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. 

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Untapped Talent - Day 1: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity? "Yes it can!"
Session Chair Michael Nettles opens Session 558
Untapped Talent - Day 1: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity? "Yes it can!"
Louise Hallman 
Can better testing and data accelerate creativity in learning and societies? “Yes it can!” was the resounding answer from session chair, Michael Nettles at the opening session of the Salzburg Global Seminar program on Untapped Talent (December 12 to 17). As the Senior Vice President of ETS – best known for its design, administration and scoring of assessments like the GRE and TOEFL – it is unsurprising that Nettles is an advocate for better testing, but it is the potential for big data that most excites him at this week’s session – the sixth that Salzburg Global and ETS have partnered on together.  Big data is opening up numerous, well-paying job opportunities in the US across diverse sectors, from commerce to medicine to education – but these openings are unlikely to be filled.  “The fact is, we do not yet have the capabilities, or even the know-how, required to achieve our vision for all these data,” lamented Nettles in his opening speech. “We have barely begun training the people to do the work. In the United States, there are more than half a million unfilled jobs in the IT sector...  By 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer specialist job openings, but that our (US) universities are unlikely to produce enough qualified graduates to fill even 30 percent of them,” he added. Why is this? And how can better assessments – and data usage – fill this talent gap? One way in which data can help is by feeding algorithms that can “replace race-, class- and culture-based criteria with demographically blind data-based criteria that remove subjective human evaluators,” says Nettles. This would help the tech sector become more diverse and end the perception that you have to be white, male and well-connected to get ahead in the industry. New forms of assessment, such as games, can help identify valuable STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills in those who typically struggle in current tests. By generating “fine-grained data” – such as “document edits, gaming collaborations, responses on intelligent tutoring systems, even eye and body movements recorded by body sensors” – which is then immediately available for review, “the learning process itself can become the best source of evidence of learning, replacing the test,” remarked Nettles. This could have potentially huge advantages for those students who currently underperform in traditional testing environments, enabling their so-far “untapped talent” to be fully realized. There would also, of course, be much larger implications for test designers, administrators and teachers. Who would collect this data? As Nettles’ colleague Catherine Millett pointed out in her opening remarks, teachers often have little knowledge or care to collect such data – especially if it gets in the way of simply teaching. “How do we identify the ‘right’ big data?” she asked.  “Every keystroke on a computer can be captured, cataloged, analyzed, and used. Whether it should be captured, cataloged, analyzed and used is a different, but equally urgent, question,” added Nettles.   Further consideration also needs to be taken of the cost of employing such tech solutions; socioeconomic gaps could be widened rather than narrowed. “Entrusting so much of our education, careers and personal lives to algorithms and analytics also runs the risk of replacing our humanness with a blind faith in data processes,” warned Nettles. Over the course of the next four days, over 40 experts in pedagogy, assessment and data analysis will consider the innovations and potential pitfalls of new forms of assessment of so-called “21st century skills” – communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. Alongside ETS, partners on the session include the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The session is also being held in association with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). Speaking on behalf of the IDB and its delegation from Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay and the US, Soledad Bos, Education Senior Specialist with the IDB, said she hopes to share the innovations in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as learn from other regions. Nora Newcombe, a psychology professor at Temple University whose work is funded by the NSF, encouraged participants to consider the “science of learning” and to avoid making assumptions about how innate creativity is and how simply it can be assessed.  Read more in our daily newsletter (download PDF)
The Salzburg Global program Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies? is being hosted in collaboration with the Educational Testing Service (ETS)the National Science Foundation, and the Inter-American Development Bank, and in association with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). More information on the session can be found here:
Building the Bridges to Untapped Talent
Building the Bridges to Untapped Talent
Heather Jaber 
The world no longer operates in isolated sectors — now, more than ever, education and employment are interdisciplinary in nature and call for new methods of assessing and developing skills. 41 participants will gather at Salzburg Global Seminar from December 12-17 to discuss these trends at Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies?  Current systems of teaching and metrics are becoming increasingly inadequate in terms of assessing learning and skill-building. Now is the time to think in less static and more dynamic ways, not only to transform labor and employment, but to include those who are at risk of marginalization.  “Humans are gifted with so many talents and our societies in the future demand that we unlock and acknowledge all those talents that are available,” said Program Director Paul Jensen, highlighting the need for a shift in thinking about skills, creativity, and talent. “The current ways of testing are simply not capturing the full picture,” he said. “The innovative use of data and development of new testing systems should support mapping and unlocking all human talents available!” The panels and presentations taking place over the week include discussions about global innovations on testing and data, including best practices and those that did not quite succeed. Other topics include the power of data and information to empower students, how the private, education, and government sectors will measure talent in the future, and cross-fertilization across sectors to develop new data and testing systems. Participants include leaders in policy, education, economy, the culture, arts, science, and data. Session Chair Michael Nettles is Senior Vice President of the Educational Testing Services (ETS), an organization that Salzburg Global continues collaboration with. Previous related sessions covered issues of childhood development and education, marginalized students, and education and social mobility gaps. Other collaborators include the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The session is also held in association with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). By the end of the session, the participants will create a Salzburg Statement and ETS policy note with recommendations for unlocking talents in individuals and across sectors.
