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Salzburg Global Takes Active Role in Discussions at International Meetings on Planetary Health
Salzburg Global Takes Active Role in Discussions at International Meetings on Planetary Health
Oscar Tollast 
Salzburg Global Seminar has reaffirmed its commitment to helping create healthier and more inclusive societies after taking part in a strategic event held by the InterAction Council. Clare Shine, vice president and chief program officer of Salzburg Global, was invited to take part in a high-level planning meeting on Monday, May 28 to design a roadmap for Collaborative Action on “One Health for People and Planet.” Shine was one of a select group of participants invited to Edinburgh to help build on the Dublin Charter for One Health, adopted by the Council in June 2017. The Dublin Charter for One Health calls for the strengthening of multi-sector solutions to enable the Sustainable Development Goals. It advocates for preventative approaches for peace and security and resilience in emerging threats. It highlights the need for the mainstreaming of One Health within health systems for universal health coverage and the strengthening of One Health governance mechanisms for systems reform. Last, but not least, it calls for the building of planetary health leadership for future generations. Shine presented to the group on the topic of planetary health, outlining the challenges to and opportunities for scaling up action. After lunch, Shine moderated a panel discussion on multi-sector responses that could enhance a healthy planet for all. This discussion included Dr Mandeep Dhaliwal, director of HIV, Health and Development Practice, UNDP; Sophie Howe, commissioner for future generations, Welsh Government; Professor Virginia Murray, from Global Disaster Risk Reduction, Public Health England; Judith Diment, a Rotary International representative to the Commonwealth; Dr Fiona Adshead, deputy CEO and director of strategy and partnerships at the NCD Alliance; and Professor Vajira Dissanayake, president of the Commonwealth Medical Association. Salzburg Global Fellows, including Tracey Cooper, chief executive of Public Health Wales, and Joanna Nurse, strategic advisor for InterAction Council, were also present at the meeting. Shine said, “Wherever we live, our health, security and life chances will increasingly depend on the health of our planet, climate, and natural systems - which are themselves fundamental to sustainable economies in a fast-urbanizing world. Given Salzburg Global’s commitment to transform systems for healthy and inclusive societies, we are delighted to work with the Interaction Council, composed of former heads of state, to advance the One Health for People and Planet agenda as a framework for the Sustainable Development Goals.” The InterAction Council, established in 1983, consists of former world leaders and former heads of government. It is co-chaired by Bertie Ahern, from Ireland, and Olusegun Obasanjo, from Nigeria.  The outcomes of this meeting will be under discussion at the next InterAction Council Plenary session, which will be held in China later this year. This meeting acted as a precursor to the second Planetary Health Annual Meeting, which took place in Edinburgh between May 29 and 31. This event aimed to “bring together new communities around the world to stimulate interdisciplinary and intersectoral collaboration towards ground-breaking solutions to major planetary health challenges.” The three-day event included keynote addresses, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. Topics under discussion included food, nutrition, environmental change, mental health, agriculture, and animals. On Wednesday, May 30, Shine spoke as part of program event titled, “Solution Space: Creating and Collaborating.” She will reflect on nature, cities, and children’s wellbeing while discussing the work and impact of Salzburg Global’s Parks for the Planet Forum. For more information on the Planetary Health Annual Meeting, click here. Review live coverage of the meeting on Twitter using the #planetaryhealth2018 hashtag.
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Salzburg Global Session Highlighted in International Journal for Quality in Health Care
Participants in discussion during the Salzburg Global session, Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement?
