Culture » Overview

exploring the transformative power of the arts – building bridges across cultures – supporting young cultural innovators

The Salzburg Global Seminar’s Culture and the Arts Program focuses on the transformative power of the arts, facilitates cultural exchange at multiple levels, and provides capacity-building opportunities through the annual Young Cultural Innovators Forum. Through multi-year projects and strategic convenings, the Culture and Arts Program seeks to secure a more prominent role for the arts on policy agendas and to support the continuously evolving needs of the creative sector – as a major driver of sustainable economic development and social improvement – through the multi-year Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.


Sessions in 2017:

The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal 
February 7 to 12, 2017 

Salzburg Global Young Cultural Innovators Forum: Regional Fellows Event
April 27 to 29, 2017

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

For past sessions, click here

Why is art important for resilience?
Why is art important for resilience?
Oscar Tollast 
Today's world is disrupted by manifold sources of shock, violence and conflict. The complexity and sheer speed of change are testing the limits of people, places and communities. Increasing social inequality, accelerating urbanization, unprecedented migration flows, rapidly evolving technologies and climate-related changes are generating physical, virtual, and cultural challenges that have no precedent in recent history. To add to the complexity, these trends are playing out against a backdrop of exceptionally low trust and widening polarization in societies worldwide. In times of crisis, there is a tendency to look for means of resilience from the technological, scientific, and economic sectors. The role of arts and culture, however, has become a new source of inquiry, as is being discussed this February by Salzburg Global Seminar at the session The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal.  As defined by Merriam-Webster, resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from stress. It's the notion of springing back into shape after being knocked down. In today's world of economic and political turmoil, being able to withstand the related shocks and stresses - for both individuals and societies-at-large - is more important than ever.  Resilience can show itself in many forms - and the arts can help build it. To explore this topic, Salzburg Global Seminar has convened an international group of sixty practitioners and thinkers to explore the dynamic relationship between the arts, culture, and resilience. Coming from an wide array of backgrounds - from artists, cultural leaders, designers, architects and creative entrepreneurs to policymakers, environmentalists, urban planners, educators, anthropologists, sociologists, media experts, philanthropists, and community leaders - the participants in Salzburg have a wealth of experience in using the arts to tackle issues such as refugees and migration, urban upheaval and social injustice, post-conflict trauma, climate change, and loss of cultural heritage and threats to indigenous communities. We share a few of their opening thoughts: Artists are caught in the middle of conflict There are several ways to respond to conflict and times of upheaval, including non-violent means, and "the arts have occupied a huge space in this area." The arts give people a voice and face to resolve problems without having to resort to violence, be that as a means of reuniting communities or expressing dissent against a political leader. Artists are often working in areas which remain contested: "It's the artists who have the ability to propel themselves beyond the situation and imagine how it can be different." Resilience can be stronger than resistance  When considering non-violent action in the face of conflict, we often talk about "resistance" - but perhaps we should also consider the power of "resilience."  As one Salzburg participant who had lived in conflict zones in the Middle East remarked: “Performance and art-making are sacred spaces... For me, the thing that has kept me sane is the resilience of art.” Artists can take control and “activate” spaces, displaying art among the very people who have inspired them. “I feel artists are cultural innovators. It takes a lot of courage and fortitude, and those are all the things that make up this idea of resilience.” But how can we ensure that resistance and resilience are pro-active instead of reactive? As one participant said, “If we’re always looking at resilience as bouncing back from something bad, we’re already starting from a negative point.” A new, shared vocabulary is needed A dictionary definition of "resilience" is all well and good, but what does societal and individual resilience mean to different people in different contexts? How can the arts continue to thrive - and foster resilience - in situations such as living under dictatorships? As well as "resistance" and "resilience," the term "renewal" has been adopted, especially in post-conflict settings, but still this means different things to different communities in different settings. As they launched their week-long discussions, the participants considered what steps could be taken to reconcile differing world views and create a shared vocabulary. The time is now Many participants in Salzburg agree now is the perfect time to have a discussion about the relationship between the arts and resilience. As one participant said: “The fact this [session] is taking place is an act of resilience.” Engaging with matters concerning courage, creativity, and renewal is important. Another participant added, “I don’t think this session could have been more timely. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to take time to reflect.” Resilience concerns the ability to recover in the face of adversity and the ability to secure a future, something which requires creativity and courage. Questions facing these art makers and advocates now include: Can we make resilience an asset for artists? Do artists want to use resilience as an asset? How can we make the relationship between art and resilience better understood? 
The Salzburg Global program The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage, and Renewal is part of the multi-year Culture, Arts and Society series. The session is being supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture.
Report now online - Young Cultural Innovators Forum III
Report now online - Young Cultural Innovators Forum III
Denise Macalino 
The report from the third annual Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators is now available online to read, download and share. The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum), is an annual series that supports emerging young artists and cultural actors who are using innovative practices to catalyze urban transformation in their communities.  Our biggest and most diverse cohort of sixty-four young cultural leaders from sixteen different cities, including six new hubs, gathered in the Schloss Leopoldskron in mid-October. Salzburg Global was fortunate enough to host future innovators this past Fall from Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Japan, the Mekong Delta Region, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Russia, and the United States.  This group of young leaders spent a week in each other’s company, exploring concepts on how to foster strong culture in order to transform communities. The YCI Fellows, passionate about the growth in their local hubs, connected with like-minded individuals to spread their innovative thinking with a global network. With a revitalized energy towards their work, the YCI Fellows returned to their communities with new perspectives and ideas on their role as leading innovators.  Download the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators II report (PDF) (low-res)  

