Socialcompact » Overview

Salzburg Global Seminar, in partnership with specialist international institutions, has developed a multi-year program on the roles of states and families in meeting 21st century social investment needs.
 
Intergenerational and gender justice and inclusion of marginalized populations are critical for social cohesion but come under particular strain where economic systems are confronting a "double squeeze" - how to improve start of life opportunities for all while also caring and paying for aging societies. In many countries, the greatest burden falls on the family unit; government support, where provided, is inconsistently managed between various organizations and seldom reflects forward-thinking best practices. We believe that states' and families' abilities to confront these challenges will shape 21st century economic systems, societal norms and individual wellbeing.
 
Designing a social compact’s added value is its capacity to rapidly address critical bottlenecks to progress - as identified by leading researchers, practitioners and policy makers - and link results to strategic decision points within each sector.


Krijn Peters - Wheels of Change: Youth, jobs and the role of the public sector in developing countries
Krijn Peters speaks at the Salzburg Global session on Youth, Economics and Violence
Krijn Peters - Wheels of Change: Youth, jobs and the role of the public sector in developing countries
Krijn Peters 
We all know the challenge ahead: the current youth bulge, as is manifesting itself in the global South, will require the creation of hundreds of millions of additional jobs. If we fail to do so, it will result in socioeconomic marginalization and misery for young people at an individual level, and social unrest or even violent conflict on a national level across large regions of the world. The key question is: Who should create these jobs, the public or the private sector? A major problem with the first - particularly true for development countries - is that it often has limited means at its disposal. This may not be such a problem for the private sector, where the revenues of the largest multi-national corporations (MNCs) outdo the Gross National Product (GDP) of some of the smaller developing countries, but its focus on profit does not automatically generate more jobs for young people, let alone decent jobs with a living wage. That said, the private sector is more than MNCs, and in developing countries in particular includes the large informal sector populated by traders, farmers, small-scale miners and day laborers among others. But the question remains, who should we turn to for job creation? In search of an answer, it may be instructive to look at the post-war reconstruction process that follows the end of contemporary armed conflicts. Here the challenge is to rebuild the war-ravaged country - war has sometimes been labelled as "development in reverse" - with limited financial means (with most of those means provided by overseas donors) at a time when most foreign private investors find it yet too risky to invest in the country. A particular challenge is to provide an alternative and more peaceful livelihood for the tens- or hundreds of thousands ex-combatants, often young and poorly educated or trained. Six or 12 month skills training courses tend to be the preferred option of the international donors. Tens of thousands of ex-combatants are trained in skills such as carpentry, masonry, tailoring or car-mechanics, with soap-making or hairdressing on offer for female ex-combatants. After completion of the training, the ex-combatant is given a toolbox, in the expectation that he or she will be able to set up shop and make a living from his or her newly acquired skill. In both Sierra Leone and Liberia, two war-affected countries in West Africa, the majority of these newly trained ex-combatants failed to secure a job, finding themselves competing with much better trained craftsmen in an economy with low demand. Hence, they ended up selling their toolkit and involving themselves in underpaid manual labor in the agricultural or mining sector, or left for the urban centers trying to make a living on a day-by-day basis. So much for the concerted efforts of the donor-funded public sector. But there is one success story coming out of both countries, and interestingly, it became successful despite (or thanks to) not being part of any of the donor-funded skills training programs on offer. In both Liberia and Sierra Leone the post-conflict period has seen a spontaneous explosion of motorcycle taxis, many ridden by ex-combatants. This development first affected the towns - offering an effective means to ensure ex-combatants' social re-incorporation along the way - and then fanned out into the remotest rural areas. Not only are hundreds of thousands young people employed as bike riders (often one bike has several riders taking shifts to keep the machine on the road all the time and maximize profits) but thousands of bike repair shops have been created in addition to hundreds of little road side restaurants. The bike revolution has connected remote communities, offering better access to education and health services while simultaneously enabling subsistence farmers to start producing for local markets, breaking the deadlock of rural poverty. So what is the general lesson here? To speak with the renowned American development economist William Easterly, the "planners" - here the government, the international donor community and its implementing partners - have failed, while the "searchers" - the young ex-combatants - have succeeded in finding a significant economic niche. So is there no role for the "planners" for job creation? Or in other words, can we leave it all to the informal or private sector? Clearly not, but the government's and donor community's focus should be on removing barriers and facilitating initiatives originating and taking place in the informal sector which do create jobs and livelihoods for young people, rather than creating more of what is already not working.
Dr. Krijn Peters is an associate professor in armed conflict and post-war reconstruction in the Department of Political & Cultural Studies at Swansea University, Wales, UK. He is participated in a session on Youth, Economics and Violence: Implications for Future Conflict, held in partnership with the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. 
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Srinjoy Bose - "Youth haven’t really been taken care of by anyone, whether it is the Afghan government or the international community"
Srinjoy Bose - "Youth haven’t really been taken care of by anyone, whether it is the Afghan government or the international community"
Rachitaa Gupta and Stuart Milne 

As urbanization accelerates around the world, the percentage of under-25s is crossing 50% in several developing countries. Almost 70% of Afghanistan’s population is below the age of 25 years. Providing this young population with the resources for a new generation of healthy, productive, and empowered young women and men is one of Afghanistan’s core challenges.