Salzburg Global Session Highlighted in International Journal for Quality in Health Care
Oscar Tollast 
A supplement highlighting the conclusions reached after a Salzburg Global Seminar session has been published in the International Journal for Quality Health Care (ISQua). The publication, authored by M. Rashad Massoud, Leighann E Kimble, Don Goldmann, John Ovretveit, and Nancy Dixson, reflects on the discussions and deliberations which took place at Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement?, a session held in July 2016. This program sought to examine how health and health care professionals could better understand how results achieved were attributable to interventions conducted. In the background section of the supplement, readers are informed, “The field is at a stage where we must now improve our understanding of how we learn about the changes we test and implement. This means that we need to better understand whether or not the results being realized are related to the interventions we are testing and implementing. If so, we must also understand to what extent, how they worked and why, as well as whether the changes are generalizable or only specific to that context. The answers to these questions are not straightforward. The purpose of the Salzburg Global Seminar — Session 565 was to convene and address these questions and to think through how to approach this concern emerging in the field of quality improvement.” Following an informative four-day program, participants took away knowledge to help in the design, implementation, and evaluation of improvement. They also left Salzburg with a greater understanding of which activities under which conditions were most effective at achieving sustained results in health outcomes. Salzburg Global organized the session in partnership with the USAID ASSIST Project and the New Ventures Fund. M. Rashad Massoud, director of the USAID ASSIST Project and senior vice president of the Quality and Performance Institute at University Research Co, took on the role as session chair. Work undertaken at the session helped enable several peer-reviewed articles to be included in the supplement, all of which address a key component of the discussions which took place. Among the conclusions reached, the authors behind the supplement agreed, “The session quickly revealed that to find solutions to these issues, implementers, evaluators and researchers must work together to better learn about improvement activities. This is in contrast to the current situation in which evaluators too often work independently, rather than collaboratively, with improvement program designers and implementers… “… In essence, participants concluded that the principal accomplishment of the Seminar was to ‘marry’ the world of improvement and evaluation to bridge gaps. A ‘wedding ceremony’ between rigorous implementation and insightful evaluation concluded the Seminar in the inspiring environment of the Schloss Leopoldskron and its magical surroundings where the 'Sound of Music' was filmed.” To read the supplement published in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care, please click here. To learn more about Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement? and explore other related articles, please click here. Salzburg Global’s report of the session can be read below.
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Research Communication Takeaways from Interdisciplinary Research for the SDGs
Research Communication Takeaways from Interdisciplinary Research for the SDGs
Sajid Chowdhury 
This op-ed was written by Sajid Chowdhury, director at Big Blue Communications. Chowdhury attended the Salzburg Global Seminar session, Climate Change, Conflict, Health and Education: Targeting Interdisciplinary Research to Meet the SDGs. In March, I joined a brilliant three-day seminar of 60+ researchers, funders and policymakers brought together to highlight opportunities and challenges of interdisciplinary research in meeting Sustainable Development Goals. The session was convened by Salzburg Global Seminar in partnership with the UK Global Challenges Research Fund and with UK Research and Innovation. Salzburg Global has held 500+ similar events since post-World War II, bringing people together to address complex challenges and build networks. Interdisciplinary research is what it sounds like. It brings together minds from diverse fields, attempts to break siloed thinking, and tackles research challenges from varied viewpoints. It also has challenges. According to journal Nature in 2015: ‘Research that transcends conventional academic boundaries is harder to fund, do, review and publish — and those who attempt it struggle for recognition and advancement.’ This sentiment was echoed through the seminar. Through interactive exercises and discussions, we mapped interlinkages and tensions between the SDGs that relate to four sectors of climate change, conflict, health, and education. We also discussed strategies for communicating complexity and shaping policy to help countries meet those SDGs. Finally, we jointly offered recommendations to research funders, policymakers, and practitioners for future research. Day 3 Panel: ‘Communication for the Infobesity Era’ On Day 3, our four-person panel discussed research communication in an era of information overload. How can communicators compete for audiences’ attention? How can research teams ensure that their engagement with audiences is meaningful, relevant, and current? Where do concepts such as social media, mobile phones, fake news, and increasingly aggravated perceptions of 'experts' fit in? My take: More than ever, research findings must compete with a whole lot of other messaging. That means research communication should be