The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators III is part of a ten-year multi-year series, which is generously supported by: Albanian-American Development Foundation; America For Bulgaria Foundation; American Express; Arts South Australia; Asia-Europe Foundation; Cambodian Living Arts; Edward T. Cone Foundation; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Korea Foundation; the McKnight Foundation; Red Bull Amaphiko; The Kresge Foundation; Japan Foundation; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; Adena and David Testa; and the Yeltsin Center.  More information on the session can be found here:  More information on the series can be found here:  You can follow all the discussions and interactions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by following the hashtag #SGSyci.
Baltimore Rise Up
Baltimore Rise Up
Tony Abraham 
One hundred men and women are gathered inside a lecture hall at Baltimore’s esteemed Johns Hopkins’ University early on a Saturday morning, and though they range in age, race, class and gender, they all have one thing in common. They’re all here to learn how to be social entrepreneurs. From wannabes to seasoned vets, the room is filled with social entrepreneurs like Steven Nutt, a cyber security professional who just received funding from the Warnock Foundation for his food donation app, Are You Going to Eat That, and Andrew Foster, who received funding from the same foundation last spring to develop Baltimore Pooch Camp, a program he launched to help both at-risk youth and shelter dogs. A woman named Gladys wants to start a program for disadvantaged youth. The woman next to her, Kimberly, hopes to do the same. 

Darius Graham, the director of Hopkins’ Social Innovation Lab, is hosting the bootcamp, a taste of the Lab’s social enterprise incubator, in hopes of drumming up interest and fostering talent while keeping a community of innovators connected.

“This is an opportunity for you to share with us, with each other and with the speakers what your experience has been so far as an entrepreneur or changemaker in this city,” he said.

Social entrepreneurs, community organizers and artists in Baltimore have been galvanized by the uprising that ignited three miles Southwest of this lecture hall in the spring of 2015, sparked by the murder of Freddie Gray by six police officers in the spring of 2015.

Poet and entrepreneur Brion Gill remembers her reaction to the live news coverage that day.

“Baltimore’s about to explode.”

In a way, the city did. But the brutal injustice that was Freddie Gray’s murder did not happen in a vacuum. Gill herself has seen how systemic injustice impacts low-income people of color – especially youth. The poet used to be a teacher at Eager Street Academy, a school for teens who have been charged as adults and are subsequently housed in the city’s detention center.


Now, Gill runs Free Verse, a poetry workshop for Baltimore youth that bolsters creative expression and initiates dialogue about race.

Zeke Cohen, an entrepreneur and candidate for Baltimore City Council, used to be a teacher, too, at a school in the neighborhood where Freddie Gray grew up. Students at the school, which he likened to a prison without heat or air conditioning, were unable to drink water from the lead pipes. They had to walk past “liquor stores and heroin dealers” to get to class – if they could even make it to class.

That’s why Cohen and a handful of his fellow educators collectively launched a nonprofit called The Intersection, to teach high school students civic leadership and community organizing. The nine students in the pilot program went on to register 100 people to vote, build a community garden to address fresh food crises, lobby for inclusive immigration legislation, document neighborhood blight and host a mayoral forum.

