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Fellow News

Have you got some news - a new book, a promotion, a call for grant proposals - that you'd like to share with the Salzburg Global Fellowship? Contact Salzburg Global Seminar Fellowship Manager Jan Heinecke via email jheinecke[at]salzburgglobal.org.


Faces of Leadership

Interviews, features, profiles and updates of Salzburg Global Fellows

Michael Nettles - With SEL, “What Works in Cape Town May Not Work in Cardiff”
Michael Nettles at Salzburg Global Seminar
Michael Nettles - With SEL, “What Works in Cape Town May Not Work in Cardiff”
Michael T. Nettles 
Good afternoon. And welcome to Social and Emotional Learning: A Global Synthesis. Or as I like to call it, “Season 3, Episode 4 of How and Why to Get Along With Others.” Given that there are 63 headstrong intellectuals here for five days of discourse and debate, we will surely put our own social and emotional skills to the test. I don’t know about you, but I would not have it any other way. My name is Michael Nettles, and I am the Senior Vice President of the Policy Evaluation and Research Center at Educational Testing Service — ETS — of Princeton, New Jersey. I am also the co-chair of this edition of the Salzburg Global Seminar, along with Barbara Holzapfel of Microsoft Education, and Maggie Mitchell Salem of the Qatar Foundation International in Washington, D.C. I am very gratified by the tremendous interest in this topic. This is the fourth SEL seminar that we have held over the past three years. We convened the first here in Salzburg in 2016, and followed up with seminars in by the Dead Sea in Jordan and last June at ETS in Princeton in the United States, as well as spin-off meetings and conferences in Kampala and Santiago. In all by the end of this session, more than 200 of our colleagues representing more than 50 countries will have participated in these discussions on the importance of traits variously referred to as social and emotional skills, soft skills, 21st century skills, noncognitive skills, and personality traits. We met in various locations around the world not to spread the word about the importance of SEL. Clearly, the word was already out. Indeed, interest in the topic is so great that we have scheduled another seminar for next March here in Salzburg. Season 4, Episode 5. Rather, we went elsewhere to learn how these skills are viewed, taught and measured in different places. It is a critical point given how geographically and culturally dependent education tends to be. What works in Cape Town may not work in Cardiff. That is certainly true in the United States, where public education is a jealously guarded local prerogative at best, and a political, cultural and racial flashpoint at worst. What works in Massachusetts will not work in Tennessee. Perhaps no one here is more familiar with that imperative than our colleague Karen Niemi, who is the President and CEO of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Collaborative for Academic Social & Emotional Learning, or CASEL. CASEL works directly with 20 school districts serving 1.6 million K–12 students throughout the United States to help them embed SEL into their academic programs. It is a lot of different cultures to keep track of, and no one is more effective at it than Karen. But as a broad concept, Social and Emotional Learning is on the global education agenda — one that resonates powerfully among the most accomplished and renowned educators, researchers and policymakers throughout the world. You are proof of that. Not that we need it, but there is other proof: The U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal for Education sets a target date of 2030 “to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable … lifestyles [characterized by respect for] human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and nonviolence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.” The Global Pull of Soft Skills It is fair to ask why there is so much interest in the subject. The answer, I think we can all agree, is that social and emotional skills are foundational to individual, and thus community and global well-being. As for the precise definition of those skills, that too depends on geography and culture. The Big Five provide a framework: extroversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. But everyone further defines them in their own way, and context matters. As head of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, our colleague Dr. Jennifer Adams identified 10 critical “exit outcomes” for students. According to this approach, students should graduate being: goal oriented ethical decision makers academically diverse effective communicators resilient digitally fluent innovative and creative globally aware critical thinkers and collaborative That is a bit different from the approach taken in Manizales, Colombia, by the Urban Active School — the Escuela Activa Urbana, or EAU. The EAU encourages an active teaching model focused on classroom participation, democracy, tolerance, respect, conflict resolution, cooperation, collaboration, teamwork, leadership, and student motivation. Our colleague Maria Cortelezzi, Executive Director of Argentina’s Proyecto Educar 2050, and two co-authors examined the EAU’s approach in a 2014 article for the PREAL blog of the Inter-American Dialogue’s Education Program. They concluded that EAU students learn more than other public-school students at both the cognitive and noncognitive levels, particularly with regard to emotional development and development of students’ social skills. Manizales and Ottawa, incidentally, are two of the 11 cities around the world participating in the OECD’s Study on Social and Emotional Skills of 10- and 15-year-old students. On the other side of the world, our colleague Manish Sisodia, the Delhi minister of education, who had hoped to be with us but is being ably represented by Shailendra Sharma, is overseeing a “happiness curriculum”  for students in nursery up to class VIII at all Delhi government schools.  The curriculum, which Minister Sisodia and the Dalai Lama launched last July, includes meditation, moral values and mental exercises, and is aimed at helping students solve problems caused by negative and destructive emotions such as anger, hatred and jealousy. To quote from the Delhi Directorate of Education, “the primary purpose of education has to be to create happy, confident and fulfilled human beings, who will play a meaningful role in society. … Self-aware, sensitive and emotionally mature children are far more successful owing to their advanced ability to engage in meaningful relationships with their friends, family and society.” As Minister Sisodia put it in an interview with The Washington Post, “If a person is going through our education system for 18 years of his life and is becoming an engineer or a civil servant, but is still throwing litter on the ground or engaging in corruption, then can we really say that the education system is working?”   