targeted, with the fat trimmed off so that a journalist or politician or citizen can understand the important bits right away. By nature, research findings can be complex, and complexity takes time to clarify. Assuming that audiences such as citizens and government representatives and politicians may not have much time, then it makes sense for research teams to ensure their messages are clear, compact, and punchy. Research findings will often need to exist in different formats, whether as news, a series of memorable events, communication campaign, or visual experience featuring stories that audiences can connect with. This can be a new, but exciting, world for research teams that may be more accustomed to [the] production of written content for academic publications. For research teams that want to rise above the noise, there is incredible value in finding great communicators. Just as there are people who love conducting cutting-edge research, equally, there are people who love to communicate it. A great starting point, then, is for research teams to align with people who know and love research communication. Yes, information overload is real, but there are also tremendous storytelling opportunities for research teams that take the plunge into the world of faster, visual, online communication. Four Key Research Communication Takeaways from Salzburg Not everyone sees science and research in the same way. In general, researchers see empirical knowledge, science, and expertise as necessary, but they are not the ‘be all, end all’ to influence behavior and lead to positive change. Some audiences may just value science and research differently or may see research as vulnerable to politics, corruption, and falsification. Dialogue, not dissemination. Researchers can tend to see ‘communication’ as one-way, and indeed, this is reflected even right down to project terms of reference, when research teams are asked by donor teams to produce a ‘dissemination’ strategy that assumes that production will lead to uptake. But at Salzburg, we repeatedly returned to the idea that localized, contextualized dialogue and conversation can be more effective creators of change. Communication throughout the research process. Communication and conversation around research needs to start before the research, not as an add-on at the end. Involve communicators, and craft your research messages. We talk about the gap between research and policymakers, but this overlooks communities and citizens. For well-thought communication, researchers need to consider message, language, and medium. The session, Climate Change, Conflict, Health and Education: Targeting Interdisciplinary Research to Meet the SDGs, was held in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). More information on the session can be found here.To join in the discussions online, follow the hashtag #SGSsdgs on Twitter.  
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The Asia We Want - A Clean and Green Asia
The Asia We Want - A Clean and Green Asia
Salzburg Global Semianr 
In November 2017, as the world met in Bonn, Germany to agree upon the finer details of the Paris Agreement, 25 young Asian leaders gathered in Salzburg, Austria to develop a shared vision of a “Clean and Green Asia,” strengthen commitment to sustainable and equitable development that is inspired and informed by inter-regional cooperation, and to advance innovative approaches to environmental sustainability and inclusive low-carbon development in their communities.  The inaugural session of the new, multi-year program The Asia We Want: Building Community through Regional Cooperation, supported through a generous grant by the Japan Foundation and with support from the Korea and Nippon Foundations, was the first step to form a network of dynamic young leaders from across the region and to build their capacity to work together to address such environmental, climate and energy concerns. Over three intensive days, the 25 leaders heard from veterans in the region and devised their own innovative projects to achieve “a clean and green Asia”: promoting regional, integrated approaches to address air quality; catalyzing small, sustainable and scalable (3S) financing; encouraging community-led waste management schemes; and designing a framework for multiple sectors to achieve goals in contributing to a low-carbon or decarbonized society. “Rising leaders in Asia are aware of their responsibility to steer transition to sustainable and climate resilient economies and are strongly committed to Asian community development inspired by cooperation at local and global levels,” said Tatsiana Lintouskaya, Program Director, Salzburg Global Seminar. “Our new multi-year program, The Asia We Want: Building Sustainable Communities Through Regional Cooperation, is there to support and empower young leaders working to advance inclusive low-carbon development in their communities. We aim to expand this program in the coming years and build a dynamic cross-border network for practical collaboration and lasting results in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.” The report, written by Lintouskaya and Salzburg Global Fellow Roli Mahajan, was dedicated in memory of multi-time Fellow and friend of Salzburg Global Seminar, Surin Pitsuwan. The former secretary general of ASEAN died three weeks after helping to facilitate the November 2017 session.  The report also compiles the Fellows and facilitators’ insightful and often provocative op-eds written ahead of the session. A full list of their op-eds is available below. Download the report as a PDF
