Salzburg Global Fellowship

Fellow News

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

Philip Sinclair- We Need a Sustainable Engagement Mechanism for Co-delivery and Co-working
Philip Sinclair- We Need a Sustainable Engagement Mechanism for Co-delivery and Co-working
Maryam Ghaddar 
For Philip Sinclair, the lack of trust in the public sector comes down to communication – or lack thereof. As someone who previously led innovation and growth in the UK government, Sinclair has had his fair share of experience trying to communicate change for the better. But what happens when a policy isn’t communicated effectively? Sinclair considered this topic, and others, as a participant at the annual meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Network, held at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg. Citing the rise in populism as an example, he said, “People are behaving in the way they’re behaving because… oftentimes they feel disconnected from government, its institutions and its policies. They may feel their needs aren’t being met, that public services are failing… and if they don’t get an answer to that from their government, then, of course they react in unpredictable ways, because sometimes that’s how people respond to uncertainty.” Sinclair, now a fellow of the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, said the topics being discussed in Salzburg were “very relevant and timely.” Sinclair was among nearly 30 senior officials from governments and multilateral institutions engaging in active debate on matters such as long-term macro trends and immediate priorities in the public sector. Capitalizing on his professional experience, Sinclair offered his peers insight into what he termed “government innovation” in the face of the global financial crisis, as a way to begin to grow the economy. He suggested the United Kingdom was adequate at innovation in the macroeconomic context, such as universities, tax incentives, and start-up ecosystems, but austerity had created a new imperative for innovation in the delivery of public services; government itself had to be more innovative. “Government innovation uses the money government spends on public services (£230bn in the UK) as a driver for economic growth…it involved looking at new legislation for freeing up that money by making it more accessible through new procurement methods, and introducing prompt payment terms,” Sinclair reflected. “There was a big technology program associated with it as well, which was to build an online innovation platform to essentially surface all of this, and allow apps to be built on the data… then, once you put all of that apparatus and infrastructure in place, there is the question of how you use it in the civil service? How do you enable civil servants to be more innovative, to work with these innovative small firms and so forth and so on?” Having founded two tech businesses, the entrepreneur stressed the importance of aiming for more positive outcomes with sets of technology and democratization that comes with it. Take government technology, for instance, something Sinclair suggested had a lot of potential regarding further cooperation with other members of the Network. He explained one of the main problems with gov-tech is its perceived cost; people believe what governments do is astronomically different to what goes on in the private sector. “In many ways, procedurally, culturally, and a whole lot of other ways, it is. It has to be,” Sinclair said. “But when it comes to tools and technologies, in some respects, the government isn’t all that different – its more about how you use the technology in the government context, for better outcomes.” In comparing specific industries, such as biotech, gov-tech and the future of mobility, and the potential for emerging technologies, he talked of the need for a new system of governance in the future. Sinclair said it involves looking at regulations, commonalities, ethical standards, and ownership of an industry’s use of technology from a shared governance perspective. “We need to go into that thought process with positive intent, and look at the big picture in each of those policy domains… Frankly, there are people out there, like any innovation or new technology, who are trying to take things in the wrong direction, without considering the societal and ethical elements. As much as we’re going to push it in one direction, there will be someone else pushing it in another.” When asked what he hoped to take away from discussions in Salzburg, looking at the directions being taken and opportunities for cooperation, Sinclair underlined the “serendipity” of such events. “There’s always an element of that in these sorts of events because you’ve got people thinking about the same things from different points of view all in the same room… just understanding what your peers and colleagues across different geographical regions, specializations, and different institutions are thinking about, and how they are responding, is a big help.” Sinclair stressed the significance of the Network’s purpose in getting a conversation going on these sorts of topics, but also keeping the dialogue alive on how we can begin to apply the ideas, perspectives and solutions exchanged here to the world at large. “That’s actually where the first point of failure is in these things because everyone goes home, and the conversations all come to an end, or perhaps a couple continue maybe, but the momentum that you get behind the ideas and the conversations is lost… The longer-term plan would be to say, ‘Well, what would some sort of sustainable engagement mechanism look like for co-delivery and co-working?’ I think that should certainly be the objective… It’s hard of course because all these things are much easier said than done, but it would be tremendously valuable.” Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? is part of the Public Sector Strategy Network, a multi-year initiative held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and in cooperation with Apolitical. More information on this session can be found here.
READ MORE...
