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Inaugural Finance Forum Webinar Explores Future of European Union
European Central Bank HQ at nightPhoto by Paul Fiedler on Unsplash
Inaugural Finance Forum Webinar Explores Future of European Union
By: Oscar Tollast 

Panel of experts look at long-term consequences of a German European Central Bank ruling for the future of the European Union and Eurozone

A panel of experts examined the future of the European Union (EU) in the aftermath of a recent German European Central Bank ruling.

The Salzburg Global Finance Forum hosted an inaugural webinar on the topic on Thursday, July 2, with speakers Andreas Dombret, José Manuel González-Páramo, and Yves Mersch.

On May 5, Germany’s constitutional court ruled the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program did not respect the “principle of proportionality.”

At a time when COVID-19 is straining cohesion in the EU and raising concerns over long-term recovery, panelists looked at what risks this ruling poses for the Union’s institutions and future viability.

Fellows from the Finance Forum and Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum were invited to take part in the discussion, which was held under the Chatham House Rule.

However, Mersch, a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank since 2012, has since published his opening remarks.

Building on the success of the first webinar, a second webinar on “Digital Infrastructure Resilience: Fostering Growth and Confronting New Challenges” will take place on Monday July 13.

The debate will feature panelists including: Lori Mitchell-Keller, vice president for industry solutions, Google Cloud; Peter Kerstens, advisor, European Commission; Michael Mosier, deputy director and digital innovation officer, U.S. Department of the Treasury/FinCEN; Katheryn Rosen, managing director, JP Morgan Chase (TBC).

Daniel Gorfine, founder and CEO of Gattaca Horizons, will moderate the discussion. Clare Shine, vice president and chief program officer at Salzburg Global, will provide welcome remarks.

During the webinar, participants will examine the critical role digital financial infrastructure can play in accelerating resilience, fostering growth and addressing inequality, which is crucial in the times of COVID-19. The program will also discuss existing institutional and policy gaps and address related risks around data security, privacy, and regulatory fragmentation. More information can be found here.

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Black Lives Matter: Toppling Colston - Vandalism or Vindication?
Statue of Edward Colston is thrown into Bristol harbor by Black Lives Matter protesters. Photo credit: Keir Gravil/Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/ksagphotosStatue of Edward Colston is thrown into Bristol harbor by Black Lives Matter protesters. Photo credit: Keir Gravil/Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/ksagphotos
Black Lives Matter: Toppling Colston - Vandalism or Vindication?
By: Timothy Ryback 

Historian and former Salzburg Global Vice President, Timothy Ryback launches new blog series on Contested Histories

This article is authored by Timothy Ryback on behalf of the group of experts – convened by the IBA, Salzburg Global Seminar, and IHJR – which is preparing a volume of eight case studies addressing the social, political and legal dynamics in facilitating or complicating the resolution of public disputes over contested historical legacies in public spaces. The project will be the product of three years of in-depth research. Find out more here. This article is the first in a series and was first published on the IBA website.

During the Black Lives Matter protests in the first week of June, a bronze statue of slave trader Edward Colston was toppled from a pedestal in Bristol, United Kingdom, dragged through the streets, and dumped in the harbor. A crowd applauded and cheered. "It could only have happened that way," said Bristol poet laureate Miles Chambers. "It could only have been ripped down." The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson saw things differently. "I will not support or indulge those who break the law," Johnson said after the attack on the Colston statue. "If you want to change the urban landscape, you can stand for election or vote for someone who will."

Since the killing of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer at the end of May, protesters have attacked statues and monuments in cities across Europe and the United States, highlighting the importance of historical legacies in public spaces, but also raising fundamental questions about the role of statues, monuments and street names in public life, as well as the need for established principles and processes for aligning a country’s narrative landscape with its evolving social or political circumstances, in particular, in a world of increasingly diverse and multi-ethnic societies. In brief, how does a democratic society deal, as Johnson suggests, with complex historical legacies within the parameters while respecting the rule of law?

It’s not the first time we’ve seen massed protesters tearing down historical symbols in public spaces. Following the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989, statues of Marx and Lenin were toppled across the former Soviet bloc. In Ukraine, where thousands of Lenin statues fell, people coined the term, Leninopad, or "Lenin fall." In Poland, a "memory law" required municipalities to rename streets and public spaces honouring Marx, Lenin, and more than a hundred other names associated with "communist, totalitarian or authoritarian rule." The Estonian-based historian Siobhan Kattago writes of the "living topography of a nation," that evolves with a nation’s evolving sense of self. Some things are "fiercely remembered," Kattago writes. Others are "forgotten and overgrown."

Edward Colston is deeply imbedded in Bristol’s memory landscape, its municipal consciousness. There’s a Colston Avenue and Colston Towers. Bristol bakeries produce "Colston buns," schoolchildren wear a "Colston flower" on his birthday. Colston Hall, a leading music venue, has hosted the Beatles, David Bowie and Elton John. And there’s the Colston statue.

The ten-foot bronze was erected in 1895 to honour a wealthy businessman who earned much of his fortune in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, through the slave trade of the Royal African Company. Bequeathing his fortune to the port city of Bristol, Colston’s legacy was managed in good part by Bristol’s Society of Merchant Venturers, an ancient and venerable organisation dating back to the 13th century. It supports the Colston Girls’ School, along with other philanthropic work. They also commissioned the Colston statue.

In 1920, a local clergyman criticised Bristol’s "cult of Colston," detailing Colston’s links with the slave trade, but it took over 70 years for controversy to stir. In 1998 an activist scrawled the words "Slave Trader" on the statue's base. In 2007, when Nelson Mandela was invited to Bristol to commemorate the bicentennial of the abolition of slavery, local activists wrote to warn him that his "presence would be seen as condoning an overwhelmingly white city council which is accused of riding roughshod over the wishes of the city’s black population." Mandela declined the invitation.

In 2014, a retired journalist, Mike Gardner, described Colston as "one of the most evil men in British history." "It’s time to stop little girls wearing flowers to celebrate his birthday," Gardner wrote in an article addressed to the city’s political leaders. "And it’s time to pull down that statue." An opinion poll, conducted by the Bristol Post, found a 56% majority in favor of retaining the Colston statue. However, it was decided that a bronze plaque explaining Colston’s problematic legacy should be added.

The draft text read: "As a high official of the Royal African Company from 1680 to 1692 Edward Colston played an active role in the enslavement of over 84,000 Africans (including 12,000 children) of whom over 19,000 died en route to the Caribbean and America." Colston also "invested in the Spanish slave trade and in slave-produced sugar." The plaque stalled amid wrangling over wording.

Meanwhile, local activists coalesced into the Countering Colston campaign, which fuelled public debate by calling for the renaming of Colston Hall. A petition for the name change gathered over 2,000 signatures. Two counterpetitions were launched, gaining over 5,000 and 7,000 names respectively. The Bristol Post was deluged with letters. "Anybody who thinks that Bristol is such a terrible place," one person wrote, "is welcome to go and live somewhere else."

Joanna Burch-Brown, a senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Bristol and a member of Countering Colston, analyzed 50 of the letters sent to the Bristol Post. She found that only 16 advocated change. Objections ranged from "political correctness gone mad" to "white washing history" to "Colston was a man of his time." One letter noted that the pyramid had been built by slaves; another that the Africans had sold "their fellow countrymen" to the European slave traders "for a few goodies." "Bristol has a population of about 449,300 people," one person wrote. "I hardly think 2,400 signatures is a mandate to change the name." The letter writer asked: "Would we change the name of England because 0.53% of the country voted for it?"

In October 2017, Burch-Brown presented initial findings of her study in Bristol Live. She noted there was a perception that the Countering Colston campaign was "being driven by a tiny minority obsessed with political correctness, and does not reflect the values of the rest of the city." Burch-Brown did not deny the democratic deficit. "We see this campaign as an expression of respect for universal equality, and the fundamental dignity of all human beings," she wrote. "These values are non-partisan, and are ones that all Bristolians can share." By spring 2017, the decision had been taken that Colston Hall would be re-named on re-opening, following refurbishment, at some point in 2020. A satisfactory text for the Colston statue plaque had been finalised and cast in bronze. Then George Floyd was killed.

Since Floyd’s death, on Monday, May 55, protesters around the world have attacked, toppled, torched, and crushed hundreds of statues, some "fiercely remembered," others "forgotten" or "overgrown." The living topographies of nations were shaken. On Sunday, June 7, amid rising protests, the Colston statue was smeared with graffiti, toppled and thrown in the harbor where slave trade ships once anchored. The next day, the British Home Secretary announced in the House of Commons that the Bristol protesters would be prosecuted for the vandalism. The Criminal Damage Act 1971 provides for prosecution of a "person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another," or attempts to destroy or damage. A person guilty of any other offence under the Act could face up to ten years in prison. More serious infractions can result in "lifetime imprisonment."

"I hope that the Council will not press charges," Burch-Brown said at the time. "But if prosecutions do go ahead, then we must see this as an opportunity." Burch-Brown noted that courts have long provided "an important platform" for effecting social change. She said, "Landmark speeches have been made, and societies changed forever." To date, no charges have been filed.

The Colston statue has since been recovered from Bristol harbour. It will be displayed in the city museum after restoration. Fran Coles, Conservation and Documentation Manager for Bristol Museums, told The New York Times that the graffiti will be preserved. ‘It has become part of the story of the object, of the statue,’ she said.

As with the erasure of Soviet legacies three decades ago, the assault on the topographies of former slave-trading nations suggests a seismic shift in society. It also raises fundamental questions about appropriate means for re-scripting urban landscapes, but also, as Burch-Brown suggested, our understanding of representation in a representative democracy.


Timothy W. Ryback is the executive director of the Institute for Historical Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands, and former deputy secretary general at the Académie Diplomatique Internationale in Paris, France. He previously served as the resident director and vice president of Salzburg Global Seminar. Dr. Ryback has written extensively on complex historic legacies, in particular, those related to national socialism. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, among others. His book, Hitler's Private Library, has appeared in more than two dozen languages and is currently being adapted for the stage in London. He has a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

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Youth Engagement and the Peacebuilding Process
Smartphone featuring Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram apps.Photo by dole777 on Unsplash
Youth Engagement and the Peacebuilding Process
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Salzburg Global Fellows taking part in the Asia Peace Innovators Forum share their experiences and challenges

Ahead of the Asia Peace Innovators Forum, several Fellows shared their experiences and challenges related to youth engagement in the peacebuilding process. Below are some of their observations, which we encourage others to comment upon and discuss further.

A program aimed at young people in Sri Lanka promotes values common to all religious communities. The project involves activities to encourage compassion, cooperation, tolerance, active listening, honesty, sincerity, peace, and respect. The content has proven to be popular, easy to teach and implement. The project also seeks to create partnerships with universities and faculties, although it is difficult to get access to schools due to strict regulations.

The tension between different communities can exacerbate through social media, particularly through the online activity of young people. The spaces that NGOs occupy don’t tend to overlap with the online spaces occupied by these young people due to different languages and networks of people. Therefore, finding ways to reach out to people who would not already be taking part in the programs is a challenge. Another challenge lies in finding ways to sustain engagement through online platforms.

This values approach is not prescriptive but open, encouraging free discussion by asking young people what these values mean to them and how they appear in the context of their own lives and experiences. One of the project’s primary aims is to develop young activists and teach them to use their voice in matters that are important to them. It is typically older and more powerful actors who control the space in which young people can voice their opinions. Therefore, the project is still searching for ways to allow young people to be the drivers of those discussions.

During the war between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), children lived in fear of being recruited as soldiers. The after-effects remain. Participants heard of the highly segregated education system that exists, which deepens the division between groups. In Nepal, meanwhile, people are pushing for legislation that bans child combatants. They are working with child soldiers to record and share their experiences in print and video.

Nepal has seven federal states. Different ethnic groups from each state use social media in ways that can increase conflict, such as the use of hate speech. Divisions can create information gaps between older and younger generations, as well as between local governments and young people, which have caused several problems in Nepal.

A nonprofit based in Nepal has been working with local governments to make people understand what they can do for them, and be more active in shaping policies to help young people. Social media is useful to disseminate this information, but without any laws surrounding it, social media can also spread fake news and narratives.

The nonprofit aims to make young peacemakers and leaders more visible. By showcasing their work and enabling spaces for them to meet other young people, the project shows how young people can create opportunities for themselves. The Youth Parliament also provides an understanding of how parliament functions. Positivity is being instilled in young people who are hoped to become agents for change. 

During the conversation, participants heard that in Thailand, where different groups speak different languages, a communication barrier exists between communities. This problem, however, is not recognized due to the centralization of government. There is also a large gap between the political interests of young people and older populations.

Points for Further Discussion

  • How can social media be used to reach out to young people, and sustain engagement with those already in our networks?
  • How can organizations overcome language barriers that prevent their message from getting across to different communities?
  • How can social media be used to promote positive role-modeling?
  • Besides social media, what other ways can we involve young people in the peacebuilding process?
  • How can peacebuilding projects form meaningful collaborations with the education systems in their respective countries?

This discussion took place under the auspices of the Asia Peace Innovators Forum, a program held in partnership with the Nippon Foundation. Sign up for our newsletter here to receive updates about this program.

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Take Education Funding Seriously or Face a “Human Tragedy”
Take Education Funding Seriously or Face a “Human Tragedy”
By: Qatar Foundation 

Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former UK Prime Minister, warns of the danger of large-scale cuts to education spending at Salzburg Global-WISE program

This article was originally published on the Qatar Foundation’s website

Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned the underfunding of education means “a human tragedy is unfolding”, at an international conference organized by Salzburg Global Seminar and Qatar Foundation’s global education initiative, WISE.

Speaking at Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined Part II – a three-day virtual gathering addressing the impact of COVID-19 and the future of education systems around the world – Brown, a UN Special Envoy for Global Education, voiced his fears that “hope will die” among millions of children and young people if they are denied access to learning because their countries cannot afford to give them the opportunity.

He called for solutions including debt relief for the poorest nations to allow them to invest in education and health, saying: “I harbor the aspiration that we will be in a world where we are developing the potential of all young people, but we also have to recognize that we have an education emergency impacting the life chances of millions of children around the world.

“We know that $180 a year is spent on the education of a sub-Saharan child, compared to $5-7,000 a year on a child in Western and other countries; that 70-80 percent of young people in countries like South Korea, Japan, and Singapore can go into some form of higher education, while in an African country it is less than five percent. It’s not just about what then happens to education systems – it’s about what happens to children and young people as human beings.

“It’s said you can survive 40 days without food, eight days without water, and eight minutes without air, but you can’t survive for a second without hope. Hope doesn’t just die when food convoys cannot get through or ventilators are not available; it can die when young people feel they don’t have a chance to plan for, or dream of, the future. And we have to face the fact that it will die unless we take the necessary action.”
Brown told the conference that education is being “crowded out” as other areas are prioritized for expenditure and aid, and that low- and middle-income countries with “already low and meager education budgets” could see them cut further, described this as “a recipe for disaster.”

“As well as persuading countries that they cannot build for a long-term future without investing in education, we have to remind them that education unlocks opportunities for employment,” he said. “We must persuade them that not cutting education budgets is not just in the interests of education, it is in the interests of quality of life.

“Financing education has to be taken seriously, because we cannot send teachers into classrooms without the resources they need, and children into schools without the necessary backing. A human tragedy is unfolding if we do nothing and leave education completely underfunded, lacking the resources to enable children to flourish in the future.”

Speaking about his hope that “we can be the first generation in history where we can say every child goes to school”. Brown emphasized that education cannot be reformed without global cooperation, saying: “Scientists, technicians, researchers, virologists, and immunologists all want to work together to fight COVID-19. The same is true of teachers, educators, and others in education to coordinate a response to the crisis that it faces.

“We know we have a challenge ahead, so let us work together to reimagine a new future and put pressure on to ensure the proper financing of education. We can make a difference. I think back to the ‘space race’, with the US and Russia vying to get to the Moon quickest, and then, in the 1990s, they came together to create the International Space Station.

“If we can cooperate in outer space, surely we can find better ways to cooperate on earth and build the future for education that we all dream about, and that every child in the world deserves.”

All Means All

The conference saw participants given an overview of the 2020 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report by its director, Manos Antoninis of UNESCO. He said that “identity, background, and ability still dictate education opportunities,” highlighting that children with disabilities are two-and-a-half times more likely never to go to school than their peers and, in at least 20 countries, no girls in poor rural areas complete secondary school.

The report also found that inequality has contributed to the education crisis caused by COVID-19, with 40% of poorer countries not targeting at-risk learners in their response to the pandemic; and said understanding of the importance of inclusive education needs to be widened, funding should be focused on “those left behind”, governments should encourage parents and communities to help design inclusive education policies; and inclusive practice should be a core rather than a specialized topic for teachers’ development.

“In a world increasingly faced with uncertainty and precariousness,” said Antoninis, “inclusion has to be central to the future of education.”

For more information or to watch sessions in full, please visit: www.wise-qatar.org  

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Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined: Part II
In partnership with WISE, Salzburg Global Seminar will next week (June 23-25) host the second part of the Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined series
Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined: Part II
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Second program from Salzburg Global and WISE addresses what comes next for schools as they deal with the "new normal" post-COVID-19

Three months into the global COVID-19 pandemic, physical lockdowns have disrupted education for 75% of the world’s students and highlighted the interconnectedness of education systems with students’ health, well-being and security. As the academic year comes to a close in much of the world, we must adapt to the “new normal” as we prepare for the new school year.

In partnership with WISE, Salzburg Global Seminar will next week (June 23-25) co-host the second part of the Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined series to explore the systemic responses to the COVID-19 crisis and unpack what has worked, what has not worked, and what can be reimagined not only for the coming academic year, but for the future of education and learning.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, serious questions have been raised about the resilience of our current education systems. This crisis has pushed the education sector’s existing shortcomings into new territory, from learning design to equity and access. The impact of COVID-19 cannot be underestimated and we are likely to see further disruption over the coming years as education systems continue to transition into a new phase. The roles of our education leaders, academic institutions and our approach to teaching and learning will need to be redefined.   
 
The theme “Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined” therefore reflects this idea of redefinition; disruption no longer has to be a point of crisis but can rather be a moment of opportunity where we reimagine our existing systems and rebuild them in a way that allows for greater equity, access and innovation.

Salzburg Global will be co-hosting the first day of the program, which will feature keynotes from Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO and Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former UK Prime Minister. Manos Antoninis, director of GEM Report, UNESCO, will also deliver a special address where he will share highlights from this year's report, which is published on the day of the conference. Other panel discussions will be led by practitioners and policymakers from Bangladesh, Finland, Guatemala, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, the UK and the US.

The day’s discussions will build on the foundations set in the first part of the series, held in April, and look at the data and indicators coming out of schools and systems to consider how we best measure the effectiveness of different responses to the crisis.

The first program brought together online thousands of teachers, administrators, researchers and education advocates around the world to hear from education leaders on the frontlines about how they are managing this unprecedented disruption. 

The second and third days of this installment in the series, led by WISE and HolonIQ will explore how we can best future-proof educational ecosystems and leverage existing innovation to bolster resilience and how the current crisis has accelerated cross-sector collaborations and in turn, underline the need to bridge deep digital divides. 

Participation is free and open to all. To register, please visit: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/3/6k0kpb7 


The program Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined: Part II is being held in partnership with WISE, an initiative of Qatar Foundation.

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Fellows Outline Hopes and Expectations for Network
Photo of a man holding a post-it note that says AIPhoto by Hitesh Choudhary on Unsplash
Fellows Outline Hopes and Expectations for Network
By: Oscar Tollast 

Inaugural Fellows of Japan-India Transformative Technology Network help craft their program

Change-makers and leaders working in human and planetary health have outlined their hopes for the Japan-India Transformative Technology Network as the program's partners review its strategy in the wake of COVID-19.

The Network will connect leaders from two of Asia's largest democracies to develop ideas for artificial intelligence (AI) innovations and applications across three interconnected fields: health systems; accessibility, mobility and inclusion; and living and liveable cities.

A select core of Fellows was set to take part in an in-person workshop, Harnessing the Power of AI for Human and Planetary Health, in Magome, Japan, in March 2020 as the entry point to the program. Instead, the program, held in partnership with the Nippon Foundation, will begin online with a host of activities designed to initiate personal relationships between Fellows, introduce them to the challenges they are addressing in their daily work, and to encourage a creative exchange of solutions.

In advance of these activities, Salzburg Global Seminar asked Fellows what they hoped the Network would help them achieve and what they would like to learn. Fellows spoke of their desire to network with practitioners and researchers working in AI, to make a more significant impact in their work, and to forge new partnerships. Several Fellows also spoke directly to the directions they wish to follow in leveraging the resources provided by the Network.

Given the program's focus on human and planetary health, it comes as no surprise that several of its Fellows find themselves at the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Several of these Fellows hope that the Network will help them to build new visions for post-COVID-19 health systems in India and Japan. One Fellow felt the Network could provide a "unique opportunity" to reassess the cracks in both countries' health systems and address deep-seated inequalities.

Another Fellow expressed a drive to explore the power of AI in social media, online community discussion, and online chatbots for support. Others are keen to see how AI can address challenges in infrastructure and social sectors at all levels and help strengthen urban mobility. As the author William Gibson said, "The future is already here – it's just not very evenly distributed." The Network created by this inaugural cohort of Fellows can provide a space for change-makers from different fields to "unravel" urban challenges, as one Fellow suggested, across diverse city-scales.

In the coming months, Fellows will be encouraged to share some of these ideas and seek advice from each other. Salzburg Global will ask Fellows to contribute to a series of blog posts and interviews focused on the Fellows themselves and their work. This content, shared within the Network, will introduce the Fellows' personalities, aims, and ideas, as well as the challenges they hope the Network can help them address.

These contributions will also serve as the basis for several follow-up topical discussions to be held online over the remainder of 2020. These online meet-ups will examine how societies can maximize the potential gains from AI for people and the environment, and identify common ground for collaboration in these fields.

As the survey made clear, the opportunity to network with experts from different fields is something that appeals to many of the Network's inaugural Fellows. However, while Fellows want to learn more about new technologies in Japan and India, they also want to be more informed about each country's cultural practices, shared values, and beliefs as they seek to build stronger connections and transform systems.

The Japan-India Transformative Technology Network will contain a diverse, cross-sectoral mix of perspectives from different professions working within research and development, implementation and commercialization, and expansion and scaling-up. Salzburg Global expects this diverse mix to contribute to a rich exchange across sectors and disciplines, but in response to Fellows' broader interest in exchange at the personal and societal level, Fellows will also be given the opportunity to introduce their cultures and daily lives to each another through recommendations for their favorite books,  movies,  etc., offers of virtual tours of places dear to them, and other such activities.

As the Network develops, Salzburg Global and the Nippon Foundation look forward to the personal and professional connections it will nurture through these early online activities, and we hope that they will set the stage to make its future activities all the more valuable.


The Japan-India Transformative Technology Network, held in partnership with the Nippon Foundation, aims to accelerate technological innovation for human and planetary health in line with the Sustainable Development Goals by building a dynamic cross-sector network of outstanding change-makers in Asia’s two largest democracies, India and Japan. To receive more updates about this program, sign up for the Leadership Exchange Asia Program newsletter here.

