Education » Overview

Education and labor issues have featured as topics for discussion in our program portfolio since the 1950s. Recognizing that the way we learn and the future of work will change beyond recognition in coming decades, Salzburg Global Seminar is scaling up its commitment to explore these topics through a multi-year program on Education for Tomorrow’s World.

New technologies are taking us faster towards a post-industrial world, even in emerging and least-developed economies. Current teaching systems and metrics are being called into question. Young people, in particular, urgently need skills and support networks to realize their potential and forge individualized pathways for learning and work. Special attention needs to be paid to neglected talent, especially among marginalized groups, exploring how best to identify and nurture this otherwise wasted potential.

Relearning learning is critical to energize truly entrepreneurial societies. This will go far beyond education ministries to involve innovators, neuroscientists, data analysts and students themselves. As well as critically engaging with the ‘supply side’ of education, we must review the “demand side” – how to meet immediate needs to fill current jobs, identify new talents suited to new jobs, and promote access and diversity in a rapidly changing labor market.  

This program, launched in 2015, directly supports action to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (particularly Goal 4). It is a key component of Salzburg Global’s Human Transformation axis for 2016-2020, which recognizes that the digital and life sciences revolutions are radically changing assumptions and systems around education, jobs, families, health and ethics. Managing for change requires personal and organizational resilience, and for new technologies to be rooted in deep understanding of human needs and wants. 

To view related sessions, click here.


Salzburg Global Fellows call for multilingualism and language rights to be valued, protected and promoted
Photo by Peter Hershey on Unsplash
Salzburg Global Fellows call for multilingualism and language rights to be valued, protected and promoted
Salzburg Global Seminar 
In a world with more than 7,000 languages but where 23 languages dominate, linguists, academics, policymakers, and business leaders have come together to call for an uptake in policies that value multilingualism and language rights as part of a new Salzburg Statement. “In today’s interconnected world, the ability to speak multiple languages and communicate across linguistic divides is a critical skill. Even partial knowledge of more than one language is beneficial. Proficiency in additional languages is a new kind of global literacy. Language learning needs to be expanded for all – young and old.“However, millions of people across the globe are denied the inherent right to maintain, enjoy and develop their languages of identity and community. This injustice needs to be corrected in language policies that support multilingual societies and individuals.“We, the participants of Salzburg Global Seminar’s session on Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, call for policies that value and uphold multilingualism and language rights.”  The Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World, launched on International Mother Language Day (February 21), offers clear recommendations on policy making, teaching, learning, translation and interpreting. The Statement calls on all stakeholders to act, which includes researchers and teachers; community workers, civil society and non-governmental organizations; cultural and media voices; governments and public officials; business and commercial interests; aid and development agencies; and foundations and trusts. “In their unique way, each of these stakeholder groups can embrace and support multilingualism for social progress, social justice, and participatory citizenship. Together, we can take action to safeguard the cultural and knowledge treasure house of multilingualism for future generations.”The full Statement – in English and multiple other languages – is available in full online: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/statements/multilingualworld  Download the PDF version of all languaguesThe Statement and its recommendations were co-drafted by an expert group of over 40 Fellows (participants) of the Salzburg Global Seminar session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, which took place December 12-17, 2017, in Salzburg, Austria. This session, held in partnership with ETS, Qatar Foundational International and Microsoft, is in line with Salzburg Global’s overarching mission to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. It featured as part of the organization’s multi-year series Education for Tomorrow’s World.During the five-day session at Schloss Leopoldskron, Fellows across multiple sectors collaborated and reflected on the importance and implications of national language policies; the role of language in creating social cohesion; strategies for language teaching; the advantages of multilingualism in the workplace; and the importance of linguistic diversity and language rights vis-à-vis the Sustainable Development Goal on Education. To coincide with International Mother Language Day, the Statement has been translated into more than thirty languages, with many more in progress. All translations have been provided through the goodwill and voluntary efforts of the Fellows and their colleagues. If you wish to contribute a translation in your language, please contact Dominic Regester, Program Director, Salzburg Global Seminar.