Stefan Brandt - The "Future is a Very Abstract Topic"
Stefan Brandt speaking at the Salzburg Global Seminar program, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology, and Making Sense of the Future
Stefan Brandt - The "Future is a Very Abstract Topic"
Helena Santos 
In the heart of Berlin, next to the German Bundestag and the German Chancellery, a building designed to give visitors a glimpse of the future has opened its doors for its first workshop week. Ahead of its final launch in 2019, Futurium is inviting people to get to know them in an event that will cover topics such as digitization, civic involvement, climate protection and sustainability. Between May 30 and June 9, people have the chance to experience the venue as a museum of the future, a future laboratory, a future forum, and a stage for the future. Stefan Brandt, director of the Futurium, said the concept of a museum is a valuable part of the project. Brandt spoke to Salzburg Global Seminar while attending the program, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future. Brandt said, "I think we definitely want to show and present things, objects on [the ] future but I think is not enough… We need all the other dimensions as well. There are many things, many problems, and challenges that you cannot fully address in an exhibition. You need other dimensions to deal with. For instance, you need a debate, a discussion, workshop… You need artistic performances because often in the past artists had a better feeling of what could happen in the future because they don’t think in a linear way. They rather associate or work [associatively]  with different observations and thoughts, and they get a completely surprising vision of the future that at the end is sometimes closer to reality than the more linear analysis that a scientist might do." The workshop's theme is “Areas of Tension. Approaching Possible Futures.” This is something that falls in line with the thoughts shared by Brandt during his stay in Salzburg. After all, Brandt does not believe in a single future; he believes in multiple futures. Futures are just our different ideas of what the future might look like. These ideas may be consistent, complementary or conflicting and that’s why it is important to share them in an eclectic space like the Futurium.   When Futurium opens at fully capacity in spring 2019 the first floor of the building will accommodate a permanent exhibition guided by the question “How do we want to live?” This exhibition will be divided into three different thinking spaces that will tackle the future relationship of humans with themselves, nature and technology.   In the building’s basement, visitors will find the Futurium Lab, something Brandt considers essential because the hands-on approach allows for a more intimate experience. “Future is a very abstract topic… What we have seen in our work with children, with pupils at schools is that once they are closely in touch with future, to objects or to books - to materials that are dealing directly with future - they feel connected somehow… Therefore, I think that the objects and the concrete doing is something so important for an institution like us,” Brandt clarified. During his time at Salzburg, Brandt presented the Futurium as a translator, the missing link in a fragmented society where arts, science, and policy-makers have trouble communicating with each other. “We think sometimes very simplistic about politics, and it’s good to understand what the problems for politics are to get things done. On the other hand, we also don’t value enough what arts can contribute to such a discourse because arts are not just the pretty flower on something. It is sometimes really the core of something - of our approach to future, for instance. On the other hand, without knowledge that comes from science, from scientific work we would not be able to further explore futures. Therefore, I would say that yes, we need to understand more the value of each other…to really start a qualified debate”, Brandt said. Bringing all sectors of society together to discuss which future everyone wants is the primary goal of this groundbreaking project that also aims to change lives for the better. Brandt says, “Keeping peace at least in a major part of the world will be a big achievement and the second is that we really try to solve problems solemnly and not superficially… [After questioning preexisting systems we] understand each sector is connected to the other sectors and we need holistic solutions, but it takes time, and it takes patience, and you need to have the will to go this way, and this is a difficult way. My hope is that we make at least some steps on this way.” To learn more about Futurium’s first workshop week, please click here. Brandt took part in Salzburg Global session, The Shock of the New: Arts, Technology and Making Sense of the Future, part of the multi-year series Culture, Arts and Society. The session is supported by the Edwards T. Cone Foundation. More information on the program can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter using #SGSculture.
READ MORE...