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Creating Digital Connections Across American Cities
Creating Digital Connections Across American Cities
By: Louise Hallman 

Young Cultural Innovators from across Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis and New Orleans “meet up” despite lockdown as regional program moves online

“Let’s arrive together!” declared Amina Dickerson as she opened the first-ever online Young Cultural Innovators (YCI) Regional Hub program and over 40 creative changemakers and community leaders from across four YCI city hubs across the US – Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis and New Orleans – all joined a Zoom call at the same time. 

While the duration and location of the program Creating Connections Across American Cities” might have not been as planned – for a few hours online instead of over a weekend at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Le Mondo arts venue and Waller Gallery in Baltimore, Md., USA – the same YCI energy could be found and connections were certainly strengthened, even in the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Calling in from their respective lockdowns, the Young Cultural Innovators, participants of the YCI Forum from the past six years, were encouraged by Dickerson, many-time YCI Forum facilitator to “Get comfortable, close your eyes, take deep breaths. Inhale the intentions for the day, and exhale all the stuff you want to get rid of.” With a land acknowledgement led by Ojibwe and Chicano rapper, Sacramento Knoxx, preferred pronouns declared and a visible joy at being brought back together, the inclusive space typical of the Young Cultural Innovators Forum was achieved – even on Zoom. This positivity was reflected by many in their “one word” given to start the day, with responses including “energy”, “cozy,” “grateful,” “calm,” “open,” and “happy.” 

But not all was positive. Many YCIs confessed to feeling “stuck,” “scattered,” “unfocused” and “unsure.” As large urban areas with sizeable populations of people of color, many of the communities that the Salzburg Global Young Cultural Innovators of Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis and New Orleans represent and serve have been hit especially hard by the virus. 

With communal and exhibition spaces shut down and events and community outreach cancelled due to social distancing measures, many of the YCIs are grappling with how best to serve their communities in these times of COVID-19. 

Some have been addressing immediate basic needs such as providing food and shelter for vulnerable groups, either through direct volunteering or by mobilizing other groups. Much of this mobilization and information sharing happens online (as with many things these days), but this raises further challenges of how to serve vulnerable portions of communities, such as the homeless and the elderly, who are not online. Some YCIs have been using “snail mail” and flyers in efforts to counter this problem.

Others are leading fundraising and promotional efforts to help other artists. “Fundraising is on everyone’s minds right now,” admitted a YCI from Detroit. While various grants and loans are being made available both from federal and municipal governments as well as foundations and private philanthropists, artists, musicians and other creative producers with irregular incomes particularly struggle to prove exact loss of income, making accessing such funds difficult. 

As much activity – including the arts, through such activities as online film festivals, arts-led discussions, and classes – moves online, there’s a fear that “digital redlining” is happening, with the exclusion common in cities in the physical space being replicated online, excluding marginalized people and communities even further from the arts. “Arts and culture is necessary to bridge communities; digital isn’t as inclusive as we think,” said a YCI from New Orleans. 

Many of the cities represented have already dealt with significant shared trauma, such as New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. With many people turning to the arts – either as a sector or individuals – to provide distraction and comfort amid the crisis, many artists feel a pressure to support their communities at a time when they themselves are struggling. “There’s a feeling of needing to overcompensate with online activity to stay relevant,” worried another New Orleans YCI. Addressing one’s own mental health through “radical acts of self-care and self-love” is much needed, suggested a YCI from Baltimore, to help ensure the arts can bounce-back post-COVID-19 and notburnout in the meantime. 

What Comes Next?

After sharing their respective cities’ struggles, thoughts turned to the future. Questions of how to reopen post-lockdown abound across sectors, and this is no different in the arts. Through breakout group conversations covering topics including the role of the arts in healing collective trauma, sustainable connections between the cultural sector and public policy, and rethinking business models for cultural initiatives, the YCIs considered the future for their respective organizations, work, and cities. 

Some concerns are immediate: “Will there be enough PPE (personal protective equipment) in order to reopen cultural spaces?” Others are more long-term: “How can we build back better?” Given the “squandered opportunities” post-9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, there was a shared desire among the YCIs to not miss this potential for a once-in-a-generation shift in how communities interact with each other and the arts. 

To build back better post-COVID-19, the arts sector needs capacity building, with some YCIs looking to how they can shift their grant-funded non-profit organizations to more self-sustaining social enterprises. 

A mind-shift on the value of the arts is also needed. Many artists, photographers and writers are “being asked to give and give and give” at the moment with little to no remuneration, unlike other disasters where they might receive hazard pay, lamented a YCI from Detroit. How can we collectively shift the mentalities of not only those who rely on and support the sector but also those within it to better value the work being done and the community service being rendered?

This was “No time for despair,” said Dickerson in closing. “It is going to be the creative spirits who will define what a new normal is going to be.”

Galvanized by their renewed connections across their cities, the YCIs committed themselves to making this program “a beginning, not an end” with proposals for future programming and regular monthly meetings. One upside of lockdown: the power of digital convening is clear.  

This virtual regional meeting of the YCI Hubs in Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis and New Orleans was generously supported by The Kresge Foundation

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Salzburg Global Provides Community Support Awards for Young Cultural Innovators
Fellows come together for a group hug during last year's program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural InnovatorsFellows come together for a group hug during last year's program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Salzburg Global Provides Community Support Awards for Young Cultural Innovators
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Funds redistributed to support Salzburg Global Fellows in Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans in light of COVID-19 pandemic

Salzburg Global Seminar will support Young Cultural Innovators (YCI) who have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In partnership with the Kresge Foundation, Salzburg Global will provide 12 awards up to $500 to members of the Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans Young Cultural Innovator Hubs.

Members from these Hubs were due to visit Baltimore, MD, this year for a regional meeting. Following a consultation, however, members suggested the funds be reallocated to support financially-hit Fellows.

Artists and cultural practitioners around the world have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the cancellation of scheduled projects, events, and opportunities.

Salzburg Global and the Kresge Foundation are delighted to accommodate the request from Fellows and provide assistance during these difficult times.


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators empowers rising talents in the creative sector to drive social, economic, and urban change. Launched in 2014, it is building a global network of 500 competitively-selected changemakers in “hub” communities who design collaborative projects, build skills, gain mentors, and connect to upcoming innovators in their cities and countries.     

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Maslow Before Bloom: Educators Need to Meet Learners’ Basic Needs in Time of Pandemic
An apple with books and other learning materialsPhoto: Element 5/Unsplash
Maslow Before Bloom: Educators Need to Meet Learners’ Basic Needs in Time of Pandemic
By: Louise Hallman 

Teachers are being called on to do more than just teach during the Coronavirus crisis

While long-held by some educators, the maxim “Maslow before Bloom” has never been more relevant than now, in the midst of the global novel Coronavirus pandemic.

More than 95% of children have had their learning disrupted due to the pandemic, with over 180 countries closing schools. As Vishal Talreja, co-founder and trustee of Dream A Dream explained during the opening keynote of Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined, a two-day online convening hosted by WISE and Salzburg Global Seminar, it is not only their education that has been disrupted, but for many children being out of school has also meant the loss of their sense of routine and community and, in the case of the most vulnerable children, access to nutrition and a safe environment away from an abusive home. 

Before delivering Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy of learning – remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating – educators must thus first ensure that their students’ basic needs are met, as best exemplified in Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: starting with physiological and safety needs through to social belonging, self-esteem and self-actualization.

The virtual conference – the first in a new series that the two organizations are co-convening – saw participation of over 40 expert speakers and thousands more teachers, administrators, researchers and education advocates around the world to explore how education leaders on the frontlines are managing this unprecedented disruption. 

The country-wide lockdown in India has resulted in many children not only out of school but also acting as carers and emotional stabilizers for their younger siblings, explained Talreja, speaking via Zoom and livestreaming to both YouTube and Facebook. Many fear the possibility of their parents’ death while enduring lockdown in small, overcrowded homes and neighborhoods that make social distancing nigh on impossible. With many parents out of work and with little savings, few are able to afford neither the school fees nor the electricity needed to power mobile phones for continued online access to education – to mention nothing of the food to feed their families.

Deborah Kimathi, executive director of Dignitas in Kenya, reiterated this point: many children in the informal settlements that ring Nairobi rely on school for food, protection and many other aspects of their wellbeing. 

Supporting such families has thus become a priority for many organizations in the education sector as the world faces this unparalleled crisis. 

In South Africa, education nonprofit Symphonia used the partnerships made through its Partners for Possibilities program to connect local businesses with the necessary resources to supply school communities with much-needed food supplies. Similarly, Azad Oomen, co-founder of Global School Leaders, has been encouraging their partner schools to first address the basic needs of their school communities by reaching out directly to parents before working out what educational resources will be needed to continue to deliver education. They too are then working with local business and partners to fulfill basic needs such as providing food.

In countries where national and regional governments are in the position to support citizens, school leaders are best-placed to know, understand and address their school communities’ needs, reiterated Deborah Netolicky of St Mark’s Anglican Community School in Western Australia. 

Beyond helping to meet the basic physiological needs of their students through the provision of nutrition, the pandemic has highlighted the need to address the need for personal and emotional security and well-being – and schools’ roles in providing such. 

Throughout the five parts of the two-day conference, the importance of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) was repeated highlighted. Improving the social and emotional skills of learners of all ages will not only help them thrive in the 21st century workplace – which increasingly values the “4 Cs” of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity – but would also help address students’ immediate needs of safety and security by improving their resilience and helping reduce their stress. 

Indeed, SEL is important not only for students, but also their families, and teachers and education administrators themselves. 

No one yet knows when this crisis will fully abate such that schools can reopen. At-home and online learning may well be a reality for the rest of this academic year and even into the next. Ensuring that the basic needs of children can be met in the interim will mean that all children are in a better position to learn – and hopefully thrive – during this prolonged pandemic. 
 

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Putting on Our Own Masks First: Helping the Helpers
Woman wearing a maskDenis Jung/Unsplash
Putting on Our Own Masks First: Helping the Helpers
By: Louise Hallman 

In time of pandemic, educators need as much support as their learners

As many as nine in ten children are currently out of school as a result of the global novel Coronavirus pandemic, requiring millions of learners to make the transition to at-home learning. But it is not just the students themselves who need to make this adjustment – teachers need help too.

At the two-day online convening hosted by WISE and Salzburg Global Seminar, Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined, thousands of teachers, administrators, researchers and education advocates around the world heard from education leaders on the frontlines about how they are managing this unprecedented disruption. The virtual conference was the first in a new series for the two organizations, which both typically convene their programs in person. 

Like many nonprofits operating in the education sector, Symphonia in South Africa also usually delivers its “Partners for Possibility” program in person, connecting local businesses with schools serving children in low-income and marginalized communities, and fostering strong personal engagement between business and education leaders. This kind of interaction is no longer possible since the nationwide lockdown rolled out on March 27. 

As Robyn Whittaker, stakeholder engagement lead for Partners for Possibility, explained via Zoom, the organization’s first priority was to shift to digital platforms to maintain the community members virtually. Their primary platform has been the mobile messaging service, WhatsApp, widely favored for its low-data usage, widespread adoption, and easy setup and usability even for “tech-phobic” and low-resourced schools. 

Taking the “own mask first” approach usually applied to airplane safety, the organization first focused on supporting school principals ahead of school children, recognizing that if these school leaders did not have their own health, wellbeing and training needs met they would be ill-prepared to serve their school communities. 

Supporting their school principals was also a top priority for both Canada’s Ontario Principals Council and Kenya’s Dignitas explained Nadine Trépanier-Bisson, OPC’s director of professional learning and Deborah Kimathi, Dignitas’ executive director. While the annual March break gave schools in Canada some time to prepare for the lockdown, there was a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about when schools would reopen. By continuing its weekly meetings as well as providing one-on-one support, the OPC offered its school leaders not only professional support – how to transition to at-home learning, develop online pedagogies, hold virtual staff meetings, etc. – but also social and emotional support, focusing on the principals’ wellbeing and how they can improve their own self-care during this high-stress period. Similarly, Dignitas’ pivot to virtual programming during Kenya’s lockdown has also focused on the wellbeing of their programs’ participants – the school educators, not the learners.

Edutech company OX in Argentina also recognized the importance of offering more than just tech support. When he opened up the learning platform for free in response to the COVID-19 crisis, OX CEO Agustin Thienen told his employees to be ready to offer emotional support to users, also realising that it was not only the students who would be missing the supportive school environment. 

Everyone – not only children but also teachers and administrators, and families and caregivers – needs to learn how to deal better with stress, especially in times of crisis. Social and emotional learning is thus important for everyone, explained Daniela Labra Cardero, the chair of Attentamente, an education nonprofit in Mexico. Developing internal resilience and retaining a sense of purpose is vital.

Beatriz Pont, Senior Analyst on Education Policy at the OECD posed the question: How can teachers teach when they have their own challenging home situations? As she spoke, the weekly “Clap for Carers” applause sounded outside on the streets of Paris. 

Closing the day’s discussions, Asmaa Al-Fadala, Director of Research and Content Development at WISE and one of the co-chairs of the program (alongside Salzburg Global’s Program Director for Education for Tomorrow’s World, Dominic Regester), encouraged the 1000s of participants joining online via Zoom and streaming on Facebook and YouTube to help launch a similar initiative: Clap for Teachers.

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A New Era for American Studies
American flag in the grassPhoto: Aaron Burden/Unsplash
A New Era for American Studies
By: Louise Hallman 

Seven decades after the first American studies seminar was held at Schloss Leopoldskron, a new era dawns with the launch of the American Studies Program

Since its very beginnings in 1947 as the Salzburg Seminar in American Civilization, Salzburg Global Seminar has reserved a dedicated place for American studies in its programming. Once our sole focus before the organization started to expand its outlook in the 1960s and 1970s, the field of American studies continued to feature prominently, first as the American Studies Center between 1994 and 2001 and latterly as the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) since 2004. Starting in 2020, we will celebrate its major relaunch as the Salzburg Global American Studies Program.

A Long History

When the first session of the Salzburg Seminar in American Civilization was convened in the summer of 1947, the world was a very different place – as was the United States’ place within it. Europe had been devastated by two World Wars while America was thriving in a post-war industrial boom and taking an increasingly prominent place in the world – politically, economically and culturally – as the former colonial powers of Europe faded. 

To bring together bright young minds who were former enemies, the three founders of what became Salzburg Global Seminar – Austrian Clemens Heller and Americans Dick Campbell and Scott Elledge – chose the medium of American studies. In post-war Europe there was a keen interest and indeed fascination with anything related to American life and values. Co-chair of that first-ever session, literary historian F. O. Matthiessen, assured participants that “none of our group has come as imperialists of Pax Americana to impose our values on you,” and that the program would consider not only the strengths of American democracy, but also its “excesses and limitations.” 

Today, the US’ excesses and limitations have become abundantly clear: with its political deadlock, crumbling healthcare system, continuing racial strife and waning global influence, it is clear that America is no longer the shining city on the hill. This change at home and abroad has huge ramifications for the global order. It raises new questions for Salzburg Global Seminar, whose programs and networks now straddle 180 countries: does American studies still have a place at Salzburg Global Seminar?

The answer, of course, is an emphatic yes.

In these uncertain times, we believe there is no more trusted and important setting than Salzburg Globalto address critical issues confronting the United States and the future of the liberal international order. It is imperative to deepen global understanding of American culture, society and politics and to stimulate vibrant debate about the political, economic and social changes taking place in the United States and how these influence, and are influenced by, the rest of the world.  

A New Era

With the launch of the Salzburg Global American Studies Program, it is not only the name that is changing. New funding has been secured thanks to chair emerita of Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors, Heather Sturt Haaga and her husband Paul Haaga Jr., who have made a 10-year endowed contribution to support the future of American studies at Salzburg Global.

This incredibly generous gift provides a long-term foundation for bold programming that fully integrates American studies in Salzburg Global’s core impact goals, starting with a new three-year series that will look at the future of democracy, both in the US and beyond. The major three-year collaboration seeks to help shape a future vision for the United States and American studies in a radically changing world and will culminate in a special program to mark the 75th anniversary of Salzburg Global Seminar in 2022.

American studies at Salzburg Global have long attracted academics in diverse fields such as history, literature, cultural studies, the dramatic arts and political science, as well as practitioners in the fields of journalism and diplomacy. With this ambitious relaunch, the new program series seeks to broaden this diverse international community further with participation across academia, culture, media, civil society, government, business, law, and technology, bringing together practitioners and thought leaders from different generations and backgrounds, connecting researchers, teachers, artists, journalists, diplomats, entrepreneurs and politicians with a strong interest in strengthening democratic principles and practice. 

New program leadership will also be established following the retirement of Marty Gecek, who will remain involved as the chair of the newly named American Studies Program Advisory Committee. Recruitment for a new program director – based either in Salzburg or the US – began in spring 2020, but is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 crisis. The 2020 program will be led by Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer Clare Shine. 

“We are more committed than ever to preserve the legacy of American Studies at Salzburg Global and to stimulate critical debate and foster cross-cutting understanding and innovation,” says Shine. 

A full program listing for the 2020 program is available online: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/678 Registration is now open.
 

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COVID-19: An Update from Salzburg Global President & CEO Stephen Salyer
COVID-19: An Update from Salzburg Global President & CEO Stephen Salyer
By: Stephen L. Salyer 

"Let's remember that although we are separated physically, we are together in spirit and purpose."

Dear Friends,

Openness, hospitality, and innovation lie at the center of everything we do at Salzburg Global Seminar. It is perhaps important to remember, however, that terrible adversity and renewal are also key themes intertwined across our organization's 73-year history. After all, Salzburg Global was born in the aftermath of World War II, when Europe remained divided and in the throes of economic and social crises.

COVID-19 presents challenges on a scale and timeline that, at times, feel overwhelming. But we are finding comfort and hope in the actions we are taking as a community – of Fellows, of colleagues, of families and friends – to persevere.

Many of you have asked how Salzburg Global is faring during this period of quarantine and travel restriction. As you may know, the Austrian government closed all Salzburg hotels, including Schloss Leopoldskron, on March 16. We expect to reopen gradually later in the spring, under strict conditions protecting the health of staff and visitors. We have postponed all in-person program convening through June 2020, and are working with our partners to reschedule activities for the balance of 2020 and 2021. In the meantime, we have put in motion extensive programs of digital convening and collaboration. Watch SalzburgGlobal.org for details, and please plan to participate.

We are fortunate that the Austrian and United States governments have both offered programs of support. Last month, 51 colleagues in Salzburg moved into a temporary employment support program that allows them to work reduced hours while the Austrian government subsidizes the payment of salaries through June. We have also applied through the US CARES Act for a low-interest, forgivable loan equal to eight weeks of US wages and some benefits. Our Washington staff have accepted reduced benefits during this period, and senior staff have taken voluntary salary cuts.

Despite these measures and across-the-board spending reductions, we face a substantial deficit this year produced by falling program and hotel income. Our staff understand this is an unprecedented crisis. Each one of them is doing everything in their power to see us through. It is gratifying that Fellows and friends and supporters are rallying to make gifts at levels they can afford.

The response by everyone across the Salzburg Global community inspires our efforts to shape a better future, and our daily actions to support transformative thinking and action across the world. I am confident that together we can weather this storm and emerge stronger in many ways.

So let's keep our ideas flowing. Let's remember that although we are separated physically, we are together in spirit and purpose. Let's be kind to our neighbors and to each other. Let's share the belief that our proudest days are ahead not behind, and that we will shape the future together.

My best wishes to each of you, your families, and friends for a safe and healthy few weeks to come.

Sincerely,

Stephen L. Salyer
President & CEO, Salzburg Global Seminar

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Young Cultural Innovator Participates in Leadership Exchange in Cape Town
From left to right - Salzburg Global Fellows Palesa Ngwenya, Atianna Cordova, and Linda KaomaFrom left to right - Salzburg Global Fellows Palesa Ngwenya, Atianna Cordova, and Linda Kaoma
Young Cultural Innovator Participates in Leadership Exchange in Cape Town
By: Lucy Browett 

Salzburg Global Fellow Atianna Cordova reflects on 2018 trip to South Africa

Salzburg Global Fellow Atianna Cordova, founder of WATER BLOCK, embarked on a trip to Cape Town, South Africa, as part of a cultural leadership exchange.

The exchange took place in 2018 through a travel scholarship awarded by Salzburg Global Seminar and funded by The Kresge Foundation to enable YCI alumni to continue collaborating across borders.

Cordova, who attended the fourth program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators, collaborated with other YCI alumni, including Palesa Ngwenya and Siphiwe Ngwenya, who run the Maboneng Township Arts Experience (MTAE). Palesa and Siphiwe also took part in this leadership exchange through the travel scholarship, making a trip to New Orleans and Detroit to collaborate with YCI fellows.

During the trip, Cordova took part in a variety of activities to immerse herself in the culture of South Africa. She said, “This travel included small group discussions involving oral history exchanges with elder residents, tours by local community leaders, parades and street festivals to commemorate South African Heritage Month, historic site visits, skill-building sessions on communication and organizational development with local artists.”

Cordova’s experiences were moderated by organizations such as the Robben Island Museum, District Six Museum, and MTAE.

Additionally, Cordova met with 10 women from different parts of Africa for dinner at Timbuktu Café organized by YCIs Linda Kaoma and Palesa Ngwenya. She said, “The communal dinner was a moment for us, as black women creators, to affirm, connect and reflect on our experiences, while sharing best practices and ideas that promote social change.”

The fourth program of the YCI Forum provided Cordova with the initial concept behind the cultural leadership exchange. Cordova commented that the program reinforced the need for those that identify as part of the African Diaspora to intentionally gather outside of program hours to “share challenges and commonalities as art and design practitioners and black people.”

She added, “Our laughter and tears highlighted the need for even more opportunities to connect, collaborate and simply celebrate us.”

Cordova says her experiences in this exchange have benefitted not only her community back home, but also the communities she visited in Cape Town.

“By engaging in this inter-hub exchange, dialogues around cultural identity, self-preservation, post-disaster recovery, traumatic healing, and relationship building allowed us to further develop skills needed to use art and design as transformative tools in communities around the globe.”

“From the group discussions to the historic site visits, this trip broadened my communication and entrepreneurial skill sets, which increased my ability to address challenges in my own community in New Orleans. Although no words can truly describe the magic that happened during this travel, I'm excited about future opportunities to highlight the narratives of black innovators and continue creating access and justice for black people through our respective works.”


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators empowers rising talents in the creative sector to drive social, economic and urban change. Launched in 2014, it is building a global network of 500 competitively-selected change-makers in “Hub” communities who design collaborative projects, build skills, gain mentors, and connect to upcoming innovators in their cities and countries.

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COVID-19: A Message from Salzburg Global President & CEO Stephen Salyer
COVID-19: A Message from Salzburg Global President & CEO Stephen Salyer
By: Stephen L. Salyer 

“We recognize in times like today leadership, solidarity, communication and cooperation are vitally important. We believe we all have roles to play.”

As a global institution focused on shaping a more creative, just, and sustainable world, Salzburg Global Seminar is fortunate to work with Fellows in more than 180 countries around the world. 