Back around the globe again, Marc Brackett of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence is the lead developer of an evidence-based approach to SEL that is centered on a different Big Five emotion skills: Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating emotions — or RULER. RULER aims to integrate social and emotional learning into the DNA of schools by enhancing how school administrators lead, how teachers teach, how students learn and how families parent. Research has shown that RULER improves academic performance; decreases bullying and other in-school problems; enriches the classroom atmosphere; reduces teacher stress and burnout; and enhances instructional practices. The RULER approach has been adopted by more than 1,500 public, charter and private pre-school to high schools in the United States, Australia, China, England, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and Sri Lanka. Assessment So SEL is not just catching on. It has caught on. With changes in curriculum come — or should come — changes in assessment. Whether we ultimately make effective and meaningful use of SEL will depend on whether we develop and deploy effective and meaningful ways to assess soft skills, and put the test data to effective, meaningful and, importantly, affordable use. In fact, Catherine Millett, who hosted the opening conversation on SEL in December 2016, posed a question to Koji Miyamoto and me about the contextual challenges that arise when it comes to measurement and how can we overcome these challenges of using common measures in Africa, Asia, Latin America and in other parts of the world. Koji and I obviously did not provide a sufficient answer, and that is another reason why we are all here today. That is where we are now. Of course, assessing tolerance and collaboration are substantially more complex than assessing math or reading. Simply defining socio-emotional constructs can be elusive, especially in the absence of identifiable learning progressions, as our colleague Esther Care, of the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, notes in a co-authored report published in October. Even then, the same geographic and cultural variations that characterize education in general raise equally complex issues of cross-cultural validity.  If you think education is culturally specific, I would submit that acceptable social and emotional attitudes and behaviors are culturally specific on steroids. As Esther Care and her Brookings colleagues put it, “Challenges specific to assessment of 21st century skills may be one reason why education systems are having difficulty translating policies into actual practice in schools and classrooms.” Addressing that variation is an aim of the OECD’s Study on Social and Emotional Skills — to produce a set of validated international instruments to measure social and emotional skills of school-aged children; and to demonstrate that valid, reliable, and comparable information on social and emotional skills can be produced across diverse student populations and settings, and to identify the policies, practices and other conditions that help or hinder the development of these critical skills. I should point out that ETS is advising the OECD on SEL measures. Among our other activities in this area, we are also: examining SEL measures in the context of the United States Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress developing a situational judgment test for middle and high school students for the Wallace Foundation, a New York City-based philanthropy that works to improve learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children and foster the vitality of the arts for everyone designing a survey of teachers, school leaders and administrators on the value of noncognitive assessments and the clarity of score reporting integrating into our data analyses and publications such affective measures as communication skills, achievement motivation, intellectual engagement, sociability, working independently, time management, leadership and risk-taking and advising CASEL’s Assessment Work Group What’s New Is Old It is an exciting area of education, research and assessment. It all seems very new! And yet it is not at all new to those of us at ETS. Henry Chauncey, the founder and first president of my organization, was pondering the importance of soft skills in 1949. In handwritten notebooks that Catherine Millett and I discovered in the ETS archives some months ago, Chauncey pondered what he called the “non-intellectual factors which affect success or failure.” He was interested in investigating such “personal qualities” as “drive … motivation … conscientiousness, intellectual stamina … ability to get along with others” as ways to “ascertain whether [an] individual will be [a] good member of the community, in college and later in life, in any one of the many ways that one can contemplate …” Considering that he wrote these notes just a few years after the end of a World War and at the dawn of the Atomic Age, it is perhaps not surprising that devising ways to improve social and emotional skills might have been of concern. In some ways, teaching social and emotional skills is the most conservative tradition in education. One need not subscribe to any particular catechism to see in the Big Five emanations of what the Golden Rule, the New Testament injunction to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Somewhat further back, Aristotle asserted that “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all,” an observation that is featured in a brochure of Dr. Brackett’s Center for Emotional Intelligence at Yale. More recently, the Dalai Lama has pointed out that one seeks enlightenment not for oneself but for the benefit of all beings. I could say that the world could use a little more of that these days! In that context, rather than lament the current crop of world leaders who seem oddly enamored of intolerance, xenophobia and scapegoating, perhaps we can view them as our best advertisements for effective Social and Emotional Learning curricula. As the saying goes, “Thank you. You are my teacher.” But we better hurry since we may be just one tweet away from catastrophe. Once again, welcome. And I look forward to learning from you all over the next few days. The program Social and Emotional Learning: A Global Synthesis is part of Salzburg Global's mutli-year series Education for Tomorrow’s World. This year’s program is being held in partnership with ETS, Microsoft and Qatar Foundation International, who will also co-chair the program, together with additional partners, the British Council, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank.