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A Message from Our Vice President and Chief Program Officer
A Message from Our Vice President and Chief Program Officer
Clare Shine 
As 2018 gets underway, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your continued engagement with Salzburg Global Seminar. In reflection of a landmark year celebrating Salzburg Global Seminar’s 70th anniversary, I wanted to look back on the journey traveled, new projects and horizons. Our 2017 theme of “Courage” resonated throughout this turbulent year. The 1947 vision of Salzburg Global’s founders – a “Marshall Plan of the Mind” to revive dialogue and heal rifts across Europe - felt fresh as ever. Cracks widened in societies and institutions across the world, compounded by a mix of insecurity, disillusionment, and isolationism. Yet the world should be in a better position than ever to tackle common challenges. There is an open marketplace for ideas, innovation, and invention, and opportunities to engage and collaborate are growing fast. In Salzburg, we are privileged to meet individuals from all walks of life who have the courage to tell truth to power, confront vested interests, express artistic voice and freedom, build coalitions for change, and see through tough choices. In divided societies, people need courage to stay true to their beliefs. Leaders need courage to curb their exercise of power. Together, we need courage to rekindle our collective imagination to rebuild society from the bottom up and the top down.Three strategies guide our own work for this purpose.1. Given Salzburg Global’s roots in conflict transformation, our programs seek to bridge divides: Our American Studies series – a discipline born at Schloss Leopoldskron – focused on Life and Justice in America: Implications of the New Administration, including the roots of economic and racial division;The Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change had its highest-ever participation on Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism and published an interactive playbook “Against Populism”;Our Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention series is now applying tools developed in previous years to promote pluralism and tolerance and address issues of radicalization and violent extremism. Pilot projects to test these approaches are under way in five countries (Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa, Morocco, and Egypt) with the potential to expand to other countries;The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum marked its fifth anniversary with a major report assessing the influence and personal impact of a cross-sector network that now spans more than 70 countries and has inspired new partnerships and cultural initiatives. 2. Salzburg Global Seminar aims to inspire new thinking and action on critical issues to transform systems, connecting local innovators and global resources: Our high-level leadership programs address fundamental components of dynamic and inclusive societies. We now have three annual series - Forum on Finance in a Changing World, Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum, and the Public Sector Strategy Network – and have begun a new collaboration with major foundations on Talent Management for Effective Global Philanthropy. We have expanded our work on Health and Health Care Innovation with ambitious initiatives, including the five-year Sciana Health Leaders Network which marks a groundbreaking crossborder partnership with The Health Foundation (UK), Bosch Stiftung (Germany) and Careum Stiftung (Switzerland), and a major partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation aimed at building a shared culture of health.Education for Tomorrow’s World is going global! As an outcome of our 2015 and 2016 work on innovation for social and emotional learning, we are convening meetings over 15 months in Latin America, the Middle East and Gulf, and North America. These will inform a synthesis session in Salzburg in December 2018 to frame lessons learned for decision-makers in the education sector and other key stakeholders. 3. Salzburg Global seeks to expand collaboration by fostering lasting networks and partnerships: The Young Cultural Innovators Forum, created in 2014, now has 18 city/country hubs across the world, and held its first US inter-city meeting in Detroit;We’re expanding alliances in Asia with long-standing and new partners. The Asia We Want: Building Community through Regional Cooperation is laying foundations for a bottom-up innovation network for A Clean and Green Asia. November saw our first-ever program with the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and the Hong Kong Jockey Club on Leadership for Inclusive Futures in Hong Kong, focused on 30 rising leaders across the public, private and civil society sectors.The Salzburg Statement on The Child in the City: Health Parks and Play (Parks for the Planet Forum) was showcased at the World Congress on Public Health in Australia and will feature in webinars for US city leaders, working with the National League of Cities and the Children in Nature Network. After six years living in Schloss Leopoldskron and meeting the most diverse and talented people imaginable, I often hear myself describe Salzburg Global Seminar as “deeply human.” 2017 brought many reminders of the special bonds forged during our lifetime and the enduring need to advance trust and openness around the key issues facing today’s world.  Thank you again for your commitment and recognition of Salzburg Global’s importance in your professional and personal development. We hope you will consider joining other Fellows who have already made a donation to Salzburg Global this year. Please click here to learn more. With very best wishes from everyone at Salzburg Global Seminar, and we hope to welcome you back to Schloss Leopoldskron in the near future.