“I have come to truly believe that if we’re going to change our city, state and country, it will have to come from young people,” said Cohen. “If you think about movements that have happened in our country, it’s often the youth, young people, who start the movement.”

Cohen, is now running for City Council as the candidate who will work across sectors, silos, districts – just about any boundary – to create real equity in Baltimore. That will mean working closely with the city’s social entrepreneurs. For example, Cohen vowed to hire an ambassador from Baltimore Corps, a fellowship for social changemakers in the city.

Brian Gerardo, founder of Baltimore Dance Crew Project, was one of the first Baltimore Corps fellows. Like Cohen and Gill, Gerardo was a teacher before becoming a social entrepreneur.

“There are so many entrepreneurs here in the city who have found needs, and I think a lot of us are from education backgrounds. People see education as being a very big need,” he said. “The work we’re doing is never easy, especially for people of color.”

Baltimore Dance Crew Project takes a multi-pronged approach to youth development by using hip hop dance to strengthen the relationships across generations. Students are not only engaging in dance, they’re forging relationships with older dancers who maintain careers outside of dance. Plus, the crew itself is a very necessary support network.

“The average mentorship relationship only lasts five months. That’s not a long time to build a lasting relationship,” said Gerardo. “When I was a teacher here in the city, I myself was having a hard time building relationships with my students beyond my classroom. Having that positive relationship changes the school environment.”

Gerardo said the uprising has magnified the social impact work being done in Baltimore. The urgency has always been there, he said, but there has been an uptick in donations and volunteer power.

Sammy Hoi, the impact-impassioned president of Maryland Institute College of Art, said he feels there’s been a heightened sense of urgency since the uprising – a sense that the city has to create equity “as soon as possible.”

But the galvanization of the social impact community is undeniable, said Hoi.

“Baltimore has a culture of fragmentation, meaning we can be a lot better at coming together for a common agenda. Post-Freddie Gray, there’s a great sense of awareness that we need to come together,” he said. “There’s no lack of good will but the actual synergy is very much a work in progress.”

Hoi is trying to expedite that progress by reframing MICA’s activities and programming, making them mission-based and inclusive while “translating Baltimore’s rich creative capital into a vibrant and equitable creative economy.” In other words, MICA’s students and program staff are partnering with grassroots organizations to bring arts education to underserved neighborhoods like Freddie Gray’s West Baltimore community.

There, a conscious collective of grassroots organizations, anchor institutions, social entrepreneurs, investors and artists called Innovation Village have banded together to invest in their own community, which has largely been subjected to generational marginalization.

“We’re hyper-focused on making sure there’s access to food, health, housing and education, and using technology as an enabler to be created in how those services are delivered,” said chairman Richard May. Earlier this summer, Innovation Village announced a free public wifi initiative in partnership with public-private collaborative OneBaltimore and an upcoming incubator for social entrepreneurs.

You cannot pelt a pebble in Charm City without hitting someone working on, around or within close proximity to a social project or social entrepreneur. And, odds are, they’ll be working with youth.

Back at Johns Hopkins, Graham is instructing the room of nascent social entrepreneurs to communicate with one another.

“Always know who else is doing the kind of work you’re doing. You’re going to want to talk to them and learn what is and isn’t working,” he said. “View them as competition or collaborators – either way, find people doing similar work and ask them questions.”

Gill, Gerardo, Hoi and fellow Baltimore changemakers Meryam Bouadjemi, Shawn Burnett and Cadeatra Harvey just had a chance to do exactly that this month. All six are Fellows of the 2016 Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. In Salzburg, the Fellows shared best practices with international leaders in the space and brought back lessons on how to improve the city’s cultural ecosystem.

If the uprising was the explosion Gill initially perceived it to be, the city’s social entrepreneurs, artists and community organizers are ready to raise a phoenix from the ashes.

