YCI » Overview

 

Young innovators in the culture and arts sector are providing some of the most imaginative new impulses for social improvement and sustainable development around the world today. They change the way we see and interact with each other. Young artists, creative entrepreneurs and  cultural leaders demonstrate  the  creative  vision,  talent, and  energy  that  our  societies  so  desperately  need  to  meet  the challenges of the 21st century.

The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI) is a ten-year project launched by Salzburg Global Seminar in 2014 to engage fifty of the world's most dynamic young creative changemakers every year.

The young cultural innovators join the annual Forum in Salzburg from “YCI hubs” in six regions of the world to help them develop the dynamic vision, entrepreneurial skills, and global networks needed to advance their organizations, their causes and their communities. The YCI Forum represents a major commitment by Salzburg Global Seminar to fostering creative innovation and entrepreneurship worldwide with the intention of building a more vibrant and resilient arts sector and of advancing sustainable economic development, positive social change agendas, and urban transformation worldwide. 

Upcoming Session in 2017:

Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV
October 14 to 19, 2017

Peter Jenkinson and Shelagh Wright
in conversation about the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators


 

 


Jean-Baptiste Cuzin: "We need new schemes of innovation"
Jean-Baptiste Cuzin: "We need new schemes of innovation"
Oscar Tollast 
A unit head within the French Ministry for culture and media has praised Salzburg Global’s sessions on cultural entrepreneurship. Jean-Baptiste Cuzin, head of the international and multilateral unit within the French Ministry for culture and media, recently attended Salzburg Global for a strategy session on ‘Promoting the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs: Planning for Success’. Joining a number of leading thinkers at the Seminar, Mr Cuzin discussed the potential of young cultural leaders and the environment needed for cultural entrepreneurship to flourish. “I’m very satisfied to see after [nearly] 10 years the Salzburg Global Seminar is beginning to have a long-lasting approach on the issue of cultural entrepreneurship. “We drew conclusions that to be emerging leaders of innovative culture entrepreneurial skills for innovating and for helping the projects to come out doesn’t mean necessarily being entrepreneurial in the sense of being your own chief executive officer. “You may also be entrepreneurial, engaged, and directly working for a non-profit or commercial company in the field of culture.” Mr Cuzin previously attended Salzburg Global in 2004 for a session entitled ‘Cultural Institutions in Transition’. He joined participants at the 2004 session, which included artists, cultural entrepreneurs, and policymakers to discuss the need for cultural policies in Central and Eastern Europe to be reformed. In his position, Mr Cuzin is involved in programs allowing high level professionals in the field of culture and cultural policies to be invited to France for seminars and training courses based on peer-to-peer exchanges. He joined the French Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, in 1998 as junior officer, before moving to the Ministry for culture and media as officer in charge of European affairs. This led to his appointment as deputy head of the cooperation section of the French embassy in Bucharest, Romania, being responsible for bilateral cooperation programs in the field of public policies and managing the French cooperation network. Mr Cuzin revealed some of the discussions between participants at this year’s strategy session centered on sources of funding for the culture sector, highlighting the changing proportions of public and private financing. “In France we changed our legislation more than 10 years ago in order to give very huge incentives for companies and private philanthropies who want to invest in culture. “We already began 10 years ago to anticipate the need for having a more diverse scheme of financing for arts and creation.” Mr Cuzin suggested an approach of working from the bottom up was needed at a national and local level to ensure innovation and creativity could foster. He tied the future of innovation in the field of arts and creative industries with global issues such as justice, sustainability and economic innovation. “What’s obvious is the fact that for taking advantage of all the new opportunities for arts and creative industry in the digital age, we need new schemes of innovation. “These schemes of innovation are linked with abilities for cultural entrepreneurs who not only have technical skills, who not only have relationship skills, but also have a global overview about connections that exist between culture and global issues.” Mr Cuzin, however, reaffirmed the need for cultural entrepreneurs to have the right conditions to succeed, pointing to property law, fiscal law, and public policy. “The responsibility of the public policymakers is to understand what the cultural entrepreneurs – either independent or non-independent – need for their projects to grow.” He maintained that Salzburg Global provided two key elements of added value that promoted discussions of cultural entrepreneurship and strengthened the vision of a 10-year program evolving from the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum. Mr Cuzin suggested the idea of a 10-year program provided an opportunity for potential participants to look outside the box and learn from others on a global scale. “We already have some key elements for ensuring a new dynamic and for ensuring the possibility for incoming players – not only to network – but also to work together in an innovative way in following new schemes of reflection.”
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Lidia Varbanova: "It's about the exchange of ideas"
Lidia Varbanova: "It's about the exchange of ideas"
Oscar Tollast 
