainability by Veena Ramani

The Salzburg Global Forum on Corporate Governance launched in 2015 to encourage critical thinking about changing regulatory and economic environments, comparative practices, and the roles and duties of directors. 

Download The Corporate Balancing Act: How Can Directors Manage Conflicting Pressures? (PDF)

The Salzburg Global Session ‘The Corporate Balancing Act: How can Directors Manage Conflicting Pressures?’ is part of the multi-year series Salzburg Global Forum on Corporate Governance. The series was hosted in partnership with Shearman & Sterling LLP, Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon and UBS. The session was also supported by Bank of America and Barclays. More information on the session here:

Images of America - Reality and Stereotypes
Images of America - Reality and Stereotypes
By: Oscar Tollast 

Latest session report of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association now available

A report of the fourteenth symposium held by the Salzburg Seminar America Studies Association is now available to read, download, and share.

Images of America: Reality and Stereotypes took place at Salzburg Global Seminar between September 23 and September 27, 2016.

The session reviewed the ambivalent, conflicting and contradicting images of America worldwide.

This program included 58 participants from 25 countries. Among those invited were academics, post-doctoral students, journalists, and diplomats. The program was supported by eleven US embassies and consulates, as well as the Austrian Association for American Studies, the Emory Elliott Scholarship Fund and the United States Airforce Academy.

During the session, participants were treated to thematic presentations by distinguished speakers and panel discussions. Participants also split up into small theme-based focus groups, reviewing various topics related to the session's theme. 

Participants described and discussed the nature and sources of conflicting images, while remembering the images of America are what they are seen to be in the eyes of the viewer, regardless of the actual reality.

America is portrayed through many different mediums, perhaps more so than ever before. The purpose of this session was to discuss the origins and implications of the various images of America. The major outcome was to enable critical thinking about how images and stereotypes contribute to or complicate relations with others. 

Salzburg Global Seminar was founded in 1947 as the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies. The study of America has played a significant role in the organization's history. Minds from all sectors and backgrounds met in Salzburg over several decades to discuss American politics, foreign policy, economics, and much more.

From 1994 to 2003, the Center for Academic Studies focused sessions on research for new curriculum. A decade later, the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) was established to continue this work. Images of America: Reality and Stereotypes was the fourteenth program since the Association began operating in 2014.

Download the SSASA Images of America: Reality and Stereotypes report (PDF)

The Salzburg Global session, Images of America: Reality and Stereotypes is part of the multi-year series Salzburg Global Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA). More information on previous sessions can be found here.

Young Cultural Innovators Forum III
Young Cultural Innovators Forum III
By: Denise Macalino 

Report from the third annual Young Cultural Innovators Forum now available

The report from the third annual Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators is now available online to read, download and share.

The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators(YCI Forum), is an annual series that supports emerging young artists and cultural actors who are using innovative practices to catalyze urban transformation in their communities. 

Our biggest and most diverse cohort of sixty-four young cultural leaders from sixteen different cities, including six new hubs, gathered in the Schloss Leopoldskron in mid-October. Salzburg Global was fortunate enough to host future innovators this past Fall from Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Japan, the Mekong Delta Region, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Russia, and the United States. 

This group of young leaders spent a week in each other’s company, exploring concepts on how to foster strong culture in order to transform communities. The YCI Fellows, passionate about the growth in their local hubs, connected with like-minded individuals to spread their innovative thinking with a global network. With a revitalized energy towards their work, the YCI Fellows returned to their communities with new perspectives and ideas on their role as leading innovators. 

Download the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators II report (PDF) (low-res)  

The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators III is part of a ten-year multi-year series, which is generously supported by: Albanian-American Development Foundation; America For Bulgaria Foundation; American Express; Arts South Australia; Asia-Europe Foundation; Cambodian Living Arts; Edward T. Cone Foundation; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Korea Foundation; the McKnight Foundation; Red Bull Amaphiko; The Kresge Foundation; Japan Foundation; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; Adena and David Testa; and the Yeltsin Center. 

More information on the session can be found here:

More information on the series can be found here: 

You can follow all the discussions and interactions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by following the hashtag #SGSyci.

