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 2018:

Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators V
October 16 to 21, 2018

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


Nurturing the New Creator - Report now online
Nurturing the New Creator - Report now online
Salzburg Global Seminar staff 
The report from the June 2015 workshop Nurturing the New Creator - hosted by Salzburg Global Seminar and the Athens-based collective cultureFWD - is now available online to read, download and share. cultureFWD is an independent cultural network founded by the five Young Cultural Innovators from Athens who participated in the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in October 2014. Forty-eight participants from a broad spectrum of cultural organizations and creative enterprises in Greece, the United States and the United Kingdom gathered at the BIOS center for art and cross media in Athens for the intensive gathering. The interactive, education Athens workshop represents part of the greater plan of cultureFWD to help reinforce the role of culture and the arts in society and the economy in Athens. Applying the successful Salzburg Global model in the regional context, cultureFWD aims to break new ground for the culture and creative industries of Greece, by forming  a regional hub that highlights the value of the arts, promotes the work of local creatives and connects them to a global community of cultural innovators.   Salzburg Global Program Director for Culture and the Arts, Susanna Seidl-Fox said: “Given the dramatic course of events in Greece since the June 23  workshop, we hope that the Salzburg Global Young Cultural Innovators Forum can help by providing capacity building and networking opportunities to even more young cultural innovators in Athens, whose creativity will be critical for driving innovation and sustainable development in their communities in the future.”
Download the report as a PDF
For more information on the Salzburg Global Young Cultural Innovators Forum, please visit: yci.SalzburgGlobal.org  For more information on the workshop, please visit: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/fellow52  The event was made possible thanks to the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Fulbright Greece and BIOS.
Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Louise Hallman 
Young innovators in the culture and arts sector are providing some of the most imaginative new impulses for social improvement and sustainable economic 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. Inspired by this imaginative and vibrant field of progress, Salzburg Global Seminar has launched a ten-year program for Young Cultural Innovators (YCIs) from around the world, with a view to strengthening the cultural sector worldwide and to expanding the possibilities for innovation and social change through the power and creativity of the arts. Salzburg Global Seminar’s Session 538 in October 2014 brought together 45 young cultural innovators aged between 25-35 years from across the world.  As well as providing ideas, entrepreneurial skills, and networks required to support their organizations, causes and communities, this session is part of a major commitment by Salzburg Global to seed self-sustaining communities of YCIs in “culture hubs” around the world. Supported by local Fellows within the Salzburg Global Network, activities in these hubs will aim not only to foster a more vibrant and dynamic cultural sector, but also to enable cultural innovation to drive positive social and economic development agendas in the communities and institutions involved in the program. Download the report here You can read the report from the session below:
Bolstering the “Orange Economy”
Bolstering the “Orange Economy”
Jonathan Elbaz and Louise Hallman 
For many Salzburg Global Fellows, their Salzburg connections last long after they leave Schloss Leopoldskron—as recently shown by Salzburg Global Fellows who convened in Greece. Co-organized by one Fellow and inspired by a publication by another, the day-long conference “The Creative Economy: An Infinite Opportunity for Growth” held at the Acropolis Museum in Athens on October 18 brought together artists, policymakers, journalists and entrepreneurs – including seven Salzburg Global Fellows. The conference, partly organized by Salzburg Global Fellow, art historian Elena Mavromichali with Elpis Philanthropy Advisors, sought to spark international dialogue centered around a common focus: Greece, still greatly suffering following the 2008 global financial crisis, needs alternative solutions – such as in the “orange economy” – to repair its economic woes.  The term “orange economy” was coined by Salzburg Global Fellow Felipe Buitrago in his influential book from 2013 The Orange Economy and Infinite Opportunity to describe the sector of an economy driven by creative talent and creative industries.  Buitrago’s book focuses on the creative economy in Latin America, but the core concepts can be extended to other regions in the world, such as Greece. Mavromichali believes that bolstering creativity is a huge step in the right direction towards easing Greece’s economic plight, and points to the success of the Greek translation of Buitrago’s book as proof that people are supportive of his ideas.  “Creative people in Greece see how this publication really addresses them,” Mavromichali said in an interview with Salzburg Global Seminar. “Young people and entrepreneurs need this information and this process of thinking in order to support their creativity and build for future projects…We have great support from professionals and artists who need the change, who need to discover the power of creative economy.” In addition to the orange economy, the conference also examined legal technology, creative entrepreneurship, and in a lecture delivered by another Salzburg Global Fellow, Lyne Sneige, Director Cultural Affairs and Programs at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC, the role of arts in conflict situations.  Many of the ideas presented at the conference had germinated over discussions during Salzburg sessions. Buitrago and Mavromichali most recently attended the planning meeting for the Young Cultural Innovators program in 2013. They credit the organization as helping spark global collaboration around growing creative economies.  “The networking you can create is amazing,” Mavromichali said. “But also I think it’s the environment. What makes it really unique is that you’re leaving your everyday routine, and coming into this wonderful place like a friend meeting another friend. Simple interactions create the most brilliant things.”  The Salzburg Global Fellows who contributed to the conference include Kathleen Soriano, Fiona Kearney, Norman Palmer who all attended the session Achieving the Freer Circulation of Cultural Artifacts in 2008; Felipe Buitrago, Elena Mavromichali and Lyne Sneige who attended Promoting the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs 2013; and Lord Chris Smith, who attended the session Cultural Institutions in Transition: Making the Case for Culture in 2003.
You can read more about the conference, the publication and the speakers here: www.creativeconomyingreece.com  
Re-envisioning Salzburg Global Seminar
Re-envisioning Salzburg Global Seminar
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Salzburg Global Seminar proudly presents its new periodical, The Salzburg Global Chronicle. Replacing the traditional annual President’s Report, the new publication “chronicles” Salzburg Global’s programs at Schloss Leopoldskron and around the world, including profiles on both “up-and-coming” leaders and high profile Salzburg Global Fellows, and features on the impact Salzburg Global Seminar, its programs, staff and Fellows have in the world beyond the Schloss.