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Expanding Collaborations Within and Beyond Native Nations
From Left to right; Adrienne Benjamin, Amber Mathern, Alayna Eagle Shield, Lindsey Mae Willie, Christy Bieber (Giizhigad)
Expanding Collaborations Within and Beyond Native Nations
Anna Rawe 
In a letter introducing the Bush Foundation’s 2018 annual report on Native Nations Investments, Jenn Ford Reedy, the organization’s president, said, “We believe that the field of philanthropy can do better at acknowledging, celebrating and supporting Native nations and people.” One way in which the Bush Foundation has already done so is by supporting the inclusion of young cultural innovators from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and 23 Native Nations at this year’s Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. This included Adrienne Benjamin, Alayna Eagle Shield, and Amber Mathern, who have become the latest members of the Upper Midwest USA YCI Hub. With the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Salzburg Global also welcomed Lindsey Mae Willie, a filmmaker from the Dzawada’enuxw First Nation. Christy Bieber (Giizhigad), an Anishinaabe artist and cultural worker based in Southwest Detroit also attended the Forum with support from the Kresge Foundation, as Salzburg Global seeks to connect and empower a critical mass of creative change-makers across the world. Alayna Eagle Shield is the health education director for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and is the chair of the Native American Development Center. Eagle Shield applied for the YCI Forum after hearing about it through the Bush Foundation, whose programs she had attended before. She felt it was an “amazing opportunity.” Eagle Shield has recently focused much of her energy on a beading business which she runs with her mother. Her daughter has also started to get involved. She said, “[It gives] her this avenue that our people have used for centuries to be able to create and have a lifeway that way…  [and we] create beautiful works of art that our people can wear in resistance, that we’re still carrying on our traditions; we’re still able to wear our jewelry in modern days and meetings.” Adrienne Benjamin (Amikogaabawiike) is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) in central Minnesota. Her work is centered around taking pride in her heritage and encouraging others to do the same. Benjamin recently co-created a youth leadership program called Ge-niigaanizijig - The Ones Who Will Lead – where 25 young people received leadership and language mentoring. Benjamin herself was mentored by a local elder and greatly values all she learned about the language, stories, and practices. She was brought up with a grandfather that still spoke the Ojibwe language and was exposed to some of her traditional Anishinaabe culture, something she is very aware that others did not. She remains concerned about how “many youth grow up being unable to dream larger dreams outside of the reservation or even within because of a lack of access to arts, higher education, and information. There are very few if any arts and culture programs available that showcase Indigenous/Native American [culture] and celebrate our heritage in ways that make our community youth feel proud.” As a participant at the YCI Forum, Benjamin said she valued the connections she made with other indigenous participants working in the cultural, education, and health sectors. She said, “It was nice to have that familiarity in such a foreign space, and because we all deal with similar issues with sovereignty, land-based issues, government recognition, and so on; it was a great place to have deeper discussions about those issues in a world lens.” Throughout the program, participants learned how others had experienced similar challenges in their personal and professional lives. For Eagle Shield, the idea of treating herself as a “precious resource” particularly resonated as she struggles to balance her commitments. How to best use your time was a concern shared by Amber Mathern, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who currently teaches at Northern State University. Outside of her teaching work she does freelance consulting, working with reservations on marketing analytics and auditing casinos. She said, “I always think ‘Oh I could be doing more… [sometimes I have to remind myself] no, [what I do] does make a difference whether it’s something small or big.” The importance of being yourself as being a way of making change is important to Mathern. Living in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Mathern knows many there have never been to a reservation, which she suggests can lead to outdated views of what a Native American community is like. Mathern said, “I remind myself that ‘Hey, maybe that’s why I ended up in Aberdeen, South Dakota’ around people who don’t know the culture because maybe that’s my opportunity and [the] reason for me being there is to help share that.” It is in her work at Northern State University that Mathern feels she has the biggest impact, encouraging her students to think differently. What’s her ethos? She said, “Every single interaction - as minute as it might seem - at that moment it has an impact… and I don’t want to say in the future [my students will] make an impact; they’re making an impact right now.” When thinking specifically about Native American youth Mathern suggests there is a need to learn both about their cultural heritage and learn how to cultivate a global mindset. She said, “A lot of times our children don’t get the chance to travel out of the state, even to travel across the United States… [I think it’s] important [that] we tell them ‘Oh you can do this; you can connect with people internationally.’” Benjamin also praised the value of hearing from different voices.  She said, “I think that it is so valuable to understand that not everyone thinks like you, nor do they understand the world in the same context that you might, and to have the opportunity for discussion and understanding around that is truly what the world needs.” Eagle Shield also thought participants understood each other and stood on the same level. She said, “Coming here and getting to meet people from all over the world… it wasn’t like the Oppression Olympics… So many people here at Salzburg Global are still very connected to their culture; they still speak their languages, they’re still fighting oppressive forces. There was no comparing, it was like a deep level of understanding that is just beautiful to me, and I really hope to be involved and facilitate these types of learning at home, too. There’s so much we can learn from each other even though we aren’t necessarily the same.” The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators V is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Arts Council Korea, Asia-Europe Foundation,  Bush Foundation, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Foundation Adelman pour l’Education, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, the Llewellyn Thompson Memorial Fellowship, Robert Bosch Stiftung, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Nippon Foundation, World Culture Open, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the program can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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Charlie Savage - “Part of the Fun of the Job Is That Things Never Stand Still”
Charlie Savage speaking at the 16th symposium of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association
Charlie Savage - “Part of the Fun of the Job Is That Things Never Stand Still”
Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu and Oscar Tollast 
While many journalists agree the job can feel thankless on occasions, the career of a reporter at least is never mundane – particularly at the time of writing. Charlie Savage, Washington correspondent of the New York Times, says: “Part of the fun of the job is that things never stand still.... it is just different, constantly different.” Savage was a faculty member at this year’s Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) symposium - Understanding America in the 21st Century – Culture and Politics - held in September at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria. As a correspondent for the Times, covering national security and legal issues in a post-9/11 America, Savage has witnessed and reported on a fair share of significant change, covering both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama’s administrations both for the Boston Globe and the Times. The 2007 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting was awarded to Savage for his “revelations that President Bush often used ‘signing statements’ to assert his controversial right to bypass provisions of new laws.” After digging into the Bush administration further, Savage recognized there was a bigger story to tell. He says, “I started to understand that there was undergirding this [policy direction] a strong push coming out of Vice President [Dick] Cheney’s office to expand presidential powers an end to itself… It was an insight that explains, in my mind, so much about what was going on, but you really couldn’t do justice to it in a newspaper-length article or even a long magazine. It needed to be a book to make the pattern – to sort of suss out their connections, and it just was a book I needed to write.” As a consequence, Savage published Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency & the Subversion of American Democracy in 2007, the sixth year of the Bush presidency. Eight years later, Savage published Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post-9/11 Presidency. In Savage’s words, he describes it as “kind of a sequel but kind of not.” Why? “The Obama administration did not have an ideological approach to executive power like the Bush administration did that explains its pattern of behavior…” Savage says. He adds, “They did accept that the war on terror was a real war, which some liberals deny, but they thought they could fight it within the constraints of what they saw as the rule of law - without making expansive assertions of presidential power to bypass laws and treaties, like Bush and Cheney had done. “The result was something of a muddle from one perspective, where they kept legalized versions of some policies they had inherited from Bush, like military commissions and warrantless wiretapping, but got rid of other things, like torture, which displeased people among both the faction that supported the Bush war on terror and the faction that loathed it." In a presentation at SSASA, Savage drew from both of these books. Commenting on his presentation, he says, “It was trying to get at the question of why it was that Obama did not govern in line with the expectations created by his campaign rhetoric, when everyone thought he was going to dismantle the war on terrorism that the Bush administration had erected - the architecture of things like warrantless wiretapping and indefinite detention at Guantanamo military commissions and all the rest... It was more like he right-sized it. “[Obama] shaved off the rough corners and he did shut the door on torture but on other things he preserved these authorities even if he was trying to use them more sparingly and with greater legal standing or foundations than perhaps they had when Bush first created them.” In the same presentation, Savage commented on some of the early insights we could take away from President Donald Trump’s administration. He says, “[Trump’s] rhetoric suggests an authoritarian mindset: whether it is attacking the independent judiciary, attacking a free press, suggesting that he sees law enforcement as an instrument of his own will rather than some sort of independent rule of law based approach to these extraordinary powers…. But then I made the point that notwithstanding all that for the most part that's not how his administration has governed. His administration has while criticizing adverse judicial rulings abided by them.” In short, it is too early to draw conclusions, but Savage believes there is a disconnect between what Trump has said and what he’s been doing in terms of how abnormal it is. “People have often said to me: ‘Oh, you are going to have a great trilogy here,” Savage says when asked if he is planning on writing about Trump’s approach to national security. While not ruling it out, Savage is yet to be fully convinced a book – at least in this area - is waiting in the wings. Savage says, “For all their differences, the Bush and the Obama administrations both had very coherent strongly philosophical legal policymaking behind them… You could see what they were trying to do and then you could see how from that insight many specific examples across many different themes fit within this pattern. And so, both of those books are very similar in that respect. I have an argument, and then I show how 100 different things all lined up with this argument. “The Trump administration does not seem to have a very coherent legal [policy making framework]. The role of lawyers in the Trump administration is very limited as far as I can tell and an awful lot of its policy-making seems somewhat capricious and sort of personality-driven and indeed a little bit arbitrary. That means that there is a lot of good books to be written about behind the scenes in these arguments and the sort of menagerie of idiosyncratic people who have their hands on government leaders of power right now. Books like the one Bob Woodward just did [Fear: Trump in the White House], for example, or Fire and Fury [by Michael Wolff] earlier…. there are plenty of good articles about that too, but it's not the kind of thing I do. It doesn't fit within that legal lens.”   Both of Savage’s books were written in the sixth year of President Bush and President Obama’s administration. Will Savage’s opinion change if there is a sixth year of President Trump’s administration? “We will see how things look,” he adds. Charlie Savage was a faculty member during Understanding America in the 21st Century – Culture and Politics, part of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) multi-year series. You can capture highlights on Twitter by following the hashtag #SSASA.
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Kevin McCarthy - Diversity in the Workforce Makes Companies Better
Kevin McCarthy at the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum
Kevin McCarthy - Diversity in the Workforce Makes Companies Better
Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu 
Kevin McCarthy is in a powerful position, and he is all too aware of that. McCarthy, general counsel at the Bank of New York – Mellon, describes his role as sometimes being “more complicated than running the legal department.” Among other responsibilities, it involves advising the board of directors, meeting regulators and helping colleagues within the bank to solve their issues, he says. But another critical aspect of his portfolio is to ensure there is diversity in his own department and those of others. There is a real benefit of having a diverse workforce, McCarthy believes. It makes companies better. “Corporations, particularly public corporations have to reflect the communities and the ecosystems which they operate. Your customers are diverse, you are located in a diversity of geography. So, in order to be successful and competitive and attract and retain the best talent, you need to look like and act like and think like all of those various voices, and that is why having a diverse workforce, diversity of thought, diversity of gender, diversity of ethnicity, [and] diversity of experience all comes together to make companies better.” The #MeToo movement that has exposed cases of sexual impropriety in the workplace has put the lack of diversity in many companies under the spotlight. For McCarthy, the movement has not only exposed “shameful” instances of sexual abuse by those in power in all industries, it also shows “what happens when power is concentrated, and people are excluded and when you have a cadre of powerful white men who have been running industries and businesses for a long time with no accountability.” McCarthy adds, “Unfortunately it is not surprising to see that that [unchecked] power is going to be abused and people who don’t have the power, which women are very often in these situations, become the victims.” But how can this change? McCarthy says having more women in senior positions, in boardrooms, at the helm of affairs running companies will “[help] shift the power dynamic, and some of this stupidity and shameful behavior will necessarily really go away because it will be a different set of circumstances.” He also believes quotas, as used in countries such as Norway and Germany, have been “very, very effective” in achieving gender diversity on boards. The reason is simple: “they are very clear, they are very binary; you have got to get x amount of women or minorities by this period of time, and if you don’t, there will be sanctions.” But he is well aware that in some other countries such as his native United States, government-mandated quotas might face some resistance. For tips on how to still strive for diversity without quotas, McCarthy recommends hiring managers to ditch rigid attributes all job applicants should possess. McCarthy says “you are going to miss the opportunity to pull more diverse people into that pool. Because the reality is not everyone is going to check those boxes and the folks that do check all of those boxes probably are not going to be representative of the broader whole. “What I have done and what I advise folks in our company to do is to really think hard when you are creating the framework specifications in roles and responsibilities to be more flexible to enable you to create a broader pool to pull from.” Another tip put forward by McCarthy is for managers to engage with groups and associations that will expose them to a range of constituencies for job applications. McCarthy says an internship program and a track record of hiring and retaining diverse staff will “create its own buzz, its own story about you. So when university graduates are looking for places to go, they can look at your company and see that you have actually made the effort, that you actually have been visible to them and that makes you a more welcoming employer and the odds of [attracting diverse job applicants] are going to go up and up.” Kevin McCarthy was a participant at the Salzburg Global program Brave New World: How Can Corporate Governance Adapt?, which is part of the multi-year series, the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum. The program was held in partnership with Shearman & Sterling LLP and CLP Group. It was sponsored by Bank of America, Barclays, BNY Mellon, Elliott, Goldman Sachs, and Microsoft. More information on the program can be found here.