As president but also as a Salzburg Global Fellow, I wanted to reach out on behalf of everyone at Salzburg Global Seminar and Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron to let you know how we are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Salzburg Global Seminar has lived through many crises over its 73-year history. We recognize in times like today leadership, solidarity, communication and cooperation are vitally important. We believe we all have roles to play.

In this period, we are putting first the health of our staff, Fellows and partners. For this reason, our team members based in Salzburg, Washington and other places, are working remotely for the next several weeks, and Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron is closed until we can safely re-open. 

While we are postponing the majority of our programs in Salzburg up to June 2020, we are striving to make better use of the digital tools available to bridge divides, expand collaborations and transform systems. Even if for now we can’t bring our Fellows and partners to Schloss Leopoldskron, we are implementing new ways to bring Salzburg Global to the world. 

Here are just two current examples: 

  • On March 20 – the International Day of Happiness – will will partner with Karanga for the world’s largest free online Social and Emotional Learning Conference. As a Salzburg Global  Fellow, you can participate through Zoom, Facebook, or Twitter.
  • Working with the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, the planned May 2020 program on the Climate Emergency and the Future of Food will now be transformed into a major online and digital collaboration designed to emphasize the imperative for holistic food system transformation to achieve a 1.5°C world by 2050. The program will connect diverse food system actors and stakeholders, helping to create strategic alignment and inclusive coalitions in advance of forthcoming political milestones, such as COP26 in Glasgow later this year and the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021.

Stay tuned. There will be more opportunities to engage in programs together over coming months. 

We cherish the Salzburg Global family – our Fellows, partners, supporters and friends – and we hope you do too. Let us together leverage our intelligence and influence to produce meaningful change.     

We are all in this together. Please share your ideas for how to make the most of this necessary period of physical isolation. Please let us know what we can do to support your efforts.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Schloss Leopoldskron one day soon. In the meantime, keep the spirit of Salzburg Global with you and reach out to other Salzburg Global Fellows who share your values and commitment. 

Sincerely,

Stephen L. Salyer
President & CEO, Salzburg Global Seminar

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Statement on COVID-19 Preparation and Response
Statement on COVID-19 Preparation and Response. Salzburg Global Seminar and Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron.Statement on COVID-19 Preparation and Response
Statement on COVID-19 Preparation and Response
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Salzburg Global Seminar and Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron outline measures taken in the face of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak

UPDATED Thursday, May 28, 2020

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Salzburg Global Seminar and Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron have responded with a comprehensive and cross-institutional set of practices to support public health efforts, mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and ensure the most effective safety and hygiene measures are implemented in our facilities, Schloss Leopoldskron and the Meierhof. 

Our top priority is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our employees, our program participants, all guests, and the wider communities where we live and work, in particular Salzburg, Austria and Washington, DC, USA. 

We continue to follow COVID-19 developments around the world very closely, ensuring full compliance with Austrian requirements and regularly consulting with Austrian authorities and with leading public health experts in the Salzburg Global Fellowship.

Salzburg Global Seminar Programs

After careful consideration and in discussion with our partners, Salzburg Global has adapted its program schedule for 2020, postponing all onsite programs through the end of September 2020, and transitioning all programs to a series of online and digital engagements. 

Despite the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, Salzburg Global remains committed to building and sustaining a community of Fellows and partners around the world and to bridge divides, expand collaboration, and help transform systems as we all seek to shape a more creative, just, and sustainable world. 

Salzburg Global’s programs and events are being updated regularly. Our latest program information is available here: www.salzburgglobal.org/calendar   

We would like to thank all of our Fellows, partners, and friends for their support and engagement during this time and we look forward to welcoming you all back to Schloss Leopoldskron in the future. 

Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron

All hotels in the State of Salzburg were closed by the state government on March 13, 2020 as a critical public health measure to contain the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Following updated guidance from the Austrian government in mid-April, and the easing of public health restrictions, Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron will open again on May 29. 

Over the last 10 weeks, Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron has put in place comprehensive measures to ensure the highest standards in sanitation and hygiene, food preparation and service, and the protection of our guests and employees. 

A full list of measures implemented by Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron can be found here: https://www.schloss-leopoldskron.com/en/covid-19-information 

Continuing Engagement with Austrian Government and Public Health Authorities 

We remain in regular contact with the local health authorities and follow their instructions regarding measures for public health and infection control. We have also engaged the services of a local doctor, who will work with us to carry out the necessary protocols for public health should a guest need medical advice or become ill during their stay.

Our aim is to minimize the inconvenience of our guests while these measures are in place and to do everything we can to offer you a pleasant, relaxing, and healthy stay at Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron.

We thank you for your understanding. Our Hotel Reception and Events Teams are available via email: reception@schloss-leopoldskron.com / events@schloss-leopoldskron.com  

References

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Cutler Fellows Program Speakers Develop the Next Generation of "Superlawyers"
Two speakers of the eighth annual Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program, Judge Diane Wood and Luis AlmagroTwo speakers of the eighth annual Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program, Judge Diane Wood and Luis Almagro
Cutler Fellows Program Speakers Develop the Next Generation of "Superlawyers"
By: Soila Kenya 

The Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program is bridging the gap in mentorship between law students and industry professionals.

To Lloyd N. Cutler, mentorship was a matter of course. Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, said of Cutler, "Lloyd had an unusual ability to see potential in others and to help them develop talents they might not even know they had."

Often referred to as the last "superlawyer," Cutler was a co-founder of the Washington, DC law firm, Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, and White House Counsel to two US presidents. He was dedicated to the mission of ensuring promising young international lawyers, academics, and jurists were nurtured in their fields to make a positive impact in their communities.

Carrying on this legacy, the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program continues to attract talented and experienced judges, lawyers, and members of the legal fraternity to provide insights and guidance to a yearly cohort of Cutler Fellows.

This year, from February 20 to 22, 56 law students from 14 top US law schools convened in Washington to discuss the utility of international law in finding solutions to the world's most urgent challenges.

Among the speakers was Judge Diane Wood, Chief United States Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for The Seventh Circuit. She gave a keynote address where she spoke, among other things, about Nadia Murad, a young Yazidi woman who was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.

In 2014, Murad was captured by the Islamic State (ISIS). After escaping, she fled to Germany and founded an organization, Nadia’s Initiative, dedicated to "helping women and children victimized by genocide, mass atrocities, and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their lives and communities."

Judge Wood used the story of Murad to show international law transcends individual nations. "Law does not stop at the border of a nation…there are norms that bind all countries no matter what their political system, no matter what their internal policy preferences," she said.

Judge Wood has served on the Seventh Circuit since 1995 when she became only the second woman to serve on that court. She has taught at Georgetown University Law School, Cornell Law School, University of Chicago Law School, and has worked at the US State Department. She has also served in the private sector, practicing general antitrust and commercial litigation. In an interview with Salzburg Global, she revealed being a woman, and especially a mother in her profession has meant she has faced an uphill battle throughout her career.

"When I moved to the University of Chicago, which was in the middle of 1981, I was the first and only person on the law faculty ever to be someone's mother. When I started teaching, I had a 19-month old daughter and a two-week-old son, and [it was] very hard trying to get all of that balanced and keep up professionally the way I thought I should and have eventually a third child. So I had three children, the oldest of whom was four. It was pretty wild," she said.

Another speaker at this year's program was Luis Almagro, Secretary-General, Organization of American States (OAS). His speech to the Fellows centered around his vision of a true realization of human rights in the Americas.

His advice for young lawyers was simple, "My first advice always is to be good. That sounds maybe too elementary. But in fact, it makes a substantial difference of what you end up doing in life and how you deal with your profession and how you deal with the use of justice… And then, of course, to keep studying and keep learning. Knowledge is permanently evolving. And what you know today may not be like that tomorrow. And so you have to keep learning," he said.

He revealed his biggest inspiration is boxing legend Muhammad Ali. "He was a pacifist… He was stripped from his title because of his principles and values, and maybe he was not always a perfect person, but that is how persons are," he said.

John Bellinger III of Arnold & Porter and former U.S. Legal Adviser also spoke at this year’s Cutler Fellows Program and has been a long time speaker at the program. He spoke in conversation with Stephen Hadley, former U.S. National Security Advisor. Other prominent speakers to be featured in the program include Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer, World Bank; Mary DeRosa, former Deputy Assistant and Deputy Counsel to the President and Justice Richard Goldstone a former South African judge.

In his decade-long tenure as Chair of the Board of Directors at Salzburg Global, Cutler always ensured capable lawyers just starting had access at Salzburg Global to knowledge from a wide variety of judicial traditions, international legal institutions, and the international legal community at large. The Cutler Fellows program, which started in 2012, looks set to continue his mission in the years to come.


The Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program is held under the auspices of the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law. The program is held in collaboration with fourteen of the leading US law schools. This year's program is being sponsored by Arnold & Porter LLP, B. Thomas Mansbach, a board member and the chair of the Cutler Center Advisory Board and NYU Washington, DC, and contributors to the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law.

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Lawyers for a Just Society – Top Law Students Meet for Annual Cutler Fellows Program
Lady Justice. Image: Pixabay/Sang Hyun ChoLady Justice. Image: Pixabay/Sang Hyun Cho
Lawyers for a Just Society – Top Law Students Meet for Annual Cutler Fellows Program
By: Soila Kenya 

Law students from 14 US Law Schools meet in Washington, DC, for three days to discuss the future of public and private international law.

Students from top US law schools will convene in Washington, DC this weekend to discuss the ways in which international law and legal systems can shape a more just society across borders.
These 56 participants will be the eighth cohort of the
Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program. Along with their accompanying professors, they will take part in a mixture of keynote talks, workshops and mentoring discussions.

Over the course of two days (February 20 to 22), the Cutler Fellows will be addressed by a high-level line-up of speakers from the legal community. These include Judge Diane P. Wood, Chief United States Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for The Seventh Circuit; Luis Almagro, Secretary General, Organization of American States (OAS); John B. Bellinger, III, Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP and former Legal Adviser to the US Department of State and National Security Council; and Stephen J. Hadley, Principal of RiceHadleyGates LLC, former United States National Security Advisor.

They will also explore their personal goals and diverse avenues for law and public service with the help of mentors from the International Monetary Fund, New Markets Lab, Third Way, Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Covington & Burling.

Opening the program on the Friday evening, Bellinger and Hadley will discuss “War Powers.” The timely discussion will focus not only on the evolution of the war making authority of Congress and the Executive branch in the years since the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, but also on the recent strike on General Qassem Suleimani, and the current War Powers resolution in the US Senate.

This year’s program, which has 12 countries represented among the cohort, is the first to welcome Cornell Law, Northwestern Law and UC Berkeley Law to the Cutler Fellows Program. Other law schools represented among the cohort include: Chicago, Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Michigan, New York University, Penn, Stanford, the University of Virginia, and Yale.

Mark Wu, Henry L. Stimson professor of law at Harvard Law School will be reprising his role as Program Chair, along with fellow Program Directors William Burke-White, professor of law at Penn Law School and Stephen L. Salyer, president and CEO of Salzburg Global Seminar.

The Fellows stand to gain a wide range of benefits from the program; they will receive perspectives on their research papers from renowned law faculty and peers, advice on how to successfully publish their research papers in international journals, career-shaping insights in both traditional and non-traditional pathways to international law as well as public service, and access to an expanding network of former and future Salzburg Cutler Fellows from around the world.

Lloyd N. Cutler, for whom the program is named, deeply believed in the role that law plays in nation building, and in the ability of the law and legal experts to contribute solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Having served as White House Counsel for two presidents and as Chairman of the Board of Salzburg Global Seminar, he also championed for the early identification and mentoring of young leaders with a yearning to make the world a better place through law and the rule of law.


The Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program is held under the auspices of the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law. The program is held in collaboration with fourteen of the leading US law schools. This year’s program is being sponsored by Arnold & Porter LLP, B. Thomas Mansbach, a board member and the chair of the Cutler Center Advisory Board and NYU Washington, DC, and contributors to the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law.

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New Symposium to Explore Intersection of Social Justice and Media
The inaugural Social Justice and Media Symposium has been organized by Paul Mihailidis, program director of the Salzburg Media Academy on Media and Global Change
New Symposium to Explore Intersection of Social Justice and Media
By: Oscar Tollast 

The inaugural one-day event will take place in memory of Salzburg Global Fellow Moses Shumow

An inaugural symposium on Social Justice and Media will be held in memory of Salzburg Global Fellow Moses Shumow next month.

The one-day event will take place in Boston, MA, on Friday, February 28, between 10 am and 4 pm at Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theater, Emerson College.

Activists, scholars, students, and storytellers will convene to explore how media pedagogy and practice can persist in light of a transactional, shallow, and fractured media infrastructure.

Shumow, a multi-time faculty member at the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, passed away in a train accident outside of Boston, MA, on October 22, 2019.

Staff at Salzburg Global and Fellows who worked with Shumow were left devastated by his sudden death. His keen mind, infectious personality, and warm smile made him a firm favorite at the Media Academy.

The Social Justice and Media Symposium, held in Shumow's memory, will feature a keynote presentation, a panel discussion, a student work showcase, a screening of “Liberty Square Rising,” and a roundtable work share activity.

Paul Mihailidis, program director of the Salzburg Media Academy on Media and Global Change, is responsible for organizing this year’s symposium. He’ll be joined at the event by fellow Media Academy faculty Chris Harris and Sanjeev Chatterjee.

During the roundtable work share activity, organizers will announce the first recipient of the Transformative Media Literacy Scholar Award. This award will go to a young academic or graduate student who is doing exceptional work at the intersection of journalism education, participatory media, media literacy, community activism, and social justice. The recipient will also attend this year’s program of the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change.

The award celebrates the life of Shumow, a man who worked tirelessly to tell the stories of transnational and underserved communities. The call for nominations is still open, and responses should be sent to Mihailidis at paul_mihailidis@emerson.edu.

Mihailidis, who has helped organize the symposium, said, “This symposium is happening to both honor the work that Moses did with such passion and joy, but to also bring together communities of activists, practitioners, scholars, and students to continue the work of advocating for communities marginalized, and underserved.

“Our goal is to build capacity and community of our own, anchored by the theme of persistence: persistence in the face of loss, of challenge, and of structures that divide. We know that this is what Moses fought for in the classroom and the community, and it's something we will continue to fight for a long time to come."

To learn more about the event and register, please visit sjmsymposium.org

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Education and Workforce Opportunities for Refugees and Migrants
A silhouette of a signpost pointing in different directions against the backdrop of a sunset - Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on UnsplashPhoto by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash
Education and Workforce Opportunities for Refugees and Migrants
By: Claire Kidwell 

Latest Salzburg Global program will see participants discuss the educational needs of refugee and migrant children and ways to help them thrive in their communities

Global migration levels are higher now than ever before, and there are more forcibly displaced people globally at any time since the end of the Second World War. Children make up more than half of this number.

The education and assessment needs of refugee and migrant children are complex and can differ enormously. In many cases, education policy and practice can further hinder the chances for young refugees and migrants to acquire the education and qualifications that they will need to thrive in the communities where they reside and in the world.

Between December 8 and December 13, experts, policymakers, and practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds will convene at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria, for the Salzburg Global Seminar program Education and Workforce Opportunities for Refugees and Migrants.

Salzburg Global is hosting the program in partnership with ETS, Microsoft, Qatar Foundation International, Porticus, and – for the first time – the LEGO Foundation.

Participants will build on the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report and Salzburg Global’s recent work on social and emotional learning (SEL) and multilingualism. This group of change-makers will work together to develop recommendations that can create better education outcomes and life chances for both refugees and displaced people and their host communities.

Within the broader scope of education for migrants and refugees, participants will evaluate the opportunities and challenges through an interconnecting lens of SEL, language policy, and technological innovation.

Salzburg Global is delighted to welcome back several Fellows for the upcoming program, as well as representatives from Karanga: The Global Alliance for SEL and Life Skills – an alliance established at a previous Salzburg Global program.

Dominic Regester, the program director at Salzburg Global responsible for programs on education, sustainability, and innovation, said, “A lot of funding for education programs for refugees and migrants focuses primarily on access. While this is crucial, we hope that by focusing on SEL and language policy, this program will be able to make a meaningful contribution to new thinking around what constitutes quality education in contexts of displacement."

The program will involve presentations, curated conversations, opportunities for networking, knowledge exchange, and group work to facilitate learning opportunities across silos.

Participants will work toward advancing greater advocacy, online engagement, and multimedia outreach. A report reflecting on the impact of the program will also be published at a later date.

During the program, participants will address the following key questions:

  • How can learning environments help mitigate and reverse the effects of stress and trauma on students?
  • What scalable and transferable teacher training approaches can help educators develop safe and inclusive classrooms?
  • How can technological and policy solutions help address challenges around the recognition of refugee and migrant education credentials?
  • How can education assessment, research, and interventions increase life chances for refugees, displaced peoples, and their host communities?
  • What can be done to ensure that multilingualism is seen as contributing positively to communities and societies?
  • How can social and emotional learning help to foster a sense of connectedness, solidarity, and cohesion between migrants and host communities?
  • After the 2018 Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration, where are the early examples of international best practice, and how can they be replicated?

The Salzburg Global Seminar Program, Education and Workforce Opportunities for Refugees and Migrants, is part of the Education for Tomorrow’s Worldmulti-year series. The program is held in partnership with ETS, Microsoft, Qatar Foundation International, Porticus, and the LEGO Foundation.

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Call for Applications: Japan-India Transformative Technology Network
Magome, JapanThe Japan-India Transformative Technology Network will hold its first program in the picturesque and historic mountain village of Magome, Japan
Call for Applications: Japan-India Transformative Technology Network
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Salzburg Global Seminar is seeking mid-career professionals in India and Japan with the aspiration and potential to lead positive transformation in their societies

Artificial intelligence (AI) offers significant opportunities to improve human and planetary health. As the power and reach of AI increase, how can society maximize the potential gains for people and environment?

Between May 26 and May 30, 2020, Salzburg Global Seminar and The Nippon Foundation will launch a new series - the Japan-India Transformative Technology Network - to help forge a stronger relationship between India and Japan and explore how disruptive technology can create social impact in the fields of health systems, accessibility and inclusion, and livable cities.

The inaugural program - Harnessing the Power of AI for Human and Planetary Health - will convene a select group of high-potential mid-career professionals with a proven track record of change-making from India and Japan.

It will encourage participants to initiate new collaborations and scale up existing solutions inspired by new technologies, and new financial, business, and social models. Selected participants will identify innovative ways in which technology, such as AI, can solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

The Japan-India Transformative Technology Network will hold its first program in the picturesque and historic mountain village of Magome, Japan.

Magome has been chosen as a location due to its semi-remote location, strong cultural heritage, and beautiful scenery. It creates an experience akin to Salzburg Global’s home at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria, and allows us to welcome all participants in conditions of trust and openness. The program venue extends along the historically preserved post road, which was previously a major route connecting Tokyo with Kyoto during the Edo Period.

Who Should Apply?

Each cohort of the Japan-India Transformative Technology Network will include a diverse, cross-sectoral mix of perspectives from professions such as:

  • Research and development: academic and corporate researchers, private and government research financiers, design specialists (products, places, policies);
  • Implementation and commercialization: technology specialists, public and private sector practitioners, business strategists, financial innovators, entrepreneurs, civil servants;  
  • Expansion and scaling up: national and municipal-level policymakers, community organizers and NGO leaders, journalists, thought-leaders, educators, and innovators.

Each cohort will be gender-balanced and consist of mid-career professionals with the aspiration and potential to lead positive transformation in society.

Read the application requirements in full on the program page, which is available here. The deadline for applications is December 18, 2019.

Download the program brochure

To keep up to date with program developments, register for our newsletter here.


Harnessing the Power of AI for Human and Planetary Health is the inaugural program of Japan-India Transformative Technology Network. This program is held in partnership with The Nippon Foundation.

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Finding Outbreaks Faster: Metrics for One Health Surveillance
Mosquito net - Photo by Christine Wehrmeier on UnsplashPhoto by Christine Wehrmeier on Unsplash
Finding Outbreaks Faster: Metrics for One Health Surveillance
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Specialists convene in Salzburg to determine outbreak milestones relevant to animal, wildlife, and environmental sectors

Following a successful program last year which resulted in eight “outbreak milestones” designed to enable health agencies to track the timeliness of outbreak detection, verification, response, and related measures, Ending Pandemics is returning to Salzburg this week with a new goal in mind.

Starting on Wednesday afternoon, a multidisciplinary group of experts will meet for the latest program co-organized by Salzburg Global Seminar and Ending Pandemics: Finding Outbreaks Faster: Metrics for One Health Surveillance.

What is “One Health?” One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach that identifies the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment. This approach has the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

Diseases of animals that can infect humans, otherwise known as “zoonoses,” are a growing concern. Approximately, 60 percent of existing human pathogens and more than 75 percent of those that have appeared during the past two decades can be traced back to animals, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Ending Pandemic’s aim in Salzburg is to extend the concept of outbreak milestones used to generate timeliness metrics into the realms off livestock, wildlife, vector-borne diseases, and environmental drivers of disease outbreaks.

This program will build on last year’s success where participants from 26 organizations shaped and define “outbreak milestones,” which can be used to calculate a series of timeliness metrics, for use by both public health agencies and other interested organizations.

Over the next four days, participants from around the world will engage in candid dialogue and fresh thinking in the retreat-like setting of Schloss Leopoldskron. Expected outcomes of the program include:

  • Defining outbreak milestones relevant to animal, wildlife, and the environmental sectors which can generate timeliness metrics.
  • Map out concrete steps to overcome identified barriers for adoption of One Health timeliness metrics.
  • Develop guidance and implementation plans to support organizations continually seeking improvement in timeliness to adopt the metrics for tracking performance.

The Salzburg Global Seminar Program, Metrics for One Health Surveillance, is part of the Finding Outbreaks Faster multi-year series. This series and program is held in partnership with Ending Pandemics.

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Friend or Foe – How Should Directors Face Disruptive Risk?
Two people shake hands during a business meetingImage by rawpixel from Pixabay
Friend or Foe – How Should Directors Face Disruptive Risk?
By: Claire Kidwell 

Latest program of Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum to explore challenges and opportunities facing directors

Company directors, lawyers, policymakers, academics, and representatives from key interest groups will gather in Salzburg this week to discuss global challenges facing corporate stewardship.

Around 40 participants will participate in Friend or Foe – How Should Directors Face Disruptive Risk? in the latest program of the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum.

This year’s program will take place between October 3 and October 5 at Schloss Leopoldskron - the historic home of Salzburg Global Seminar.

Participants in this program will seek to find the balance between the challenges and opportunities of disruptive risk. They will also explore how corporate directors can achieve resilience and navigate conflicting global forces at work.

"This year’s program starts with a deep examination of corporate duty with regards to today’s (and tomorrow’s) risks on topics ranging from climate, technology, geopolitics, and cybersecurity.  We will look at whether corporate boards are properly constituted to deal with them.  Ultimately, we would like to produce guidelines on how corporate boards might approach foreseeable and unforeseeable risks – and indeed whether some of these challenges may actually represent new opportunities for well-prepared companies," says Charles Ehrlich, the program director.

The program in Salzburg will include breakout discussions to encourage open and free dialogue on these topics and others.