Digital Crossroads - Civic Media and Migration
Lead author of Digital Crossroads: Civic Media and Migration, Paul Mihailidis at the 2016 Salzburg AcademyLead author of Digital Crossroads: Civic Media and Migration, Paul Mihailidis at the 2016 Salzburg Academy
Digital Crossroads - Civic Media and Migration
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Report from faculty of Salzburg Academy for Media and Global Change now online 

A report produced with input from this year's Salzburg Academy for Media and Global Change is now online to read, download and share.

Digital Crossroads: Civic Media and Migration has been published by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) in Germany and was written by Paul Mihailidis, Liat Racin and Eric Gordon. Mihailidis is the Faculty Chair and Program Director for the Salzburg Academy for Media and Global Change, with Racin and Gordon also serving as faculty. In addition to their roles at the Salzburg Academy, all three academics work at the Engagement Lab at Emerson College, Boston, USA.

The report follows the 2016 Salzburg Academy for Media and Global Change that brought together 70 students, over 15 faculty members and additional guest speakers from over 15 institutions around the world, representing around 25 nationalities, to consider the role of media and digital literacy under the theme: Migration, Media & Global Uncertainty.

Over the course of the three-week program, this international cohort of students and faculty examined the following two questions: How do we effectively utilize media and social technologies to tell the stories of migrants around the world? How do we change the narratives surrounding migration, from ones perpetuated by fear, to journalistic efforts built upon better frames, less bias and emphasis of universal human values? These questions are now reflected in the new report.

As explained by the Engagement Lab:

"The report examines the uses of digital media among non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with migrants and refugees primarily in Europe. Based on interviews with leaders at over 20 NGOs, this report documents how organizations are thinking about digital and media literacies for combating xenophobia. NGOs are strategically leveraging various storytelling techniques to build effective communication campaigns that identify and respond to discriminatory messages and racist sentiments prevalent in public discourse.

This report highlights seven key strategies for digital storytelling that is current practice as well as a five-part framework of emergent practice. The report concludes with a series of recommendations for the management of digital media programs and projects."

ifa adds:

"In the face of rising xenophobia, humanizing the lives of refugees and migrants cannot be done by statistics and big data alone. There are stories behind numbers, and these stories are integral for forging deep, emotional ties between receiving communities, migrants, and citizens of all backgrounds. Empathy can cultivate a common sense of belonging and shared future. How can NGO’s and communities effectively engage in participatory and dialogic storytelling about complex and nuanced issues, where there is room to highlight positives and negatives, and bring communities together? The present report calls this civic media, and asks how organizations working with migrants and refugees in Europe are using these technologies and practices and provides a framework for digital storytelling."

The 60 page report (PDF) can be downloaded from the ifa and Engagement Lab websites for free.

In addition to the ifa publication, the 2016 Salzburg Academy also saw the publication of a multimedia report from the students, MOVE: Media, Migration and the Civic Imagination which can be accessed online: 

Better Health Care - How Do We Learn About Improvement?
Better Health Care - How Do We Learn About Improvement?
By: Andrea Abellan 

Report from session Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement? is now available

The report of the Salzburg Global session Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement? is now available online to read, download and share.

Salzburg Global sessions on health topics are thought to find effective medical approaches able to satisfy the needs of contemporary societies. One of these includes the program, Better Health Care: How Do We Learn About Improvement? held in July 2015. The session, organized by Salzburg Global in partnership with the USAID ASSIST Project and the New Ventures Fund, aimed to shed light on the best strategies to increase the rigor and generalizability of health improvement interventions.

Sixty-one participants coming from twenty-five different countries reflected on the factors within which health care improvements happen, taking into consideration external features such as context. Through an interactive approach, Fellows talked about effective evaluation approaches that are able to replicate satisfactory results.

The session elaborated on a previous program entitled Making Health Care Better in Low and Middle Income Economies: What are the next steps and how do we get there? that took place in 2012 and resulted in the production of the Salzburg Statement Better Care for All, Every Time: How to Make Health Care Better in Low and Middle Income Countries. This new occasion gave Fellows the opportunity to analyze how the medical field and the patients’ needs have evolved over the last years.

In the following report, you can find some of the insights arising from the gathering. The summary is written by Anjali Chowfla, Improvement Specialist working on the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems project being implemented by University Research Co., LLC. Apart from addressing the session inputs, the report covers some interviews with the participants.