Marifrance Avila – “For us to achieve the Asia that we want, we need to start with achieving the country that we want” Wilson John Barbon – “Disasters are not natural phenomena. They are the result of human and social conditions” Xixi Chen – We need integrated, collaborative and bottom-up leadership to build a cleaner and greener Asia Sandeep Choudhury – “Asia we want should be one based on equitable growth and not the disparity we see today between the rich and the poor” Chochoe Devaporihartakula – A clean and green Asia needs compliance and transparency Salinee Hurley – Replacing kerosene with solar power: an incomparable way to mitigate climate change Abner Lawangen – “Asia can truly be a resilient towering continent if all countries pull together” Tari Lestari – “A clean energy transition is the only way to create a better future for Asia” Roli Mahajan – The case for mandatory environmental service Niall O’Connor – We need to take a “business as unusual” approach Minh Nguyet Pham – “Air pollution is a spider web” Magdalena Seol – Business and Investment Can Drive a More Sustainable Asia Trinnawat Suwanprik – “We must know the past, understand the present, and plan for the future” Qingchan Yu – “A credible alternative to fossil fuels is critical”
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Keshav Jha - Cities Are Leading the Battle for Climate Change
Keshav Jha (center) in conversation at Salzburg Global Seminar
Keshav Jha - Cities Are Leading the Battle for Climate Change
Oscar Tollast 
Keshav Jha is focused on promoting the transfer of knowledge and expertise in Asia-Pacific. In his role as a senior officer at the Energy & Climate Division of ICLEI South Asia, he is looking to improve mitigation and adaptation measures in Asian cities. He has assisted number of emerging countries and subnational authorities on low-carbon climate-resilient development and is currently developing the sustainable urban development framework for a growth-triangle involving Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. He has also recently co-authored a case analysis on resilient economies from emerging countries in the Asia-Pacific region which was published by Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland. It’s this background and expertise which brought him back to Salzburg Global Seminar. Jha took part of a new multi-year series held in partnership with the Japan Foundation – The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I – A Clean and Green Asia. Working alongside 29 other participants, representing 14 countries, Jha represented India and sought to address key questions around sustainable development and ensuring a low-carbon future. Describing his latest experience in Salzburg as “constructive,” Jha said Fellows had discussed the frameworks and processes to assist countries on their low emission ambitions and sustainable development goals. He says, “We have a unique set of professionals from different countries with varied background who have shared their insight and their dynamic situations in which they perform…” It’s not just about defining processes, however. It’s about building on this thinking and moving forward. “Fellows are going to individually test those iterative frameworks back in their home countries dynamic settings,” Jha added. “It’s important to document the processes experience, outcomes and challenges that we encounter. Eventually, the process outcomes will be disseminated with larger audiences and public/private sectors stakeholders for its wider visibility and recognition and replicability across Asia.” The UN publication, The World’s Cities in 2016,  suggested by 2030, “urban areas are projected to house 60 per cent of people globally and one in every three people will live in cities with at least half a million inhabitants.” Jha believes the rise of the global urban population will present an unparalleled amount of challenges and opportunities. He said, “Cities [are] where the main actions are happening and countries do not realize the cost-of-inaction which is getting unaffordable for number of least developed and island countries. I feel this discussion [at the session] is extremely crucial with respect to the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement to achieve climate neutrality and a low-emission world in the second half of the century.” By infusing this wisdom into day-to-day work, Jha says we can move forward quickly on the low carbon development agenda. One idea proposed to participants was the creation of regional knowledge hubs in countries across Asia. Jha said, “I think we should pursue it and fellows should converge more often and undertake initiatives to address the consequences of a changing climate. It is also important for decision makers in governments and businesses institutions to ensure that their plans and actions are technically sound, robust and based on scientific evidences.” Jha previously attended Salzburg Global Seminar in June 2013 for the session, A Climate for Change: New Thinking on Governance for Sustainability. This session resulted in a Salzburg Statement on New Governance for Sustainability. Describing his relationship with Salzburg Global, Jha said, “Personally, Salzburg defines who I am right now and it helped me tremendously in my personal and professional life. I am very happy to witness and be part of the work at Salzburg which will advance the development of country-specific strategic plans to promote economic growth while mitigating carbon emissions – without causing trade-offs to environmental pressures—in the Asia region.” Keshav Jha was a participant of The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I - A Clean and Green Asia, the first session of a new multi-year series held in partnership with the Japan Foundation. For more information on the session, please click here. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session on social media, follow #SGSasia.