“It’s a great topic,” said Lidia Varbanova, overlooking the gardens of Schloss Leopoldskron. “I find it very important for the cultural sector worldwide, which is about promoting the future generation of cultural entrepreneurs.” Dr Varbanova, a lecturer, consultant, researcher, and writer in the areas of cultural policy, strategic management, and entrepreneurship, was at Salzburg Global for a strategy session convened on ‘Promoting the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs: Planning for Success’. She was happy to return to the Seminar, helping to devise a new program to evolve from the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum. Dr Varbanova had previously attended sessions on 'Cultural Institutions in Transition' in 2002, 2003 and 2004. She is currently an associated researcher at the David O’Brien Center for Sustainable Enterprise at Concordia University, and lecturer at Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. “I’ve been here several times and I find this is a very unusual, unique place where people get together to discuss issues of global concern. It’s a space where we can open our minds and can come up with great collaborative ideas.” Participants were tasked to find ways to promote the next generation of cultural entrepreneurs, looking at who the partners could be and what models could be adopted. Dr Varbanova pointed to the overall scarcity of funding worldwide for the cultural sector as a concern. “Money coming from government, sponsors, foundations, [and] international donors is getting less and less. Therefore artists and cultural managers require strategic entrepreneurial thinking and actions.” She suggested that professionals in the cultural sector needed to have a business acumen to survive – one of the competences to become a cultural entrepreneur. But how did Dr Varbanova define what a cultural entrepreneur was? “A person who has a passion, never gives up, loves the arts, doesn’t have initial resources but has a great idea that he or she knows step-by-step how to turn into a business opportunity, considering also the added value for the society.” It was a question that caused much debate among the participants during the session’s brainstorming exercises. Dr Varbanova, however, praised the diversity of the group, suggesting it allowed for a greater learning experience. “The plus that I see is the active engagement of the participants. Everybody is very much a leader in his or her own field. “I was impressed that my colleagues have a lot of experience in their own country and region, which I think is a great treasury for all of us to share.” Dr Varbanova also complimented Salzburg Global’s open atmosphere and the process that allows for creative thinking. “It’s about the exchange of ideas and experiences, which hopefully are going to bring us to the next level of provoking entrepreneurial thinking and actions in the cultural sector.” Leading thinkers, including those returning from the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum, were invited to reflect on last year's Forum’s strengths and weaknesses. Dr Varbanova was keen for the new program and network to adapt to rapidly changing global trends. “Hopefully this is going to give us a very good background for looking at how we can encourage and promote cultural entrepreneurship in the next 10 years in a way to become better and better. “What should be the next step so that we can keep this network of young leaders alive internationally – I would even say – globally? It's a question of how we're going to make sure that this network will be sustainable in a strategic framework in the next years to come." Dr Varbanova spoke to the group about Central and Eastern Europe on the first evening of the session, as part of a fireside chat on global views on cultural entrepreneurship. She outlined the vast political, social and economic diversity between the 29 countries in this region and the challenges cultural entrepreneurship face within them. “These countries have a lot of differences in how cultural policies are formulated and implemented, as well as what the cultural sector looks like. Hence, there are some common issues and concerns on both policy and organizational level.  “Many countries still don’t have a very well-developed legislation in supporting cultural entrepreneurship and start-up companies in the creative industries sector. At an organizational level, many cultural organizations in the region are still managed in an old ineffective style, with heavily administrated structures and little flexibility. "There is a strong need to start implementing elements of intrapreneurship as this is a proven effective way to motivate organizational innovations in the arts." But for artists and cultural managers to succeed, Dr Varbanova believed action needed to be taken at an individual level, too. “There are loads of ideas and incredibly talented people in many of these countries. “The region is very well known for its old traditions in the field of training and education in different art forms, but the business thinking is still not there. “Many artists and art managers are still scared when they see Excel sheets, balance sheets, figures, finances [and] financial figures.” Despite these challenges, Dr Varbanova appeared keen to face them head on and help build a bridge between creativity and business through cultural projects, considering also the importance of social innovation in the arts. “I’m definitely committed to promoting the next generation of cultural entrepreneurs worldwide, helping them to think beyond the box, to be much more innovative and to do things differently than others.”
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Lilli Geissendorfer: "It's always eye-opening"
Lilli Geissendorfer: "It's always eye-opening"
Oscar Tollast 