The Salzburg Global Seminar program Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement? WAS held with the support of the USAID ASSIST project and the New Venture Fund. For more information on the session and to register, please visit the session page:

Law and the Use of Force - Challenges for the Next President
Law and the Use of Force - Challenges for the Next President
By: Michelle Dai Zotti 

Former legal adviser to the Department of State delivers the annual Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law - and offers advice to incoming President Trump

On January 20, 2017 the US will have a new Commander-in-Chief as President Donald J. Trump is sworn into office. On November 20, 2016, 200 guests gathered at the U.S. Supreme Court for the Sixth Annual Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture, where John B. Bellinger, III, former Legal Adviser to the Department of State during the George W. Bush administration, offered advice for the incoming President.

“It will be critical for President Trump, Vice President Pence, and their senior advisers to learn and follow domestic and international law governing the use of force. And if there’s one message I have tonight, that is it,” declared Bellinger, now a partner in the international and national security law practices of Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC, and Adjunct Senior Fellow in International and National Security Law at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The lecture was held by Salzburg Global Seminar under the auspices of the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law. The lecture series was started by Salzburg Global Seminar in 2009 to honor the life and work of Lloyd N. Cutler, former White House Counsel to Presidents Carter and Clinton and long-time Chair of Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors.

Download the full transcript

Bellinger’s timely lecture was titled “Law and the Use of Force: Challenges for the Next President” and was followed by a question and answer session moderated by David Rennie, Washington Bureau Chief at The Economist. This year’s lecture was hosted by Associate Justice and Salzburg Global Faculty member, Anthony Kennedy who delivered the opening remarks. In his speech, Justice Kennedy reflected on Salzburg Global’s history and importance in rebuilding post-war Europe intellectual capacity by spreading American values of democracy and the rule of law. Justice Kennedy also congratulated Salzburg Global for its ability to nurture young talents and to give them the opportunity to engage in political and civic discourse. 

Reflecting on the US' involvement in military conflicts over the past 15 years, Bellinger provided a thorough analysis of domestic and international legal rules governing the use of military force by the executive branch. Bellinger particularly reflected on the Bush and Obama presidencies and looked ahead to the legal challenges for the next President.

As Bellinger explained, while Article II of The Constitution provides the President with broad but not unlimited powers as Commander-in-Chief to use military force for self-defense purposes or national security issues, most Presidents prefer to also seek congressional approval through the so-called "Authorization to Use Military Force" (AUMF). The President should also adhere to the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which requires the President to report the use of US armed forces and to terminate their deployment within 60 days unless authorized differently by Congress. However, due to recent political gridlock, the last AUMF passed by Congress dates back to October 2002 when Congress authorized military intervention in Iraq. In order to gain authorization for the use of force against groups loosely associated to Al-Qaeda that did not exist at the time of 9/11 (such as Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria and ISIS in Syria and Iraq), recent administrations have resorted to stretching an AUMF passed right after the attacks of 2001.

International laws can be even more challenging than domestic rules: The United Nations (UN) Charter, and the Geneva Conventions, both adopted after World War II, were intended to apply to conflicts between nation states. The UN Charter does not allow the use of force against terrorists in another country unless authorized by the UN Security Council or the state itself consents. Therefore, the US’ use of force against terrorist suspects in countries that have not consented to such interventions, like the raid in Pakistan that killed Osama Bin-Laden, is very controversial; legal approval from Congress does not necessarily stop the US’ actions from being in violation of international law. As Bellinger remarked, domestic and international laws are outdated and need to be updated to better reflect the realities of modern warfare against non-state actors.  

Given his isolationist, non-interventionist remarks during the recent Presidential campaign, Bellinger expects that Trump will be less likely to order the use of force than President Obama has (or Hillary Clinton would have), Bellinger believes Trump could still be confronted with a situation that would require intervention in Syria or elsewhere to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. 

Bellinger presented the following recommendation for the President-elect: From a domestic law perspective and with respect to the conflicts with al-Qaeda and ISIS, President Trump should push Congress to enact a new authorization in early 2017 that would revise and update the 2001 AUMF and legally approve the use of force against ISIS. President Trump should also ask Congress to revise and update the War Powers Resolution that has been increasingly ignored by recent Presidents. Bellinger also advised the new administration to refrain from ignoring international law. If the US violates international law, it might empower other countries such as Russia and China to do the same and alienate international allies in Europe, Canada and Australia. The Trump administration should work together with other countries to update the international legal framework regarding the use of force and develop new rules for the detention of non-state actors. 