Highlights include:

15 Faces for the Future  

Salzburg Global Seminar’s mission is to challenge current and future leaders to tackle problems of global concern. To this end, Salzburg Global brings young, emerging leaders to Schloss Leopoldskron, not only for our Academies programs, but for every Salzburg Global session. Nearly 500 of our 1844 Fellows who attended sessions between 2011 and 2013 were under the age of 40, in addition to the more than 800 Academies participants. Below are just 15 of our remarkable young Fellows.

The Power of Partnership 

Salzburg Global Seminar’s programs would not happen without our partners. Partners provide not only the intellectual capital and input to drive the session forward but often the much needed financial capital necessary to bring Fellows and faculty to Salzburg. But what do partners get out of working with Salzburg Global?

A Distinct History, a Universal Message  

For three days, at a palace once home to the local Nazi party leader, experts from across the globe considered the value of Holocaust education in a global context at a symposium hosted by Salzburg Global and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. They proved the Holocaust is more than just a European or Jewish experience.

Strength in Diversity 

LGBT rights are moving up the international agenda, and while progress is being made, at the same time some countries are passing increasingly regressive laws. In June 2013, Salzburg Global convened its first ever Salzburg Global LGBT Forum addressing LGBT and Human Rights: New Challenges, Next Steps, starting a truly global conversation.

An Unlikely Constellation of Partners  

Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Appalachian College Association, member institutions of which serve predominantly white students, do not seem like the most obvious of partners. But this did not stop them from coming together to transform their schools into sites of global citizenship through the Salzburg Global Seminar-led, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded Mellon Fellow Community Initiative.