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Fellows co-create Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World
Fellows co-create Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World
Louise Hallman 
Salzburg Global Seminar’s 2017 program of sessions closed on a high on December 16 as Fellows representing over 25 countries and many more languages came together to co-create a new “Salzburg Statement.” Provisionally titled “The Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World,” the document encapsulates five intensive days’ discussions at the session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World. The session, held in partnership with ETS, Qatar Foundation International and Microsoft, examined the importance and implications of national language policies; the role of language in creating social cohesion; different forms of and strategies for language teaching; the advantages of multilingualism in the work place and in building more entrepreneurial societies; and the importance of linguistic diversity and language rights vis-a-vis the Sustainable Development Goal on Education (SDG4). The Statement, which Fellows continued to draft over the holiday season, will offer clear recommendations with regards to both learning and teaching and translating and interpreting, as well as issuing a call to action for a wide variety of actors to value and embrace multilingualism. Once the Fellows have agreed on a final text in early 2018, several of the multilingual Fellows will translate the text into multiple languages in time for it to be formally published on February 21 – International Mother Language Day. In addition to the Statement, the 50 Fellows also co-drafted several questions that will be used to help drive a year-long conversation on social media – #multilingualismmatters – about the importance and value of multilingualism in multiple contexts. The questions are broad and wide-ranging, with the intention of engaging Salzburg Global Fellows from other sessions and the general public in the discussion. The conversation will be launched on the Salzburg Global Seminar public Facebook page to encourage maximum participation.  The #multilingualismmatters campaign, will be launched to coincide with the publication of the Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World.  To receive updates about the Statement and to join in the #multilingualismmatters campaign, “like” Salzburg Global Seminar on Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/subscribe The session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World is part of Salzburg Global Seminar multi-year series  Education for Tomorrow’s World. The session is being held in partnership with ETS, the Qatar Foundation and Microsoft. This project was also supported by The Erste Foundation. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGSedu on Twitter and Instagram.
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Kathleen Heugh – “This is Not a Game Any Longer, We Know That This is Extremely Serious”
Kathleen Heugh by the lake during Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
Kathleen Heugh – “This is Not a Game Any Longer, We Know That This is Extremely Serious”
Mirva Villa 
Kathleen Heugh has enjoyed a long career in linguistics, with her research focusing particularly on multilingual education policies and practices. She has advised 35 national governments on language policy in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and South America, and has engaged in a number of initiatives promoting multilingual approach in education. Heugh was in Salzburg in December 2017 to share this lengthy experience at the session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World. According to Heugh, children coming from marginalized language backgrounds, particularly in the former European colonies across the world, often feel pressured to develop a high-level proficiency in a European language, such as English, in addition to or instead of a local language and a national language in order to succeed in life. “The problem is that the sooner one drops into an English-medium education system, the less likely it is that people’s aspirations will be met,” she says. Multilingual education is a valuable method for keeping children, especially girls, in school until the end of primary school. If the transition to an international language, such as English or French, happens too soon, the girls will be more likely to fall out of schooling, says Heugh, as they are often called home to take care of their younger siblings. If they don’t succeed in school, there is a lot of pressure for them to get married early on. “Being schooled through home language means that you have a chance to stay in school for a bit longer, and there’s a chance to go into secondary school. And we know that the longer girls are in education, the better their family’s chances are of escaping poverty later on.” Heugh’s interest in languages was sparked from a very young age, when she herself attended a bilingual (English and Afrikaans) school in South Africa. She wanted to become an English teacher for students speaking African languages, but after training she was unable to find job as she was considered to “politically problematic” by the Apartheid government. “I went back to university to do a master’s degree in language education, and I then discovered the Apartheid’s system had largely been based on a language policy of separation and segregation. I realized very quickly that if language policy can segregate and separate people, there must be a better way of having a language policy that could draw people together.” Shifting geopolitical power balances and the mass movement of people create an urgency across the globe to rethink multilingual education. Many countries receiving large numbers of migrants do not yet have systems geared towards multilingual education. Keeping children in school is important to avoid social exclusion, and while providing education in the mother tongue of every child may not be possible, there are other ways of ensuring multilingual education. However, this requires comprehensive working with teachers, rethinking of teacher education programs, and governments and education departments understanding the urgency of this need, Heugh says. Heugh is currently teaching English at the