Olli-Pekka Heinonen- There Should Be More Freedom in the Classrooms for Teachers
Olli-Pekka Heinonen- There Should Be More Freedom in the Classrooms for Teachers
Maryam Ghaddar 
Learning is an enduring process. What are the implications of a teacher having freedom in a classroom? To what degree are teaching and learning related? How can positive thinking assist in developing educational systems? Olli-Pekka Heinonen, director general at the Finnish National Agency for Education, envisioned and articulated a future for the education system in Finland which spoke volumes of his passion for bettering community-based instruction. Heinonen was one of around 30 participants who attended this year’s annual meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Network, a three-day program at Salzburg Global Seminar. The session titled Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? convened high-level government officials and representatives from multilateral institutions who aimed to build an interactive coalition of forward and outward-thinking individuals in a world dominated by rapidly shifting ideas, technologies, demographics, and expectations. When it comes to bringing societal values and ethics into education systems and learning from other countries, Heinonen underscored his organization’s “responsibility to develop education, lifelong learning… and enhance internalization.” The former state secretary at the Ministry of Finance of Finland said, “We should increase the adaptability of the education systems… emphasizing the role of the teachers, that they have the ability to… develop their own work… That’s, I think, a very important element of the adaptability… they have actually the autonomy and the trust of society for doing it. There’s a core curriculum which sets the general target that must be met, but how to do it is entirely up to the teachers. What pedagogical tools they will be using, what kind of materials, textbooks, books they will be using, it’s entirely up to them.” Heinonen suggested it’s as difficult to study to become a teacher as it is to study to become a lawyer in Finland. If true, this is quite indicative of the extent to which other countries can learn from the Finnish system: its strengths, its weaknesses, and its objective for all children to reach their full potential. Assessment strategies are a major element of that goal. “The trust issue is very central in making the system more adaptable,” Heinonen continued. “Assessment is very important in the Finnish system, but it is something that is a continuous, many-fold process, between the teacher and the pupil… to support learning and also to support the capability of the child to self-assess his or her own learning… We can create the kinds of schools and educational institutions as kind of communities of practice.” Heinonen stressed how these communities function delivers a much stronger message than what is actually being taught. Maintaining equality, excellence, and diversity in the Finnish society is increasingly crucial as systems veer towards decentralization. Frequently, everyday work in governmental agencies creates cognitive dissonance, and standards and principles must be in line with actions. “I’m saying walk the talk for schools also is so, so important. There’s no use… talking about sustainable development if you use a lot of paper all the time and do things that go exactly in the wrong direction.” The dialogue itself is often the fundamental and necessary action in reforming systems of engagement. This is, after all, one of the ideals on which Salzburg Global Seminar was born, something Heinonen widely acknowledged. When asked how we can translate that discourse into actionable progress, the director general expressed his deep-set belief in the power of open exchange. “The question is how to create such spaces for dialogue to happen that are safe and where there is no hierarchy in the discussion... I think [trust] is something that you must have in order for dialogue to succeed, but on the other hand, I believe that dialogue and hearing other shareholders or actors’ points of view creates trust also… when we talk about education, we talk about visions and utopias in a way, and if there is a disconnect with the rest of the society, it’s a very bad thing… dialogue is one way of finding a shared language to talk about what’s important in education.” Civil servants learn and locate solutions together all the time. It is a testament to the depth and breadth of human exploration and experimentation, not only in education but in all facets of the public sector. Heinonen said, “I see how people grow together, as individuals and as teams… human’s ability to adapt to the surrounding world and change it.” Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? is part of the Public Sector Strategy Network, a multi-year initiative held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and in cooperation with Apolitical. More information on this session can be found here.
READ MORE...
Martin Parkinson- “We Made Gender Equality a Core Business Responsibility”
Martin Parkinson- “We Made Gender Equality a Core Business Responsibility”
Maryam Ghaddar 