Media Change Makers

Since helping to launch the program in 2007, Salzburg Global President Stephen L. Salyer has taken a hands-on role in the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: helping to devise the program, delivering lectures and mentoring students. This year, he met with student representatives from each region represented at the eighth annual program to find out how the Academy is helping shape them. The Chronicle is available online at chronicle2013.salzburgglobal.org and to download as a PDF and in our ISSUU Library    Download the Salzburg Global Chronicle as a PDF Print copies are available at Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron and all upcoming Salzburg Global Seminar events and programs.
Anwar Akhtar: "The films in Pakistan Calling are manifestos for peace"
Anwar Akhtar: "The films in Pakistan Calling are manifestos for peace"
Jonathan Elbaz 
Pakistan is threatened by deep, systemic challenges, but not only by the ones you see on TV. Major networks repeatedly cover the Taliban and sectarian violence, yet fundamental issues like economic marginalization, the treatment of women, child labor and poor education are swept from the public’s view.
That’s why Salzburg Global Fellow Anwar Akhtar has committed himself to spotlighting Pakistan’s toughest challenges and bolstering organizations working to transform the country. He runs Pakistan Calling, an online project—in partnership with the UK’s Royal Society of Arts (RSA)—that shares films about pressing social issues and facilitates cooperation between people and organizations in Pakistan and the UK.
“A lot of the organizations we profile are often in crisis management,” Akhtar said. “If you’re running a disability charity in Karachi, or you’re running an orphanage or you’re a small cultural organization, you probably haven’t got a communications budget, an outreach budget or an international development officer.”
Pakistan Calling compiles films with a social message. Some films tell the stories of individuals like ambulance drivers (Driving Life) and impoverished street children (I am Agha), while others explore larger ideas of multiculturalism, identity politics and sustainable development. Most films are produced externally by NGOs or university students, and Pakistan Calling gathers their work in one location.
Akhtar said the project aims to engage and empower the huge Pakistani Diaspora in the UK and elsewhere. An estimated 7 million people with Pakistani heritage live outside the country, with 1.2 million in the UK alone. Akhtar hopes that after people watch some of the short films, they’ll be driven to volunteer, advocate on and offline, or donate to the organizations profiled.
“The Diasporas can be a force for conflict resolution,” Akhtar said. “There’s obviously the family and the religious and ancestry links. There’s obviously remittances, and lots of people sending small amount of money to help schools or an orphanage or a clean water project…We’re raising awareness of innovative social projects that people might consider sending money to or supporting.”
Akhtar attended a Salzburg Global session in April entitled “Conflict Transformation Through Culture,” returned for the eighth Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change, and returned again for the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. He credits the organization for widening his perspective as a cultural change-maker and for connecting him to key journalists and advocates around the world.
“I’ve now got access to a network of U.S.-based journalists and documentary filmmakers that work around human rights, social development and cultural progress in Asia,” Akhtar said. “As a British-based organization working on a budget of about £40,000, we would not have had the budget to go to Washington and find those people. And yet we found them, on a 90-minute flight from London to Salzburg.”
Akhtar’s background is not in journalism. He grew up in Manchester, England, selling t-shirts and jumpers from his father’s stalls, directing an arts and culture center, and working as a club promoter, before he founded The Samosa website. Consequently, his extended discussions in Salzburg with Media Academy Faculty Susan Moeller and Sanjeev Chatterjee—who have extensive experience utilizing media for social change—were immensely influential on his work.
So far Pakistan Calling has been instrumental in building links between people, communities and institutions. The success of I Am Agha has led some UK organizations to commission more films about the life of street children. The project helped spark an ongoing partnership between film students in Karachi University and London Metropolitan University (which Akhtar considers a “mini Media Academy”). And the Ajoka Theater, an organization first profiled in a Pakistan Calling film, will debut a production at the National Theater in London in April.
“What the films have shown is that there’s absolutely a large element of Pakistani society desperate to improve society and just want to improve their living environment, educate their kids, have a career and a secure society and country,” Akhtar said. “By focusing on that, rather than the Taliban or religious violence, you might actually address the latter issues. The films in Pakistan Calling are all by their nature manifestos for peace.”
The success of the RSA Pakistan Calling project is driven by audience engagement and peer involvement. You can view and share the films via the link: www.thersa.org/pkcalling You can read more about Pakistan Calling on the BBC, the New Statesman, the Huffington Post, the World Bank and the Guardian
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