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Niall O'Connor - We're Seeing a Bigger Impact on Natural Resources
Niall O'Connor presenting at Salzburg Global Seminar
Niall O'Connor - We're Seeing a Bigger Impact on Natural Resources
Oscar Tollast 
“Everything we work at is to try and get the right research to support people and to support the environment to be sustainable,” remarks Niall O’Connor, director of the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Asia Centre. O’Connor is speaking during a break at the Salzburg Global Seminar session, The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I - A Clean and Green Asia. O’Connor is acting as one of several facilitators for the session, offering advice to leaders stemming from ASEAN +3 and India. Speaking earlier, O’Connor says, “Given that I’m now kind of overseeing the development of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in Asia it is interesting for me to hear what other people think the vision for the future is - what is it that they want to achieve?” Without knowing what people living in Asia want, he can’t direct where his organization should be heading. “There’s a good opportunity here of meeting people from maybe 10 [or] 11 countries,” he continues. “We’re all experts in our field. We're all working at various institutions… I have an opportunity to grow a bigger network and reach out to people, so that’s kind of an interesting opportunity for me.” At the time of recording, O’Connor has been in his role at SEI for around a year and a half.  He had spent the previous 15 years in senior leadership and management positions in Western, Eastern and Southern Africa. He has worked for the likes of Concern Universal, WWF, and the government of Gambia. His experience has enabled him to view frustrations from the perspective of a researcher, developer, and implementer. He asks, “How do you get all of the development initiatives right? How do you get all of the environmental initiatives right? How do you get the right data and information to implement properly? I kind of went full circle and said, let’s go back to the research side. With SEI, the beauty of it is even though it says environmental institute, it is an environment and development institute.” In short: O’Connor is absorbing knowledge with the intention of being able to push back toward implementing and developing changes. When asked for his thoughts on the main environmental challenges specific to Asia, O’Connor says, “The population explosion that’s happened over the last 20, 30, [or] 40 years is causing huge pressures on natural resources. In many cases, you can probably find ways around that, but couple that with levels of mismanagement, with corruption, with poor political leaders and institutions driving sustaining economies, sustainable business, sustainable environment, sustainable whatever form you want to look at. We’re not seeing a solution; we’re seeing a deepening of the problems. We’re seeing a bigger impact on all natural resources, less respect for the environment over a greater need to drive economic profit. While that’s bringing people out of poverty, it is fundamentally knocking away the foundations for long-term sustainability.” This is the biggest challenge in O’Connor’s eyes. How do you recreate solid foundations on which sustainable economies can be built? We can no longer have a “business as usual” approach. He says, “What’s unusual is working with businesses to make sure that they fully understand the issues of sustainability and that business is linked then to the Sustainable Development Goals, that business has seen that the bottom line is not necessarily your investment.” O’Connor suggests challenging the financial set-up of business industries. In quarterly reports, sustainability could be seen as much of an achievement as profitability. He adds, “Change the paradigm, change the approach, and make sure that we actually credit people for taking positions on long-term sustainability.” In and among the discussions at Salzburg, O’Connor has recognized the diverse pool of participants who have brought experience from the public, private and civil society sectors. He says, “Everybody else that’s here has similar experiences they may have and may have been able to overcome them, or they may have solutions. I think that peer-to-peer [networking] is going to be very important, but it also takes people out of the context for a little bit out of their own working day. It gives then just a blue sky thinking approach, which I think is quite useful.” Niall O'Connor was a facilitator at The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I - A Clean and Green Asia, the first session of a new multi-year series held in partnership with the Japan Foundation. For more information on the session, please click here. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session on social media, follow #SGSasia.