Participants will be encouraged to explore what corporate governance mechanisms directors can use and how directors can step up as arbiters to balance short-term results, long-term perspectives, and good corporate citizenship.

The key questions for the program include:

  • Why are corporations not more effective at taking preventive action to address risk? What corporate governance mechanisms can help focus corporate attention on the next hot spot issues?
  • What practices do successful companies use in the relationship between the board and management? What skills, expertise, and potentially diverse composition do boards require to keep abreast of global trends?
  • How can corporations react quickly enough to fundamental changes in their ecosystem, whether trade or security dynamics, shifting regulatory regimes, disruptive technology or business models, or environmental degradation?
  • When governments fail to lead in meeting society’s needs, should companies or their directors weigh in on critical social and political issues? Does it serve the corporate mission or bottom line?

The group will contain international and intergenerational leaders in their fields, representing a wide range of expertise and specialization. Since its establishment in 2015, the Forum has welcomed participants from 23 countries.


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.

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YCI Forum Receives Support from Shalini Passi Art Foundation
Logos of Salzburg Global Seminar and Shalini Passi Art FoundationThe Shalini Passi Art Foundation will support Abhinit Khanna's attendance at this year's program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
YCI Forum Receives Support from Shalini Passi Art Foundation
By: Oscar Tollast 

Foundation will support participation of Mumbai-based arts manager Abhinit Khanna

Salzburg Global Seminar is delighted to announce the Shalini Passi Art Foundation has agreed to support this year’s program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.

The Foundation will enable Mumbai-based arts manager Abhinit Khanna to attend this year’s program, Cultural Innovation, Leadership and Collaboration: A Global Platform.

Khanna, who has more than nine years of experience working in visual arts, design, and creative business development, will be one of 50 young cultural innovators from around the world taking part.

Participants will convene at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria, between October 22 and October 27.

The Shalini Passi Art Foundation endeavors to create a new paradigm for artistic expression in India, by supporting, educating, and encouraging experimental new practices in the field of arts that take inspiration from India’s rich cultural traditions to create a contemporary aesthetic for India.

Shalini Passi is the founder and director of the Foundation, as well as My Art Shalini (MASH) – an online arts platform that collapses the hierarchical distinctions between architecture, art, craft, design, and fashion, by eliciting a rich discourse around creativity in modernity.

Reflecting on his selection for this year’s program, Khanna said, “The prestigious Seminar empowers young leaders in the creative sector to drive social, economic and urban change. It is building a global network of 500 competitively-selected change-makers in ‘hub’ communities who design collaborative projects, build skills, gain mentors, and connect to upcoming innovators in their cities and countries.

“This year the program is specifically looking at empowering cultural leaders from the Global South and I’m delighted to know more about networking opportunities, support, and programming.

“I will be able to bring these knowledges to facilitate the setting up of 'The Fort Arts Center' - a non-profit arts organization in the heart of South Bombay, which I am currently working towards launching in 2020. I’m also looking forward to learn and exchange ideas with other important cultural workers from around the world.”

The YCI Forum sees the ability to network and communicate as one of its founding principles. The YCI Forum has young change agents from around the world representing a broad spectrum of cultural expression and artistic endeavor –  including visual arts, performing arts, literature, cultural heritage, foods, fashion, architecture, and design.

In addition to India, the YCI Forum has welcomed Fellows from Adelaide, Athens, Baltimore, Buenos Aires, Canada, Cape Town, Detroit, Japan, Malta, Manila, Memphis, New Orleans, Mekong Delta, Nairobi, Plovdiv, Rotterdam, Salzburg, Seoul, Slovakia, Tirana, and the Upper Midwest in the U.S.

Other members attending this year’s Forum have now been selected and informed. Their biographies will be made available on salzburgglobal.org in the near future.

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Call for Applications: Asia Peace Innovators Forum
Graphic featuring Salzburg Global Seminar and The Nippon Foundation's logos plus a screenshot of the Max Reinhardt Library at Schloss LeopoldskronThe first workshop will take place in March 2020 at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria
Call for Applications: Asia Peace Innovators Forum
By: Oscar Tollast 

Salzburg Global Seminar is seeking mid-career professionals who have the aspiration and potential to be the next generation of senior leaders in mediating peace and promoting reconciliation

Peace is key to ensuring Asia’s sustained development and prosperity as the world’s most populous region grows in global geopolitical and economic importance. But despite the region’s rich experience (positive and negative) in mediating peace and promoting reconciliation, the learning exchange between regional, local, and community-driven initiatives has so far been low.

Launching its first workshop on March 5-9, 2020, the Asia Peace Innovators Forum aims to shape long-term peace, stability, and regional cooperation in Asia by building a network of mid-career professionals working in different sectors and countries to exchange knowledge, community-driven approaches, and best practices.

Participants in the Forum will gather at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria to exchange experience and innovation relevant to geopolitics, historical legacies, demographics and migration, climate change, and natural resource management. Fellows will identify lessons for success to be shared broadly via multiple media and will devise plans to seed new projects to advance peace and mitigate conflicts in the countries in which they work.

The Forum will encourage networking between Fellows participating in its first three workshops via an online platform and other collaboration opportunities, and the most promising and most actively engaged Fellows will be selected to take part in follow-up programs to be held in Asia in 2021 and 2022.

Who Should Apply?

Applicants should be active in promoting peace mediation and reconciliation in one of the following sectors:

  • Civil society, including from religious institutions and philanthropic organizations;
  • Local public and private sector institutions, including from municipal offices, local government, small businesses, and entrepreneurs;
  • Media, including journalists, social media influencers, thought-leaders, and public intellectuals;
  • Education, including teachers, school principals, technical and vocational skills providers, sports trainers, academics, and museum directors; and
  • Arts and culture, including artists and cultural innovators, who serve as creative practitioners and designers across disciplines to harness the transformative power of the arts for inclusive societal change.

One-fifth of the Fellows will be selected from each of the following geographies:

  • Myanmar;
  • South Thailand;
  • Sri Lanka;
  • Other countries in South and East Asia; and
  • The rest of the world.

Each country/regional grouping will include a cross-sectoral, gender-balanced mix of Fellows. Read the application requirements in full on the program page, which is available here. The deadline for applications is October 31, 2019.

Download our brochure for more information

To keep up to date with program developments, register for our newsletter here.


Building Peace, Stability and Regional Cooperation in Asia is the inaugural program of The Asia Peace Innovators Forum. This program is held in partnership with The Nippon Foundation.

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Salzburg Global and Kresge Foundation Provide Seven Travel Awards to YCIs
Picture of plane on globePhoto by Frank Vex on Unsplash
Salzburg Global and Kresge Foundation Provide Seven Travel Awards to YCIs
By: Oscar Tollast 

Scholarship scheme will promote exchanges from or to Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans

Salzburg Global Seminar has awarded seven travel awards as part of a scheme to deepen connections within the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.

The funds have been made possible by The Kresge Foundation and will promote exchanges from or to Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans.

Accepted proposals also involve Salzburg Global Fellows from Baltimore, Japan, Buenos Aires, and Adelaide.

Creating connections between the United States and Japan

Yu Nakamura, who attended the YCI Forum’s 2016 program, will travel with her film crew from Japan to Lafayette and New Orleans to document Cajun food, culture, and history. Nakamura is hoping this exchange will provide her with insights on how to preserve traditional food cultures in Japan and Thailand. She will connect with fellow YCIs Samuel Oliver and Alphonse Smith.

Smith, who attended the YCI Forum’s 2016 program, will also pursue a cross-cultural collaboration between the arts and culture communities in New Orleans and Japan. Traveling from New Orleans, Smith will begin his trip in Tokyo with the non-profit organization Ubdobe Japan, a health and welfare organization led by Salzburg Global Fellow Yuki Oka, who also attended the YCI Forum’s 2016 program. Smith is hoping to lay the groundwork for dialogue, cultural exchange, and collaboration between Japanese and New Orleans artists related to health, welfare, and cultural innovation.

Another YCI from New Orleans will also visit Japan. Nicolas Aziz, who also attended the YCI Forum’s 2016 program, will catch up with faculty member Hiroko Kikuchi and YCI Shuko Ebihara. Ebihara, who founded Kuriya, is working with young immigrants from the Philippines. Aziz will learn from Kuriya and apply his learnings working with immigrants in New Orleans. Aziz is also planning to visit the “Professionals in Schools” program in Tomioka to learn more about the impact of artists truly immersing themselves within communities.

Sharing stories from different cultures

Steven Fox, another 2016 YCI Forum Fellow, will work with Aziz for his project, “A Path to Memphis and New Orleans.” Fox will explore the historical and cultural connection of the French and Spanish cultures via Memphis and New Orleans. Fox has three goals: share research and analysis; write and share a book of poetry and photographs; and record and share a podcast with interviews.

Meanwhile, Jose Cotto, who attended the YCI Forum’s 2018 program, will travel to Baltimore to kick-start a project which focuses on the impacts of incarceration on families and communities. Cotto, from New Orleans, will create space for people connected to the prison system to share their stories. He will work with Salzburg Global Fellow Bilphena Yahwon, who also attended the YCI Forum’s 2018 program.

Film screenings and book fairs in Detroit

Mario Pozzi, from Argentina, will build on his previous experience and connections, curating and producing a selection of the 2019 Human Rights Film Festival of Buenos Aires Edition. Pozzi, who attended the YCI Forum’s 2017 program, will organize screenings both in Detroit and Memphis. Screenings will take place during the Freep Film Festival of Detroit (April 22-26, 2020) and under the Indie Memphis Nights format.

Before the first screening in Detroit, Sebastian Chuffer will organize a Future Filmmaker Workshop. Chuffer, who attended the YCI Forum’s 2016 program, will lead a workshop which teaches children about storytelling. Shots developed by workshop participants will premiere at the second Human Rights and Environmental Film Festival U.S. Tour and will be shown again in Memphis.

Staying in Detroit, Sanja Grozdanic will curate and host a free literary event during the Detroit Art Book Fair, a fair founded by YCI Maia Asshaq. Grozdanic, who is a member of the Adelaide YCI Hub, attended the Forum’s 2016 program, will meet new artists and writers to commission for her international art publication KRASS. Asshaq has previously written for KRASS, and Grozdanic hopes to include other YCI’s in the future.

All travel awardees will report on their activities and accomplishments by fall 2020.


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators empowers rising talents in the creative sector to drive social, economic and urban change. Launched in 2014, it is building a global network of 500 competitively-selected changemakers in “hub” communities who design collaborative projects, build skills, gain mentors, and connect to upcoming innovators in their cities and countries.

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The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends
People convene at Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, United States to protest Donald Trump's Immigration Ban. A man carries a placard which says, "I wish this were fake news."Photo by Kayla Velasquez on Unsplash
The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends
 

At the 17th SSASA symposium participants will explore how the news media has developed an increased political role

Scholars, journalists, and professional leaders from around the world are convening in Salzburg today for the 17th symposium of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA).

This year's symposium, The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends, will include thematic presentations, panel-led discussions, plus small in-depth discussion groups.

The four-day event is taking place at Schloss Leopoldskron, the historic home of Salzburg Global Seminar, and features an array of high-profile speakers.

Speakers include Elisabeth Bumiller, Washington Bureau chief, the New York Times; Edith Chapin, executive editor, NPR News; and Paul Mihailidis, associate professor of media studies at Emerson College's School of Communication.

Ron Clifton, a retired associate vice president of Stetson University and retired counselor in the Senior Foreign Service of the United States, returns as chair for this year's symposium.

Last year, Salzburg Global Seminar created The Ron Clifton Lecture in American Studies to celebrate Clifton's contribution toward American studies.

Christopher Bigsby, a professor of American studies and director of the Arthur Miller Institute for American Studies at the University of East Anglia, delivered the inaugural lecture titled "Trying to Understand America."

On Sunday, Reinhard Heinisch, head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Salzburg, will deliver the second Ron Clifton Lecture in American Studies. His talk is titled, "Questions of Lost Trust, Alternative Facts, Verification and Validity in America." His talk will be followed by a discussion and Q&A, moderated by Edith Chapin.

During this year's symposium, participants will explore the role of the media in the United States and around the world. They'll focus on the significance of truth and verification, and they'll examine the future implications, looking at the role of the media in culture and democracy in the years to come.

Key questions include:

  • How has the American media landscape and the world's news consumption habits changed in America and abroad in past decades? What have been the main drivers of these changes?
  • What appears to be the motive and purpose of those who are producing and publishing the news?
  • Why do many Americans appear to have lost trust in the news media an how can the industry regain trust and remain objective in an age of "alternative facts"?
  • How is the American media landscape influencing other countries' media markets and the image of America abroad and how, in turn, is America being influenced by its image in the world?
  • How can the American media fulfill its communication and emerging political role as an institution of American democracy and how are the executive, legislature, and judiciary likely to react to this new political involvement?
  • What does the future look like for the US media, its consumers, and its role in American culture and democracy?

Marty Gecek, chair of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association, said, "I am looking forward to stimulating conversations with 53 individuals from 29 countries, to discuss the influence and impact of American media, both at home and abroad."


The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends features as part of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) multi-year series. You can capture highlights on social media using the hashtag #SSASA.

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Health Fellows Launch Two Salzburg Statements and Fellow Recommendations
Image by Gerd Altmann from PixabayImage by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Health Fellows Launch Two Salzburg Statements and Fellow Recommendations
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Publications stem from program on "Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?"

Earlier this year, policymakers, business representatives, academics, and representatives from civil society took part in Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?

From April 29 to May 2, participants tackled complex challenges and attempted to bridge the worlds of business, health, and economic development. At the end of the program, participants were enthusiastic to keep connected and keep the momentum going.

Today, we are delighted to present three new publications resulting from this program. In addition to two Salzburg Statements, we have a set of Fellow Recommendations:

Each publication was worked on by different groups of Fellows who attended the program. Both Statements are also available to view on Issuu.

The Salzburg Statement on Creating Community-Owned Narratives for Healthy Local Economies calls on health and economic policymakers to recognize they have a responsibility to stimulate sharing of information between communities and policymakers by the promotion of narratives as an inclusive method, complementary to other sources of evidence.

Successful cities are those that create an environment which is inclusive of all people and all abilities. The Salzburg Statement on How Cities Can Promote Genuinely Inclusive Economies call for cities to lead change at the local and national level.

In addition, a Fellows Recommendation worked on by Jennifer Wallace, Cat Tully, Vibeke Koushede, Hiroko Nishimoto, and Jo Nurse (among others), has been published, outlining details for a project which will generate conversations about the future and provide an insight into global well-being.

If you would like to endorse either of the Statements or the Fellows Recommendation, please email press@salzburgglobal.org. If supporting a Statement, please provide your full name and affiliation.

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Moving Measurement into Action: Designing Global Principles for Measuring Patient Safety
Image of person having their pressure checked by medical professional by rawpixel from PixabayImage by rawpixel from Pixabay
Moving Measurement into Action: Designing Global Principles for Measuring Patient Safety
 

Latest program in Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series to focus on taking patient safety to "the next level"

Health care leaders from across the world will convene in Salzburg to help design global principles for measuring patient safety.

Around 50 participants will take part in the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Moving Measurement into Action: Designing Global Principles for Measuring Patient Safety, which begins on Thursday, September 5.

The program is held in partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and is part of Salzburg Global’s Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series. Additional support comes from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Mexican Business Council Fellowship Program.

Researchers, design thinkers, patients, providers, and experts in measurement and patient-safety will develop an actionable, cross-continuum framework for safety measurement.

The discussions take place at Schloss Leopoldskron—the historic home of Salzburg Global—and the program includes presentations, panel discussions, and participant-led group work.

The program’s co-chairs are Tejal Gandhi, chief clinical and safety officer of IHI and president of IHI Lucian Leape Institute; Helen Haskell, co-chair of the World Health Organization’s Patients for Patient Safety Advisory Group, and president of Mothers Against Medical Error and Consumers Advancing Patient Safety; and Niek Klazinga, the strategic lead of the Health Care Quality and Outcomes Programme at the OECD.

Participants, who will become Salzburg Global Fellows upon completion of the program, will seek to create:

  • A consensus paper outlining recommendations for a framework focused on improving measurement of safety and harm for learning, improvement, and accountability;
  • Principles for evaluating the actionability and effectiveness of existing measures and the development of new measures for system safety;
  • Recommendations for implementing the framework and selecting valuable measures for health care providers and systems; and
  • An ongoing collaboration among participants and their institutions, including policymakers, to implement the recommendations and improve tools and guidelines for measurement.

John Lotherington, the program director at Salzburg Global responsible for the Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series, said, "In 2001, there was an agenda setting Salzburg program on Patient Safety and Medical Error, in partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). This helped to establish patient safety as a vital healthcare discipline in its own right. We are delighted that the IHI and the Lucian Leape Institute are returning to Salzburg Global this month as partners in exploring how to take patient safety to the next level, establishing the key principles for evaluating it and acting upon what we know. This is set to have a much needed impact on many patients’ lives, and through them their families and communities."


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Moving Measurement into Action: Designing Global Principles for Measuring Patient Safety, is part of the Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series. The program is being held in partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. This program has been supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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Women Involved with Salzburg Festival’s Early Success Steal the Show at Second Max Reinhardt Symposium
Helga Rabl-Stadler, president of the Salzburg Festival, in conversation with actor Michael Heltau in Schloss Leopoldskron's Great HallHelga Rabl-Stadler, president of the Salzburg Festival, in conversation with actor Michael Heltau in Schloss Leopoldskron's Great Hall
Women Involved with Salzburg Festival’s Early Success Steal the Show at Second Max Reinhardt Symposium
By: Oscar Tollast 

Actresses, singers, directors, and intellectuals at the founding of Salzburg Festival put in the limelight at this year’s symposium

While much is said of the “founding fathers” of the Salzburg Festival – Max Reinhardt, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and Richard Strauss – little is said of the women who played leading roles in its formative years.

This year’s Max Reinhardt Symposium, a co-production between Salzburg Global Seminar and Salzburg Festival, aimed to change this narrative and sing a different tune.

Salzburg Global Seminar president and chief executive officer Stephen Salyer provided the opening remarks at this year’s event, which once again took place at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria – the former home of Salzburg Festival co-founder Max Reinhardt.

Speaking in the Max Reinhardt Library on Wednesday, Salyer said, “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with the Festspiele, begun last year and culminating in its 100th anniversary year in 2020. 

“This year’s symposium concentrates on the key female figures from the cultural life of Salzburg who played important roles in the first years of the Festival.

“At Schloss Leopoldskron, and across our year-around seminars, Salzburg Global seeks to keep alive the creative spirit of Max Reinhardt through our Arts and Culture Programs…

“In 2020, our partnership with the Salzburg Festival will extend to performances here in Schloss Leopoldskron, Reinhardt’s home from 1918 – 1938, with actors and audiences moving room-to-room as Reinhardt preferred during his time living and creating here. 

“We also hope to complete by next year’s Festival the renovation of Reinhardt’s Red Room, the place where he and his co-founders laid plans for the first Salzburg Festival….

“It is a great honor for Salzburg Global to collaborate in these ways with the Festspiele, and with its wonderful leadership team.  Deepest thanks to all of them and to today’s speakers for organizing this event.”

Guests were also welcomed by Helga Rabl-Stadler, president of the Salzburg Festival, and Margarethe Lasinger, director of dramaturgy and publications for the Salzburg Festival.

In the morning, these speakers included art historian Sabine Fellner, singer Rosamund Cole, and cultural scientist Theresia Klugsberger.

Meanwhile, Edda Fuhrich, a research associate at the Max Reinhardt Research and Memorial Center, spoke with former Stuttgarter Zeitung editor Sibylle Zehle about the women side by side with Reinhardt: Helene Themig and Gusti Adler. Hedwig Kainberger, from Salzburger Nachrichten, helped moderate the discussions.


View full set on Flickr

After lunch, a discussion took place which put the spotlight on the work of ballerina, choreographer, and opera director Margarete Wallmann.

Wallmann participated in the Salzburg Festival on several occasions, combining “various modes of modern Expressionist dance” into one whole. She directed the movement in a series of theater and opera productions at the Festival, including Reinhardt’s Faust.

Her career and impact were discussed by former ORF editor Ulrike Messer-Krol and Irene Brandenburg, research assistant at the Department of Music and Dance Studies at Universität Salzburg.

Following a brief intermission, the symposium closed with a discussion between Rabl-Stadler and actor Michael Heltau. The German star attended the Max Reinhardt Seminar, the School of Drama at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Since 1964, he has regularly appeared at the Salzburg Festival. This includes a performance as Guter Gesell in Jedermann, directed by Helene Thimig.

Since the Salzburg Festival was established in 1920, it has emerged as one of the most important festivals for opera, drama, and concerts. Reinhardt intended for the festival to bring people together, not only as a “luxury good for the rich and saturated but also food for the needy.”

This year’s festival started on July 20 and comes to an end on August 31. Learn more about the festival by visiting: https://www.salzburgerfestspiele.at/summer.

This symposium was conducted under the auspices of Salzburg Global Seminar - Austria.

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Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience - Fellows Given Green Light for Ideas
Group photo of participants who attended the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing andPhoto: Salzburg Global Seminar/Katrin Kerschbaumer
Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience - Fellows Given Green Light for Ideas
By: Oscar Tollast 

Fellows present recommendations after five-day program exploring the impact of parks and protected areas and making the most of these green spaces

Thought leaders, innovators, and policy-makers from different regions and sectors left Salzburg with a renewed purpose following the end of the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals.

During the five-day program, participants discussed the impact of parks and protected areas in cities and what can be done to make the most of these green and blue spaces. The program took place at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria, between May 30 to June 4. The program took place as part of the Parks for the Planet Forum, a 10-year collaboration to reconnect people and nature in an urbanized world.

On the final day of the program, participants presented proposals formulated in working groups. These groups focused on several areas, including rapid urbanization, disruptive technology, return on investment, urban nature metrics, creating a blueprint for a sustainable city, nature and culture, and developing a universal charter for National Park Cities.

On nature and culture, participants developed a grounding statement: cities are living, breathing multi-layered systems that have and continue to be co-created by generations of humans and natural forces. As a group, participants set out to ask how they could optimize the beneficial interactions among nature, humans, and systems in urban settings toward a balanced existence. They came up with two disruptive words: celebration and localization.

Celebration is a cultural act about nature, and it is human nature to be cultural, participants said. Localization, meanwhile, is a concept rooted in context, culture, and biodiversity and generates larger ordered systems from independent actions. Participants identified three domains of change: behavior, systems, and societal.

On rapid urbanization, participants suggested 70 percent of the world’s population will be urbanized by 2050. Words we tend to use include revitalization, regeneration, and redevelopment. It assumes there was some vitality to begin with.

Participants suggested more thinking was required on what interventions are required in areas where there is no development or vitality to begin with. Rapid urbanization can bring persistent inequality in space, income, and access to opportunities.

Catalytic principles which should inform thinking include embracing informality, equity, inclusively, accountable leadership, and recognizing the sustainability practices of informal settlers. A systemic approach is needed. Participants recommended promoting circular economies, supporting bottom-up initiatives, empowering local voices, and mapping eco-system innovation in cities.

On disruptive technology, participants considered, among other questions, how technology could be used to leverage data to show how important nature is to well-being. Emerging principles quickly developed within this working group. Parks are for all people, all the time, for a variety of uses. A park that is used and busy with people is safer.