Sometimes, the most significant accomplishments come about as happy accidents. For Martin Parkinson, secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, this happened when trying to understand how to drive for gender parity in Australia. Parkinson attended this year’s annual meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Network - Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? – held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and in cooperation with Apolitical. This multi-year initiative offers a platform for governments and innovators to explore significant challenges, risks, and opportunities for change in their countries and societies. As secretary of the Department, Parkinson is the principal policy advisor to the Prime Minister on all issues, primarily responsible for coordinating policy development across government. One of these issues was achieving gender equality at top positions in Australia, something the senior public servant referred to as “a personal journey” which started in the early 90s. At that time, he explained, he was a senior executive in the Treasury leading macroeconomic analysis and forecasting inside the department. He left in 1997 for the International Monetary Fund after an initial attempt to “show that there’s no job anywhere in the department that women aren’t able to do.” “We had reached parity in terms of a greater recruitment by the early 1990s. We could look around the department and see women in all key areas, the exception being the area that I moved in to run. By 1997 we had strong cohorts even in this area and I was confident we were in a good position. When I came back in the beginning of 2001, almost all of them had gone… it was clear then that something hadn’t taken root… Maybe part of the issue was that we didn’t have enough senior role models.” Throughout the many transitions of his career, Parkinson was steadfast in his mission, always thinking outside the box and recruiting senior women who could develop the necessary skillsets. When he was appointed to establish the first department of climate change in 2007, he brought together people from different parts of government. “Without setting out consciously to do it, I ended up in a situation where I had three deputies who were male, and the next level down, there were 13 people, 12 of whom were women. I hadn’t at all set out to do that but what was clear was that we were having different styles of conversations, though the technical content was similar. But what came out of that for me was a dawning realization that what we’d done is we’d focused on symptoms, not on root causes.” When he returned to Treasury he realized his department had been putting young women in coordinating, outward-facing roles, whereas the young men were placed in technical, backroom-type positions. Consequently, women weren’t being given many chances to demonstrate their conceptual, analytic skills for the performance appraisal. Parkinson added “the young males were in jobs we implicitly valued more than the others.” Parkinson described a scenario in his career where a group of mixed senior executives were assembled with women on one side of the room and men on the other. Each group was asked to write down on a piece of paper ten reasons why they thought women didn’t succeed in making it to senior ranks of the Treasury. The two sheets were then brought together, much like a Venn diagram. “How much overlap do you think there was? Zero. Absolutely zero. Women and men were looking at this problem in a completely different way to one another, and so had no common ground on which to start to challenge the issue. So we made gender equality a core business responsibility of the Treasury, and I was then very public about it.” Parkinson became a member of the Male Champions of Change, mobilizing the department and raising the public consequences of failure. They addressed interview committees, telling them their job was to go out and search for the best pool of people to interview, to do everything in their power to “find strong women candidates, to have a 50-50 if not, why not” approach to gender parity. They published all pay and performance appraisal outcomes by gender and level, the proportion of female applicants for roles, those who went on to interview, and finally success rates. By allowing this data to be torn apart and scrutinized, “the place embraced it… and they essentially owned the problem… The other thing that the government did which was very good was to make a commitment to having a minimum of 40 percent women on individual government boards… and we’re aiming for 50 percent on average across all boards.” The senior official then conveyed a common thread that ran through discussions at this session in Salzburg, which was the importance of trying to innovate and then, if necessary, “failing fast” and conceding defeat early to stop resources from continuing to be wasted if an attempt to innovate isn’t delivering. Parkinson said neglecting to take risks and innovate systems leads to a decline in community expectations of government and “governments will be seen as less and less relevant.” “Governments, as a beast, are pretending that we can solve problems that we can’t… We’re giving people a false sense that we can resolve all problems… the system is never going to be perfect, and there’s going to be some mistakes made inevitably… and we’re not having a sufficiently nuanced discussion about it… there [are] very few people who are stepping back and looking back at government as an ecosystem.” Parkinson expressed a profound commitment to “making life better for people.” By acknowledging this, he encapsulated his entire philosophy into one sentence: “Never lose sight of the fact that, at the end of the day, the objective here is to leave the place better off for your fellow citizens.” Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? is part of the Public Sector Strategy Network, a multi-year initiative held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and in cooperation with Apolitical. More information on this session can be found here.
READ MORE...
