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

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.”
Young, Innovative, and Widespread
Young, Innovative, and Widespread
Patrick Wilson 
The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum) brings together talented individuals from the culture and arts sectors in several key cities. The Forum helps them develop the dynamic vision, entrepreneurial skills, and global networks needed to allow them, their organizations, their causes, and their communities to thrive in new ways. In their “hubs” across the world, our YCIs are putting these newfound tools to work. With the annual program in Salzburg as its cornerstone, the YCI Forum is structured around a network of hubs, currently including Athens, Baltimore, Buenos Aires, Phnom Penh, Rotterdam, Salzburg, Seoul, and Tokyo. Salzburg Global is actively working to expand its network of hubs in more cities and countries across the world. Baltimore, MD, USA  Citizen Artist Baltimore, a project led by 2015 YCI Rebecca Chan with support from Priya Bhayana (YCI 2014) and Deana Haggag (YCI 2015), is mobilizing the Baltimore arts and culture sector to make their interests a critical issue in the city’s 2016 mayoral election. Their activities led to the first-ever Mayoral Forum on Arts & Culture in Baltimore’s history. The project also aims to create connections between organizations and communities that have not customarily engaged with one another and mobilize diverse constituencies around a common goal. Buenos Aires, Argentina In Buenos Aires, Fellows greeted 2015 with a new project to help facilitate high-level artistic production within disadvantaged social contexts. The project, entitled Hangar, aims to create events that will allow artists in poor social and economic situations to participate in creative and cultural activities and showcase their work in venues where they are not traditionally visible. Athens, Greece  Our first Greek YCI Fellows created a new independent cultural network, cultureFWD, and in June they hosted an interactive, educational workshop for young artists, creators, and cultural entrepreneurs in Athens, Greece. Dedicated to giving back to their own cultural community, cultureFWD partnered with Salzburg Global to create the day-long event, which brought together 48 participants from around the world and focused on ways in which the Greek cultural and creative sectors may respond to the country’s ongoing social and economic challenges. Phnom Penh, Cambodia Supported by Cambodia Living Arts and the US Embassy in Cambodia, the Mekong Delta hub, based in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, worked with young students to explore the possibilities of arts and culture as agents of change. The event was held at Sa Sa Bassac, where Meta Moeng (YCI 2015) is the community projects manager. The event used materials such as the Salzburg Global Faces of Leadership video series to inspire students to engage in arts and culture and learn from the achievements and personal stories of Young Cultural Innovators from around the world. Tokyo, Japan With Mitch Yoshimoto, faculty member of the 2014 YCI session, leading the cultural program for the 2020 Olympics, the YCIs of the Tokyo hub are in the early stages of planning a YCI-led event to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 summer games. They hope to bring together YCIs from multiple years and hubs for the event.  Rotterdam, the Netherlands Rotterdam YCIs and Forum sponsor, the Stichting De Verre Bergen, have partnered to support “creative business plans” for public arts projects in the city. Five proposals were selected by the YCIs at an event by Stichting De Verre Bergen in January; the projects are currently in development stages. One project will win €15,000 to invest in its own continued activity and growth. Salzburg, Austria The Salzburg Hub has seen many collaboration projects among YCIs and other Salzburg Global Fellows. Martin Murer (YCI 2015) organized a symposium with Shinji Sudo, a faculty member of the second YCI session from Japan, at Salzburg University’s Center for Human-Computer Interaction in June 2015. After attending Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability in February 2016, Robert Praxmarer (YCI 2014) is collaborating with Romanian Fellow Anamaria Vrabie on an eco-game app for schools, which will explore how computer games can change our behavior and society.