Participants in this working group recommended investing in in-park feedback sensors to have real and customizable data. They also suggested relaxing regulations around the use of parks to encourage a broader usage and to create spaces which businesses could utilize. “Disruptive innovation” can improve the environment, law enforcement, and public health, participants heard.

On unlocking investment finance for nature, participants considered how to engage the private sector in a discussion on nature. Participants indicated there is a clear cost and risk if companies do not invest in the environment. In their discussions, they recognized that investment in nature at a local scale should be directed toward global impact based on the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Participants said they recognized the benefits of green-blue infrastructure and nature-based solutions in cities and city-regions. Investing in nature through creating and maintaining green spaces can also have benefits for other sectors and improve quality of life and well-being.

On urban nature metrics, participants assessed different existing indexes, including the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index, and the Siemens’ Green City Index. Participants called for urban nature metrics which could be used as a transformative tool to drive change. Urban nature metrics need to measure the state of nature (assets) before measuring human benefits (services), participants heard. These metrics also need to measure the impact of cities within and beyond the boundaries. Metrics should be engaging, empower people, and designed to hold decision-makers accountable. Participants recommended developing a simple, standardized index and designing metrics in alignment with urban challenges.

On developing a blueprint for a sustainable city, participants said the sustainable city they wanted would be planned mindfully, balanced with nature, accessible, and enabling. Participants in this working group developed a process: analyze, act, and accelerate. The first phase involves asking for a commitment from stakeholders. The second phase involves implementing the plan. The third phase involves putting the spotlight on these cities where positive initiatives are taking place. People would also be encouraged to share their experiences on social media and how cities could #ParkBetter. This group recognized the strength of communities and the role they can play as protagonists.

The final group to present focused their work on developing a universal charter for National Park Cities. Charters are about brokering power, participants heard. There is a sense of authority and a call to action attached. A universal charter for a National Park City could work alongside local city charters and reaffirm the notion people are working for better lives, health and well-being, habitats, wildlife, and  much more.

A National Park City is a place, vision, and a city-wide community that is acting together to make life better for people, wildlife, and nature. Participants heard that on July 22, London would be launched as a National Park City, and there was a hope by 2025 to have 24 others.

In his closing remarks, Jonny Hughes, chair of the program and chair of IUCN Urban Alliance, said there was a need to harness new tools to tell a compelling and hope-filled story about how the emergence of green cities will transform lives.


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, is part of the Parks for the Planet Forum. This program is supported by Future Cities Forum, ICLEI CBC, IUCN Urban Alliance, Learning Economy, National Park City Foundation, The Centre for Conscious Design, World Urban Parks, and 21st Century Trust.

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Introducing the 2019 Media Academy
Paul Mihailidis at the 2018 Salzburg Academy on Media & Global ChangePaul Mihailidis at the 2018 Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change
Introducing the 2019 Media Academy
By: Paul Mihailidis 

The 13th program of the Salzburg Global Academy on Media & Global Change will convene change-makers and storytellers from the world over to discuss how media infrastructures can renew trust and re-imagine community engagement

This post was first published on Paul Mihailidis' Medium blog.

On July 16th, over 77 aspiring journalists and storytellers, along with over 30 faculty, activists and practitioners will convene at the Salzburg Global Seminar for the 13th Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change. This dynamic cohort will be tasked with responding to the current fracturing of social cohesion and the erosion of trust that are gripping communities and societies across the world.

Globally, journalism and public information exist across broken media architectures. Citizens are at the mercy of those eager to take advantage of platform infrastructures in which access, quality and diversity vary so wildly. Increasingly, politicians are taking advantage of these platform architectures to position people against one another. The result is a fracturing of belief, where truths splinter and trust erodes. Our digital environments are at the center of this fracturing, and our social and civic cohesion is at risk.

The Salzburg Academy will respond to this challenge by bringing together emerging media makers and storytellers to create speculative futures focused on media infrastructures that can renew trust, re-imagine community engagement, and inspire new norms for media platforms that support meaningful engagement in daily life.

In Salzburg, our dynamic group embodies transformative media pedagogies. Transformation, here:

  • focuses on core individual and collective identity construction and destabilization of norms to transform worldviews and ideologies. This destabilization then creates opportunities for more thoughtful collective civic sensibilities.
  • embodies the emancipatory power of media: where media makers understand their standpoint in the world, the people they want to reach, how they can use media to challenge power structures and advocate for social change at all cost.

Transformational media pedagogies, then, entail a necessary focus not only on the destabilizing capacity of education and human encounters as a form of transformation, but these pedagogies also embrace the design process as a core mode of transformative pedagogy.

The pedagogical processes and practices that embrace transformation are led by a global cohort of activist scholars, teachers, and practitioners. They come from around the world to provide experiences — conceptual, applied, experimental, radical — that work to push the boundaries of transformation through and with media.

In 13 years, the Media Academy has convened over 1,000 change-makers alongside over 150 faculty and visiting scholars. The journey has led to some dynamic outputs, but more importantly a global cohort of media makers committed to the values of transformation in their work and lives.

This summer, as we convene once again, I’m reminded continuously of power that temporary transformational experiences like the Salzburg Academy have on the lives of all of us who are committed to build more inclusive media systems and more powerful storytellers.

The 2019 Salzburg Academy participants will be exploring the difficult questions on their journey through this immersive experience. They’ll engage with world renowned journalists, filmmakers and activists. They’ll be exposed to sessions on podcasting, mobile filmmaking, and on world-building scenarios. They’ll learn to dance, to discuss critical issues, and to learn about common pursuits across differences.

Most importantly, their experiences in Salzburg will be about shifting dispositions, prioritizing the commitment to transformation and engagement in the world through and with media.

Follow our journey. Share in this transformational process: #sgsmedia Salzburg Global Seminar

Read about our Salzburg Media School initiative, and participate by contacting Paul Mihailidis (@pmihailidis).

2019 Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change

These pressing realities of distrust within a fractured information ecosystem beg a number of important questions:

  • How can monopolistic and algorithm-driven platforms help build social cohesion instead of dismantling it?
  • How do we align journalistic systems and audience expectations to maximize trust and credibility?
  • What will it take to rebuild trust in our information ecosystems?
  • How do we cultivate meaningful and effective habits and dispositions in citizens that will catalyze engagement in both media systems and civic life?
  • What civic processes and structures help create and maintain activist momentum when online tools are co-opted for government purposes?
  • What does it look like to create effective transitions from “in the media” activism and to “via the media” civic participation?
  • What are legitimate pathways to public knowledge, and how can we democratize access to these pathways?

These questions will drive our inquiry at the 2019 Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change. Around the world, social fracturing is seen and felt again and again, from physical neighborhoods to the depths of online platforms that have normalized contempt for the other. Solutions to these complex problems are not straightforward. There has been much written about the need to re-engage in human connections that have been sacrificed for the convenience and speed of our digital platforms. Our global cohort will work to build responses to these problems that can inspire new approaches to journalism, favoring news environments that support human-centered values in our age of platforms.


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, The Cost of Disbelief: Fracturing Societies and the Erosion of Trust, is part of the multi-year Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change. More information on this multi-year series is available here.

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Salzburg Global Seminar Expands Partnership with Nippon Foundation
From left to right - Charles Ehrlich, Ian Brown, Clare Shine, Tatsiana Lintouskaya, Ichiro Kabasawa, Benjamin Glahn, Stephen Salyer, Masato Seko, and Misa TanakaFrom left to right - Charles Ehrlich, Ian Brown, Clare Shine, Tatsiana Lintouskaya, Ichiro Kabasawa, Benjamin Glahn, Stephen Salyer, Masato Seko, and Misa Tanaka
Salzburg Global Seminar Expands Partnership with Nippon Foundation
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Terms agreed for a new program addressing the topics of conflict prevention and peace mediation, and human and planetary health

Building on more than three decades of partnership, Salzburg Global Seminar and The Nippon Foundation are excited to announce a new collaborative initiative starting in 2019-2020.

Working together, Salzburg Global and The Nippon Foundation are creating the Leadership Exchange Asia Program (LEAP), which will help elevate high-potential mid-career professionals to take up key leadership positions in their countries. While development opportunities for senior leaders and young rising stars are expanding in Asia, LEAP will address the near-total lack of networks aimed at Asia’s mid-career professionals working on important aspects of social change.

The program will be comprised of two network-based components: The Asia Peace Innovators Forum and The Nippon-India Forum. The Asia Peace Innovators Forum will address conflict prevention and peace mediation, and The Nippon-India Forum will focus on technological and social innovations to improve human and planetary health in India and Japan.

These two components of LEAP build on the clear linkages between both organization’s missions. The Nippon Foundation’s mission is social innovation. Through this innovation, the Foundation aims for a society where all people support one another, reducing the burdens and challenges they face together. Salzburg Global, meanwhile, seeks to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. Its multi-year series aim to bridge divides, expand collaboration, and transform systems.

A launch meeting for LEAP took place in May at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria, and was attended by representatives from both organizations.

Ichiro Kabasawa, executive director of The Nippon Foundation, was joined by senior director Masato Seko and program coordinator Misa Tanaka. The three foundation officials met with several members of Salzburg Global’s team, including president and chief executive officer Stephen Salyer, vice president and chief program officer Clare Shine, vice president for development and operations Benjamin Glahn, and European development director Ian Brown.

Program directors Charles Ehrlich and Tatsiana Lintouskaya, who are responsible for working with The Nippon Foundation to design content and outcomes for each of the program components, also took part in the discussions.

The Asia Peace Innovators Forum will create, engage, and build capacity of an interdisciplinary network of professionals with significant leadership and innovation potential to shape long-term peace, stability, and regional cooperation.

Participants will primarily come from three geographies in Asia, each with unique experiences of conflict: Myanmar, South Thailand, and Sri Lanka. In addition, representation will be sought to incorporate other Asian experiences from places such as Indonesia, the Philippines, the Korean Peninsula, and Nepal as well as experience from around the globe. The inaugural program will take place at Schloss Leopoldskron in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The inaugural program of the Nippon-India Forum, which is aimed at mid-career professionals, will be held in Japan in early 2020. This program will build a cross-sector bilateral network of mid-career professionals as well as a selection of institutional partners in India and Japan. Participants will be at the forefront of technological, financial, and societal innovations and their applications in improving human and planetary health in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The creation of LEAP expands the long-standing partnership between Salzburg Global and The Nippon Foundation. Since 1987, endowment funds from The Nippon Foundation have supported young leaders from Asia and the developing world to attend Salzburg Global programs.

For more than 30 years, this partnership has continued to blossom and has enabled nearly 1,000 leaders to participate in Salzburg Global programs on topics including health, environmental sustainability, education, the arts, and economic development. LEAP will provide further opportunities for rising leaders to participate in Salzburg Global programs.

Reflecting on LEAP, Stephen Salyer, president and chief executive officer of Salzburg Global, said, “The opportunity to partner with The Nippon Foundation is a great honor for Salzburg Global Seminar. Together, we will connect rising Asian leaders and facilitate ground-breaking collaborations.  This is not a dialogue for its own sake; both we and the Foundation want to see results in conflict prevention and transformation, and in the application of technology to improve health and reverse environmental deterioration. We are confident that through the Leadership Exchange Asia Program (LEAP) a powerful group of change makers will produce a major impact on peace, better health and sustainability.” 

Ichiro Kabasawa, executive director of The Nippon Foundation, said, “The amicable partnership between Salzburg Global Seminar and The Nippon Foundation has been formed since 1987 when the funding was first established. In 2013, a Salzburg Global Seminar program was held in Kyoto, Japan, to commemorate our 25-year cooperation. We are delighted to be launching a new program together again, while we expect the network built through this program will lead to a practical solution to current social issues.”

Further information about each program will be announced in due course. To keep up to date with program developments, register for our newsletter here. The organizational contact for LEAP is Ian Brown, European Development Director at Salzburg Global Seminar, who can be emailed atibrown@salzburgglobal.org.

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Europe and the Rise of China
Lord Patten of Barnes and Professor Rana Mitter in conversationLord Patten of Barnes and Professor Rana Mitter in conversation
Europe and the Rise of China
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Transcript of fifth Palliser Lecture featuring Lord Patten of Barnes and Professor Rana Mitter in conversation

The following text is a transcript of a conversation between Lord Patten of Barnes and Professor Rana Mitter, which took place at the fifth Palliser Lecture, held on May 21 at the Aga Khan Foundation UK in London. The lecture was entitled, "Europe and the Rise of China: How Can European (including British) Interests and Values Best Be Protected in a Multipolar World?" The lecture was organized in partnership with the 21st Century Trust. This transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity.

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Professor Mitter: I think we're looking forward to an extremely engaged conversation. There's a conversation, I think, this evening about not just where China is going but what that means for the UK as it enters its presumably post-EU phase of travel towards some sort of global future. [Audience laughs] I think I'm getting part of the answer there already…

Chris, you will know that, until quite recently, the last 40 years in China were ones in which the one name you really didn't bring up because he had almost no relevance, was one Karl Marx. On the other hand, the other place where you probably can't go through a day without hearing about him is Oxford University. So, I might start, if I may, with a line that we teach, I think even now our first-year undergraduates in history—which is one of Marx's actually more sensible lines, which is that human beings make their own history, but not exactly as they please. And I wonder if you might use that to think a bit about China today and its effects on the rest of us. Because on the one hand, many of the big stories that we've become part of here in the West, China's rise to being the second biggest economic power in the world, geopolitical status, and to a whole variety of transnational issues like climate change, are as much sort of said due to the forces of history that people make a difference to. And there is one particular person, Xi Jinping, who came to power in 2012, who does seem in some ways to be a break with the relatively recent post-Mao past. Do you rate Xi Jinping as… a key factor, in terms of creating the China that we in the West are engaging with now?

Lord Patten: Yes, huge… Three points I'd like to begin with, however. First of all, to repeat what others have said of Michael Palliser. Michael Palliser was one of the great British diplomats of the last 50 or 60 years. Somebody who had no difficulty in understanding the relationship between moral concerns and values, and foreign policy—[a] big question today… Secondly, what a pleasure it is to be with Professor Rana Mitter, a friend of mine. So this is what in golf or tennis, you would call a "pro-am." [Audience laughs]. He is the pro. And thirdly, I am really disappointed that this isn't Chatham House rules because the only time I'm ever quoted is when its Chatham House rules…

It's an extremely, extremely good, question about Xi Jinping. We have to take him very seriously, which is a sort of surprise because, as you know better than me, he didn't have a meteoric rise compared, for example, with Hu Jintao, his predecessor, or Li Keqiang, the present prime minister. He didn't do anything notable as a cadre going through the provincial post that he had. He had a very distinguished father, who was a great reformer, a great disciple of Deng Xiaoping in Guangdong.

When Deng Xiaoping was brought back after the Cultural Revolution, and people assumed that Xi Jinping would be like his dad. Well, he wasn't at all, and he got the job, I think. But you might like to add some knowledge to this, rather than just my repeating what others have said to me. I think he got it, the job, because first of all, there was a sense of drift under Hu Jintao. Secondly, because the Chinese leadership was spooked by Bo Xilai, and what was quite clearly a sort of quasi-coup attempt to drive himself into the standing committee of the Politburo, and who knew what else. And there are also more than rumors about an assassination attempt on Xi Jinping, which caused his disappearance from public view for a fortnight when all these issues were being discussed. And the gossip is that it was his swimming instructor what done it. [Audience laughs]. A woman. There are sufficient really smart people who have said that to me, including the late, and great Rod MacFarquhar, for me to think there must be some truth in it, but whatever. Xi Jinping emerged at the top of the heap, and has been a very different leader to Deng Xiaoping [and] has rolled back a lot of Deng Xiaoping's reforms. And he is now responsible for Xi Jinping thought, with Deng Xiaoping Marxist-Chinese characteristics… You can buy a copy of his thought. It was printed in English in this country, last year, I think, and I think I'm right in saying a 100 copies have been sold. [Audience laughs].

Professor Mitter: One is on Mark Zuckerberg's desk, apparently, Chris. I guess it's getting in the right places.

Lord Patten: Oh right. What it basically says is quite profound. We're here because we're here, because we're here, because we're here, because we're here… What really matters about him, is as you might now explain to us, is that he's rolled back many of the important Deng Xiaoping reforms, which we had all assumed would gradually, not immediately, but would gradually make China into a more accountable governance system, a little bit more like us.

Professor Mitter: I think that is an extremely useful summary of many of the changes of the personality of Xi Jinping. He does appear to have quite a personality, and many argue that the previous President Hu Jintao was not someone who…

Lord Patten: Nice man, though. I met him, and he was a perfectly charming fellow. He didn't sing, unlike Jiang Zemin, [Audience laughs] but he was very nice.

Professor Mitter: Was that a blessing, do you think? [Audience laughs]. Well, we shall have to wait, I think, because, in the case of Xi Jinping it is his wife who does the singing. She's actually one of China's best-known folk singers, but he has other things to occupy his time. And I think the two factors, if we go back to the context of what has made Xi Jinping what he is, that I think are different from certainly 10 years ago, maybe even five, one has to do with technology, and the other one is to do with the growing glamour, and I am going to use the word not entirely in a positive sense, I must say, of the kind of authoritarianism.

So the first one is basically something that anyone who goes to China will have noticed is worth really flagging up, which is the way in which it is turned into a wired society. And it's also doing its very best, I think, to try and push back against the idea that greater interaction and greater social media will necessarily create a more liberal society. For a short time, perhaps after the Beijing Olympics in the early 2010s, it looked as if that was the direction that things are going. But, in fact, the Communist Party did manage to get a hold on that way of doing things. And now, in fact, the things that you've mentioned, Chris, Xi Jinping Thought being a very obvious example of that, have been brought into the cyber world and dominated.

So the example that I like to cite is that if you feel so inclined, and I don't know what's on your mobile phone, but you can download the Xuexi "Study Xi" app, which will give you a chance to test yourself on your knowledge, or the thoughts of Xi Jinping. And being high-level technology, it's not enough to simply kind of flick through it before you head off, you know, for an evening in the pub, or wherever it might be. Being high-tech, it can monitor how long you are looking at it, how much you interact with, how many you get right [Audience laughs], and these are going to be very, very important things in the world where, as you know, a social credit system is emerging in China, in which your points for good behavior, will affect the way that, for instance, you get a chance to join the Communist Party itself and therefore make your way leading up the ranks of the party.

So, Xi Jinping's presence has coincided with the technological capacity to really keep major tabs on that part of society, particularly the elite, which it's looking to bring into the party fold. And the flip side is that I do think it's significant, not coincidental, that Xi Jinping has emerged in the post-2008 world, where the liberal consensus in all senses of that—both economic liberalism and political liberalism—has at least temporarily found itself in a bit of a "Slough of Despond," no insult to Slough, which is a fine place. But there's plenty of despond going on at the moment.

The rise of these sort of strong man leaders—and perhaps, Marine Le Pen aside, they are mostly men—is one that sees this idea that maybe a strong authoritarian character is just what people actually need to pull themselves out of this sort of malaise. And that I think has given huge leeway to Xi to really operate this kind of top-down, very, very strong system, in which he says… I think that the line that some people have been using recently is that, "It's my way or the Huawei." [Audience laughs] I wish I could claim to have invented that, but I fear I stole it from some journalist or other, but it's rather a good one.

In other words, the statement, it does make sense, though, because the statement, essentially, [says] that you will either follow me in this new cyber-enabled China, which is, you know, riding to the sunlit uplands of a very different, much more authoritarian, but highly economically prosperous society, or you can get out the way. The sort of silent ability to just stand to the sidelines under Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, that, I think is going, and whether you're academic, whether you're in the media, whether you're in law, whether you're are in all of these sort of rising professional areas, if you haven't got Xi Jinping at the center of what you're doing, it's much harder to operate now.

Lord Patten: How much truth do you think there is in the suggestion that he, or more particularly, the man who was originally his closest intellectual adviser, Wang Qishan, who ran the anti-corruption campaign—that they were obsessed by one book of political philosophy, political science, which was surprisingly by Alexis de Tocqueville, and not democracy in America, but the Ancien régime and the French Revolution… Wang Qishan had taken two lessons from this: first, that societies don't become easier to govern because people are getting better off. Indeed, they become more difficult to govern; and secondly, that authoritarian regimes are always at their most vulnerable when they try to reform or change. Now, I'm not sure that I would want to compare, otherwise, Xi Jinping with Louis XVI, but there's quite a lot of—not least the sales of the book—in China, there's quite a lot of evidence that that really did matter to Wang Qishan and Xi Jinping.

Professor Mitter: Well, for a minute, when you were quoting the work that inspired them, I thought you were going to mention that moment when Xi turned up, I think, at Sunnylands in California under Obama's presidency and announced to the assembled company that many people might think that China's politics was like the TV show House of Cards, and it wants to assure everyone that that wasn't remotely the case, which suggested that least, Xi has a speechwriter with some sense of irony… [Audience laughs] It's quite well attested that Wang Qishan indeed, had been talking quite frequently about Tocqueville as a very good thing to read if you want to understand how regimes that were potentially under threat might crumble. And I think that the lessons that have been taken from that link very specifically to the issue that you just mentioned, which is anti-corruption. If we're talking about why Xi Jinping has been able to get the kind of grip on Chinese society that he undoubtedly has, I think that the one factor that really did it for him was lasering in on anti-corruption.

Now, many people, not least in China, have observed that the people who got taken down for anti-corruption, starting with the retired deputy-head of the army, Xu Caihou, and others, were all oddly enough, possibly political opponents of Xi Jinping, to which I've heard various commentators—who I know in—in private say, "Well, this is true, but the thing is, they were all fabulously corrupt, and to some extent we don't really care about why they were taken down, as long as they were." So, in terms of a populist move that would bring in a certain amount of kudos for him, he targeted rather cleverly on that and certainly Wang Qishan was very much, from all accounts, hand in glove on that particular question. They were so inspired… that actually you may remember that two years ago, there was a hit TV series on Chinese TV called In the Name of the People, which basically was a kind of version of The Untouchables, but with Chinese anti-corruption inspectors bashing down doors, and finding these sort of half-dressed officials with their mistresses and jewels, and so forth, or sitting there. So it had a sort of popular element as well that Xi actually managed to use as well. Now that things are not going so well, of course, with the trade war and so forth, there is some question about whether all that all-dominating nature that Xi has managed to build up is quite as strong as it was—but that's still a story in progress, I think.

Lord Patten: Let's turn to us for a moment, rather than just Europe because we're looking forward to being outside the European cage in the years ahead and doing fantastic trade deals... with China, like presumably, Switzerland and Australia, and we might come back to those deals in a moment or two.