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Salinee Hurley - We Work With the People and Put Them in Charge
Salinee Hurley presenting at Salzburg Global Seminar
Salinee Hurley - We Work With the People and Put Them in Charge
Oscar Tollast 
As an engineer and a social entrepreneur, Salinee Hurley likes to solve problems. In her capacity as director of the Border Green Energy Team (BGET), Hurley has been providing renewable energy technology to underprivileged communities along the Thailand-Burma border. This type of experience encouraged her to take part in the Salzburg Global Seminar session, The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I - A Clean and Green Asia. “We all have common issues that we go through, you know, in different countries, but we’re similar, right. The program is really interesting because it’s only including ASEAN, India, Japan, Korea, and China… I thought, maybe, I could learn from other Fellows and also share some experience.” In addition to her work with BGET, Hurley has also been working on behalf of Sun Sawang, a company she founded in 2013. This social enterprise offers solar-powered products and services for rural villages in Thailand. Hurley concedes this has proven to be more sustainable. By focusing only on solar energy, it has been able to deliver products and services. It’s a topic she knows well, having graduated with a Master’s degree in solar energy engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2005. But how has this enterprise affected the BGET? Hurley says, “The Border Green Energy Team is a shift to focusing on the educational part by providing the knowledge of sustainable living techniques, renewable energies, and how to use the resources from the land and to grow rice and crops in the area.” Farmers within communities in Asia depend on natural resources, according to Hurley. She says, “It is difficult to manage the resources when [farmers] only think about taking advantage of the land.” Hurley believes there is a greater benefit if more farmers are educated about how soil can be nourished and continually used over time. This idea of living sustainably is something Hurley practices, as well as preaches. Just over seven years ago, Hurley took a course on sustainable living. She learned how to make her own shampoo and soap. She learned how to harvest produce and make food. Last, but not least, she learned how she could build herself a home. Four years after first taking part in the course, she decided that’s what she would do. Hurley viewed several houses made out of natural materials such as bamboo, mud, and wood, but she left unimpressed. She told herself, “I could do better than this.” Using most of her savings, Hurley built a home in Mae Sot, a district in Thailand which shares a border with Myanmar. Despite the occasional problem here and there, Hurley said the experience had been good. She says, “I think that was the best decision that I’ve made - to actually do it… now I can talk about it because I would not be confident just talking if I had not done it.” Ahead of the session in Salzburg, Hurley authored an op-ed on her experience convincing people to switch from kerosene lamps to solar powered products. She admits people were apprehensive to go from a cheaper option to a product which was more expensive. Hurley’s solution was to come up with a model which would allow products and services to be paid for over time. Thought was also put into how the system could be maintained and not become a one-off exercise if something were to break. “We bring in the knowledge,” Hurley says, “and then we look for the local person and then hire them and train them as a technician who would be in charge of maintaining this unit. That’s how we earn the trust from the people. We [are] not just an outsider, but we work with the people and give them the job[s], so they can be in charge of this.” Hurley was included in the BBC’s list of 100 women in 2014 considered to be changing the world. When asked what inspires her work, Hurley replies, “I honestly have to answer God.” She enjoys the results of her work and being close to the people who have benefited from it. “You hardly find these kinds of communities in urban settings, or in the big cities, these days. I feel blessed to be able to work in this position.” Salinee Hurley was a participant of The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I - A Clean and Green Asia, the first session of a new multi-year series held in partnership with the Japan Foundation. For more information on the session, please click here. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session on social media, follow #SGSasia.