At the session Youth, Economics, and Violence: Implications for Future Conflict, Srinjoy Bose, a PhD scholar from the Australian National University, spoke of the importance of youth movements in the social and political landscape of Afghanistan and social media as a tool in mobilizing the youth, especially during the recent elections.

“Youth haven’t really been taken care of by anyone, whether it is the Afghan government or the international community.” He spoke of the lack of youth policy until 2013, which was more than a decade into the intervention. 

The irresponsibility for this, according to Bose, lies with both the Afghanistan government and the international community. But in past few years, the Afghan youth have started organizing to make a significant difference. Most of the youth in youth groups, he said, come from a wide variety of backgrounds and sectors and are newly active. Typically, they work independent of parties or formal alliances due to general distrust of the party system.

“Political parties have tended to be looked down upon in Afghanistan’s recent history, possibly because they contributed to violence and instability, particularly during the civil war years.” This created a lack of youth wings or parties, and this vacuum led to recent civil society movements.

He acknowledged that most of this change is being led by the urban youth, but also emphasized the fact that these change makers have reached out to their peers in different cities and rural areas throughout the country. Despite the progress, Bose drew attention to the complexity of the Afghan youth. They still have to contend with the urban and rural unemployed young Afghans who are often manipulated and susceptible to community pressures and political actors.

Bose also spoke of social media in the lives of Afghan youth, which he said has happened largely due to a good telecommunication industry in the country which has boomed since the invasion.

“The substance of Facebook discussions is phenomenal and so sophisticated. Sometimes there is banter, and sometimes it degenerates into name calling. But so far, it has been very sophisticated. Afghan youth are very educated and aware of political concepts, concepts that we treasure in the West.” He spoke of Facebook as an important tool for for interaction and mobilization, especially for those facing constant violence and unrest.

Still, many factions of political parties and parliamentarians have raised concern over the growing tension and unrest between minorities due to the use of mobile phones and Facebook.

“Some politicians and parliamentarians have complained about Facebook, that it has heightened ethnic tension. There is this feeling amongst some Afghans that Facebook has facilitated ethnic divides during the election campaigns.”

On a global level, Bose said that Salzburg Global has been a good platform to understand the limitations of working with a diverse group of people helping youth live their lives at the margins of economy and violence in different parts of the world.

Sharing the personal experiences of working in their individual fields allowed the participants to have tough conversation about the definition of violence, limitations of the scope of their work, and the lessons they could learn from each other. Bose credited this as the biggest achievement of the session.


The session Youth, Economics & Violence: Implications for Future Conflict is part of the multi-year series Designing a Social Compact for the 21st Century and is being held in partnership with the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Read more here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/549

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Nicholas Carlisle & Simranpreet Singh Oberoi - Bullied Since Birth
Nicholas Carlisle & Simranpreet Singh Oberoi - Bullied Since Birth
Nicholas Carlisle 
This article was originally published on the No Bully blog. Bheem Kumar belongs to the Musahar community, one of the lowest castes in India, referred to as Mahadalits. The Musahars have since long been the targets of institutionalized bullying, where an entire ethnicity is shamed by name - Musahar literally means a rat eater. They are condemned to a life in designated musaharis or ghettos at the margins of the villages. Bheem’s likely inheritance is to never read or write and to earn less than $2 a day as a landless agricultural bonded laborer. He is more than 85% likely to suffer from malnutrition. However, Bheem is one of the five children selected from his village to go to Shoshit Samadhan Kendra, a free English medium residential school founded in 2007 by Mr. J.K.Sinha (retd.I.P.S.) exclusively for Musahar boys. Simranpreet Singh Oberoi, the Chief Project Officer, spoke to No Bully about the school at the Salzburg Global Seminar in April 2015 as part of their program on Youth, Economics and Violence.

What’s your theory of change?  

We see education as a means for these boys to come out of the vicious cycle of debt ridden poverty. We shall continue to support them till higher education and till they get real sustainable jobs. By creating these role models in different pockets of the state, we hope the community will see value in education and will be inspired from these success stories to educate their kids and hence create a ripple effect. We would like these kids to go back and start their own NGOs to solve community problems and get their projects supported by us. The idea is to develop the community as a whole, which, of course, will take a few decades.

Can you tell us more about the cycle of violence?  

Musahar youth has witnessed and experienced violence in different forms. Domestic violence, gang wars, humiliation in government schools and offices, are just some of the examples. Corporal punishment back in villages is quite common and many, including the parents, believe very strongly in it. We have had instances when the father will slap his erring child in front of us and say – “If he breaks the rules again, you can do whatever you want.” We do have some physical bullying too. They will use their hands to punch each other or rip a book. The senior students often pass on their chores to juniors who do it without any question. In some grades, the academically best student – or maybe he is the teacher’s favorite - is pulled down and humiliated.