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Colin Ellard – How Urban Design is Making Us Unhappy
Colin Ellard at Salzburg Global Seminar
Colin Ellard – How Urban Design is Making Us Unhappy
Anna Rawe 
For millennia, humans have evolved along with nature, melding and adapting to their environment with the ebbs and flows of temperature shifts, changing weather and terrain. Now with the explosion of an industrialized landscape, the human mind has to cope with environs it has not been accustomed to. Colin Ellard, professor of neuroscience at the University of Waterloo, studies the effect of urban development on human physiology and was keen to find out at the recent Salzburg Global program, Building Healthy, Equitable Communities: The Role of Inclusive Urban Development and Investment, whether urban planners utilize his research. While much of the discussion at this year’s program looked at transportation, public space, and air quality, Ellard’s research looks at a typically less dynamic aspect of city life. He said, “I’m very interested in how the designs, the surfaces, the facades, the skins of buildings influence people’s psychological state.” Much of his research is at the Urban Realities Laboratory, which uses virtual reality simulations and fieldwork to measure how participants interact with the built environment. By measuring brainwaves and bodily states through state of the art equipment participants can wear, the lab can study the physiological and psychological impacts of urban design and from these reactions generalize about the chronic condition of living in a city. So, what is it about the city that makes it a hostile place for human life? Ellard points to buildings with what Ellard calls a “low complexity” surface, such as the smooth grey concrete box-shaped buildings that have increasingly covered cities around the world. Though the issue lies not in their ‘ugliness,’ but in their uniform plainness. From his research, Ellard has concluded “even with a very short exposure to one of those monotonous low complexity facades [our tests can measure] the physiological signature of boredom. Boredom is a - whether you think of it as an emotion or not - is a state which is physiologically harmful.” “When people are bored, for example, they excrete more cortisol - the stress hormone - and we know from all kinds of other work that chronically high levels of cortisol are bad for your health. We haven’t been able to connect all of the dots ourselves yet… but the links are certainly there to suggest that that aspect of urban design has an actual public health impact.” Mental health does not discriminate with one estimate putting the number of people worldwide with a mental, neurodevelopment or substance use disorder at one billion, and Ellard thinks this can partly be connected to changes in our lived environment, including the densification of people into cramped city space. Ellard points to the thread of research stemming from primatologist Robin Dunbar, who recorded observations of the relationship between group size and brain size. It suggests humans have evolved to live in social groups of around 150 people, an idea which fails to sync with the increasing number of metropoles which feature more strangers than friends.Ellard added, “There may be other reasons for that lack of community as well, but the encouraging thing is that there are things you can do and design to inoculate society to some extent against the isolating effects of living in dense environments.” Ellard and his research team look to the natural world to provide this inoculation and try to distill what produces its near magical effect on the human mind so it can be replicated in design. While this area of research is still developing, Ellard has already started drawing up recommendations for the design of urban facades. He believes buildings and other urban surfaces should ideally be designed with “intermediate levels of complexity,” with features like patterns, symmetry, and curvature which draw the human eye. While funding and planning criteria provide obstacles, urban planners and architects might still consider how to make streets “more permeable [with] lots of things to see, lots of places to go,” Ellard says, which engage us and positively affect our physiology. Ellard’s ambitions don’t stop there, however. His interest lies in using artificial intelligence in the facades of buildings, with machines learning about the pedestrians who walk past them. He suggested, “The surface of a building would get to know the kind of things you like, and the things people in general like, and perform those things for you as you approach them.” What of Ellard’s own city then? Ellard grew up in the urban environments he now studies and currently lives in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, in Southern Ontario, Canada. Ellard said the bad urban design makes him grumpy, but he expectantly added, “I know it’s not that difficult to do better.” The program Building Healthy, Equitable Communities: The Role of Inclusive Urban Development and Investment is part of Salzburg Global Seminar's multi-year series Health and Health Care Innovation. This year's program is held in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the program. Follow #SGShealth on Twitter and Instagram.
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Anastassia Lauterbach: What Questions Should Boards Be Asking About Ai?
Anastassia Lauterbach: What Questions Should Boards Be Asking About Ai?