Josée Touchette- “Trust is at the heart of so many of the problems that we grapple with in government”
Josée Touchette- “Trust is at the heart of so many of the problems that we grapple with in government”
Maryam Ghaddar 
“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” These lyrics, by famous Canadian poet and singer Leonard Cohen, are words to live by. For Josée Touchette, executive director at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Fellow of Salzburg Global Seminar, this quote rings particularly true. Touchette attended a three-week session on American Law and Legal Institutions in July, 1990. Nearly 30 years later, she returned to Schloss Leopoldskron as a member of the Public Sector Strategy Network for the program titled Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? While at the session, participants engaged in peer-to-peer learning on some of the challenges facing the public sector while looking ahead at some of the difficulties that may yet arise. Participants shared their experiences of lessons learned and cross-sector innovations, something Touchette explained was the very essence of what Salzburg Global has always aimed for. “You had a sense of hope. You had a sense of possibility,” she reflected on her previous visit. “It was a force. It was something that I fed off for many, many years. I made friendships that, to this day, are lasting. We didn’t call it design thinking back then, but the fact that we were coming from such different backgrounds meant that we were tackling issues from very different perspectives… that ability to do it in a safe place is something that hasn’t changed, and it’s a constant in what the Seminar does.” One of the key themes of this session centered around the topic of trust in governments and the underlying belief more can be done to include public opinion and ideas into the spaces for solutions. Touchette, who believes global values are “the glue that binds us,” discussed the degree to which public interests and trust can be brought into the conversation on policy-making, highlighting such issues as job inclusion, equality and inclusiveness. She explained that unless citizens are actively engaged in the government’s process of policy-making, policies are “by definition, going to be developed in a bit of a vacuum.” “Perhaps, what we need to be mindful of is the fact that we may need to change the expression of those values as we go forward because the velocity of change is simply too great to ignore the fact that how they’re expressed and how they are meaningful may not be the same way tomorrow as it is today.” Elaborating on this point, Touchette discussed the power of social media and how it relates to narratives surrounding governments and a decline in trust in political institutions. “We have to reconquer that space and make it our own,” she said. “The legitimacy of government, the legitimacy of policy, the legitimacy of policy-makers has to be a part of that, so I think that how we use social media in government is a real opportunity and we’re starting to see governments really innovate in that space… It’s a real opportunity if we’re able to do that and to have that as a platform for trust.” Management excellence, as Touchette explained, “is often the unsung hero in a lot of the things that we do in government.” Focusing on cost effectiveness, actions, services being delivered, and “engaging with citizens for citizens” paves the way for a much greater chance for success. However, there are no success stories without a string of failures behind them. Touchette clarified we must “enable the success” and create “a culture that really values those risks that need to be taken.” Speaking on her responsibility in planning a biennial budget for the OECD in Canada, for example, she stressed the importance of “developing good performance indicators” and reaping “the success stories early enough to be able to infuse them as part of the planning for the next biennial. The same thing is true, of course, of the failures.” Touchette humbly acknowledged she is just one person in a much larger team. “You have to often chunk out the problem and slice it [into] smaller slices to be able to approach and get a small solution here, followed by another one, followed by another one.” Salzburg Global Seminar has had a strong impact on Touchette’s career, anchoring a core perception of the public sector. “Governance and leadership are inseparable…trust is at the heart of so many of the problems that we grapple with in government,” she said. Rather than see the world through rose colored glasses, Touchette said stepping away from the everyday challenges and taking some quiet time to gain perspective is the most rewarding aspect of this program. From coming here as a young professional newly embarking on her career path, to returning with nearly thirty years’ experience under her belt, Touchette said, “Salzburg [Global] Seminar has a unique ability to make you think, to help you see the world in a different way and to make you want more. I think you’re a better person when you’re in Salzburg.” Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? is part of the Public Sector Strategy Network, a multi-year initiative held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and in cooperation with Apolitical. More information on this session can be found here.
READ MORE...
Salzburg Cutler Fellow Serves as Rapporteur for Public Sector Strategy Network Meeting
Ashley Finger taking notes at the annual meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Network
Salzburg Cutler Fellow Serves as Rapporteur for Public Sector Strategy Network Meeting
Ashley Finger 
This article was first published by the University of Virginia's School of Law. To visit the original article, please click here. Ashley Finger, a 2018 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and a participant in this year’s Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program, recently served as rapporteur for the Salzburg Global Seminar. From May 13-15 in Salzburg, Austria, she documented the conference “Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves?” The public policy meeting drew high-level representatives from governments around the world. My primary role as rapporteur to the Salzburg Global Seminar, held earlier this month, was to take detailed notes on the proceedings, which will be synthesized into a final report and published by Salzburg Global Seminar sometime this summer. The report will analyze themes in government innovation based on the panels, workshops and talks. The experience ended up being much less pen-to-paper and much more engaging than I thought it would be. I got to participate in a policymaking simulation on the use of artificial intelligence in health care decisions, and I was able to meet and engage with public-sector leaders from around the world, often about substantive, global issues. Representatives came from all over, including Australia, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Portugal, the U.K., France and Finland, to name a few. Participants included secretaries of state, ministers, agency directors and senior advisers. Everyone was simultaneously incredibly accomplished and down-to-earth with boundless positive energy and enthusiasm for improving their countries and the world. What stood out to me the most about this experience is how it blended together the many facets of my career. As a former physicist (although, the physics community would say there is no such thing as a former physicist, only a physicist who has changed careers), I was able to engage with the technological aspects of the discussions, which allowed for greater understanding of the policy implications. And as a former intern with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, I had both working knowledge of the policymaking process and a background in some of the subject areas, such as autonomous vehicles — a field that has developed tremendously since my time on Capitol Hill. In addition, some of the more unconventional classes I've taken in law school enriched my experience. Professor Mila Versteeg's Comparative Constitutional Law course proved invaluable in grasping the varied government structures at play in the discussions. Professor John Norton Moore's seminar, War and Peace: New Thinking About the Causes of War and War Avoidance, gave me a more nuanced perspective on intergovernmental relations. The conference was organized by Salzburg Global Seminar, an organization based in Salzburg with an office in Washington, D.C., that regularly organizes topical conferences and seminars to share knowledge across governmental entities. Participants discuss both successes and failures in order to learn from one another. The event was co-hosted by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court (a center for government innovation and citizen interface in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) and Apolitical, a journalism organization focused on sharing stories in government innovation. Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? is part of the Public Sector Strategy Network, a multi-year initiative held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and in cooperation with Apolitical. More information on this session can be found here.