A Salzburg Fellow of the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum says she hopes to have a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the Seminar. Lilli Geissendorfer, general manager at the Almeida Theatre in London, returned to the Seminar to take part in the recent strategy session entitled, 'Promoting the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs: Planning for Success'. She was one of 11 Fellows of the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum to be invited back to help design a new program to evolve from the Forum. Speaking to Salzburg Global, Ms Geissendorfer said: "I hope that I'll be able to continue to contribute in the real world and online to the ideas that are generated here and in some way continue to spread the message of Salzburg." Alongside 27 other leading thinkers, Ms Geissendorfer contributed to brainstorming sessions to assess the components of a new program and to build upon the work of the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum. Discussing the productivity of the sessions, she said: "They've been really interesting as ever - just so many brilliant brains. "I have to kind of remind myself that we are actually doing work for Salzburg Global this time, and they've asked us to come back and help them. But it doesn't feel like work. It's always eye-opening." Whilst Ms Geissendorfer admitted she found the term, "cultural entrepreneur", problematic to adopt, she recognized similar skills she used in her day-to-day work. Ms Geissendorfer has experience of running cultural events and activities. She produced the first HighTide Festival in 2007 and ran the film and theater production company Strawberry Vale Productions. Whilst acting as a relationship manager for theater at the Arts Council England, she managed a £2.3 million portfolio and developed environmental sustainability policies. More recently, she co-founded Londoners on Bikes, a pop-up cycle safety campaign for the London 2012 Mayoral election. Ms Geissendorfer said: "In the theater world, I'm a producer and that has similar tones of someone who starts something up, kicks it off, goes from having no resources to creating something from scratch. "We were debating how appropriate it is as a term, how much understanding there might be both within the sector and from the outside of what a cultural entrepreneur is and whether that's useful, helpful, or whether another term might be better." The 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum brought together 47 young cultural leaders from 37 countries around the world for an intensive leadership development program. Ms Geissendorfer described receiving her invitation last year as "magical", having arrived completely out of the blue. She received training in communications, change management and innovation. These were skills she was able to apply to her work. "I had just started this job when I came last year. I'd been in it for two weeks. I'd just gotten to know my new team. I was managing five people and it enabled me to go back with some clear strategies for how I wanted my first 100 days to go. It was really, really useful. "I've stayed in touch probably mostly with those who work in the performance arts across the world, only because we keep looking for opportunities to take work across continents and produce projects together." The success of last year's Forum held significant sway over her decision to return to Salzburg Global. Ms Geissendorfer said: "I just made the most amazing connections with people last year. "When I saw who had been invited back I was immediately inspired to make the trip and convince my boss that it was time well-spent and that I would bring back a lot of new skills to share and ideas to implement."  
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Francisco Gómez Durán: “It’s important to promote cultural industries”
Francisco Gómez Durán: “It’s important to promote cultural industries”
Oscar Tollast 
An associate expert at UNESCO has praised Salzburg Global for its strategy session on ‘Promoting the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs: Planning for Success’. Francisco Gómez Durán, who works in the promotion of cultural and creative industries in developing countries, attended the recent session alongside 27 other leading thinkers. Mr Gómez Durán has developed cultural initiatives and coordinated international cooperation projects with the United Nations Development Programme. He described cultural entrepreneurship as an “essential part and component” in the promotion of cultural and creative industries. “Always keep in mind that cultural and creative industries are drivers of economic development [and] social inclusion. We should be tapping into the available resources.” During the three-day session, participants discussed the qualities of a cultural entrepreneur and the programs needed to support the work of these people and how to empower them. They shared their experiences and thoughts for the benefit of designing a new program evolving from the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum. Whilst differing definitions were aired, participants agreed on a set of qualities cultural entrepreneurs shared regardless of the institution that they worked for. Mr Gómez Durán explained his role and his latest project working for UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity. “We support non-governmental organizations and governmental authorities to develop policies, strategies and action plans that develop cultural and creative industries. “We are, for example, developing a lot of mapping studies that are coming up with very interesting and relevant information that was somehow hidden or not available to relevant stakeholders. “We think that it’s important to promote cultural industries and give operators the means to further develop their activities.” Mr Gómez Durán has also worked with the Spanish International Development Cooperation Agency in India, Malaysia and Brazil. He revealed to Salzburg Global some of the challenges the cultural sector faced in developing countries. “I think there is a big need for tools and for mechanisms in order to allow development in developing countries. “There is a lack of information, a lack of data [and] a lack of resources in order to professionalize the sector.” Mr Gómez Durán said cultural organizations needed access to higher education and tailor-made programs