How do we deal in what ministers occasionally, without any obvious sense of embarrassment, call the "golden age of relations" with China? How do we deal with this extremely big economy, which is used to other countries dealing with it on the basis—the only thing I've ever agreed with Tony Abbott, the poor Australian Prime Minister, about—they've been used to us dealing with it, and we've been used to dealing with it on the basis of fear and greed? How do we deal with this great economic power when we're outside the European Union, not part of a bloc of 550-600 million, but on our own, with Liam Fox [UK Secretary of State for International Trade] carrying the banner? [Audience laughs]

Professor Mitter: A quick thought on that, though, I do eventually want to throw it back to you, Chris, because there's an element of it which I think everyone here would love to have your opinion on, but just a quick thought on that is that for a start, we, meaning the UK, need to start to get to know and understand what's happening in China, and what it is very, very quickly. Let me just give one quick example of what I'm talking about. During the last five or six weeks, the name of Huawei, which we've already heard about once or twice tonight, has been part of the news headlines pretty much every day. And it's becoming increasingly clear that the vast majority of people involved in discussing the Huawei issue haven't really gotten a very clear idea of what it actually involves—not that it's good or that it's bad but simply in terms of the level of understanding what's involved.

So, we've had statements made—not least by people close to Huawei—that it is a private company, that's entirely—you're grinning for some reason, Chris, I don't know why that would be—a private company that's entirely separate from the Chinese Communist Party, etc. and the reason this makes people who have a Chinese specialization slightly puzzled, indeed would make most Chinese people very, very puzzled, including high-up officials of the CCP, is that, for a start, it is known that if you have a corporate enterprise, Chinese or foreign in China, the first thing you have to do is get a Communist Party cell set up. Actually, I'm told they can be quite useful because they are a sort of hotline to the local government. But the idea that the party is in some way separated from so-called private companies is simply misleading.

The other element that I think is worth bringing up as part of that discussion is also the understanding that we in the UK are having this discussion about whether or not Huawei should provide our 5G infrastructure because actually, we in the West more broadly, are in a position where there are actually very few companies that could do this for us. If we don't have Huawei, then I'm told by experts that Ericsson is the other corporation that could do this. So essentially we're saying that we want to keep the Ericsson corporation, who I'm sure are fine people, maybe they are here tonight, [they] are essentially a monopoly provided to us. And you know, nobody is forcing us to install Huawei equipment. So how have we got ourselves in a situation where that is the choice before us? I wonder if part of the answer to that comes from questions that you would know about from your period as European Commissioner because you must of spent at least some of your time negotiating with the Chinese trade negotiators in those days. Were they are always smooth, easy, and quick discussions, like the ones that apparently we are going to have once we're out of the EU on trade? [Audience laughs] Is that how you describe them?

Lord Patten: …Don't forget I'd been the "triple violator" in Hong Kong, and I went almost straight away from Hong Kong to be a European Commissioner responsible for our relations with China, and the very first meeting I had [was] with the Chinese Foreign Minister, Minister Tang [Jiaxuan]. [He] was an extremely nice man—courteous, charming. His staff clearly liked him a lot—they laughed at him, not just at his jokes. [Audience laughs] He was a very, very amiable fellow, and he came to me for our first meeting in Beijing, and he said to me, "This time," he said… "We must cooperate." And I said, "But that's what I wanted us to do last time." [Audience laughs] … He had a big sheaf of notes and he read very carefully from them. But first of all, he looked—we had pictures… on the wall of my office in Beijing—at my daughters. And he looked at them and said, "Are they your daughters?" So I said, "Yes." He said, "How come such beautiful daughters have such an ugly father?" [Audience laughs] I thought the Ambassador to the EU was going to have a heart attack. [Audience laughs] This was supposed to be a warm-up meeting before the WTO negotiations started, and he kept on saying, "The minister is telling a joke, the minister is telling a joke." [Audience laughs]. Anyway, he then went on and read very carefully from his notes that the Chinese leadership had considered my position, and they had decided that I was a friend of concord, not discord. Big stuff because I'd been condemned for a thousand generations only four years before. So, after the meeting, the Chinese Ambassador in Brussels phoned up my chef de cabinet, and said, "Did you take those words down carefully because they were agreed by the leadership of a friend of concord, not discord?" So I'd been promoted.

We then had the negotiations on the beginning of the WTO, and those negotiations were really primarily with Zhu Rongji, who was the most intelligent, capable, international official I ever dealt with. An incredibly talented man, who while he was running China, and handling pretty much everything domestic under Jiang Zemin, and while he was dealing with things like these, very complicated trade negotiations, he was perfecting his English. I mean, he was taking English lessons. He must have had an extraordinary intellectual capacity, and the Chinese at that stage took Europe very seriously because it met their worldview. I mean, here was American dominance challenged, and here was another rising global authority. We mattered, we worked together, we had these agreements on regulatory issues and so on, and the Chinese had to take them seriously. And I think the Chinese were slightly surprised when they discovered how useless we were, that they could play off one country against another, that while there was allegedly one European relationship with China, every member state wanted to have its own bilateral relations. Every member state's foreign minister and trade minister wanted to come to Beijing several times a year to have negotiations. So, I think we sort of slightly disappointed those who took a rather more politically, philosophical view about what was happening in Europe.

So, my experiences in dealing with China at that stage were that they were very serious about the WTO, they were changing slowly but steadily in a direction of which… we would have approved. And that they were quite amiable to deal with. Not that they cheated—well, no more than the Russians, no less than the Russians did. And frankly, I don't guess that anybody who's negotiating with American trade negotiators would think they were entirely straightforward. But with somebody like Zhu Rongji, you actually believed that they would probably stick to what they said. I don't have any more belief that that's true, but they had a tendency. First of all, you never really knew who you were negotiating with. You'd go through painful negotiations; nothing would change, nothing would happen. And then clearly the people you were talking to, went off, and got new directions from whoever was in charge, and everything would change very rapidly.

The Chinese always took the view, which was entirely correct, that if you got your boss in to see them after a long and painful negotiation, it would be a disaster for you. Because, particularly in corporate affairs, the company chairman goes to Beijing, he has a great feast. Nowadays, fewer than 14 courses. But he gets 14 courses in the Great Hall of the People. He meets several vice premiers. They all say how much they want a relationship with you and how much they want a deal. He goes back, he leaves some poor schmuck on the ground, six months later nothing's happened, and he remembers China again, when he's reading the Financial Times or the New York Times [Audience laughs], and says "Well, why haven't we done that deal yet?" The poor schmuck gets phoned up, and suddenly finds himself having to make compromises, which he knows make no sense at all because he's been pressed from both ends. So, the person who wrote the best book, I think, on negotiating with China, said never ever let the boss [or] let the company chairman anywhere near the talks because they will always be a disaster.

I'm sorry. I'm banging on, but my simple answer to your question is that they are very difficult to negotiate with, but most countries are, that they increasingly, which is a problem for us today, don't keep their word, but then, nor did the Russians. But if you make it clear that you know they haven't kept their word, and if you make a fuss about it, they're more likely to keep their word next time. So, on that basis, and keeping the chairman or the Prime Minister or whatever out of the way, I'd be happy to talk to them. They start with a principled position. We have a principled position—we can't begin the negotiations unless you accept our principled position.

Professor Mitter: Are you offering yourself up, Chris, as perhaps a sort of start of a new free trade discussions with China, [Audience laughs] once we're free of the EU shackles?

Lord Patten: For the golden age? I think probably not. I think I'd be wrong. But I'll tell you what I used to think, and this is a serious point. You began by talking about expertise. We have far too few people who are trained in negotiation. We have far too few Mandarin speakers, and it has to be said Japanese speakers, and difficult language speakers... We have a fantastic German school faculty at Oxford, and getting kids from schools who have German A-levels to come in is really difficult. We've become awful—awful—at modern languages, at any languages. So we should actually be much better at encouraging people to learn difficult languages. We should be much better at encouraging China studies. We should have more people. I bet there are fewer China specialists in the Foreign Office today than there were 20 years ago, or 30 years ago, or 40 years ago.

Professor Mitter: Although we should add that the ones that there are, are extremely good…

Lord Patten: I'm sure they are. In my experience—this is certainly meant for any friends of the Chinese Embassy who are with us today—in my experience, the best British institution in dealing with China was MI6 [Audience laughs]. They were absolutely terrific. They were very smart, they had very linguistically able spooks around, and they had people who've been following Chinese politics for years. People like Nigel Inkster in the past, and others, were really, really good.

Professor Mitter: Although Nigel has always complained that his education at Oxford University in Chinese was almost entirely in the classical language, and you had to learn modern Chinese somewhere else [Audience laughs] because it was considered beneath their dignity to teach it in those days.

Lord Patten: But we once had a Japanese Ambassador. Alas, he died a few years ago, Sir Hugh Cortazzi. During the Falklands campaign, unfortunately, the Japanese always assumed he was the Argentinean ambassador. [Audience laughs] So they would talk to him about the importance of defending distant islands and so on. Anyway, Hugh Cortazzi spoke perfect classical Japanese, but the only people who could understand him was the Emperor [Audience laughs].

Professor Mitter: It's good to know these things because since now have an Oxford grad as Emperor of Japan [Naruhito].

Lord Patten: Yes, absolutely.

Professor Mitter: … At the moment, it seems to me that if we don't watch out, meaning the UK, we're currently walking into something of a geopolitical pincer, and we need to be acting with that knowledge now. Which is the United States, which is becoming increasingly hostile to other countries, for instance, doing free trade deals or any kind of agreements with China in particular, perhaps for perfectly good security reasons, but it's becoming a very, very either/or situation, and of course, on the other side, China, which as we all know, tends to be in its official statements, to be somewhat bemused by Brexit, but, obviously, is willing to talk about new agreements in a post-Brexit world, but nonetheless, once there's clearly to be agreements that actually are advantageous from the Chinese point of view. And these two things which we were able to sort of fudge in the European Union situation, we could always blame Brussels, if we said, "London would love to do this for you, but it won't go down at all well with that man Patten in Brussels," for instance, we won't have that shield anymore. Do you think that this is a potential trap that we can avoid, and if so, how should we do that?

Lord Patten: I think you have hit the jackpot. I think that is the most difficult issue we face, being trapped as it were, America-China, between chlorinated chicken and Huawei. [Audience laughs] And if you want to know how the Chinese see it there—there was an article in the Telegraph by the Chinese Ambassador, [Liu Xiaoming], who's not the most delicate of diplomats. He wrote a piece about post-Brexit and Huawei and dealing with China, and basically, he says, "You know, grow up if you want to do business with us. You got to behave in ways of which we approve."

On the other hand, you have Donald Trump arriving for a widely heralded and much enjoyed, I'm sure, state visit in 10 days' time, following Mr. [Mike] Pompeo, [US Secretary of State], bringing a slightly different message. The one thing one should always try to avoid in diplomacy is being put in a position where you have to make those sort of choices. It's crazy.

On the whole, we've managed to avoid in doing business during "the golden age" with China. We've managed to avoid politics getting too tied up with economics. But if you're responsible as gallant Blighty on your own, if you're responsible for dealing with issues like, whether or not we sell arms to China—a big issue for them—if you're involved in what you do about human rights issues in China, like what's happening in Xinjiang at the moment, which is appalling, if you're involved in having to design your own trade defense mechanisms—because we're all subjected, I mean, it's not just Trump who raises these issues, they're raised by Europeans—if we're in that position and doing it on our own, it's going to be extremely difficult. If you think that you can only do business with China if you go along with China's political agenda, now, I happen to think that that is… not true….

Nevertheless, it's the way diplomacy has been driven over the years. So, I think it's going to be very difficult for us to manage all this on our own, and people sometimes say, "Well, look at the Swiss trade deal with China," or "Look at the Australian trade deal." The Australian trade deal was a hugely inconsequential, but also politically embarrassing deal for the Australians. And the Swiss one, which is mostly about services, the Swiss one insofar as it covers manufactured goods. Think of something, apart from chocolate, the Swiss sell to the rest of the world. Would watches come to mind? The Swiss one doesn't cover watches. The Swiss one gives China tariff-free access to the Swiss market straight away. It gives tariff-free access for the Swiss to the Chinese market after 15 years. So, that's partly because the manufactured part of the deal doesn't matter very much and because Switzerland has a trade surplus with China already. And the main thing they were interested in was ownership of financial services in China… So the point I'm making is there aren't wonderful models out there which Dr. [Liam] Fox and his colleagues can pursue, and nothing, nothing out there which is as big as, which is competitive with what we get at the moment, from the biggest market we have, which is the European Union. So, good luck, Department for International Trade. [Audience laughs]

Clare Shine: …In one way or another, the concept of asymmetry came up big time in this conversation. There was also a phrase that Chris mentioned about, "At that stage, China took us seriously." So coming back to the title of this lecture, I'd like to ask first in terms of the European Union, you know, we can think of them as a sort of Harry Potter-esque invisibility cloak, and behind which we hide and protect ourselves, but actually, the EU is very divided. The EU member states are very divided, and having different levels of nervousness in terms of how they're going to react to the rise of China. That was really my first question about how you see the state of the fissures within the European Union member states at the moment. And my second, coming back to Blighty, to the UK, is simply who's in charge and is there an appropriate level of understanding and urgency? But if we can start with the EU…

Professor Mitter: We have a Common "Fissures" Policy. [Audience laughs] Well, I'm here all week…

Lord Patten: The European one. I think in the past there was a general enthusiasm right across the European Union, a bit like the 19th Century in the textile industry. If you could only get the Chinese to wear slightly longer jackets, [and] coats, it would solve the textile industry in Lancashire. [Audience laughs] It was said they'd all buy more of what we wanted to sell, and that was a view for a long time, and anything that was likely to produce investment from China in your country, or exports from your country to China had to be a good thing. I think the views have changed on that quite a bit, in some countries, and the most important one, in which that view has changed, is Germany.

I think Germany has become much more concerned about predatory investment in high-tech industries. If you look at Chinese investment in Europe over the last few years, it went up very rapidly and spiked in about 2016. It's come down since then—2017 [and] 2018—because a lot of the showboat spending on things like hotels and football teams has been controlled [and] has been brought under control by the government. The investment in high-tech is continuing and is very high. And the Germans, rather like Trump—and they have more in common than they would think—are pretty concerned about this.

Eighteen months ago, the Chinese bought the major German robotics firm, KUKA. The idea that Germany could buy a major robotics firm in China is for the birds. So things like that have started to have an impact on the more successful, particularly Northern and Western European countries. And that's had an effect on the pressures on the European Commission, which handles trade issues. There's been a difference in Eastern and Central European countries, which are weaker, and I have to say… on Italy, and the Italians need money wherever they can get it. The Italians are now very keen on the Belt and Roads Initiative and borrowing more money from the Chinese if they will get it, if they give it to them—and the Hungarians, and Poles, and Czechs as well. The Chinese… I mean, not with any great difficulty, have been trying to divide European countries—some from the others. And what does this mean? A very good example is the Port of Piraeus, which was the first big Belt and Road Initiative investment in Europe. As you know, while there are some things about the Belt and Road Initiative which are terrific, by and large, it's exporting overcapacity and debt to other countries. So, with the Port of Piraeus, and the port itself was so heavily indebted that it couldn't invest in development of the port, and the Greek government couldn't borrow money from anybody. So they sell the Port of Piraeus to a, I think I'm right in saying, a subsidiary of Cosco, the Chinese container company. The Chinese company that bought the Piraeus was six times as leveraged as the Port of Piraeus. How do you manage that? You manage that by exporting your debt, by having as much in the back room of American treasuries as you piled up 10, 15 years ago, which is one reason why Chinese indebtedness is now 300 percent or thereabouts of GDP.

So you have countries in Eastern and Central Europe which are now very reluctant to criticize China's human rights record because there's so much Chinese investment in them. And you have other countries which are really worried about the extent to which Chinese investment is predatory in their own countries. And the Germans… have been much more forceful, for example, about Hong Kong. Their statements on Hong Kong and other aspects of German affairs than anybody else. They don't do such good business in China because they are so servile with the Chinese, they do good business because they make the things that the Chinese want to buy. Surprise, surprise.

Lord Patten and Professor Mitter proceed to take questions from the audience before Clare Shine summarizes the discussion.

Clare Shine: … Just a couple of thoughts stay in my mind. I know it's so frustrating to truncate a great rich debate, but you know this lack of urgency and foresight has come up in different ways through the conversation. And I read a piece from... the Financial Times, shortly before this, which came out in March. It's actually two months ago today, which said that the EU is only this year for the first time in 30 years, having a high-level EU-China Strategy Session. Now that was a lefty piece. But that idea that we, I'll paraphrase you, "Took our eye off the ball," [and] saw as you said from Germany, the great things that are happening economically but perhaps didn't understand the fuller picture, is a really interesting issue both for the EU and for the UK.

What are we looking out for? How full is our understanding? And also, at a personal level, can we think beyond the language of "getting tough on China?" Because as we know from Theresa May, the way you frame an issue—Brexit means Brexit or whatever—is also very formative of the way in which the societal and the political landscape goes forward. We also heard this phrase "the rule of or by law," and that's a very interesting concept to come back to… about what is the question of the international rules-based order? What is the health of those institutions we perhaps took for granted? And how are we going to rise to the challenge that was set to our forefathers when Salzburg Global Seminar was being founded in 1947 when we imagined that architecture post-World War II? And lastly, really that issue of what will be the fundamental red lines? Where are we going to make a stand? And the we could be "Chinese we," a "UK we," a "European we," [or] "a US we." But these issues of the US, China, EU, and [the] UK, what is that new geometry going to look like, and where will the future leadership imbalance emerge from?

And, I guess my final question would also be, or my final comment… this is really also a cultural question. The issue of whether countries choose to invest in historical education for their young is not confined to China. We are seeing that played out in the UK context now with, in my view, a conscious choice not to educate the next generations about the history, and therefore how to take decisions responsibly when we are confronted with them. So there are some complicated things. We didn't come here to find answers, but I am profoundly grateful for having a very rich and challenging conversation.

This Palliser Lecture was conducted under the auspices of Salzburg Global Seminar - Austria.


The fifth Palliser Lecture entitled "Europe and the Rise of China: How Can European (including British) Interests and Values Best Be Protected in a Multipolar World?" was delivered by the Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes CH, in conversation with Professor Rana Mitter, on May 21, 2019 at the Aga Khan Center in London, UK. The lecture was organized in partnership with the 21st Century Trust.

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Creating Urban Environments Which Let Nature and People Thrive
Jonny Hughes, chair of the IUCN Urban Alliance, at Salzburg Global SeminarJonny Hughes, chair of the IUCN Urban Alliance, at Salzburg Global Seminar
Creating Urban Environments Which Let Nature and People Thrive
By: Jonny Hughes 

Chair of IUCN Urban Alliance Jonny Hughes outlines six issues which, if we make progress on, could be transformative in creating urban environments for the better

Salzburg Global Seminar is an independent non-profit organization founded in 1947 to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. Its multi-year programs aim to bridge divides, expand collaboration, and transform systems.

In my capacity as Chair of the IUCN Urban Alliance, I was recently asked to chair a program at Salzburg Global entitled, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals.

The program is part of a series - the Parks for the Planet Forum - a ten-year collaboration to reconnect people and nature in an urbanized world. Launched in 2015, it aims to improve human and societal well-being by expanding access to nature-rich urban spaces, increasing investments in urban conservation, and creating dynamic partnerships between people, cities, and protected area systems.

In my opening remarks, I challenged the assembled delegates to think about six issues which, if we can make progress on, could be transformative in creating urban environments which sustain thriving nature and thriving people while helping address the twin global crises of biodiversity loss and climate warming.
 
1. If not, now then when?

The urban-nature agenda is an agenda whose time has finally come, but we need to act fast to transform urban environments as we adapt to a changing climate and a rapidly urbanizing world. How do we move from a series of inspiring case studies, pilot projects, and green architectural statements and make "ecological urbanism" the new normal?
 
2. Without inclusivity and equitability, this agenda will fail.

The urban-nature agenda cannot be exclusive – we must resist falling into the trap of being too purist and siloed. This means designing nature-based solutions with a myriad of other considerations in mind from aesthetics to the often particular needs of the communities that call cities their home. Ecologists, road engineers, and real estate developers need to be speaking with each other more regularly and combining skill sets. The recent IPBES assessment included strong calls to action on green infrastructure provision but what was missing for me was an understanding that we will remain siloed in our own bubble until we have a proactive strategy of embedding ecological thinking and practice into all aspects of urban design and neighborhood life. All city people are not alike – cultural differences abound, and we must embrace local ideas if we are to create enduring, successful, and truly green neighborhoods.
 
3. Multi-scale or bust.

We will need to succeed at all scales in the urban ecosystem – from window box to the city region. For this to happen, both citizen-led bottom-up approaches will need to combine with top-down planning and design approaches. How do we successfully meld the two? Hinterlands are critical – both as a resource for city dwellers to experience rural nature and as a provider of vital water and even climate services to cities. Cities must care more for their hinterlands, and yet this will continue to be a massive challenge in the global south (where most population expansion will take place) due to lack formal governance structures, reliable financing mechanisms and the almost overwhelming pace of urbanization.
 
4. The time has come for a new economics for cities.

The natural capital assets that underpin healthy, liveable cities, and by extension, healthy, fulfilled people have been undervalued or ignored for too long. The challenge is to make the value of this vital natural capital visible through true-cost accounting – only by doing this can we expect to attract the levels of investment from both the public and private sectors that we need to unlock transformational change.
 
5. Urbanization is good for the planet.

The fact that urban area has doubled since 1992 is reported in the IPBES assessment as a negative trend – at least that is the inference. Perhaps this needs to be challenged? Peak rural population may be as near as 2030, and if we can combine the design of a sustainable agri-food system with sustainable urban design, then urbanization could take massive pressure off rural ecosystems. This is already happening in some parts of the temperate zone as we see re-wilding of landscapes and the return, for example, of the grey wolf to parts of Europe and North America where it has been absent for decades.
 
6. Big data and disruptive digital technology could help to reduce the exported ecological footprint of cities - that is, the impact cities have on ecosystems across the world.

How can we use such technological advances to drive down the global impact of cities as we strive for carbon neutrality and net biodiversity gain? We also need reliable metrics to track the health of nature and other aspects of natural capital in cities - something the IUCN Urban Alliance is working on through the development of a standard Urban Nature Index.

I share these thoughts in this article and invite comment and ideas for those interested in this fascinating subject area.

If you would like to respond to this op-ed, please email press@salzburgglobal.org


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, is part of the Parks for the Planet Forum. This program is supported by Future Cities Forum, ICLEI CBC, IUCN Urban Alliance, Learning Economy, National Park City Foundation, The Centre for Conscious Design, World Urban Parks, and 21st Century Trust.

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Hot Topic - Fellows Discuss What Institutional Investors Should Be Prioritizing in Health and Well-Being
Photo of megaphone on orange background from Oleg Laptev on UnsplashPhoto from Oleg Laptev on Unsplash
Hot Topic - Fellows Discuss What Institutional Investors Should Be Prioritizing in Health and Well-Being
By: Yasmina Ghandour 

Salzburg Global Fellows share their views during the Salzburg Global program Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals

A select number of Fellows at the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, were asked: What Should the Institutional Investor Community Be Prioritizing in Terms of  Health and Well-Being? We have published their answers below.

“It’s a question of deliberation and engagement. I tend to think that investors don’t just arrive. There are engagements that happen between the state and the investors. I think when business engagements are made – within [the] economic center – there should be a consideration of nature, a consideration of human health, in the whole deliberation... I’m sure if the state brings that as a condition, the investor will be willing to look at it. But I think many times it’s an economic focus without looking at all other areas that are linked to it... we need to change the way we perceive development.”