Meet the entire YCI-Baltimore-Hub online and find general information on the Young Cultural Innovators Forum. The original of this article was produced by Red Bull Amaphiko and it can be found here:
Young Cultural Innovators travel to Salzburg for third YCI Forum
Young Cultural Innovators travel to Salzburg for third YCI Forum
Chris Hamill-Stewart 
Cultural innovation and creative entrepreneurship have become key to sustainable development, economic progress, and social development in the 21st Century. The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators III, taking place October 11 to 16 at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria, will bring together over 50 of the brightest minds from across varying industrial, geographic and cultural backgrounds with the goal of developing their skills, enhancing their connections on a global scale, and sharing their own expertise and experiences. The experience will help these innovators prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. 
The Forum brings groups of people from selected cities to develop “culture hubs” – these hubs form the core of the Young Cultural Innovators program; they give participants areas where they can focus their ideas, develop them collaboratively and explore and develop upon what they’ve learned during the Forum. They also provide a platform for public events and workshops. There are currently hubs in cities across the world, including Tokyo, Athens, Buenos Aries, Salzburg, Baltimore and Seoul.
As the third instalment of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in the ten-year series, the Forum will build on previous years’ experiences to provide an even more in-depth and fulfilling experience. This year there are six new cultural hubs: with Adelaide, Detroit, Memphis, New Orleans, Minnesota and Plovdiv being represented. There are also eight new partners including the Albanian-American Development Foundation, the America for Bulgaria Foundation, Arts South Australia, the Asia-Europe Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the Yeltsin Center. The host of new partners have helped to being in participants from new hub cities to an already hugely diverse program.
Across the packed five-day program, participants can expect a wide variety of experiences: collaborative sessions; multimedia training and practice; highly interactive talks; smaller and larger discussion and workshop groups. All this aims to develop skills and foster creativity and collaboration.
“We have gathered an amazing group of inspiring young leaders who are using their imaginations and creative energy to improve their communities and bring about transformative change in their cities,” said Program Director Susanna Seidl-Fox, “They are in for a week of intensive discussion, skill building, peer mentoring, exchange, inspiration, and fun.”
Experts and facilitators with their own eclectic backgrounds come from all over the world to share their expertise and experience, guaranteeing that the experience is enriching for all participants. 
The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators III is part of a ten-year multi-year series, which is generously supported by: Albanian-American Development Foundation; America For Bulgaria Foundation; American Express; Arts South Australia; Asia-Europe Foundation; Cambodian Living Arts; Edward T. Cone Foundation; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Korea Foundation; the McKnight Foundation; Red Bull Amaphiko; The Kresge Foundation; Japan Foundation; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; Adena and David Testa; and the Yeltsin Center. 
More information on the session can be found here: 
More information on the series can be found here: 
You can follow all the discussions and interactions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by following the hashtag #SGSyci.
Salzburg Global In India
Salzburg Global In India
Jan Heinecke 
Following last year's Fellowship event in Mumbai on India's Role in a Globalized World: New Priorities and Expanded Horizons, Salzburg Global Seminar this year partnered with the Pune International Literary Festival (PILF), which took place September 2 to 4, 2016. The collaboration is a result of Salzburg Global's ongoing engagement with an increasing number of Indian Fellows in recent years. Several international Salzburg Global Fellows joined the festival, facilitated workshops, and participated in panel discussions throughout the weekend to consider various aspects of the literary sphere. The festival’s program also explored the transformative powers of culture and the arts in general, which is a cornerstone theme of Salzburg Global’s programming, most recently expressed through Sessions on Conflict Transformation through Culture and Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts
The topic was explored further in a Salzburg Global Seminar panel discussion on “Challenging Global Leaders,” putting it into perspective with Salzburg Global’s broader program strategy and mission. Chaired by Salzburg Global Fellowship Manager Jan Heinecke, Fellows on the panel provided an engaged audience with vivid accounts of the impact their Salzburg experiences had on their lives and careers.
PILF was founded and is still directed by Salzburg Global Fellow Manjiri Prabhu. The award-winning Indian author credits her experience as a Fellow of the Session From Page to Screen in 2002 in inspiring her to launch the festival which she sees as a a space for amazing people to meet and share their thoughts to make a change. Prabhu herself held a soft launch of her upcoming novel The Trail of Four, which is set in Salzburg and Schloss Leopoldskron and is the result of her stay in Salzburg in 2014.