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Charles Morrison - Asian Leadership Will be Needed to Help Address Climate Change
Charles Morrison speaking at Salzburg Global Seminar
Charles Morrison - Asian Leadership Will be Needed to Help Address Climate Change
Oscar Tollast 
Two years ago, Charles Morrison, the former president of the East-West Center, took part in a planning meeting to discuss ways in which to increase capacity in Asian regional organizations. He and others identified two or three areas where progress could be made. The output of this meeting was a new multi-year series held in partnership between Salzburg Global Seminar and the Japan Foundation. The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I - A Clean and Green Asia is the first of three meetings which will hopefully lead to a synthesis program convened in Asia in 2020. “Climate change [and] environment was the first area,” says Morrison, speaking during the session he helped plan. “It’s an incredibly important issue, not just for Asia but for the world. It’s one in which Asian leadership will be needed…” Morrison is at Schloss Leopoldskron, the historic home of Salzburg Global Seminar, as a facilitator. After complimenting the selection of participants, he says, “I think it’s generally really lively discussions and a lot of learning because people are talking to other people with whom they share interests but not necessarily with whom they’ve ever met before or had discussions.” Morrison first joined the East-West Center in the 1980s, moving to Hawaii to work as a research scholar. At the start of the next decade, he became the director of the Center’s economic and politics program. In 1998, he was selected as the Center’s president. After nearly 20 years at the institution, Morrison still underlines the importance of bridging divides and bringing people together from different parts of the world. “The biggest thing that has happened during my lifetime, aside from the kind of rise of Asia, has been this continent - Europe - where two world wars started,” Morrison says. “People are now growing up in France, Germany, Britain, Italy [and] can’t even imagine their countries at war… It’s a transformation, not just in international relations, but in a way that people that think. They can squabble [on] the soccer field, but the idea of countries being at war is unimaginable.” Morrison says this is a 20th-century achievement which is continuous and requires constant work. No achievement is necessarily forever, he warns. Reflecting on Asia, he says, “There’s a lot of regional rivalries, and with the development, there’s a lot of new issues. Climate change is only one of the many issues that Asia faces. Building those relationships between Europe, North America, and Asia, I think, is incredibly important.” Alongside his role as president, Morrison has written on Southeast Asian international relations, US foreign and trade policies toward Asia, and Asia-Pacific regional organizations. He adds, “The East-West Center works mainly on [the] North America, East Asia - to some extent - and South Asia relationship, and it does [in] the same ways as Salzburg Global. It’s [a] very complementary institution from my perspective. We work with young people. We do educational programs and research activities, and we do dialogues for prevention and development.” Morrison stepped down from his position as president last year. He remains involved with the Center as a distinguished senior fellow. He assists with fundraising and activities where he feels he can contribute. Commenting on the presentations he’s witnessed at Salzburg during the latest session, he indicates some of the projects proposed may be, in his opinion, “overly ambitious.” That said, he doesn’t rule any of them out from succeeding. He adds, “I think as long as people are committed to work together, the projects will be further refined and actually achieve something.” Charles Morrison was a facilitator at The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I - A Clean and Green Asia, the first session of a new multi-year series held in partnership with the Japan Foundation. For more information on the session, please click here. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session on social media, follow #SGSasia.
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Inspiring Change - Seven Tips for Storytelling
Inspiring Change - Seven Tips for Storytelling
Oscar Tollast 
A decade ago, Sean Southey realized if he wanted to change the world, he’d have to give everyday people the belief to take care of their own lives and the knowledge to do it well. As chief executive officer of PCI Media Impact, Southey sets out to empower communities worldwide to inspire positive social, health and environmental change through storytelling and communications. The most important aspect when producing stories is knowing your audience, according to Southey. Without knowing who they are, or what they care about, you can’t reach them effectively. Southey is also a “huge believer” in the power of positive messaging – love, not loss. When telling a story, he advocates communicating what can work and what already works and to resist solely focusing on the challenges. Content, however, is only powerful if people truly engage with it. It is important for organizations to have effective distribution strategies and to know where their audience resides. The messages which stem from the content should be given a “surround sound” experience. Southey believes people need to hear things from different sources before they are prepared to trust what they are hearing and become further engaged. This links to another piece of advice: work with trusted voices. The spokesperson behind the message has to believe in what they are saying. If successful, media content will help drive discussion, and it is these conversations which will drive behavior change. Southey highlights the power of radio call-ins and TV talk shows which enable audience members to feel they are part of the conversation, even if they are not in the room. It’s one example of where old technology can still carry influence. In a nutshell, stories work. Southey believes stories can drive more people than facts and data. It is easier for someone to relate to a story than a set of statistics. As author Janet Litherland said, “Stories have power. They delight, enchant, touch, teach, recall, inspire, motivate, challenge. They help us to understand. They imprint a picture on our minds. Consequently, stories often pack more punch than sermons. Want to make a point or raise an issue? Tell a story.” Download Issue 3 of Nature and Childhood: From Research and Activism to Policies for Global Change Sean Southey took part in the Salzburg Global session Nature and Childhood: From Research and Activism to Policies for Global Change, the fourth seminar of the multi-year Parks for the Planet Forum. The Forum is hosted with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in partnership with the Children and Nature Network, the National League of Cities (NLC) and Outdoor Classroom Day. More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter using #SGSparks.
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