Anastassia Lauterbach 
This article is the first in the series, the Salzburg Questions for Corporate Governance by the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum. Join in the discussion on LinkedIn From addressing bias in translation and computer vision models to the use of Machine Learning (ML) in HR, businesses and policymakers are increasingly looking at artificial intelligence through the lens of ethics and risk management. ML models scale everything with the brute force of mathematics, so corporate entities need to think twice before applying these models to augment jobs, change-- how they treat particular customer segments, and/or hire new employees. In the past two years we have already seen examples of coding errors, lack of thoughtfulness with regard to what components should be considered within a model, or refusal to vet a company’s monetization model to ensure that company’s integrity and reduce reputational risk (just think of Facebook and its role in the US election in 2016). Besides, different geographies and industries don’t apply the same thinking around what is ethical, what should be mitigated as a risk, and what should be left untouched to ensure competitive advantage. Corporate boards should get involved in discussions on ethics, risk and AI on a more structured basis. There are several sets of questions to look at, each touching a different risk of current ML models. Do we have a good data governance policy in place? ML models learn from data. ML techniques are not mutually exclusive and can be leveraged in different combinations, depending on the task and the available dataset. In this context that a visionary board should ask how the company thinks about data to solve strategic and operational problems, whether there is a solid data governance framework in place, and if and when the business considers providing wide access to data, allowing as many people as possible to find valuable insights. A policy to invest in and develop robust datasets will allow for fewer conflicts within a business. Conflicts can result from different views on how to measure or interpret the data, what kind of algorithms to apply, and at what point in time a company requires outside expertise. Strong data governance practices enable data sharing, which then enables innovation. To be most effective, data governance needs to be embedded in an organization’s culture to become more than a system of tactics to derive business value. If this happens, data governance is likely to influence organizational behavior. Data governance frameworks should be at the top of every corporate board agenda, as they enable a company to move from piloting data technologies to mass scale deployment, and influence organizational hierarchies and culture of an enterprise. What biases might be present in the data collection and use and how can we counter them? There are implicit biases in the values that determine which datasets we use to train a computer. For example, if an ML human resources application for finding the best person to fill a job includes a feature that it is “someone who stays for years and gets promotions,” this will almost always yield male candidates. In autumn 2017, one ML system tasked with identifying professions in images came to the famous conclusion: women like shopping. There is a widely known example of a Google ML engine in photo recognition – dark skinned faces were associated with gorillas. Julia Angwin studied bias in law enforcement and criminal justice, identifying Northpointe’s racially-biased Compas system, which was used to sentence people across the United States. Bloomberg reported that Amazon’s same-day delivery was bypassing ZIP codes with a predominantly African-American population. If cancer-spotting AI algorithms are only trained on light-skinned people, people with darker skin will have a lower survival rate. These painful cases were caused by either a lack of diversity in teams training AI models, building data sets, or skilled in paying attention to contextual circumstances. If diverse teams do the coding, work bias in data and algorithms can be mitigated. If AI is to touch on all aspects of human life, its designers should ensure it represents all kinds of people. The values of the engineers building AI will be reflected in the solutions they come up with. The boards should question diversity of coding teams. Companies like Google, Facebook or Twitter operate in the so-called attention economy, where brands compete for eyeballs and allocate their advertising dollars to the most successful “attention” marketplaces. Product design and lifecycle management are focused on attention-generation, so called “stickiness” of products and services to keep a user attached to them. Bias in data sets and algorithms can be found in the fields with the highest monetization potential. Context, nuances and niche users are often disregarded. A board of such a business should not shy away from asking hard questions, because the structure of the monetization model at the company did not prioritize privacy, fairness and the personal preferences of consumers. Last but not least, AI models have contributed to the rise of content to deceive people. The startup AI Foundation raised $10m earlier this month to develop an AI system called Reality Defender. The system uses machine learning to identify fake news and malicious digital content meant to deceive people online. As these kinds of offerings become more widespread, AI companies seeking to monitor content on the internet will have to prove that they are doing so ethically. Boards of content aggregation companies and media businesses need to ask for frameworks and working samples to ensure their companies target the problem of “fake news,” trying to reduce the risk. If efforts fail, boards need to insist on transparency and a clear communication of what happened. As the very recent controversy around Facebook’s top management shows, keeping silent is not an option. How can we ensure data transparency and avoid “black boxes”? There are product liability, rights and liberty and governance related issues to keep in mind when using “deep learning” models. When a neural net determines the respective weights for different features within a model, we do not know why it did so. This can be dangerous for specific uses that could impact individuals and society, such as in healthcare, finance, law enforcement, or education. The AI Now Institute recommends abolishing the use of unvalidated and pre-trained black box models in any core public agencies, such as criminal justice, healthcare, welfare and education. Companies and researchers are working to overcome the black box problem. The MIT Technology Review reports that the neural network architecture developed by AI tech company NVIDIA’s researchers is designed to highlight those areas of a video picture that contributes most to the behavior of a car’s deep neural network. Jeff Clune at the University of Wyoming and Carlos Guestrin at the University of Washington (and Apple) have found ways of highlighting the parts of images that classification systems are picking up on. Tommi Jaakkola and Regina Barzilay at MIT are developing ways to provide snippets of text that help explain a conclusion drawn from large quantities of written data. DARPA, which does long-term research for the US military, is funding several research projects through a program called Explainable AI (XAI). XAI will be without doubt a prominent next generation field of research and funding. A question will remain, whether the companies with the largest datasets and the biggest AI talent pool will benefit most from this research, and therewith continue monopolizing AI markets. A visionary board can ask questions on where deep learning models are applied in product design, or introduced by vendors and whether there are efforts in place to understand how such models come to their conclusion. Are we vulnerable to cyber-attacks? AI poses unique cybersecurity issues because machines are being used to train other machines, thus scaling the exposure of compromised pieces of code. AI algorithms can contain bugs, biases, or even malware that are hard to detect, such as the DDoS attack in October 2016 that affected several hundred thousand devices. Like any technology, AI can also be used by criminal groups. Understanding their motives and techniques is important to prevent attacks, and to detect them in a timely manner. As an example, a group of computer scientists from Cyxtera Technologies, a cybersecurity firm based in Florida has built the Machine Learning system DeepPhish that generates phishing URLs that cannot be detected by security algorithms. The system was trained using actual phishing websites. The