Prabhu’s brother Rajeev and sister Sonia also played roles in organizing PILF – and are also Salzburg Global Fellows in their own right, having attended five sessions between them on topics including education, sustainability, and digital media.
In addition to the Prabhus, other Salzburg Global Fellows taking part in the festival included: Neil Hollander, writer and filmmaker (USA), Fellow of a number of sessions including From Page to Screen: Adapting Literature to Film; Boyd Tonkin, Chair of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize judging panel (UK); Fellow of Traduttore Traditore? Recognizing and Promoting the Critical Role of Translation in a Global Culture; and Régine Hollander, academic and translator (France), Fellow of two sessions including Teaching English for Specific Purposes: Law and Business
The two-day festival saw more than 11,000 people participating in over 60 workshops, discussions and book presentations, giving them the chance to meet face-to-face with celebrated Indian and international authors and other inspiring changemakers, such as Narayana Murthy, philanthropist and founder of Indian software giant Infosys.  
As well as representing Salzburg Global Seminar and chairing a panel at PILF, Heinecke also seized the opportunity to cultivate and re-engage Fellows from Pune and the region, making new connections and exchanging views at a Fellow dinner held during the festival. Additional meetings with long-time supporters as well as recent Session Fellows in Mumbai made the trip even more successful, maintaining Salzburg Global’s continued presence in the region.
Beyond the Schloss Gates
Beyond the Schloss Gates
Patrick Wilson 
Salzburg Global Seminar challenges current and future leaders to solve problems of global concern. Our dedicated team at Salzburg Global share in this mission, not only by leading programs in Salzburg, but also by partnering with other globally-conscious organizations and facilitating events across the world. Singapore Founded by three young Harvard men as place for fresh intellectual exchange, Salzburg Global Seminar has long been engaged in issues surrounding the future of education. In this vein, President Stephen L. Salyer visited Singapore for the first International Liberal Education Symposium, hosted by Yale-NUS College at its new permanent campus in the city-state. The event brought together more than 30 global education leaders to discuss the future of international higher education and dialogue on obstacles and trends in education in an increasingly interconnected world. Hong Kong Salzburg Global’s long-running program Philanthropy and Social Investment entered a new phase in 2015 in anticipation of the adoption of new climate change goals, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the funding needed to support these new initiatives. Marking the start of this new phase, Vice President and Chief Program Officer Clare Shine together with US Development Director Andrew Ho travelled to Hong Kong for the session Philanthropy in the Global Age.  The session was co-convened with The Global Friends, a consortium of global philanthropists leading values-driven social innovation, and focused on the philanthropic innovation needed to support transition to a climate-balanced economy and foster US-China collaboration to this end. Gwangju and Seoul, Korea Building on our work with the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum), Program Director for Culture and the Arts Susanna Seidl-Fox travelled to Gwangju, Korea for the Asia-Europe Foundation’s conference Cities: Labs for Culture? Seidl-Fox, who has been leading programs on culture and the arts at Salzburg Global for almost 20 years, moderated a panel focusing on leadership in the cultural sector. She also met with creatives and cultural leaders in Seoul at the World Culture Open, a network which invites people to engage in intercultural exchange and collaboration. While in the capital, Seidl-Fox was also able to attend a gathering of local YCI Fellows from the Seoul hub. Florence, Italy Intercultural exchange and conflict transformation were also key themes for Susanna Seidl-Fox when she traveled to Florence, Italy, to discuss the pressing need for Western societies and global Muslim communities to build comprehension and communication. New York University’s John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress brought together 20 artists, conveners, practitioners, and funders to identify opportunities for positive action and collaboration. Seidl-Fox brought insights from the 2014 session Conflict Transformation Through Culture: Peace-Building and the Arts and discussed the need to promote capacity-building in the Middle East-North Africa region. Minsk, Belarus Program Director Charles E. Ehrlich furthered Salzburg Global’s conflict transformation work when he traveled to Belarus to speak at the International University on Conflict Transformation in Minsk – an apt location, as the city had recently hosted the OSCE-led Russian-Ukrainian peace talks. Ehrlich presented two topics drawn from his own professional experiences in Kosovo and Catalonia, examining the causes of disputes, reconciliation, and lessons learned for peaceful transformation. The program brought together young professionals from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, including Russian-occupied territories (Abkhazia and South Ossetia), to look beyond regional conflicts and frame constructive dialogue for exchanging new ideas.