The Salzburg Global program Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies? is being hosted in collaboration with the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the National Science Foundation, and the Inter-American Development Bank, and in association with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). More information on the session can be found here:
Colleges and Universities Re-unite to Strengthen Efforts toward Global Citizenship Education
Participants and speakers at the Global Citizenship Summit in Atlanta, GA, USA
Colleges and Universities Re-unite to Strengthen Efforts toward Global Citizenship Education
Adam Beeson 
More than 40 faculty and administrators from select Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and members of the Appalachian College Association (ACA) convened at the first annual Global Citizenship Summit to share and receive feedback on deepening global citizenship education work, expand and enhance multi-campus partnerships, and establish new collaborative program activities. The Summit was hosted by Clark Atlanta University and co-organized by Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, October 29-31, 2015.  “Global citizenship education is a conscious and courageous commitment to the future,” Dr. Walter Fluker, Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership at Boston University School of Theology, told Summit participants. “We are not sure how we will get to where we are going, but we are prepared to make this first step together.” The Summit, which included programs at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum as well as the Center for Civil and Human Rights, was a result of a competitive grant process organized as part of the Mellon Global Citizenship Program (M-GCP) of Salzburg Global Seminar. The M-GCP was launched in 2014 to further the innovative work that moved 36 US colleges and universities – all of which are either HBCUs or members of the ACA – toward becoming sites of global citizenship education as part of the Mellon Fellow Community Initiative.   Focusing on the theme Sustainability and Innovation, participants in the Summit heard from world-class speakers on global citizenship education and outlined concrete next steps for the creation of the Global Education Consortium, an independent organization that will support activities and partnerships developed through the M-GCP. An undergraduate research conference organized by Lindsey Wilson College was held concurrent to the Summit at Clark Atlanta University and was an opportunity for students to engage directly in the core theme and present their own innovations and ideas.  “Global citizenship education is the umbrella that captures various projects found across university spaces,” Dr. Ronald A. Johnson, president of Clark Atlanta University, said. “One benefit of global citizenship collaboration is that we improve our understanding of each other and how we relate to the world itself. Universities must look at mechanisms for multi-campus collaboration to prepare students to move to a place in which they are more accepting and more understanding of the dynamics that make the human community who we are and how we all fit in the context of this planet. To me, that is at the heart of global citizenship education.” The Summit offered 2015 M-GCP grantees the opportunity to discuss the process and results of recent multi-campus programmatic activities, including the global education visiting specialist series Global Citizenship Revisited: New Approaches to Achieve Global Competencies between Ferrum College, Bennett College, and King University, along with a partnership between Florida Memorial University and Berea College on Global African Diaspora Citizenship. Dr. Bettie Starr, vice president for academic affairs at Lindsey Wilson College, described the upcoming study away incentive program Trading Spaces, a collaboration between her institution and Clark Atlanta University, as an opportunity for urban and rural students to gain new experiences and perspectives that may otherwise not be available to them. “Global citizenship education is a vibrant and integrated part of our campus,” Starr said. “We have revised our general education requirements to include the student-learning outcome ‘engaged local and global citizenship,’ and we have started a Center for Global Citizenship on campus. When the opportunity arose to collaborate with HBCUs, we jumped on it.”  Students benefiting from the activities of the M-GCP also had the opportunity to address the value and impact of global citizenship on their educational experiences.  “Global citizenship education forces me to operate outside of my comfort zone,” Sederra Ross, a senior chemistry major at Clark Atlanta University, told Summit participants. “As an aspiring green chemist, global education has given me the tools to make myself a better citizen and a better person. It’s like I have superpowers.”  