proliferation of Machine Learning solutions for cybersecurity comes with certain risks, if AI practitioners are rushing to bring a system online. It means that some of the training data might not be thoroughly scrubbed of anomalies, causing an algorithm to miss an attack. Experienced hackers can also switch the labels on code that has been tagged as malware. A diverse set of algorithms rather than a dependency on one single master algorithm might be a way to mitigate this risk, so that if an algorithm is compromised, the results from the others can still show the anomaly. As the amount of data increases, adversarial AI is being used to hack AI systems. For example, a study at the Harvard Medical School revealed that AI systems that analyze medical images are vulnerable to covert attacks. The study tested deep learning systems that analyze retina, chest, and skin images for diseases. Researchers presented “adversarial examples” and found that it was possible to change the images in a way that affected the results and was imperceptible to humans, meaning that the systems are vulnerable to fraud and/or attack. Corporate boards get more and more engaged in cybersecurity risk oversight, since it affects the company’s reputation. Their chief information security officers (CISOs) should provide insights on how they use ML in mitigating their risks. At the same time the board needs to know the executives who are part of a broad network of companies thinking about how to prevent adversarial attacks, who have insights into the vendor landscape focused on solving this problem. How can and should we use AI to manage our workforce? How can jobs be upgraded instead of replaced? The Mizuho Financial Group in Japan says it will use AI to replace 19,000 people by 2027 — about a third of its workforce. There is a growing worry in fintech that inherent bias in code could be baked into algorithms used to assess credit risk, whereby creditworthy customers could be denied credit based on race, gender, religion, and other factors. The acceptance of AI is seriously jeopardized when executives fail to explain its benefits to employees. Instead of replacing people, AI will augment their jobs and create new ones. Repetitive tasks can be eliminated, and new tasks will arise that require good human judgement and domain expertise. For example, fraud detection applications will reduce the time people spend looking for anomalies yet increase their ability to decide what to do about deviations. Companies that view AI purely as a cost-cutting opportunity are likely to deploy ML in all the wrong places, and in a compromised way. These companies will automate the status quo, rather than imagine a better world. They will cut jobs instead of upgrading roles. The board needs to get a clear picture of how corporate management thinks about shifts within their employment base, what training strategies are in place to increase workforce competitiveness, and what social instruments are in place to address those left behind. Changes in employment usually happen gradually, often without a sharp transition. Boards should insist on a sound discussion about the future of the workforce while there is still time to design inclusive and forward-looking practices. This includes clarity around the future of qualification for the entry jobs, models of part-time employment, access to expert freelancers and researchers, and what parts of the existing workforce is needed for training of AI systems, e.g. data preparation and pre-processing. Considering good employment practices and providing good future to today’s and future generations of employees should not be missed on a board agenda. Ultimately, this is a question of business sustainability. Are we complying with regulations? Overreacting to accidents e.g. concerning autonomous vehicles might bring more problems than it solves. In March 2018, an Uber vehicle in autonomous mode hit and killed a woman crossing a street in Tempe, Arizona — the first fatal accident involving an autonomous vehicle and a pedestrian. Uber immediately suspended all its self-drive pilots, resuming them only in mid-July. Such accidents around a new technology have been always a negative side of progress. Just remember the French philosopher Paul Virilio, who famously talked about technological development being tightly linked to the idea of the accident. If you invent the plane, you also invent the plane crash. “The ethical concerns of innovation thus tend to focus on harm’s minimization and mitigation, not the absence of harm altogether.” Regulatory compliance goes hand in hand with transparency. AI technology evolves. In time we will see how deep learning models make their decisions. We might, however, never resolve the old trolley problem. We might however agree, that designing models without ethics and governance in mind will not create lack of ethics or governance. It will create bad ethics and governance. What industry-specific questions are there? Healthcare Mindshare Medical is launching AI tools to diagnose cancer using imaging data that is invisible to the human eye. RevealAI-Lung, their product, was cleared for use in Canadian hospitals to assist with lung cancer screening. Danish AI company, Corti, has developed a Machine Learning system that determines whether a victim is in cardiac arrest based on emergency calls. Corti’s system analyzes the words the caller uses, the tone of the caller’s voice, and any background noises on the line. The software correctly detected cardiac arrest in 93 percent of cases vs. the 73 percent success rate for human dispatchers. The system is being used in Copenhagen and is being pilot-tested in five other European countries this fall. In June 2018, Babylon Health announced that an AI algorithm scored higher than humans on a written test used to certify physicians in the United Kingdom. The Royal College of General Practitioners, a healthcare industry body representing doctors, protested the idea that we should trust AI with our health. Someday soon, doctors will have to weigh the ethical consequences of an AI-driven misdiagnosis, asking who will take responsibility: the doctor, or the machine? Notably, the FDA recently signaled that it is taking a fast-track approval strategy for AI-based medical devices. Corporate boards should be aware about regulatory trends, litigation and major product announcement in their industry, and have access to experts and leading lawyers providing transparency and encouraging discussions around possible scenarios. Defense The Pentagon currently has 600 AI related initiatives, with 50 of those linked to so called “killer robots.” The Google controversy around contributing to the military with computer vision systems allowing for such applications is widely known, leading to the retirement of Fei Fei Lee, Google Cloud’s Chief Science Officer. The discussion on ethics should be led without hesitation. It should be considered, however, that access to military technology and research is not limited to companies with ethics in mind. In China all internet players have labs open to developing and testing military products. Technology companies will hopefully grapple with ethical questions as they sell products and services to the military and intelligence community. Amazon, for example, is possibly one of the most important defense contractors in the US. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has a contract with the US government called Secret Region, making AWS the first and only commercial cloud provider to serve workloads across the full range of government data classifications, including Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret. Boards deserve full transparency on such initiatives and an active part in discussions with engineering groups and the management designing and implementing defense systems. They should be aware about how their company thinks about allowing robots and software to determine the outcome of an armed conflict. As an example, GoodAI specializes in training AI to reason and act ethically. This implies reacting to situations the machine previously did not encounter. This is not a trivial task. GoodAI polices the acquisition of values by providing a digital mentor, and then slowly ramps up the complexity of situations in which the AI must make decisions. The company is working on robots that might be used even in a military context. GoodAI is just one of the organizations dedicated to understanding the ethical dimension of robotics and AI that have evolved across the world in recent years, e.g. the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, the Global Initiative on Ethical Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, and the Future of Life