FIND OUT MORE The report from the 2015 session Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum) is available online to read, download, and share. SEE ONLINE:
Report now online Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities
Report now online Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities
Jessica Franzetti 
The report from the inaugural session Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities is now available online to read, download and share. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge launched a genocidal regime in which 2 million Cambodians died – including 90% of the artists working in the country. In 2016, the Cambodian art scene, with Phnom Penh at its heart, has reemerged as the country’s population, 60% of whom are under 25, utilize the arts to rebuild, unify, and renew their unique cultural traditions. In collaboration with Cambodian Living Arts and with sponsorship from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, 45 delegates from 24 countries were invited to discuss the critical challenges facing a post-conflict nation and the role that arts and culture can play as a vehicle for positive change. Held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where post-conflict transformation is a lived reality, the three-day workshop served as a starting point for increased South-South dialogue. The diversity of the delegates’ fields, from cultural renewal and development to youth resilience and social innovation, allowed for a diversity of perspectives in addressing deep-rooted mistrust and challenges faced in the preservation of heritage and cultural identity. The program included plenary sessions, breakout groups, and site visits, which allowed for extensive dialogue concerning art and its unique ability to transform a culture and aid in rebuilding a society. Download the report as a PDF
Beirut Design Week meets Scrap Lab: Fellows talk sustainable design
Beirut Design Week meets Scrap Lab: Fellows talk sustainable design
Heather Jaber 
“No matter how hard you try, there will always be waste,” said Singh Intrachooto on May 22 at Beirut Design Week to an audience facing a large-scale waste crisis. Intrachooto, Salzburg Global Fellow and head of the Creative Center for Eco-Design at Kasetsart University Architecture in Thailand, came to Lebanon to discuss innovative approaches to dealing with material waste. Intrachooto traveled to Beirut to join forces with three-time Salzburg Global Fellow Doreen Toutikian, director of the MENA Design Research Center and founder of Beirut Design Week to talk about creative approaches to modern problems. Intrachooto and Toutikian, who met at Schloss Leopoldskron during the February 2016 session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability, were awarded a grant by the David Rockefeller Fund to support Intrachooto’s participation in Beirut Design Week and workshops to develop sustainable and recyclable materials for projects in Lebanon. Lebanon has been in the midst of a waste management crisis for nearly a year after the country’s main landfill was scheduled to close with no other alternatives put in place for trash disposal or recycling. In Thailand, Intrachooto told a receptive audience, for every truckload of a product with lasting value, about 32 truckloads of waste follow. For that reason, Intrachooto decided to provide incentives to manufacturers for sorting their waste and rethinking the way we use different types of waste. “Can we as a creative sector, as designers, use our knowledge and tools to solve modern problems?” Intrachooto asked, providing an answer in the form of Scrap Lab.  Scrap Lab engages young designers with manufacturers to collect their waste, experiment with it, and ultimately turn it into marketable and profitable new products. Recognizing that manufacturers would be less resistant to this “upcycling” than to simply reducing their waste output, Scrap Lab doesn’t plan to change companies’ business models, but instead turn their waste into new business ideas. Examples of this reuse of waste have included turning the leftovers from the button making process into an alternative to terrazzo, glass dust into porous “eco stones” to help water plants, and even coffee into tiles (that now cover the walls of Starbucks across Asia). Other unconventional materials, like bags from kidney dialysis or foil snack packages, have also been transformed into new products.  “[We] do not change the business model of anybody,” said Intrachooto, “but once there’s waste, that’s where Scrap Lab comes to give a hand, to help participate.” Some of these materials were met with hesitance by the general public. Intrachooto shared his experience working with hospital waste, recounting the initial reactions he received.  “When I wanted to work with hospital waste, everybody said ‘no, it’s dangerous,’” he said. “Would it be toxic, would be too contaminated? In fact, I was afraid too.”  After learning that only 60% of this waste is actually contaminated, the Fellow realized the the remaining sterile 40% was being dumped as well. With this material, “stress karma toolkits” were created for patients who were hospitalized for more than a week to lower their stress levels. Although Intrachooto’s experience with waste reuse and sustainability is rooted in Thailand, the subject matter was right at home in Lebanon, where sustainable design concepts carry special potential in the wake of a recent failure to collect and treat its waste. Toutikian touched on the potential this link created for designers in the nation. “I think Singh’s input was very appreciated and valued by our design community,” she said, “because he comes from a country with similar challenges and can understand the difficulties in developing sustainable design and integrating it in the country’s infrastructure.”
To read more about how art can be a catalyst for sustainability, check out the full report from Session 561 | Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability
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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.