Berlin, Germany

Drawing on her own professional background in biodiversity and climate and water issues, as well as Salzburg Global’s own extensive work in the fields of international trade, governance, transboundary cooperation, and conflict prevention, Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer Clare Shine moderated a discussion entitled (Mis)understanding of Climate – China, India, and the EU at the Public Diplomacy Forum in Berlin, Germany. The event was hosted by the Charhar Institute, Clingendael Institute, and ifa, and supported by Robert Bosch Stiftung.  Cape Town, South Africa Red Bull’s Amaphiko project is a founding partner of the YCI Forum. Through this partnership, Vice President and Chief Program Officer Clare Shine was invited to Cape Town, South Africa to speak at the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy, a launch-pad event for grassroots social innovators and entrepreneurs who are making a positive difference in their community. As well as strengthening the Red Bull Amaphiko partnership, Shine also acted as a talent scout, meeting STEM education innovator Varaidzo Mureriwa and inviting her to participate in Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies?
WANT TO HOST A SALZBURG GLOBAL FELLOWSHIP EVENT IN YOUR CITY? To find out when Salzburg Global Seminar staff might be in your city and to inquire about hosting a local Salzburg Global Fellowship event, contact Salzburg Global Fellowship Manager Jan Heinecke: 
Crossing Boundaries on the Ground and in the Mind
An eclectic group of Fellows were brought together for the session.
Crossing Boundaries on the Ground and in the Mind
Louise Hallman 
What do a neuroscientist, a musician, a former tax attorney, a beat-boxer, a poet, and a cartoonist all have in common? Answer: they, together with 45 other artists and scientists, were all Fellows at the 2015 session The Neuroscience of Art: What are the Sources of Creativity and Innovation? Salzburg Global Seminar always curates diverse groups of Fellows from different countries, stages of their careers, sectors, and disciplines for its sessions as a means of fostering cross-boundary dialogue and developing innovative solutions. But the February 2015 session might have been the most eclectic group of Fellows yet.  “This was a very forward-thinking and experimental session for Salzburg Global Seminar,” explains Program Director, Susanna Seidl-Fox. “The session was poised at the frontier of the research happening at the nexus of neuroscience and the arts. The program brought together visual artists, poets, musicians, a beat-boxer, a caricaturist, and filmmakers, as well as neuroscientists who are looking at these various artistic disciplines to learn more about the roots, sources, and processes of creativity.” As well as neuroscientists, other non-artists at the session included physicians, psychologists, sociologists, scientific agency representatives, educators, and entrepreneurs. For five days, this unusual cohort explored the rapidly-evolving field of the neurobiology of art and created a collaborative international platform to identify and address emerging issues. Given that most research in this area is taking place in separate national and regional settings, Salzburg Global felt that more global dialogue was needed between specialist silos in order to catalyze knowledge exchange around the results, implications, and potential practical applications of cutting-edge research.  Through expert-led panels, intense working group discussions, and improvised and impromptu performances, participants examined topics such as the scientific and artistic origins of creativity, innovation, and the “improvisational moment”; approaches to research on creativity and how better to bridge theory and practice; the implications for early childhood development and education; and methods for fostering greater public understanding and engagement.  The interdisciplinary group offered various solutions. More artists – not just musicians – should be brought into the lab to investigate the nature of their insights, and in turn, scientists should be brought into the studio to gain phenomenological experience of artistic practice. More research should be carried out to explore the efficacy of arts integration into mainstream education in improving cognition, learning, creative thinking, and problem-solving skills. Scientific literacy of decision-makers and the general public should be improved, with scientists developing new and more accessible ways to communicate with non-scientists. Fellows also committed to producing several months of content in a blog to examine the connections between neuroscience and art.  Since leaving Salzburg and in addition to writing several posts on their shared blog, Fellows have embarked on several projects that cross geographic boundaries on the ground as well as disciplinary boundaries in the mind.  Playwright, poet and cognitive scientist Pireeni Sundaralingam, based in San Francisco, CA, USA, and psychologist and neuroscientist Anna Abraham, based in Leeds, United Kingdom, have begun a joint research project examining the cognitive neuroscience of poetry and how it relates to what we know about imagination and cognition. American sculptor Rebecca Kamen and British avant-garde poet Steven Fowler collaborated on two art installations at Kamen’s exhibit Continuum. Fowler has also been working with American Fellows Noah Hutton, Benjamin Ehrlich, and Malinda McPherson, bringing them to London for “a World without Words” – an ongoing collaborative program of exhibitions, interactive events, and screenings exploring neuroscience and the nature of human language. Many more projects are underway and can be found on the session’s webpage. As musician Ben Folds stated following his