University of South Australia. Most of her students are either international students or have migrant backgrounds. “I cannot speak all the languages of my students, but I try to use multilingual techniques… In every assignment, the students are expected to do research in their home language as well as in English, and to bring in the resources and the knowledge that they glean from their research articles and academic texts in at least two other languages together in their assignment, and which they then craft into English.” The use of multiple languages encourages the international students to cooperate with the native speakers of English, and vice versa. Heugh aims to bridge connections and build co-dependency between her students, and she has noticed this has increased the self-esteem of international students as they see that all of their contributions are valuable. The domestic Australian students have also been humbled and exposed to new knowledge of the world. “None of them can actually complete an assignment unless they have sourced information from another language or a student who has access to knowledge in another language.” Heugh believes that one of the ways in which to achieve sustainable multilingual education across all ages is to engage with the people working in the administrative or implementation side of government policies. Unlike politicians who have limited term of office, administrators often have long careers in their departments, so it is important to build their capacity in understanding how to implement sustainable policies for multilingual education. “This is not a game any longer, we know that this is extremely serious. We actually have to make sure that education systems across the world understand that we have to look at how we might be able to provide multilingual education, and what sort of systems can we put in place.” The session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World is part of Salzburg Global Seminar multi-year series  Education for Tomorrow’s World. The session is being held in partnership with ETS, the Qatar Foundation and Microsoft. This project was also supported by The Erste Foundation. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGSedu on Twitter and Instagram.
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Hywel Coleman - Every Language Encapsulates Knowledge; If a Language Dies, We Lose Knowledge
Hywel Coleman OBE in the Max Reinhardt Library during Salzburg Global session Springboard for Talent – Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
Hywel Coleman - Every Language Encapsulates Knowledge; If a Language Dies, We Lose Knowledge
Mirva Villa 
When Hywel Coleman first came to Indonesia, he arrived straight out of university, having signed up as a volunteer English teacher. This spell led to lecturing in several institutions before he “stayed, stayed and stayed “in the country for more than 12 years. He returned to the UK for 14 years to teach at the University of Leeds, before moving back to Indonesia in 2001, working as a consultant and involving himself in projects with Indonesia’s Ministry of Education. He was awarded the 'Order of the British Empire' (OBE) in 1999 for his services to education in Indonesia. “In total, I’ve lived in Indonesia for 29 years – it’s my home,” Coleman says, speaking at the Salzburg Global session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World. His interests now are in language policy in education and the role of the English language in Indonesia. There are approximately 700 languages spoken in Indonesia. These languages range from local languages only spoken by 200 people to more prominent languages such as Bahasa Indonesia, Javanese, and Balinese. Bahasa Indonesia is the country’s sole official language and is used for all government purposes, including in parliament, law courts and education. “There are several laws which say Indonesian is the only language of education, so the government schools must use Indonesian as the medium of instruction,” says Coleman. “This means that local languages have no official role at all in government or education. “This is a very sensitive issue because some people feel that if local languages are given a role, this will lead ultimately to the disintegration of the nation.” While there is no historical evidence of that occurring, the fear of allowing local languages to be used in education remains prevalent. This belief remains despite Indonesian children performing poorly in comparison with other countries in international tests like the OECD Program for International Student Assessment. Coleman believes children not learning in the language they’re most comfortable with is a contributing factor. He says, “The evidence is that if you don’t use the child’s first language, or the language the child is most comfortable with, their learning is going to be negatively affected, but the debate about this is hardly happening in Indonesia." In Coleman’s opinion, Indonesia’s language policy threatens the survival of several local languages, which he feels would represent a significant loss. “It’s a problem because every language encapsulates knowledge of the environment and the community in which it is used. If a language dies, then we lose knowledge. We lose knowledge about the environment, about the plants and the trees and the animals, which can be described in the local language, but which cannot be described in other languages.” “We lose a way of looking at the world: every community, every ethnic group, every language group has a way of interpreting the world, making sense of the world, and we lose that. And if the world becomes more and more homogeneous, what a boring world it would be.” Despite this concern about the language policy, Coleman believes there are lessons other countries can learn from people living in Indonesia. He says, “Putting aside language policy in school, a lot of Indonesians are naturally multilingual, because ethnic groups mix and overlap, and people are very open to languages. People talk about languages a lot, they joke about languages, and they learn each other’s languages very readily. I think that’s something that in Britain is completely absent.” Coleman is currently investigating the language repertoires and attitudes of scholars in the pesantren, which are residential, Islamic educational institutions. These madrasas, as they are also known, are not part of the state education system, meaning they are not beholden to the official language legislation. Some schools use Bahasa Indonesia but many use Arabic, English or local languages. Some schools use the national language in the classroom but encourage the use of local languages outside the classroom. “What really struck me was how all the children I interviewed were nonchalantly multilingual: ‘Yeah, I speak four or five languages, so what? Doesn’t everybody?’ That impressed me,” Coleman says. Coleman was brought up in a Welsh family living in England. His mother was Welsh speaking, but would only use Welsh when her sisters came to visit. He says, “I always felt excluded, because I couldn’t understand what they were saying. I asked my mother to teach me Welsh and she wouldn’t, because she felt that her Welsh was inadequate… I think that left a hole in me somewhere – a gap. “While in school, Coleman tried, unsuccessfully, to learn French, German and Latin, which left him convinced that he wasn’t able to learn other languages. This belief changed when he moved to Indonesia. “Being in the context where I needed to learn the language to survive and to make friends, I discovered that I could learn languages, and enjoy it, and find it fulfilling. And this was a revelation to me.” Since then, he’s become more critical toward the role that the English language plays in the rest of the world. He also thinks the language policy in Indonesia needs to be rethought. His key message is: “The world is bigger than Europe, and language issues and language contexts are very, very varied… We shouldn’t assume that what’s appropriate for Europe and North America is relevant at all to other parts of the world.” The session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World is part of Salzburg Global Seminar multi-year series  Education for Tomorrow’s World. The session is being held in partnership with ETS, the Qatar Foundation and Microsoft. This project was also supported by The Erste Foundation. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGSedu on Twitter and Instagram.
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Springboard for Talent – Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
The session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, is being held in partnership with ETS, the Qatar Foundation and Microsoft
Springboard for Talent – Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Language is fundamental to national identity and an important contributor to social cohesion in modern pluralistic societies. Learning a foreign language helps you to know that country and language skills can be very valuable. However, language policy decisions can also impact detrimentally on students’ life chances. All of this raises critical questions for researchers, policymakers and practitioners about the role of language learning and testing for two public good objectives: to “untap” and optimize individual talents and to foster social cohesion and dynamic inclusive economies. To this end, Salzburg Global Seminar is holding the session Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World at its home in Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria, from December 12 to 16, 2017. The session is being held in partnership with ETS, the Qatar Foundation and Microsoft, and forms part of Salzburg Global’s long-running multi-year series, Education for Tomorrow’s World. The four-day program will bring together over 50 representatives from the varying spheres of policy, academia, civil society and business, representing over 25 countries, to look at the importance of language policy and practice from three perspectives – the individual, the state, and market and society – and examine how language learning can help integration, international relations and employment opportunities. As many countries try to tackle large influxes of both refugees and migrants, participants will examine language programs that help the new arrivals better integrate into their new host countries and enhance social cohesion. Languages also play a large role for the state with regards to “soft power” and diplomacy, as seen by the emergence of English as a global “lingua franca” and the growing efforts in the West to learn Chinese to better engage with and understand the rising power of China. The third lens of the session will look at the economic value of language learning, with evidence showing that bilingualism and multilingualism bring strong economic benefits for labor mobility. Like many other sectors, technological innovation has the potential to revolutionize and democratize the language teaching and learning fields, paving the way to fairer access to the job market. Participants in Salzburg will consider the role disruptive technology might play in shaping future decisions about language policy. Much emphasis in schools’ curriculum in recent years has been placed on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), with languages often valued less in comparison – despite the fact this goes against the latest thinking in neuroscience. Participants will consider how the research community can counter this misalignment of evidence and policy, and gain more traction with policymakers, practitioners and the public. In an effort to promote the importance of language learning, as well as participating in panel-led plenary discussions and working groups, the participants will collaborate on both a “Salzburg Statement” and the formulation of a series of “Salzburg Questions.” The Statement will not only be circulated widely following the session, but will also form the basis of a new series of webinars to be held throughout 2018. The Questions will spark an online international debate, to be launched on Twitter on International Mother Language Day on February 21. You can follow all discussions throughout the week on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #SGSedu. The session, Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World is part of Salzburg Global Seminar multi-year series  Education for Tomorrow’s World. The session is being held in partnership with ETS, the Qatar Foundation and Microsoft. This project was also supported by The Erste Foundation. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGSedu on Twitter and Instagram.