Bellinger concluded his lecture with the following words: “We must hope that President Trump will select advisers as wise as Lloyd Cutler to give him sound legal advice - and that he will listen to their advice.”

In the Q&A section of the evening, David Rennie and John Bellinger discussed the lack of interest of the US Congress and even the American people to question the legitimacy of the use of force under international law compared to other countries, for example in Europe. The conversation, which also included questions from the audience, touched upon the legal framework for preventing or executing cyberattacks, the use of torture and the legitimacy of civilian casualties.

The lecture concluded with closing remarks delivered by Stephen Salyer, President of the Salzburg Global Seminar. 

For further analysis of the lecture, read David Rennie's Lexington column in the Economist: Donald Trump and the dark side

Press inquiries can be directed to Thomas Biebl, Director of Marketing & Communications:

Financing the Global Economy: How Can Traditional and Non-Traditional Sources Be Integrated?
Financing the Global Economy: How Can Traditional and Non-Traditional Sources Be Integrated?
By: Louise Hallman 

Report for latest session of the Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World now online

The report of this year’s session of the Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World is now available online to read, download and share.

Since 2011, Salzburg Global Seminar has held a series of high-level programs focusing on issues critical to the future of financial markets and global economic growth and stability. The 2016 session of the Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World brought together over fifty bankers, policymakers, regulators and supervisors, representatives of financial services firms and alternative financial intermediaries, consultants and academics from across the globe for three intensive days to discuss: Financing the Global Economy: How Can Traditional and Non-Traditional Sources Be Integrated? 

The key question governing deliberations of the three-day session at Schloss Leopoldskron was how to sustainably finance the global economy and growth using all available channels such as banks, market-based finance, fintech, and non-bank challengers, as well as policy banks, in a way which enhances the overall quality of finance while preserving stability. 

The report, written by Silken Finken, professor of International Management at International School of Management (ISM) in Munich, Germany, summarizes discussions on a variety of topics, including:

  • Banks and Markets: Debt, Equity and Potential for the Economy
  • Capital Markets Across the Globe: Integration or Fragmentation?
  • Building Resilient and Effective Market-based Finance
  • Emerging Risks and Vulnerabilities: Are We Worrying About the Same Things?
  • Digital Disruption in Capital Markets
  • The Role of Fintech in Providing Financing for the Economy 
  • The Role of Policy Banks in Providing Reliable Financing to the Economy

Also included are reports of the working groups, which considered such questions as "How can we develop the right infrastructure that supports market-based finance?" and "What are the possible scenarios for the evolution of the markets?".

Download the report as a PDF

Salzburg Global Seminar is grateful to the following organizations for their generous support of this session:

Partners: Ernst & Young, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Oliver Wyman

Sponsors: Deutsche Bank

Co-sponsors: Cleary Gottlieb, The Cynosure Group, Davis Polk and Dynex Capital Inc.

Salzburg Global Seminar would like to thank all the participants for donating their time and expertise to this session and the Advisory Committee for their continued support and guidance.

Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World - The First Five Years
Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World - The First Five Years
By: Jessica Franzetti 

Report now online Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World: The First Five Years

The report from the multi-year series Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World – The First Five Years – is now available online to read, download and share.

After the global financial crisis (GFC) of 2007-2008 that led to many industry-wide changes across international markets, Salzburg Global recognized the need for extended dialogue to address financial strategy and policy shifts in the post-GFC world. With its inaugural session held at the Austrian National Bank in Vienna in 2011, the Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World was founded. In 2016, five years since its inception, the most recent session, Financing the Global Economy: How Can Traditional and Non-Traditional Sources be Integrated? – was held at Schloss Leopoldskron during June 2016.

Senior bankers, regulators, and policymakers from the USA, Europe, and Asia convened to critically analyze the ever-shifting economic and regulatory environment, compare practical experiences and engage in open dialogue on ethical and media questions. Connecting some of the world’s leading experts in the financial sector and building a network of partners and sponsors, the annual meeting has evolved into one of the premier off-the-record gatherings in the global finance world.

Download the report as a PDF.

Hooked on Health Care - Designing Strategies for Better Health
Hooked on Health Care - Designing Strategies for Better Health
By: Jessica Franzetti 

Report now online Hooked on Health Care – Designing Strategies for Better Health

The report from the latest session in the Health and Healthcare in the 21st Century seriesHooked on Health Care: Designing Strategies for Better Health – is now available online to read, download and share.