Shirley Mathebula

Deputy municipal manager for community services in the City of uMhlathuze, South Africa

"It’s very important to be communicating to institutional investors that investing in nature, health, and well-being is actively investing in our future, and the future of our citizens, people, [and] next generation societies... Maybe that’s the first step... The second would be specific areas where priority investments are needed. In my opinion, [this] would be supporting the business models that integrate nature, health, and well-being. My particular bias and interest would be supporting investments on sustainable food systems in our cities because for me sustainable food systems, it’s a good opportunity for linking urban and rural needs.”

Wilson John Barbon

Director at the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction in Myanmar

"One thing we’ve talked about a bit is... related to stormwater remediation. So one approach – and I’ve seen it in my own small town – is they’ve worked very hard to try to come up with a plan to assess homeowners a certain amount of money so that they can build more stormwater drainage and more stormwater holding pits for the big storms that we’re experiencing... But what they’re not talking about at all is bio-remediation and approaches that are on the individual level... helping a community understand how each entity within the community, each homeowner... can also be working on non-sealed surfaces, on plantings that function properly on swales... and really individually replicating, so you have a tapestry of these unsealed bio areas that... are interacting with rainwater... with the things that if the built environment weren’t there, they’d be interacting with – with the ecology, with plants, with the animals, and really moving towards the kinds of diversity, the kinds of culture of those as well that complement the human culture.”

Kate Christen

Environmental historian and senior manager of the Smithsonian Conservation Commons in the USA

"There is an interesting trajectory for organizations and countries... in the past couple of decades, where you see a movement from measuring a country’s success in the GDP terms, in economic finance fiscal terms, and moving away from that and now measuring countries, or nations, or a city’s success rate based on well-being indicators, or [a] well-being index... That’s what is starting to define these agendas at that institutional level.”

Ana Rold

Founder and publisher of Diplomatic Courier, based in Washington, D.C., in the USA

"We have to think about the traditional way that the investors think and how that is not traditionally assessing the health and well-being of communities or people. So, this is about... creating a new value and then evaluating that in the proper way that incorporates the effect that these investors will have in improving the health and the well-being.”

Togo Uchida

Director of ICLEI Japan


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, is part of the Parks for the Planet Forum. This program is supported by Future Cities Forum, ICLEI CBC, IUCN Urban Alliance, Learning Economy, National Park City Foundation, The Centre for Conscious Design, World Urban Parks, and 21st Century Trust.

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Breaking Down Barriers and Finding New Solutions
Moitreyee Sinha presenting at Salzburg Global SeminarMoitreyee Sinha is a physicist by training and spent her early career in global research at General Electric Company (GE)
Breaking Down Barriers and Finding New Solutions
By: Martin Silva Rey 

Co-founder and CEO of citiesRISE Moitreyee Sinha on collective, community-based action

“We’ve kind of forgotten what it is to be human, so in the sense that society is so fragmented. Each of us… in terms of how our lives are, how the world around us—there’s so much fragmentation that it’s hard sometimes to remember that in the end, everything is interconnected…,” said Moitreyee Sinha, co-founder and CEO of citiesRISE.

Sinha grew up in India, and when the time came to choose a profession, she says the options in front of her at that time were limited. “You were either a doctor or engineer, and if all failed, you were a teacher and an artist. Those were the only career paths, and I chose to study physics because I was always drawn to more fundamentals,” she said. “And I felt like physics had the answers to the universe. That was only until later on when I realized that science models the truth, so in the sense that it’s only to the extent that your own knowledge is.”

She longed to see the world outside of India, so the young physicist crossed the world to start a life as a Ph.D. student in the United States. But Sinha did not want to remain a witness of innovation – she was ready to work where she could be part of the changes. Digging into unsolved problems in science and technology, Sinha understood soon enough she needed to bring together disciplines that usually would never mix. She said, “I’ve always been fascinated about partnerships – people just working together. And so I feel like a lot of the innovation happens at intersections…”

After years working on the problems that fascinated her, like merging health care, energy, and aviation to design the next-generation aircraft, Sinha’s journey changed course – the physicist became a philanthropist. Surrounded by refugees and their poignant life stories during her childhood, she wanted to come behind the issues of humanity. Social impact work was the new chapter of her life, where she led the General Electric Foundation’s Global Health portfolio in 22 countries. There, she developed critical care programs for children, maternal child health, clean water, ICT, humanitarian relief, and education.

“I was very shocked when I moved from research and innovation… because I felt that there was no customer focus in philanthropy,” she said. “So, in the private sector when you’re looking at markets and when you’re looking at products and services, it’s all about understanding your customer. Whereas in social impact, it’s so often because it’s about social good people think that they know what answers are. So, it’s not really designed around what the community’s own needs are sometimes.”

For Sinha, the biggest challenge was to find the answer to the question, “How do you flip the model upside down?” Her commitment was to establish a bottom-up system in her organization – listening to the people.   

She said, “Instead of going into countries and looking at solutions, it’s more like figuring out what are the ideas and the energies of every community, and then how do you connect them to learn from each other? That was pretty challenging, but it was also, I feel, very rewarding. Because I think that some of the kind of changes we were able to do – so for instance when we looked at child survival – we were able to in countries like Kenya… look at more local solutions, rural entrepreneurship, start working with the government, start creating new markets. So, it became much more sustainable and scalable.”

Sinha helped launch citiesRise to empower cities to take a leadership role, as places of innovation and to address challenges in mental health through collective, community-based action.     

When asked to describe herself, Sinha said, “I feel like I’m constantly learning, and I feel that there’s so much untapped wisdom, experience in communities, insights in people, and civilizations, and cultures. And I feel that so often that everything is so hectic – that we are not thoughtful enough. So, I feel like I often play this kind of a role of a catalyst… where I don’t necessarily know the answers, I don’t know the solutions, but I feel that when people come together, many things are possible...”


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, is part of the Parks for the Planet Forum. This program is supported by Future Cities Forum, ICLEI CBC, IUCN Urban Alliance, Learning Economy, National Park City Foundation, The Centre for Conscious Design, World Urban Parks, and 21st Century Trust.

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Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience - Future of Smart and Sensible Cities
Participants move their group work outdoors and hold a discussion in the Haaga CourtyardPhoto from Twitter/@IucnUrban
Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience - Future of Smart and Sensible Cities
By: Oscar Tollast 

Salzburg Global Fellows explore the future of smart cities and what this could mean for green innovation

What exactly are “smart cities”? Are smart cities a menace or opportunity? How can smart cities help spur “green” innovation? These were questions participants of the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, were asked to consider on the third day of the program.  

Participants heard it was an exciting time to look at the exponential way things are changing, with sophisticated AI within cities giving birth to a trillion-sensor economy. But how can this data be used meaningfully?

One term emerging is “collective intelligence” - using AI to harness human intelligence of large groups for social change. Cities don’t need to work hard, participants heard. Humans can act as sensors. The feedback is already out there in the form of social media, article comments, and forum posts. Interactions can be consolidated, analyzed using AI, and presented on an accessible dashboard.

A participant indicated a city is only smart if it harnesses the collective intelligence of its residents and makes better decisions to improve their lives.

While technology may dominate the “smart city” discussion, participants agreed anyone passionate to solve a challenge is a “smart citizen” and can play a significant role in a “smart city.” The adoption of new technology is just one part of the conversation.

One participant said they preferred to use the term “sensible city” or “responsible city” instead of “smart city.” They suggested this was one way to avoid the “unintended consequences.”

Building off this point, another participant argued one of the challenges with data is that there isn’t a Geneva Convention-type document where it is agreed how data should be used.

Participants asked themselves whether a form of regulation should exist and if this would improve the situation. One participant said it had to be part of the answer to address fears and concerns, but citizens had to lead and set the tone for this conversation.

In among the exponential changes taking place, cities have the opportunity to empower and disempower citizens that live within them. New technologies can collect real-time information about environmental indicators, and this data can be used to make cities greener.

One participant cautioned that the aim of a smart city should not be to use every new piece of technology; the aim should be only to make people’s lives better.


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, is part of the Parks for the Planet Forum. This program is supported by Future Cities Forum, ICLEI CBC, IUCN Urban Alliance, Learning Economy, National Park City Foundation, The Centre for Conscious Design, World Urban Parks, and 21st Century Trust.

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Hot Topic - Fellows Highlight Cities Responding to the Sustainable Development Goals
Photo of megaphone on orange background from Oleg Laptev on UnsplashPhoto from Oleg Laptev on Unsplash
Hot Topic - Fellows Highlight Cities Responding to the Sustainable Development Goals
By: Yasmina Ghandour 

Salzburg Global Fellows share their views during the Salzburg Global program Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals

A select number of Fellows at the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, were asked: Which Cities Are Shaping National Responses to the Sustainable Development Goals and How Are They Achieving This? We have published their answers below.

"It is the city that can respond to the climate change and the environmental issues. I think the best city is Copenhagen [Denmark] because when I was in Copenhagen, I was in shock because they got most of the energy from wind power... a lot of citizens raised their own money to make renewable power... I think the most important thing is how their city gets energy because energy sources determine the characteristics of the city. There is a difference between the city who gets power from the core powers and the city, which gets power from renewable energy.”

Jin Su Park

Climate change consultant at Eco & Partners, in Seoul, the Republic of Korea

"The Japanese Government is also trying to achieve the SDGs, and one of the ways they’re doing this is by selecting several local governments that are making an effort to help achieve the SDGs and localizing them... some of the cities that were selected that are specifically leading the way are...  Shimokawa... Toyama... and... Kitakyushu. They’re all different sizes [and] have different backgrounds... Shimokawa is really well known for their forest management scheme.... Toyama is doing well in terms of creating an environmentally friendly public transportation system....  and Kitakyushu is also working hard in its environmental international cooperation, sharing their experiences of overcoming pollution...”

Masumi Kikkawa

Project manager at Ishi Planning & Design Co. in Tokyo, Japan

"I thought about Medellín [Colombia] because, of course, it is well known for all of its neighborhood development and public space development and improving quality of life through urban upgrading to decrease crime... but what people don’t really know is that many in the region in which it sits in Colombia, they have been working together at a larger scale. So, going behind and beyond the neighborhood, beyond the city... Colombia is one of the first countries that it’s like pioneering this level of development... This means many municipalities coming together to work on issues of agriculture, water conservation, migration, people moving from [and] between towns and cities. So, this opens like a whole new game in terms of who is [in] power, who makes the decisions, and dynamics between city and regional governments.”

Andrea Oyuela

Architect and urban planner from Honduras

"In the South African context, we have the metropolitan municipalities, which are the biggest urban areas, and they are shaping the national responses in a different way. So, each city will have its own focus area on what they want to do... So, with the community-based adaptation [in nature] we have the city of eThekwini, which is Durban... Then you’ve got the city of Johannesburg, which looks at transit orientated development
and bringing people closer to places of economic opportunities and social amenities... then around governments and institutional issues as well, you’ve got cities like Tshwane, which has a sustainability unit within the office of the city mayor...”

Liteboho Makhele

Program manager of sustainable cities at the South African Cities Network

"I can’t think of a single city that... fully understands to reach [the] sustainable development goals requires an incredible reduction in privilege. It’s not about bringing up a sort of standing of quality of life that the whole world can have. It’s actually about drastically and radically reducing the level of living in terms of consumption [and] in terms of production that the vast majority of cities are currently embroiled in.

Jacksón Smith

Co-founder and CTO of Learning Economy


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, is part of the Parks for the Planet Forum. This program is supported by Future Cities Forum, ICLEI CBC, IUCN Urban Alliance, Learning Economy, National Park City Foundation, The Centre for Conscious Design, World Urban Parks, and 21st Century Trust.

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Three Ways to Stop Destroying the Planet We Live On
Jonathan (Jonny) Hughes speaking at Salzburg Global SeminarJonathan (Jonny) Hughes has been an elected global councilor of the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2012
Three Ways to Stop Destroying the Planet We Live On
By: Martin Silva Rey 

Chair of IUCN Urban Alliance Jonathan Hughes on obstacles to building a sustainable world

“We can use nature, but we would need to use nature sustainably - so, in a way that it can replenish itself… It’s a bit like having a bank account and saying ‘Right, I’m just going to spend all the bank account, and I’m going to become bankrupt, and then I’m just going to expect people to just give me some more money.’ You can’t do that... we’re bankrupting the planet, really, at the moment,” said Jonathan Hughes, a veteran expert in world conservation and chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Urban Alliance.

From an early age, he and his father would go out every weekend and look at wildlife in the field, which left Hughes fascinated. But it was a trip with a friend to the ancient Caledonian Forest in Scotland where he realized he wanted to work in nature conservation.

“[My friend] pointed out to me that most of it had been destroyed,” Hughes said. “The few bits that were left were now dead on their feet, really, because they were being overgrazed by red deer and sheep that had been let into the forest… There wasn’t any natural regeneration.”  

Hughes was brought up in Wales and went on to study at Keele University in Staffordshire, England. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geography and biology. It wasn’t long afterward Hughes returned to the land he had fallen in love with in his childhood – Scotland. Desperate for nature, the novel geographer and biologist found a job that hit the nail on the head.

At the age of 23, Hughes started his “dream job” as a warden of a remote nature reserve in the north of the country. It was his first position at the Scottish Wildlife Trust, where he eventually became the chief executive officer. Later on, he experienced a different sort of landscape working at the Westminster City Council, before going back north. 

Hughes has always been focused on pioneering new ideas in conversation. One of his proudest achievements involved co-authoring Living Landscapes - Towards Ecosystem-Based Conservation in Scotland. It’s a pocket bible of landscape-scale conservation – the first of its kind. On the back of that initiative, he launched a 50-year vision of landscape-scale restoration carried out by landowners working together across 60,000 hectares of the remote northwest of Scotland.     

Currently, Hughes is preoccupied with three frontline problems. The first concerns the lack of a sustainable agri-food system. Agriculture, he believes, is destroying the natural capital stocks of the planet, and it needs to change to tackle climate change.

“It doesn’t matter how much renewable energy we put in place, it doesn’t matter how much we decarbonize our industrial economy. If we don’t decarbonize our agricultural systems, we will fail,” he said. “Because around about a third of climate change is actually due to the degradation of nature on the planet, and the degradation of nature is mainly through the need to feed ourselves…”

The second problem concerns the abuse of the oceans and rivers, which is tightly linked to the agricultural problem. “Runoff from agriculture and soil loss and sedimentation in rivers and coastal ecosystems is a far bigger problem actually than the plastics issue, which has risen up the agenda recently…,” Hughes stressed.

The third problem concerns urbanization. Cities leave a footprint that impacts beyond their boundaries. He said, “The design of cities is absolutely critical in the future, not just for the people that live in them but actually for… the future sustainability of the planet.”

Hughes considers the answers to these issues lie within a combination of nature-based and technological solutions. He said, “When I get up in the morning, I think ‘Right, I’m got to go to work today, so what I am gonna do?’ It’s to try and create momentum or keep the momentum going for a fundamental kind of paradigm change in the way that human beings interact with the planet.

“I’m trying to bring about a kind of consciousness, I suppose, within humanity, that respects and values nature in such a way that we no longer abuse it, but we work with nature...”


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, is part of the Parks for the Planet Forum. This program is supported by Future Cities Forum, ICLEI CBC, IUCN Urban Alliance, Learning Economy, National Park City Foundation, The Centre for Conscious Design, World Urban Parks, and 21st Century Trust.

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Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience - Creating a New Agenda
Participants on the first day of the program in conversation during a refreshment breakParticipants on the first day of the program in conversation during a refreshment break
Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience - Creating a New Agenda
By: Oscar Tollast 

Participants of latest program of Parks for the Planet Forum consider the relationship between green and urban space and how both are perceived

On the first morning of the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, participants were asked to consider the origin of the word “park.”

Over the centuries, the word and variants of it have meant “enclosed preserve for beasts of the chase,” “enclosed wood or heath land used as a game preserve,” and “enclosed tract of land.” In any case, the word “park” has often indicated a space “set aside” for human enjoyment. This has created a dichotomy, participants heard, between the green and urban space and how we feel when we’re in both.

Participants heard place attachment can lead to a sense of identity, pro-environmental behavior, pro-social behavior, and resilient communities that stay in place. Nature should be a part of people’s everyday life and should not be seen as a destination, one participant said.

The group heard from several other participants who reflected on how nature was perceived in different countries. One participant said the challenge was to design settlements which are integrated into the urban fabric and not placed on the periphery. In their work, this participant said they tried to show by bringing in nature and open spaces, the well-being of people increases, and people’s attachment to the area improves as well.

Another participant discussed how their work involved exploring different funding mechanisms and what effect this has on park equity. How are spaces being organized, programmed, and managed?

To receive funding, this participant said they had learned to play with language and focus on the benefits which appeal to those they’re speaking with – whether economic, social, or environmental.

Some people living in rural areas do not view parks as infrastructure, one participant said. Their lives are already linked to nature. It is part of their identity and provides their livelihood. Nature gives communities this sense of sustainability and resilience, participants heard. As long as the environment is healthy, the next generation can continue to rely on this resource.

Unfortunately, this is no longer the reality, with green space making way for developments. This participant said they and their organization are exploring areas which show where a symbiotic relationship between urban and rural communities can exist, e.g., ensuring a sustainable food system exists.


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, is part of the Parks for the Planet Forum. This program is supported by Future Cities Forum, ICLEI CBC, IUCN Urban Alliance, Learning Economy, National Park City Foundation, The Centre for Conscious Design, World Urban Parks, and 21st Century Trust.

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Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals
Shanghai, China - Photo by Denys Nevozhai on UnsplashShanghai, China - Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash
Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals
By: Martin Silva Rey 

Latest program of the Parks for the Planet Forum explores the role of nature and protected areas in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

By 2050, more than 75% of the world’s population will live in towns and cities. The equitable and sustainable design of cities across the globe will make the difference – what planet do we want to bequeath to the future generations? Their health is in our hands, as much as our own is. 

All cities are intertwined with broader landscapes and seascapes. Many depend on protected areas and natural habitats for essential services like water supply and protection against natural disasters. Parks, protected areas, and green and blue infrastructure in and around urban areas provide major nature-based solutions for public health, climate change, and urban resilience. They can become one of the keys to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Investors, sovereign wealth funds, real estate companies, insurance, and reinsurance industries will play a pivotal role in determining the level of priority given to health, nature, and sustainability in urban development worldwide. Extraordinary potential could be unlocked by bringing key stakeholders from these sectors together with leaders in urban health, conservation, and new movements promoting more inclusive visions for cities of the future. 

The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, will discuss the impact of parks and protected areas in the present and future of our cities and the planet, as well as what can be done to make the most of these green and blue spaces.

From May 30 to June 4, thought leaders, innovators, and policymakers from different regions and sectors, along with investors, real estate companies, and portfolio managers, will convene at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria.     

Which cities are shaping national responses to the SDGs, and how are they achieving this? What are the needed partnerships to raise awareness of the role parks and protected areas in the well-being of citizens? What is the current baseline for “urban-green” finance and investment? These are some of the questions to be debated by the 50 participants across a mix of thought-provoking presentations, curated conversations, informal interactions, knowledge exchange, practical group work, and innovation prototyping.

This program is part of the Parks for the Planet Forum, a 10-year collaboration to reconnect people and nature in an urbanized world. Launched in 2015, it aims to improve human and societal well-being by expanding access to nature-rich urban spaces, increasing investments in urban conservation, and creating dynamic partnerships between people, cities, and protected area systems.

“As an ever greater percentage of the world’s population live in cities, the responsibility for different levels of public and private sector leadership to transform the relationship their cities have with the natural world grows ever more important,” said program director Dominic Regester. “This program will help develop understanding, awareness and shared agendas around the crucial role and benefits of nature for urban communities and encourage policies, investments, and partnerships that can create a stronger future relationship between cities and the natural world.”


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Partnerships for Urban Wellbeing and Resilience: Harnessing Nature and Protected Areas for the Sustainable Development Goals, is part of the Parks for the Planet Forum. This program is supported by Future Cities Forum, ICLEI CBC, IUCN Urban Alliance, Learning Economy, National Park City Foundation, The Centre for Conscious Design, World Urban Parks, and 21st Century Trust.

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How Can European Values Be Protected in a Multipolar World?
The Palliser Lecture honors the Rt Hon. Sir Michael Palliser GCMG PC, who served as a senior British diplomat and was the vice chairman of the Salzburg Global’s Board of DirectorsThe Palliser Lecture honors the Rt Hon. Sir Michael Palliser GCMG PC, who served as a senior British diplomat and was the vice chairman of the Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors
How Can European Values Be Protected in a Multipolar World?
By: Martin Silva Rey 

Latest Salzburg Global Lecture will include Lord Patten discussing the future of Europe and the rise of China

International relations theorist G. John Ikenberry said, "The rise of China will undoubtedly be one of the great dramas of the twenty-first century. China's extraordinary economic growth and active diplomacy are already transforming East Asia, and future decades will see even greater increases in Chinese power and influence. But exactly how this drama will play out is an open question. Will China overthrow the existing order or become a part of it?"

The world's most populous country and the fourth largest is gaining influence much beyond its continent. The Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR) entails a massive flow of foreign direct investment of Chinese capital in 152 countries, where that country is sponsoring infrastructure development to set up the "Silk Road Economic Belt."

Since 2012, the 16+1 mechanism has brought together 16 Central and East European states and China for annual meetings between the heads of state and cooperation.

Earlier this year, a joint communication by the European Commission was published on "EU-China – A strategic outlook," where China was labeled a "systemic rival." In response to China's growing economic power and political influence, the report indicated the European Union should "deepen its engagement with China to promote common interests at global level… seek more balanced and reciprocal conditions governing the economic relationship… [and] adapt to changing economic realities and strengthen its own domestic policies and industrial base."

The communication states the EU and China are "linked by an enduring relationship," but questions remain open for debate. How should Europe position itself in a multipolar world where the support of historic allies can no longer be taken for granted? Can a Britain in the throes of Brexit still contribute to a European response to China's rise? Must it or can it carve out an independent role for itself?

These are some of the questions to be debated during this year's Palliser Lecture, organized by Salzburg Global Seminar in partnership with 21st Century Trust.

The event will convene two major experts in Europe-China relations:

  • The Rt Hon. the Lord Chris Patten of Barnes CH, the last Governor of Hong Kong and former European Commissioner
  • Rana Mitter FBA, historian and political scientist, and Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at Oxford University

The Aga Khan Foundation UK will kindly host the fourth edition of The Palliser Lecture. The event will take place on May 21, 2019, at 10 Handyside Street, London N1C 4DN. The reception will begin at 17:30, and the discussion between Patten and Mitter will take place from 18:30.

John Lotherington, director of 21st Century Trust, said, "This event couldn’t be more timely with developments in the trade war between the United States and China, the controversy around Huawei, and political strife in Hong Kong. But it is also about the slower underlying changes as Europe reacts to the expansion of Chinese power and reach."

The Palliser Lecture honors the Rt Hon. Sir Michael Palliser GCMG PC, who served as a senior British diplomat and was the vice chairman of the Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors. It is part of the Salzburg Global Lecture Series.

This Palliser Lecture was conducted under the auspices of Salzburg Global Seminar - Austria.