participation in the session, “Sometimes curiosity and interest lead where you don’t expect...” As well as encouraging new collaborations, the session also had a profound impact on the participants individually, none less than Harry Ballan, who came to the session as a music theory-loving tax attorney and left so inspired that he decided to drastically change careers: he is now a full-time clinician, researcher, and teacher in music cognition and therapy. Folds and Ballan are exploring a joint music therapy project with the American Foundation for Arts and Science and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA. In closing his report on the session, writer and researcher Benjamin Ehrlich explained: “The human brain relies upon the interdependence of neurons. When neurons fire together, their patterns of activity are reinforced, increasing the likelihood of their firing again. In this way, groups of neurons ‘wire together’ to form circuits and systems, sharing information through established channels.”  He added: “The collective wish of the participants of this session is to fire together again, communicating and collaborating, with art and with science, challenging existing standards, through education and awareness, as a community of Salzburg Global Fellows, whose activity will someday move the body.” 
FIND OUT MORE The report from the session Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum) is available online to read, download, and share. SEE ONLINE:
Long-Term Support The 2015 session The Neuroscience of Art: What are the Sources of Creativity and Innovation? was made possible thanks to support from the Edward T. Cone Foundation. For more than twenty years, the foundation has generously supported an annual arts and humanities program at Salzburg Global Seminar. The themes of these programs have focused on a broad range of topics including Music for a New Millennium, The Power of Theater, The Contemporary Novel, The Future of Museums and Libraries, Shakespeare around the Globe, The Digital Democratization of Photography and many, many more.  The foundation’s support has enabled hundreds of artists, musicians, scholars, leaders of cultural organizations, and institutions large and small to meet, engage, debate, and exchange. These sessions have strengthened the cultural sector, shaped the global community of cultural professionals, supported cultural work at the local community level, and globalized the perspectives of culture and arts professionals worldwide. Terry O’Regan – Ireland
Preserving the National Heritage: Policies, Partnerships, and Actions (1995)
“Whilst many influences decide the paths we follow, I do believe that the confidence and wider human empathy that I acquired from participating in the Salzburg session contributed enormously to my engagement with communities across Europe.” Dino Milinovic – Croatia
Preserving the National Heritage: Policies, Partnerships, and Actions (1995)
“The session helped me to better implement international regulations and standards regarding national heritage and its preservation, in particular in view of the post-war reconstruction which was going on in Croatia in the late 1990s. It also helped us at the Ministry of Culture of Croatia to better formulate international cooperation and assistance projects.” Madelene Steczynski – USA
Cultural Institutions without Walls: New Models of Arts-Community Interaction (2007)
“Because of my experience, I am now connected with arts leaders across the globe. These connections mean I hear the news differently. Everything is elevated, because I know people who are affected. Our network has stayed connected via email, providing each other with updates, advice, and support.” Cecily Hardy – Australia
Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders (2012)
“The authentic opportunity for connection at the session in 2012 led to direct opportunities for collaboration and partnership internationally. We have engaged in project-associated activity, propelling our work forward in Hong Kong, Brazil, and the UK spurred at least initially by my interactions at the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders.” Manjiri Prabhu –  India
From Page to Screen (2002)
“As a direct result of the networking opportunity given by Salzburg Global, I published two novels with Random House, USA... In 2013, I initiated the Pune International Literary Festival (PILF). I think that Salzburg Global Seminar is a fantastic platform that brings together the most amazing of people and thoughts... And I hope that one day I can create the same magic at PILF.”
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How should cultural institutions approach the creation and articulation of value?
Albino Jopela, archaelogist and lecturer at Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique suggests that considering the values of all of the stakeholders in a community will help ensure relevance and sustainability.

Why is it important for arts leaders to engage in cross-cultural conversations?
Jimena Lara Estrada, program coordinator for the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, talks about connecting with other leaders and the hope that it instills.

How do you articulate value of arts in a society where it is largely seen as a commodity?
Eyad Houssami, founding director of Masrah Ensemble in Lebanon, talks about the challenges of making a case for the arts in a society where the concept of public value is very limited.

What role should orchestras play in their communities?
Mark Gillespie, general and artistic manager of Orchestra of the Americas and Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders Fellow, suggests that orchestras should connect with youth at a very early age so that musicians grow out of the community.