to strengthen their capacities. “We need to convey the message why culture is important and why culture is a driver of development and social economic development. We need to work more on that.” Making his first appearance at Salzburg Global Seminar, Mr Gómez Durán was keen to take away ideas to relate to his work at UNESCO. “I think the best thing that I will bring back to Paris is the possibility of meeting all these amazing people, working at different levels, coming from different backgrounds and organizations.” He described the strategy session as “unique” due to the diversity of participants attending and suggested the richness of ideas and opinions will help develop Salzburg Global’s program within the next 10 years. “I think it’s very important what these different actors have to say, what is their vision, their needs and challenges, [and] expectations. “We are here together, exchanging different ideas, experiences, [and] points of view that I think are going to be very relevant in our future work.”
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Young Cultural Leaders return to critique new 10-year program plan
Young Cultural Leaders return to critique new 10-year program plan
Oscar Tollast 
Several participants from the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum have returned to offer their help for a new Salzburg Global program. They were joined by leading thinkers and practitioners for a strategy session entitled, ‘Promoting the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs: Planning for Success’. In the past three days, participants have engaged in creative idea development and have been sharing experiences and lessons for the benefit of the program design. Salzburg Global Seminar is committed to evolving the Young Cultural Leaders Forum into a global focal point for international exchange and innovation around, creative cultural entrepreneurship. Last year’s Young Cultural Leaders Forum brought together 47 young cultural leaders from 37 countries around the globe for an intensive leadership development program. Participants returning this year from the Forum included: Sebastian Chan, Lilli Geissendorfer, Patricia Garza, Jimena Lara Estrada, Niyati Mehta, Ayeh Naraghi, Leandro Olocco, Deniz Ova, Belisa Rodrigues, Beck Tench and Rüdiger Wassibauer. The Young Cultural Leaders Forum co-chair, Russell Willis Taylor, and faculty member Fielding Grasty were also in attendance. At the beginning of the session, Clare Shine, Vice President and Chief Program Officer at Salzburg Global Seminar, said creative thinking was organic to the work carried out by program staff. “We really believe and have had many years of programming around the transformative potential of the arts to improve livelihoods and quality of life, to revitalize the way we educate and to leverage completely undreamt of business opportunities into the future decades. “Entrepreneurs with this kind of skillset are an absolute force to be reckoned with and they will help politicians in their countries and mainstream businesses, just as much as they help civil society and community groups.” During this year’s strategy session, participants have consulted together and acted as a focus group on needs assessment, designing impact, fine-tuning program components, establishing effective networks, and measuring success. Global Views on Cultural Entrepreneurship On Sunday evening, participants were further introduced to the topic of cultural entrepreneurship with alternative global perspectives. Clare Shine moderated a fireside discussion on Global Views on Cultural Entrepreneurship, featuring contributions from Lyne Sneige Keyrouz, Belisa Rodrigues, Felipe Buitrago, and Lidia Varbanova. Ms Sneige Keyrouz, a freelancer and consultant on Cultural Affairs in the Middle East, discussed how a greater use of technology had led to more innovative ideas in the Middle East. She said that despite the social upheaval that had taken place in the region, the cultural sector had survived and was now thriving. Mr Buitrago, consultant of the Division of Cultural Affairs, Solidarity and Creativity at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), said decision-makers at banks had to start paying attention to creative industries and consider what’s next. He suggested the concept that they were beginning to move into a “knowledge economy”. Citing former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, he repeated his adage: “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.” He suggested a lack of opportunities were being given to those in the creative industries, and that infrastructure needed to have better access and communication. Ms Rodrigues, General Manager of the African Arts Institute based in Cape Town, provided a working context of the creative industry in Africa and relevant success stories. She also discussed her role managing the day-to-day operations of the Arterial Network, a network she described as spending 80 per cent of energy helping to build. The Arterial Network is a pan-African association of artists, cultural activists, creative entrepreneurs and cultural policy experts represented in 40 African countries. The body’s aims include empowering civil society arts and cultural organizations in African countries and regions, developing effective and sustainable networks, and improving the working and living conditions of artists. Ms Varbanova’s presentation focused on Central and Eastern Europe. With over 20 years of professional experience, and a portfolio focused on strategy, entrepreneurship and organizational development, she suggested the region needed to rebrand itself through cultural entrepreneurship. However, she went on to describe how the region – made up of 29 countries – was very broad and each country had its own issues to resolve with regards to the cultural sector. These included a lack of mechanisms to support this sector through public policy and a lack of funding. Speaking about cultural entrepreneurship in more detail, she encouraged artists to rid their fears of balance sheets and understand the business aspect of their