Throughout the Summit, participants met in thematic issue groups to identify opportunities for future multi-campus collaboration on global citizenship education programs. The Leadership Circle, a working group of senior administrators from M-GCP partner institutions, met with M-GCP Advisory Council members to outline specific plans for a new independent consortium to facilitate ongoing collaboration as leaders in the field of global citizenship education once the current program activities end in 2017. In addition to deepening global citizenship work across academic institutions, the Summit also addressed the need for colleges and universities to form strategic partnerships outside of academia. M-GCP Advisory Council member Dr. Yolanda Moses moderated a panel of experts at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum that included Professor Wallace Ford, founder of Fordworks LLC, and Dr. Jennie K. Lincoln, director of The Americas Program at The Carter Center. “The first study abroad programs at universities were a choice,” Lincoln said. “Global education is no longer a choice. The world is becoming flat, and the requirement for educators is to prepare students to be able to function in that world. Developing strategic partnerships between academia and the private sector, government, and non-profit organizations is critical.” At The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Inc, civil rights leader and former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young, encouraged Summit participants and students from the Undergraduate Research Conference to identify strategic opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration on solving the world’s most pressing issues. Fellow panelist Carlotta Arthur, program director of the Clare Boothe Luce Program at the Henry Luce Foundation, concurred, and reminded the participants both how unique and highly valuable the collaboration among the HBCU and ACA schools is.   “The specific constellation of ACA and HBCU institutions offers a unique opportunity, through cooperation, to make ‘globalization at home’ and ‘citizenship without borders’ a powerful and tangible learning experience,” said M-GCP manager David Goldman. Other speakers at the Global Citizenship Summit and Undergraduate Research Conference included Dr. Maghan Keita, director of the Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies at Villanova University; Anne Gahongayire, former Secretary General, Supreme Court, Rwanda; Deborah J. Richardson, interim CEO of The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Inc; and Dr. Champa Patel, director of Campaigns Programme and interim director of the South East Asia and Pacific Regional Office at Amnesty International.
More information about the Mellon Global Citizen Program can be found at the M-GCP website:
Global Citizenship Education Innovation Showcased in Atlanta
Global Citizenship Education Innovation Showcased in Atlanta
Nancy Smith 
International experts, senior representatives and students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Appalachian College Association members are meeting in Atlanta, GA this week as part of a series of events hosted by Salzburg Global Seminar, Clark Atlanta University, and Lindsey Wilson College addressing the importance of global citizenship education in preparing the next generation of leaders.  Clark Atlanta University will host the Global Citizenship Summit, October 29 to 31, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Summit, focused on Sustainability and Innovation in and through Global Citizenship Education, is organized as part of the Mellon Global Citizenship Program of Salzburg Global Seminar. Supporting organizers include Morehouse and Spelman Colleges.  The Carter Center and The National Center for Civil and Human Rights are both also generously hosting expert panels at their facilities on October 29 and October 30 respectively.  Concurrently an Undergraduate Research Conference will be convened on October 30. The Undergraduate Research Conference is being organized by Lindsey Wilson College and will be held at Clark Atlanta University. The Summit and Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) are being undertaken through competitive grants awarded to Clark Atlanta University and Lindsey Wilson College as part of Salzburg Global Seminar’s Mellon Global Citizenship Program (M-GCP), made possible through the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The M-GCP was launched by Salzburg Global in 2014 to deepen and consolidate its successful global citizenship education work started through its Mellon Fellows Community Initiative with 36 partner institutions – all of which are either Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) or members of the Appalachian College Association (ACA).  The Summit and URC will highlight the increasing importance of global citizenship education and showcase the innovative efforts underway at the participating institutions. It will also provide an opportunity for the participants to expand and deepen their networks and catalyze new projects, programs and partnerships across – and outside – their campuses.  International and US experts will also address the Summit and URC, exploring and analyzing the meaning and value of global citizenship education beyond the campus. Featured speakers include: 
  • Carlotta Arthur, Program Director, Clare Boothe Luce Program, Henry Luce Foundation
  • Walter Fluker, Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership and editor of the Howard Thurman Papers Project at Boston University School of Theology
  • Wallace Ford, Chair, Department of Public Administration, School of Business, Medgar Evers College; Founder, Fordworks LLC
  • Anne Gahongayire, former Secretary General, Supreme Court, Rwanda
  • Maghan Keita, Director, Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies, Villanova; Chair, Board of Trustees, College Board
  • Jennie Lincoln, Director, The Americas Program, The Carter Center
  • Yolanda Moses, Professor of Anthropology and Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Excellence at the University of California, Riversid
  • Champa Patel, Director, Campaigns Programme and Interim Dir. South East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, Amnesty International
  • Deborah Richardson, Interim CEO, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Inc
  • Andrew Young, Founder, Andrew J. Young Foundation
In addition, Ronald Johnson, President of Clark Atlanta University, will also address the Summit. 