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SSASA symposium reflects on implications and global reactions to Trump administration
SSASA symposium reflects on implications and global reactions to Trump administration
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Academics, legal profession representatives, and others working to protect and improve life in the U.S. have considered the implications and global reactions to the new U.S. administration. The conversations took place on the final day of the 15th symposium of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA), which took place at Schloss Leopoldskron.  This year's program - Life and Justice in America: Implications of the New Administration - included presentations and conversations on racial issues, immigration, populism, wealth, media, legal rights, civil rights, and criminal law.  These issues, which will be covered further by Salzburg Global in the coming days, were considered alongside a broader topic of what "the American Dream" means in today's world, whether it still exists, and what this dream represents.  The program was split into three themes: 70 years of trends and events; quality of life and opportunity; and fairness and justice. In the last presentation of the session, three speakers provided comments on President Donald Trump’s administration before taking questions from the audience. Participants heard from one speaker that U.S. prosperity was partially dependent on the Asia-Pacific region and political relations had improved under President Barack Obama, particularly in Myanmar and Vietnam. The same speaker said President Trump’s win had come as a shock to many in Southeast Asia and countries in the region were now looking forward to see how the U.S. maintains its commitment to the region. Anne Mørk, an assistant professor of American history at the University of Southern Denmark, said when one looks at the rhetorical presidency theory, it is no surprise President Trump won the election. Trump has used social media to communicate with the public. When he makes statements on Twitter, he is speaking to his followers without a filter. Mørk described the role of the president in the 19th century as that of a manager - a role she believes President Trump appears to have little interest playing. Mørk suggested President Trump’s “angry” and “macho” rhetoric almost became a form of entertainment similar to wrestling. She concluded by suggesting the rhetoric had become a policy in itself. Alex Seago, dean of communications, arts and social sciences at Richmond, The American International University in London, said he pursued American studies because he was enamored by the country and culture. Seago, who’s also a professor of cultural studies, suggested President Trump was making a deliberate attempt to undermine America’s soft power.  While “the American Dream” may still exist, Seago believes the U.S. has become less attractive to people. He later said the U.S. had a global image of a nation acting as a leading light for people to follow. This image showed the U.S as democratic and a country which gave people opportunities. However, the sense of “you can do anything if you work hard” is a lot less apparent now.  In his concluding remarks, Ron Clifton, chair of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA), said two things had really struck him during this year’s program – one being how fairness and justice can depend on factors such as social status and race. The other thing which he felt was left to consider were the implications of the changes underway in the U.S., especially under the new administration. He said, “I like the phrase that [a participant] just came up with which is, “At this moment it would seem to me that America is looking less good.” The question is what does that imply for the future and when and where will the turn occur? Of course, being an American, we are optimistic and hopeful, we have a burden to carry and that burden we carry is to make things better and to invite people to join in with us and progress.” The Salzburg Global program Life and Justice in America: Implications of the New Administration is part of Salzburg Global’s multi-year series Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA). More information on the session can be found here. You can follow all of the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SSASA.
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