careers. Action plan Participants spent much of Monday and Tuesday working within small groups. Discussions ranged from the strengths and weaknesses of the Young Cultural Leaders Forum to the greatest needs in the sector and what future participants should be exposed to. Questions were raised as to how public policy could better support the cultural sector, and what entailed being a cultural entrepreneur. The session came to an end on Tuesday afternoon after participants finalized a project plan, reviewed the main ideas generated during the planning meeting and mapped out the next steps for translating the project plan into action. Susanna Seidl-Fox, Salzburg Global Seminar’s Program Director for Culture and the Arts, described the session as a useful exercise with a lot of notes to take away from. "Having a cohort come from last year and having the prospect of a multi-year project going forward, I can really see a different and more powerful dynamic coming out of that which I just find really exciting. "I hope we can harness all of the good energy [and] the good ideas that have come along." Benjamin Glahn, European Development Director at Salzburg Global Seminar, said he was excited by the participants' contributions and ideas to follow up. "We look forward to going back, looking at the program design, incorporating the ideas and concepts - and some of the cautions too - that you all had for us. "It is a unique privilege to be able to convene a group like this together: the richness of experience and perspective of ideas that have come out are extraordinary."
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The Role of Arts Organizations in Society and their Place in Communities
The Role of Arts Organizations in Society and their Place in Communities
Salzburg Global Seminar Staff 
The final panel presentation of of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders focussed on the topic of 'The Role of Arts Organizations in Society and their Place in Communities'. Sharing their experiences with their younger Fellows were co-chair Mulenga Kapwepwe, chair of the National Arts Council in Zambia, Tisa Ho, executive director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Eduardo Vilaro, artisitc director at Ballet Hispanico in the USA. Speaking to seminar partner, National Arts Strategies' Dallas Shelby, Ho, Vilaro and Kapwepwe gave their opinions on the key questions with our Young Cultural Leaders, as ever, responding. What is the place of cultural institutions within their communities? Kar Kuan Ng, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival suggests that to be truly relevant an organization must be "in, of, for and about" its community. What is the role of arts organizations in society? Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico stresses the importance of art as a connector and being true to your mission. What is the role of an arts and culture leader in today's society? Mulenga Kapwepwe, Chairperson of the National Arts Council of Zambia and co-chair of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders, suggests that arts leaders are best equipped to shape the future. How can cultural organizations work with their communities rather than for their communities? Kapwepwe discusses how widening your definitions can broaden your understanding of community. The Role of Arts Organizations in Society: Discussion Points Fellows of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders talk about the day's discussion around the role of arts organizations in society and their place in the community.  
You can see more videos on the National Arts Strategies channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ArtsStrategies/, The YCI Webpage: http://yci.salzburgglobal.org and you can follow all the discussions in real time on our Twitter hashtag #SGSycl and Twitter list: https://twitter.com/salzburgglobal/sgs-498
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'Glocal' - What is Global and What is Local in Today's World?
'Glocal' - What is Global and What is Local in Today's World?
Salzburg Global Seminar Staff 
The second full of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders focussed on the topic of 'Glocal - what is global and what is local in today's world?'. Sharing their experiences with their younger Fellows were Serhan Ada, Head of the Cultural Management Program at Istanbul Bilgi University, Mikel Ellcessor, General Manager of public radio station WDET in Detroit, and Yudhishthir Raj Isar, Professor of Cultural Policy Studies at the American University of Paris and Eminent Research Visitor at the Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney. Speaking to seminar partner, National Arts Strategies' Dallas Shelby, Isar, Ellcessor and Ada gave their opinions on the key questions with our Young Cultural Leaders responding. How do arts and culture institutions deal with issues of cultural identity? Yudhishthir Raj Isar, professor of Cultural Policy Studies at The American University of Paris talks about the responsibility that arts and culture organizations have to provide cultural translation. How do cultural institutions balance being global and local? Mikel Ellcessor, General Manager of WDET in Detroit, warns that social media can give us a false sense of connection. He also gives a suggestion for how to make meaningful connections in one's community. How have the forces of globalization impacted the nature of cultural activity? Serhan Ada, Head of the Cultural Management Program at Istanbul Bilgi University, suggest that the "new normal" favors the creative. Fellows of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders talk about the day's discussion around the effects of globalization on culture.

You can see more videos on the National Arts Strategies channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ArtsStrategies/, the YCI webpage: http://yci.salzburgglobal.org/ and you can follow all the discussions in real time on our Twitter hashtag #SGSycl and Twitter list: https://twitter.com/salzburgglobal/sgs-498
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