As the dependency on health care services continues to grow in developed nations, there is an increased need for examination of the prevailing model and its focus on treatment rather than consideration of the wider determinants of health. In partnership with the Health Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 60 participants from 17 different nations convened during January 2016 to discuss their respective countries’ approach to health and provide insight into shifting to a health ideology rooted in broader, more preventative measures.

With participants from a range of disciplines, including, public health policy, business, and urban planning, Salzburg Global Fellows sought to address the value of wellbeing, the roles of businesses, government and civil society actors in promoting health, and health justice. Their discussions focused on building new insights by dialoguing about their diverse experiences in varying sectors, regions, and areas of expertise.   

The report, written by Emma Spencelayh, Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, covers Fellow discussions and conclusions concerning the future of health in both developed and developing nations, which they delved into during their five day session at Schloss Leopoldskron.

Download the report as a PDF.

Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts - Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities
Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts - Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities
By: Jessica Franzetti 

The report from Salzburg Global-supported event in Cambodia on arts in post-conflict countries is now available online

The report from the inaugural session Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities is now available online to read, download and share.

In 1975, the Khmer Rouge launched a genocidal regime in which 2 million Cambodians died – including 90% of the artists working in the country. In 2016, the Cambodian art scene, with Phnom Penh at its heart, has reemerged as the country’s population, 60% of whom are under 25, utilize the arts to rebuild, unify, and renew their unique cultural traditions. In collaboration with Cambodian Living Arts and with sponsorship from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, 45 delegates from 24 countries were invited to discuss the critical challenges facing a post-conflict nation and the role that arts and culture can play as a vehicle for positive change.

Held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where post-conflict transformation is a lived reality, the three-day workshop served as a starting point for increased South-South dialogue. The diversity of the delegates’ fields, from cultural renewal and development to youth resilience and social innovation, allowed for a diversity of perspectives in addressing deep-rooted mistrust and challenges faced in the preservation of heritage and cultural identity. The program included plenary sessions, breakout groups, and site visits, which allowed for extensive dialogue concerning art and its unique ability to transform a culture and aid in rebuilding a society.

Download the report as a PDF

The EU - In or Out?
John Major delivers the third annual Palliser lecture at HSBC
The EU - In or Out?
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Former UK Prime Minister asks should the UK stay in or out of the EU at the annual Palliser Lecture

Sir John Major, former Prime Minster of the UK, delivered the Palliser Lecture for Salzburg Global Seminar in London on Wednesday 15 June on the theme The EU: In or Out? 

Speaking at the event, hosted by HSBC, Sir John argued that the EU had been, and remains, essential to the UK’s security as well as prosperity: 

“NATO is our military arm in times of danger. But the EU has worked to prevent military action; to bring former enemies together; to end Franco-German hostility; to build economic cooperation; … it has widened its borders to offer democracy to nations once trapped in the Soviet sphere; … it has faced down threats from Russia and Iran with communal sanctions … Little or none of this could the UK have done alone.”

Download the full transcript

He rebutted the Leave campaign argument that EU membership compromises our security:

“We’re told that – if we stay in the EU – all sorts of terrorists and undesirables are going to come flooding into our country from Europe. Really? Over the last decade two terrible incidents stand out: the 7/7 bombings in London and the murder of Lee Rigby. Both were carried out by long-term UK residents, not European migrants.” 

He pointed to the reality of our trading relationship with Europe as opposed to the wild guesswork of what it might be outside:

“We export six times as much to the EU as to Brazil, Russia, China and India added together. We export five times as much to the EU as to all the other 52 members of the Commonwealth added together. And we sell more services to tiny Luxembourg than to mighty India with a population of over one billion. These are the facts now – not the Boris-in-Wonderland aspirations of what might come to pass if we left Europe…” 

Sir John emphasised the overwhelming support from the UK’s friends, allies and investors to remain. With a view to the investment essential to jobs and national prosperity, he said: 

“When I hear that China is poised to triple her investments inside the EU – I think of what the UK might lose outside of it. And when I put the question: “Is the world more likely to invest in a British market of 65 million or a European market of 500 million?’ I am beyond baffled that anyone could argue for exit from the European Union.”