READ MORE...
YCI Project Helps Develop Historical Understanding of Memphis’ Past and Present
YCI Project Helps Develop Historical Understanding of Memphis’ Past and Present
Oscar Tollast 
A creative-writing project initially designed to bridge divides and help Memphis’ underserved communities thrive will leave behind a lasting physical imprint. Project Gratus, the brainchild of Steven Fox, highlighted the theme of gratitude to create workshops that kick-started intergenerational conversations between the youth and elderly generation. In addition to project-based workshops, dialogue and reflection sessions also took place, which then evolved into financial literacy workshops for youth and an MLK50 project Fox was selected for. Fox said, “The mission of these workshops was to develop [a] historical understanding of past and current events, invoke empathy and leverage self-confidence, self-worth, creative and critical thinking skills necessary to help citizens thrive artistically, socially, educationally and economically. “The need for this innovative approach was and still is high due to the persistent issue of childhood poverty, high crime rates and failing students/schools in the Memphis community.” Fox is a writer and spoken-word artist who attended the third session of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. After participating in the session, Fox received a follow-on grant to push ahead with Project Gratus. In June 2017, Project Gratus hosted financial literacy workshops at Ed Rice Community Center in the Frayser Area of Memphis, Tennessee. Educator and volunteer Dione Smith used a financial literacy curriculum called JA Our City. In five sessions, twelve students from a third-grade social studies class were introduced to subjects such as the importance of economic exchange and how money is managed by people and businesses in cities. As a result of the program, students were able to examine the importance of money to a city, why people pay taxes and develop an understanding of how entrepreneurs promote a healthy economy within a city. Between August and September 2017, Project Gratus worked alongside Cliff Garten Studio, the City of Memphis, and the Urban Art Commission. Together they looked at community workshops focused on the I Am A Man Plaza, based next to Clayborn Temple, a gathering place for Martin Luther King Jr. and sanitation workers before they marched during the Sanitation Workers Strike in 1968.   As part of the interactive plaza, which opened last month a day after the 50th anniversary of King’s death, a stone sculpture was built. Fox wrote the text that is etched in it. He was recommended for the role by Lauren Kennedy, a fellow member of the Memphis YCI Hub. The plaza gives visitors the opportunity to interact with art and inspire future generations to stand up for positive change. Discussing the content of the workshops, Fox said, “Each workshop included project details and proposed design elements for the I Am A Man Plaza, as well as a review of quotes and text identified from prominent civil rights leaders that will be incorporated in the plaza design. As collaborator… I led a conversation with participants to derive contemporary text for the plaza design.” Project Gratus hosted workshops at the New Chicago Community Development Corporation, Orange Mound Community Center, Clayborn Temple, and Whitehaven Community Center. Fox asked visitors how to honor the sanitation workers and if there was something they could say to them now, what would that be? Citizens were encouraged to be present with one another, learn from one another, and recognize the impact of the Sanitation Workers Strike. Commenting on this methodology, Fox said, “When we do this, we will fulfill the purpose of the I Am A Man Plaza with intention, and it will truly be a place of reflection, inspiration and hard work. Through these workshops, our hope is that the community will recognize opportunities and actions through our commemorating the strike in the history of Memphis.” For more information about the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators, please click here.
READ MORE...
Displaying results 1 to 7 out of 514
<< First < Previous 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28 29-35 36-42 43-49 Next > Last >>