Institute, which published the Asilomar AI Principles, developed in conjunction with the 2017 conference. A good board will ensure their company actively participates in discussing ethical standards for autonomous systems, that it donates money to nonprofits with a similar mission and actively communicate to the groups of employees arguing against engagement with military and defense sectors. What geography-specific questions are there? Corporate boards understand that certain geographies do not apply the same ethical considerations when it comes to surveillance, freedom of speech, and freedom of movement. Google is working on a project called Dragonfly, a censored search engine in China. The search engine could reportedly fully block certain results for searches such as “freedom of information” or “peaceful protest.” Google employees signed a letter protesting the work, stating: “[Project Dragonfly] raises urgent moral and ethical issues… Currently we do not have the information required to make ethically-informed decisions about our work, our projects, and our employment.” Google decided to hire an investigations analyst on its Trust and Safety team to assess the company’s ethical machine learning practices. Boards will be increasingly concerned with calls for a compromise when it comes to doing business in China and several other geographies. Ethical views on what is right diverge in these regions from what businesses are used to in North America and Western Europe. We require a broader discussion with investors, who will in turn have to address questions on ethics, reputation and sustainability. Have an opinion?  We encourage readers to share your comments by joining in the discussion on LinkedIn Anastassia Lauterbach is a Fellow of Salzburg Global Seminar, having attended the 2018 program of the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum. Dr. Lauterbach is the director of Dun & Bradstreet and the chief executive officer and founder of 1AU-Ventures, where she advises U.S. and Europe-based artificial intelligence and cybersecurity companies and investment funds. She also serves on the board of Wirecard AG (German DAX), and she is chairwoman of Censhare AG. Sheis a senior advisor for artificial intelligence at McKinsey & Company. Previously, she served as senior vice president Europe at Qualcomm, senior vice president of business development and investments at Deutsche Telekom AG, where she also served as a member of the executive board, and executive vice president of group strategy at T-Mobile International AG. In April 2018, Dr. Lauterbach published her book, Artificial Intelligence Imperative: A Roadmap for Businesses. She has a Ph.D. in linguistics and psychology from the Rheinisch Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn, Germany and a diploma in linguistics from the State Lomonosov University, Moscow, Russia. The Salzburg Questions for Corporate Governance is an online discussion series introduced and led by Fellows of the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum. The articles and comments represent opinions of the authors and commenters, and do not necessarily represent the views of their corporations or institutions, nor of Salzburg Global Seminar. Readers are welcome to address any questions about this series to Forum Director, Charles E. Ehrlich: cehrlich@salzburgglobal.org To receive a notification of when the next article is published, follow Salzburg Global Seminar on LinkedIn or sign up for email notifications here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/corpgov/newsletter
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James Thornton: The Law Can Help Us “Succeed in Saving Civilization”
James Thornton takes questions after delivering the Eighth Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law. Credit: Salzburg Global Seminar/Stephanie Natoli
James Thornton: The Law Can Help Us “Succeed in Saving Civilization”
Nicole Reisinger 
Next month, December 2018, national governments and other parties will gather in Poland, marking three years since the landmark Paris Agreement was signed and striving to adopt guidelines for the global climate accord to “ensure the true potential of the Paris Agreement can be unleashed.”  Just weeks ahead of this new round of negotiations, guests gathered in Washington, DC for the Eighth Annual Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law, where environmental lawyer and social entrepreneur, James Thornton made the case for how the law – at all levels, municipal, national and international – can be used to better protect our planet. Thornton’s cautionary yet hopeful lecture was titled “When the Earth is your Client: Taking the Law into our own Hands” and was followed by a question and answer session moderated by Clare Shine, former environmental lawyer and current Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer. Tom Mansbach, Chair of the Cutler Center for the Rule of Law at Salzburg Global Seminar, offered the opening remarks. “Many years ago I wondered if we were on a path to end life on the planet. Now we know life on the planet will go on, but it may be a planet unfit for us,” warned Thornton, the founder and CEO of ClientEarth, Europe’s first public interest environmental law organization.  A study released in October by the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warned that action must be taken within the next 12 years to stunt the rising global temperature. Any increase beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius would significantly worsen the risks for hundreds of millions of people. “Crossing that threshold leads to a tipping point,” warned Thornton.   The solution is to build an “Ecological Civilization,” Thornton claimed. The Paris Agreement is a piece of that new architecture. It serves as a global framework for emissions reduction and aims to hold countries accountable to come up with plants to reduce emissions. Country delegations will convene at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland next month for follow-up talks to establish a rule book to encourage the needed reductions. So far, only Morocco and The Gambia have come up with plans.  Thornton attributes the conception of an Ecological Civilization to the Chinese. With help from ClientEarth, Thornton’s non-profit environmental law firm, the country is working to reconceive economic policies, reform the legal system, and redesign its agricultural and industrial policies. One of China’s innovations is to allow citizen groups to bring cases against polluting companies to help improve compliance. Another reform, Thornton said, “is to create a series of environment courts, from regional to the Supreme Court level, to handle environment cases.” In these courts, with the help of ClientEarth, China trains judges and prosecutors in climate litigation to bring and decide cases. Thornton discussed the many ways citizens can use the law to protect the Earth and its environment, from holding companies and governments accountable by taking them to court to building the capacity of others to use the law. Whether it be disrupting complacency in the UK legal system or uprooting incumbents in the Polish, German and Australian coal mining industry, Thornton finds hope in empowering people through the law to challenge and redesign the system.   Thornton concluded his lecture by suggesting that “if we hold governments to account, move aside the incumbents, empower people everywhere to use the law to open the future, we can indeed succeed in saving civilization.” In the Q&A section of the evening, Clare Shine and James Thornton explored the paradox that the science, economics and citizen demand are incresingly aligned, compared to the sluggishness of governments’ responses to climate change. “Climate change is a planetary issue and responibility. It’s existential,” Shine said. The conversation, which also included questions from the audience, touched upon the intersection of biodiversity and climate change, creating compelling and enforceable environmental policy, and what can be done to accelerate practical responses to the findings of climate change science.  The evening concluded with closing remarks delivered by Stephen Salyer, President of the Salzburg Global Seminar.  This lecture was held by Salzburg Global Seminar on Wednesday, November 14 at the Phillips Collection, under the auspices of the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law. The lecture series was started by Salzburg Global Seminar in 2009 to honor the life and work of Lloyd N. Cutler, former White House Counsel to Presidents Carter and Clinton and long-time Chair of Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors.
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