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Advancing Legal and Social Equality in South Asia
Advancing Legal and Social Equality in South Asia
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Executive summary report from the latest program of the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum presents key themes and discussions as well as plans for newly proposed Fellow-led projects

“Look for the rainbow in every crowd,” former Chief Justice Dipak Misra declared following India’s Supreme Court ruling to decriminalize homosexuality in September 2018. “Equality and liberty and this freedom can only be fulfilled when each one of us realizes the LGBT community has the same rights as other citizens.”

The Indian court’s decision to strike down Section 377, a colonial-era law criminalizing same-sex relationships, is just one example of the momentous advocacy work being done by LGBT communities in South Asia; a region where many of these human rights issues are at tipping point. While a region of diverse cultural and religious communities and differing levels of economic development, the progress of legal and social rights for LGBT people in South Asia will have a profound impact on the region at large and globally. 

During the sixth gathering of the Salzburg Global LGBT ForumAdvancing Legal and Social Equality in South Asia – more than 40 advocates from 17 countries met in Kathmandu, Nepal, to discuss how to enhance Asia’s underrepresented role in global LGBT dialogues, and engage individuals and institutions to create significant shifts in social attitudes and policy landscapes across the region. Appropriately, Nepal is a nation widely seen as a regional leader in progressive attitudes on sexual orientation and gender identity in South Asia. The significance of this was not lost on Forum participants, whose calls for wider social acceptance and rights were amplified by a united energy of strength and leadership.

As with all Salzburg Global LGBT Forum meetings, the gathering brought together a widely diverse group of human rights leaders spanning government, law, diplomacy, religion, media and culture, and built on the explicit goal of the Forum to further develop a network of trust, where both Fellows’ professional expertise and their life experiences are highly valued. Underlining that fundamental human rights concern us all, the Forum meeting connects queer and straight leaders who represent gender and sexual orientation in different expressions, united by their passion to advance LGBT equality globally. 

Despite – or rather thanks to – the intricate mix of nationalities, cultures and faiths represented at the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum, boundaries of separation were broken as participants vowed to learn from this collective strength and resilience. “We have much in common; but we also face different challenges, and live in different contexts,” participants – now known as Fellows – were told. “Everyone has something valuable to share.”

In South Asia, several LGBT human rights issues are at a “tipping point” at which legal and/or social change could soon be possible. Gender recognition and decriminalization are two such legal tipping point issues for several countries. However even in places where legal progress on these fronts has been made (for example in Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka), social discrimination and violence often persist and serve to exclude LGBT individuals and their families from access to employment, health care, education and other services. Because of this, additional action is needed across South Asia to ensure full legal and social inclusion and recognition for gender and sexual minorities, with special attention to transgender and intersex communities.

The 2019 program contributed to national and regional discussions on LGBT inclusion across the South Asian region by providing a platform for open policy dialogue and debate; creating an opportunity to highlight South Asia’s unique legal, religious, and cultural history of LGBT family and community inclusion with policymakers and international organizations active in the region; and by producing multimedia products that can help illustrate the critical importance of inclusive policies.

Download, read and share the Executive Summary Report from the program to find out more.

Download 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 2019 program of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum was held in partnership with the UNDP’s Being LGBTI in Asia and the Pacific program, and was also supported by the German Federal Foreign Ministry and the Archangel Michael Foundation, with additional support from EQUAL GROUND, The Nippon Foundation, the Korea Foundation and the Ann M. Hoefle Memorial Fellowship.  

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Moving from Me to We in Memphis, Tennessee
Beale Street, Memphis (Photo by Heidi Kaden Lopyreva on Unsplash)Beale Street, Memphis (Photo by Heidi Kaden Lopyreva on Unsplash)
Moving from Me to We in Memphis, Tennessee
By: Oscar Tollast 

Salzburg Global Forum for Young Culture Innovators travels to United States for third regional meeting

The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators will go stateside this week for a Regional Fellows Event in Memphis, Tennessee.

The three-day program, Moving from Me to We: US Regional Young Cultural Innovators Event, will convene 30 Salzburg Global Fellows from Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans from May 9 to May 12.

Fellows will be encouraged to “move from me to we” while reflecting on their roles within their respective hubs and cities and exploring what they want to achieve together in their local communities.

This is the third time the YCI Forum has held a regional meeting in the United States, having previously convened programs in New Orleans (2018) and Detroit (2017). This meeting is being supported by The Kresge Foundation.

Memphis, Detroit, and New Orleans are cities undergoing radical urban transformation and social renewal. During the program, Fellows are encouraged to share their experiences, coach each other, and strategize for the future.

There will also be panel discussions on creating safe spaces, shifting work, community building, and partnerships. YCI faculty members Amina J. Dickerson, Peter Jenkinson, and Shelagh Wright will return to facilitate the event.

Salzburg Global Seminar will be represented by Susanna Seidl-Fox, program director, culture and the arts; Benjamin Glahn, vice president, development and operations; Andy Ho, US development director; Faye Hobson, program manager, culture, arts, and education; and Clare Shine, vice president and chief program officer.

Activities will be hosted at the Memphis Music Initiative, the National Civil Rights Museum, and CMPLX. Fellows will have the opportunity to hear from the people behind these organizations and learn how their work is shifting the narrative in Memphis’ cultural sector and amplifying voices often overlooked.

Guest speakers at this year’s event include Amber Hamilton, chief operations and strategy officer at Memphis Music Initiative, Britney Thornton, executive director of Juice Orange Mound, and Noel Trent, director of interpretation, collections, and education at the National Civil Rights Museum.

The meeting will conclude with a closing night concert featuring performances from YCI artist IMAKEMADBEATS and other artists from Memphis label Unapologetic.


Moving from Me to We: US Regional Young Cultural Innovators Event is the third US regional meeting of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. This event is being supported by The Kresge Foundation. For more information on this program, please click here.

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Salzburg Global Reaches New Agreement with the Korea Foundation
Logos of Salzburg Global Seminar and the Korea FoundationSince 2012, the Korea Foundation has sponsored many next-generation global leaders to attend Salzburg Global’s programs
Salzburg Global Reaches New Agreement with the Korea Foundation
By: Salzburg Global Seminar 

Partnership will support the arrival of more participants from Korea in 2019

Salzburg Global Seminar is delighted to announce a new agreement with the Korea Foundation which will help expand its fellowship.

The Korea Foundation has agreed to support Salzburg Global by providing financial assistance for seven participants from the Republic of Korea to attend and take part in its programs up until April, 2020.

The mission of the Korea Foundation is to promote better understanding of Korea within the international community and to increase friendship and goodwill between Korea and the rest of the world through various exchange programs.

Since 2012, the Korea Foundation has sponsored many next-generation global leaders to attend Salzburg Global’s programs, and in 2014, both organizations established an international intern program, which continues to flourish.

Salzburg Global is deeply grateful for the Korea Foundation’s dedicated ongoing support and looks forward to welcoming new participants from the Republic of Korea in the near future.

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Bridging Worlds - Outlining the Next Steps Forward
Fellows of the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?Fellows of the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?
Bridging Worlds - Outlining the Next Steps Forward
By: Oscar Tollast 

Fellows from Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health? present their recommendations

Salzburg Global Fellows have been encouraged to “keep connected and keep the momentum going” after a fruitful program on inclusive economies and better health.

Policymakers, business representatives, academics, and representatives from civil society were among those who took part in Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?

The program is part of Salzburg Global’s Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series and was held in partnership with the Health Foundation.

From April 29 to May 2, participants tackled complex challenges and attempted to bridge the worlds of business, health, and economic development. Toward the end of the program, participants worked in smaller groups to come up with solutions. On the final day, participants presented their ideas.

The first group to present focused on developing a conceptual model of the relationship between inclusive economies and health in places. Participants came up with two tools. The first tool was a list of simple conversation starters designed to encourage dialogue between the health and economic sector.

The second tool – named the Reinhardt Model – puts well-being economy at the center of discussions. This model has been designed for economic leaders to speak with health practitioners. It features a set of dynamics such as esteem, place, and well-being that feed into economies.

The next group sought to establish “new normals” for business and the public sector in a sustainable way when it comes to scaling. Participants came up with a short playbook with chapters exploring how we design for scale, understanding the market, finance, and what models people might choose.

This group also looked at partnership models and structures, how to work with different sectors, and putting in place the right governance. Evaluation is key. Has the scaling produced the expected results? Has the scaling led to diminishing returns? This group is keen to bring the playbook alive using case studies from around the world.

Several participants pushed for the creation of a new Salzburg Statement for Cities to Lead Change at the Local and National Level. They argued successful cities create environments which are inclusive of all people and abilities.

Participants encouraged city administrators to work with businesses to identify which groups are most marginalized and under-utilized, co-produce solutions with these communities, and address system-based barriers of unemployment for these groups.

Cities can measure their performance through a clearly defined governance framework, by working with multiple organizations to establish a shared dataset, and by contributing to global knowledge and lessons for other cities through networks and sectors. Cities can build on the positive contributions they are already making by promoting an inclusive economic agenda in their strategies and actions.

Participants working in the McGowan Room considered how to engage citizens and stakeholders through new narratives. They concluded narratives could be used to create bridges between different sectors. A good narrative is a shared story which incorporates many voices and can be retold. It captures a vision of the future and complements data, evidence, and the application for resources.

A story, however, does not have to be a written statement. There are other ways to be creative and to empower people during the process. Narratives can act as a framework for actions, participants heard, as well as bring forward a cast of new characters.

Participants working within this group indicated they would like to develop a Salzburg Statement and take their work back to their employers and refine their ideas.

The final group to present emphasized the need to act now for the future, managing transition and inter-generational justice. Participants discussed creating a language around “whole life thinking” and facilitating conversations between different generations. On a practical level, this work could be embedded within existing projects, participants heard.

The methodology behind the project is crowd contribution. Participants are looking for input from as many places as possible. Participants heard the group had the seed of an idea, but the backers who become involved in the project will help this seed grow.

John Lotherington, the program director at Salzburg Global for health and health care, urged participants to stay in touch, noting, “There is so much possibility in what you have been talking about.”

Lotherington proposed a three-month check-in to see where participants were with their projects. Salzburg Global Seminar will be on hand to provide logistical and catalytic support where possible.


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?, is part of the Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series. More information on this multi-year series is available here.

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Designing Better Systems for People to Live In
Ted Howard, left, in conversation with a fellow participant during the Salzburg Global program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?Ted Howard, left, in conversation with a fellow participant during the Salzburg Global program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?
Designing Better Systems for People to Live In
By: Martin Silva Rey 

Democracy Collaborative co-founder and president Ted Howard discusses existing inequalities in the United States

Co-founder and president of the Democracy Collaborative Ted Howard works toward creating stronger democracies.   A social justice advocate and activist, his entire career has been spent in the NGO world, as well as the United Nations. Almost 20 years ago, he co-founded an action-oriented think tank "at the grassroots, at the community level," that goes beyond producing papers.

What interests him?

"How do we redesign the system that we live in - that we call capitalism at this point - toward a system that can produce better environmental outcomes, better health for people, have people more at the center rather than objects of a system, and greater equity and equality in terms of economics?"

He aims at strengthening democratic practice. "So many of our national democracies are really threatened now. I think we see that in Europe, we certainly see it in my home country of the United States. And our belief is if you want a thriving national democracy—a 'big D' democracy—where it really is built is in community and in people's experiences."

Howard is behind a worker-owned cooperatives program in Cleveland, Ohio, partly based in Mondragon, Spain. Using the purchasing power of the city's anchor institutions, such as hospitals and universities, the model creates green jobs and builds wealth. This initiative blossomed in a hostile context.

"Twenty years ago, if I were to talk about worker ownership and cooperatives, and these kinds of different forms of enterprise, those were seen as 'Those aren't American. Maybe the Europeans will talk about that, but not here. Not Americans.' But now there is a very robust conversation in America about alternative forms of business and enterprise, and how you put more control in people's hands at the workplace."   

Concerned about health inequalities in the United States, he attended the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?

In the United States, Howard explains, "18 percent of our Gross Domestic Product is spent on our health care. And the truth is there are just many, many people in the United States that simply can't afford the kind of basic health care that they need. And in the United States, health care isn't seen as a right. We have civil rights, freedom of expression, right to have the religion you want. But health care is not seen as a right. It's something that you purchase in the market…

"In one sense, we have an extraordinary system if you have the money to pay for it… You can live in a neighborhood as I have for the last five or six years which is populated by African-American black population 98 percent, and there your health care winds up that you have the life expectancy as a man of 64 years. And eight miles away, in a white suburb, your life expectancy is 88 years. And so health systems now, and we work with lots of these health systems, are saying, 'We can't just passively sit back and allow people to be sick and come to us and try to treat them.'"

That shift in health systems makes him believe a European-style health care system is viable in the United States, as the issue has become part of the political agenda.

"We have a system for senior citizens like myself called Medicare when you hit the age of 65. And Bernie Sanders, the senator who ran for president and is running again back in the States, talked about 'Medicare for all,' which was sort of the way in America you could talk about some sort of national system… But when he said it, he was a complete outlier. People just thought he was kind of crazy… This time, there are 20 people running for president as a Democrat in the United States for the 2020 [presidential election], and most of them are talking about some sort of national health service or quasi-national health service. So the dialogue has changed very, very much."   

Not only for health but for all social outcomes to improve, he argues, the new system should lead to a "democratic economy." That is the subject of his last book, The Making of a Democratic Economy, to be published in summer 2019.   

"In my view, well, if you're really looking at population health, and the health of millions and millions of people, you really have to look at big order economic changes. Or you're simply not gonna get to where you need to get, given the impact of the social determinants of health on our communities, our lives, and our families."

The book features a critique of neoliberalism, which, he claims has produced a fundamental disruption in the United States. "The statistics are extraordinary… of the income gains of the last 30 years. Ninety-some percent of them have gone to less than 1 percent. It was always thought that every generation of Americans would be better off economically through social mobility than their parents were. That's just how it worked at least for the majority, for the white population. That's no longer the case.

According to Howard, the model that can replace today's capitalism would not be either state socialism or hyper-capitalism, but much more community based and from the ground up.

"It would emphasize broadening ownership over business and capital so that more people have a stake in their communities. It would emphasize leveraging the kinds of assets that we have in our communities to benefit our communities rather than always looking for some new giant corporation (‘Can we get Google to come in here?'). It would look at not just the number of jobs being created, but the quality of those jobs…"

The ultimate question for all of us, according to Howard, is: "Are we really trying to bring about really decisive change?"


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?, is part of the Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series. More information on this multi-year series is available here.

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Building Bridges - Knowledge Cafe
Photo of levitating book in library Photo by Jaredd Craig on UnsplashPhoto by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash
Building Bridges - Knowledge Cafe
By: Yasmina Ghandour 

Facilitators discuss main lessons from Knowledge Cafe during Salzburg Global program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?

During Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?, participants took part in a knowledge cafe with several stations discussing topics linked to creating better health. Participants moved every 30 minutes among stations.

Each table had a facilitator who gave a brief impulse talk on the topic and then led the discussion. We spoke with each facilitator to garner what their take-aways were.

"The main takeaway, I think, was the variety of different ways of applying investment tools and innovative finance tools to different health and social challenges at the global level, and then at the national level and local level, and how we need different approaches for those different scales of challenge that we’re dealing with. The message that I was trying to get across was what the range of options are for using investments to make a difference in social challenges such as health, and also the importance of engaging investors because they are asset owners who have power, and so, therefore, engaging them in using that power as part of our process of change.”

Stephen Muers,trustee of the Friends Provident Foundation, and head of strategy and market development at Big Society Capital

Key points from “What can be achieved by innovative finance and activist investors to align better business strategies with population health?”

"We were looking at co-production and grassroots initiatives and looking at their contribution to the health and economic development agenda... we had a really interesting discussion between the dynamics of the merits of a big local versus the merits of scaling. And I guess at the end of the day we agreed there’s a place for both. There’s so much potential around a local initiative but actually replicating it and growing it is not always the best solution. You might lose so much in that process. There again we do need to get scale in certain circumstances and when you do scale it’s important to do so under a framework that provides an enabling framework.”

Sarah Deas,director of Co-operative Development Scotland

Key points from “What are the challenges to incorporating co-productive/grassroots initiatives into wider local/national/international health and economic initiatives?”

"My main takeaway from the knowledge cafe discussion was that the idea by the organizers who formulated the question whether data was the new oil was a very important question... there are some very intriguing parallels between data now and oil in the history of the 19th century, in particular, and of certain power structures and other historical developments that were very important... I realized that looking into those parallels and seeing also where the differences are and the parallels are is absolutely vital when dealing with the questions of data... my message was to consider data rather as a currency rather than as oil... this would allow us to distinguish between the public value of data and the private value which have to be distinguished... my practical message was to really push for the idea of attaching a monetary value to data and actually let people be paid for giving their data.”

Franz von Roenne,senior GIZ manager

Key points from “Data is the new oil: what are the main opportunities and threats regarding inclusive economies and health arising from this disruption, and how can or should they be managed?”

"Overall, evidence from around the world suggests that greater gender equality has a positive effect on the health of males and females and gender equality tends to be associated with a convergence in the health outcomes of men and women. Pressures on boys and girls to conform to gender norms is huge... Women in the workforce face different stresses than men because of expectations gender norms place on women as caregivers... economic development policies need to be gender aware – consider how policies impact men and women and what is happening to gender equality as economic development strategies are deployed. But beyond being gender aware, we must look for opportunities to transform gender norms. Unless there is encouragement and support for men to assume more non-traditional roles, further health gains that comes from gender equality will be stymied. And as a result, further economic development may itself also be affected.”

Tessie San Martin*,president and chief executive officer of Plan International USA

Key points from “The significance of gender in economic development strategies to support better health”

*Extract is taken from a summary email sent by Martin


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?, is part of the Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series. More information on this multi-year series is available here.

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Governance and Technology: How to Achieve Better Results?
Source Code for a WordPress Website Photo by Ilya Pavlov on UnsplashPhoto by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash
Governance and Technology: How to Achieve Better Results?
By: Martin Silva Rey 

Forthcoming program of the Public Sector Strategy Network considers the impact of technological innovations on governance

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?

Those are some of the questions that participants will discuss during the Salzburg Global Seminar program Agility for an Accelerating World: Can Governments Keep Up? From May 05-07, senior public sector leaders from 19 countries will gather at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria.

They will be able to speak openly among peers about major disruptive forces confronting governments over the next 10-20 years. The program will also examine effective planning strategies to face those disruptive forces. Together, participants will devise year-round opportunities for practical exchange and follow-up among involved countries and institutions.

This program takes place under the auspices of the Public Sector Strategy Network, a platform that 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.

The annual invitation-only retreat is supported by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, in partnership with Apolitical. Additional country and institutional partners include the Australian Government, the Government of Ireland, the Government of Canada's Impact and Innovation Unit, Civil Service College Singapore, and Nesta. The program director is Charles Ehrlich.

Looking ahead of the program, Ehrlich said, "Governance is a process, but too often gets driven by its own process. The world is moving so rapidly, that governments need to think less about the process and more about the ends: what results their citizens expect. This requires agility to respond to - and often to anticipate - trends, events, and even unforeseeable developments, and to adjust the process on the fly. Some roles traditionally carried out by the public sector will no longer be – but this does not mean that governments abdicate their responsibility to their citizens.

"At this year's Annual Foresight Retreat of the Public Sector Strategy Network, we have a diverse group of 32 public leaders from 19 countries exploring precisely these challenges, exchanging their own experiences with each other, and enhancing international relationships across the strategic policy community."


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Agility for an Accelerating World: Can Governments Keep Up?, is part of the Public Sector Strategy Network. This program is supported by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, in partnership with Apolitical. Additional country and institutional partners include the Australian Government, the Government of Ireland, the Government of Canada's Impact and Innovation Unit, Civil Service College Singapore, and Nesta. More information on this network is available at the following link: https://bit.ly/2PMCt5m

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Bridging Worlds - Making the Most of the Systemic Interconnected Approach
Salzburg Global Fellows in discussion in Schloss Leopoldskron's Max Reinhardt LibraryCopyright Salzburg Global/Katrin Kerschbaumer
Bridging Worlds - Making the Most of the Systemic Interconnected Approach
By: Oscar Tollast 

Salzburg Global Fellows consider how to best achieve alignment across sectors connecting inclusive economies and health

There is a famous quote from Walter Payton: “We are stronger together than we are alone.” It’s a well-known quote but perhaps one we are all guilty of failing to take into consideration from time to time.

Aptly, ahead of moving into working groups on Monday afternoon, participants of the Salzburg Global program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health? were asked to consider: how is alignment best achieved across sectors connecting inclusive economies with health?

In addition, what capabilities do we need to build to make the most of the systemic, interconnected approach that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) encourage?

One participant discussed how they became frustrated when others treated health as “health care.” They said their aim now was to get businesses to work toward health resilience, focusing on improving the future of health in the workplace, societal settings, and supply chain. The speaker said this work could be accomplished through partnerships.

Fellows heard companies should understand what their impact is on their employees, consumers,  stakeholders, and surrounding communities. Businesses can take a systemic approach to health and  connect it to their processes.

Hearing what other people think is important, and this requires active listening. One speaker suggested this skill could be adopted more by professionals working within health. There needs to be a recognition health is not going to be prioritized in the same way by other stakeholders.

Adding to this notion of active listening was the importance of having “authentic conversations.” The speaker indicated distrust existed within health circles in the UK because promises are made which can’t be kept. This has damaged health’s kudos at a national and local level. To some, health is seen as a “cash cow or begging bowl.” It has to overcome this legacy and have an authentic conversation with potential partners on the reality of the systems and services.

It’s not just about talking either, Fellows heard. It’s about the language used in real life, social media, and the media. Fellows were urged to listen to the nuance of what people are saying.

A third speaker said the issues had been identified but what lacked was the implementation. The important thing now is to consider steps people can take to advance agendas.

They suggested one or two issues needed to be identified which could act as an entry point. From here, costs could be identified, and a case could be made demonstrating the gains of cross-sectoral initiatives. Initiatives can be built upon and scaled up.

The speaker warned that unless  action is taken now, Fellows will continue to have these conversations 10 years from now.

Fellows heard more institutions are beginning to reposition themselves in terms of how they view health and are beginning to look at the broader agenda and strategic points of entry.

The New Zealand Government, for example, has ensured its 2019 Budget has a focus on well-being. The Government has expressed its commitment “to putting people’s well-being and the environment at the heart of its policies, including  reporting against a wider set of well- being indicators in future Budgets.” “The Wellbeing Budget” will broaden the Budget’s focus by using the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework to inform the Government’s funding decisions.

Fellows recognized the importance of adopting cross-sector approaches and finding new ways of breaking out of silos. Examples were shared as to how engagement and interaction had been used effectively to break them down. One speaker posited whether silos were a manifestation of human beings’ dislike of complexity and longterm planning. 

One Fellow, summarizing what they had heard, indicated there was a need for disruptors, a need to know how to work within multidisciplinary teams, and an acceptance others might have the solutions to the problem being tackled. A solution is needed to find out how work can more frequently be assessed in terms of its health, social, and environmental impact.


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?, is part of the Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series. More information on this multi-year series is available here.

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