More information about the M-GCP, Summit and URC can be found at the M-GCP website: For enquiries related to the Summit and URC, including information about attending any portion of the events, please contact any of the following:  Cynthia Cook, Director, Student Services, School of Business Administration, Clark Atlanta University, tel: 404.880.8786 David Goldman, Manager, M-GCP,   Nancy Smith, Manager, M-GCP,
Salzburg Global Seminar Proudly Announces the Launch of the Global Citizenship Alliance
Stephen Salyer and Jochen Fried officially sign the GCA into being at a celebratory ceremony at Schloss Leopoldskron
Salzburg Global Seminar Proudly Announces the Launch of the Global Citizenship Alliance
Salzburg Global Seminar staff 

After 12 years, 71 sessions, and more than 3000 participants from 80 colleges and universities in the United States, the
Global Citizenship Program (GCP) is reorganizing to increase its scope and streamline its operations. The GCP’s staff have formed an independent organization, the Global Citizenship Alliance, which is assuming operating responsibility for global citizenship education programs previously run under Salzburg Global’s aegis. The Alliance will continue to offer sessions “in association with Salzburg Global Seminar,” underscoring both organizations’ commitment to innovative, highest quality programs. Following a consultative process extending over several months, the senior leadership of Salzburg Global Seminar and the GCP staff agreed to place the GCP, formerly known as the International Study Program (ISP), on new footing. Growing interest by program partners in a range of global citizenship education programs – close to home as well as overseas – argued for a dedicated organization able to respond flexibly to the needs and expectations of program partners and alumni.  Areas of interest for the newly formed Alliance include:
  • offering GCP sessions and workshops at locations in the United States and at the long-standing anchor location in Salzburg;
  • tailor-making programs for GCP alumni and other constituencies;
  • increasing input by GCP stakeholders, including engagement by partner institutions, faculty and students in program design, curriculum development and new initiatives.
“Salzburg Global believes in the mission and goals of the GCP and feels great pride in what it has achieved,” said Salzburg Global President Stephen Salyer. “Steady support by Salzburg Global has allowed the GCP to build long-term partnerships, secure grants and create brand recognition in relationship to our unique campus at Schloss Leopoldskron. We are pleased to help the GCP transition to a new operating structure, and look forward to a close relationship for many years to come.” “We are grateful for and excited by this opportunity to take global citizenship education to new heights,” commented Jochen Fried, President of the Global Citizenship Alliance, who conceived the GCP twelve years ago and had been its Director ever since. “From its beginning, the GCP has operated in close partnership with dedicated colleges and universities, and with a core faculty who have given the program inspiration and depth.  Now that partnership will further intensify. With participants from ages 17 to 70, we can together make global citizenship an essential ingredient in 21st century education.”  Astrid Schroeder, Chief Operating Officer of the Global Citizenship Alliance and former Program Director of the GCP added: “GCP partner institutions have built on their Salzburg experience to launch global education programs suitable for the communities they serve. The Global Citizenship Alliance will help expand these efforts and foster active cooperation among our partners.” On October 18, the GCA Board of Directors met for the first time to ratify the organization’s operating structure and elected Jochen Fried its president.  For 2016, the GCA has already announced plans for seven sessions, with additional activities under discussion with partner colleges and universities. For latest information, consult the new GCA website at
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