Brexit could have a devastating effect on Europe which would rebound on the UK, warned Major:

“If the UK leaves and if the EU implodes, the impact on our security, our trade, our living standards and on Europe’s place in a world of mischief would all be negative. The next few years could be chaotic, dysfunctional, and the fight to secure national advantage for each European Country could be ugly – and produce many casualties.”

He tackled the Leave campaign arguments on immigration:

“Over half of all our immigration is from outside the EU. EU migrants include 52,000 doctors and nurses; 80,000 social care workers; 43,000 academics in Higher Education; and a total of 240,000 men and women in our public services. Are they really unwelcome? Are they undesirable? Are they a threat? What an absurd notion.”

Sir John argued that remaining is the patriotic choice:

“In this debate over Europe no one side has a monopoly on patriotism. The Leave campaign believes it is patriotic to – I quote – ‘take back control’. Although I don’t doubt their sincerity, the premise of that statement is profoundly flawed, and their definition too narrow. 

“I believe it’s patriotic to work with others to ensure our security; to improve our economic wellbeing; to carry British influence and British values around Europe and the world. The optimistic patriot looks outwards and forwards – not inwards and backwards.

“It is simply not true that we need to leave Europe to make us a great country: we are a great country – that is why people wish to come here.”

He concluded:

“If our nation votes … to leave on the basis of half-truths and untruths then – pretty soon – the grave-diggers of our prosperity will have to account for what they have said and done – but that will be of no consolation, for we will be out. Out for good. Diminished as an influence on the world. A truly great Britain, shrunk down to a Little England.

“That is not the future I wish to see for our country.”

Download the full text of the Lecture as a PDF

This news article was held back until today with respect to the suspension of the EU referendum debate following the murder of MP Jo Cox. Salzburg Global shares in the worldwide outrage at her death and sends deepest condolences to her family and friends.

This was the third annual lecture to be held in memory of the Rt Hon Sir Michael Palliser GCMG, who died in 2012.

Sir Michael served as Vice Chair of the Board of Salzburg Global Seminar and was a founding trustee of the London-based 21st Century Trust, which now works exclusively with Salzburg Global Seminar. His counsel and support were a huge boon to our work over many years. Sir Michael enjoyed a long career in the British Diplomatic Service, culminating as Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Head of the Service. He also served on the boards of a number of companies, including as Chairman of the merchant bank Samuel Montagu & Co., a subsidiary of HSBC.

The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH was Prime Minister from 1990 until 1997. He was elected an MP in 1979 and a decade later was successively Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer before succeeding Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister in 1990.

Parks for the Planet Forum: Nature, Health and a New Urban Generation
Parks for the Planet Forum: Nature, Health and a New Urban Generation
By: Patrick Wilson 

Report from the inaugural session of the Parks for the Planet Forum now online

The report from the inaugural session of the Parks for the Planet Forum – Nature, Health and a New Urban Generation – is now available online to read, download and share.

The world is seeing an extraordinary and unprecedented increase in urbanization, with 70% of the global population predicted to be living in cities by 2050; an increase from 3.5 billion people today to 7 billion in just 35 years. At the same time, global levels of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, cancers, respiratory, and heart diseases are soaring, particularly in towns and cities, due to the change in diet and lack of exercise that many people experience. Coupled with this, nature is being squeezed out of urban areas, despite the mounting body of evidence that shows nature has a crucial role in tackling the decline of city-dwellers’ health and wellbeing. These health and urbanization trends, combined with an increased disconnection between humanity and nature, affect not just people’s physical health, but their mental and spiritual health too.

The November 2015 session followed on from these issues that were raised in The Promise of Sydney at the IUCN World Parks Congress in 2014.

The Session developed a call to action on the global challenge and harness emerging opportunities to connect nature and health for the benefit of new urban generations; formulated a Salzburg Statement that identified the key measures that need to be put in place; and aimed to catalyze leadership groups to take the global agenda forward.

The Forum brought together 37 leaders from 20 countries across public health, the environment, urban planning and more to share best practices, develop practical actions to leverage transformational change, and identify opportunities to take the lead in putting parks at the heart of solutions to creating healthy, productive and livable cities fit for the future.

The report written by Liz Barling discussions from the various plenary sessions on reconnecting with nature and catalyzing protected green and nature spaces in increasingly urbanized cities as well as recommendations from the working groups. Also included are several Fellow interviews on their work to promote nature projects and information on projects brought to fruition after the session.

Download the report as a PDF