How are you breaking the cycle of violence?

There are rules against corporal punishment, which in fact, is mandatory because of our affiliation with India’s Central Board of Secondary Education. The mornings begin with meditation to set a good tone for the rest of the day. Last March, nine students (3D boys) came to us with a project idea – ‘Mission Society’, to work in seven villages for seven days and carry out clean up drives and, do a street play in each for generating awareness. We got it funded but the road was not so smooth though. People doubted their intentions and were slow to trust since nothing much had happened for a long time in those areas. The students wrote reflection papers about this service and hope to do better next time. Students are now standing up for kids who are bullied and drove a senior boy who was doing this to leave the school. It is indeed a Herculean task to help teachers change their attitudes. The new practice we started of giving power to the student council to make suggestions for school improvement was very alien and faced obstacles. But, we saw great value in introducing open forums for discussion since they at least created a space for everyone to speak up. We have also begun a Learning Together Series for the teachers on how they are thinking about things and, understanding their students better.  But we have never had the funding to implement an anti-bullying program that would get to the root of this.
Nicholas Carlisle and Simranpreet Singh Oberoi were both participants of the Salzburg Global program Youth, Economics & Violence: Implications for Future Conflict, part of the multi-year series Designing a Social Compact for the 21st Century. Read more here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/549 
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Mini Program - Major Ambitions
Mini Program - Major Ambitions
Louise Hallman 

Every June, the Salzburg Global Board of Directors Weekend brings together board members and staff with major donors, long-serving Fellows and prospective partners. The program offers an opportunity to learn more about Salzburg Global’s work – and provides a launch pad for multi-year programs.

Convening board members as well as major donors, long-serving Fellows and prospective partners, the annual June Board Meeting Weekend program at Schloss Leopoldskron serves not only as a reflection of the year’s work, but also as “Salzburg Global Seminar in Miniature,” with each year’s two-day program covering cutting edge topics that serve as a taster of larger Salzburg Global programs to come.

The 2014 program Bridging The Rift: How Can We Reconnect Youth To Their Future? went one step further and kick-started a new multi-program intervention: Designing a Social Compact for the 21st Century.

Youth unemployment rates are sky high across the world. Pension deficits loom large. Economic inequality is widening. Too often, young people’s life chances are tied to social determinants that provide gloomy predictors of educational, health and professional outcomes. As the costs of higher education, medical care, pensions, and planetary degradation spiral upwards, intergenerational justice will pose complex challenges in the decades to come.

What innovations do we need to build the skills needed and renew social mobility? How can we ensure adequate care for all generations when facing changing demographics? How can we better connect voices, votes and talents across social strata?

Applying the unique Salzburg Global “triple lens” of Imagination, Sustainability, and Justice, the panelists together with an audience spanning high-level executives, young professionals, college students, and retirees, examined the challenges facing education systems, the future jobs market, and intergenerational justice.

Panelists included Erion Veliaj, Albanian Minister of Youth and Social Welfare; Lord Wei of Shoreditch, founder of several British education initiatives including Teach First; Alexa Wesner, US Ambassador to Austria and venture capitalist; Rosanna Wong, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups; and Pieter Vanhuysse, a leading aging researcher, at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research.

Building on from insights gleaned from these expert panelists, Salzburg Global will convene a number of programs in 2015 tackling the diverse but interlinked topics of early childhood development and education; innovation and equity in aging societies; youth, economics, and violence; and education and skills building needed for the jobs of the future.

Participants in these sessions will include not only educators from early years through to university, but also policymakers, economists, researchers, civil society actors, and service users—of all ages.

There are of course no easy solutions to these issues – if there were, politicians would have implemented them already – and complex solutions will not be found in one sector alone. A concerted effort will need to be made across governments, education and welfare systems, the private sector, and civil society.

Salzburg Global, with its commitment to bringing together diverse voices, is well-placed to help solve these issues of global concern.


Board Events

March and November 2014

As well as the June program, Salzburg Global uses other board meetings as occasions to hold topical events.

In March, a panel discussion was held in Pasadena, CA, USA, entitled: Designing for Deep Change: The Transformative Power of the Arts and Philanthropy. Building on the on-going Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI) and the session Value(s) for Money, panelists including Eric Nee, managing editor of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and YCI alum Patricia Garza addressed the question: how can we better harness human and financial capital and creativity to generate workable and equitable solutions that last? 

In November, Eric E. Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, delivered the annual Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law at the US Supreme Court, followed by a live panel discussion at National Public Radio (NPR)’s headquarters.


Download the Salzburg Global Chronicle 2015 in full (PDF)
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Hirokazu Yoshikawa: "Children do not just need to survive – they also need to thrive"
Hirokazu Yoshikawa: "Children do not just need to survive – they also need to thrive"
Rachitaa Gupta and Stuart Milne 
Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Courtney Sale Ross University professor of globalization and education at New York University believes that investing in early childhood development and education will be key to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next 15 years. While chairing Designing a Social Compact for the 21st Century: Early Childhood Development and Education, Yoshikawa spoke to Salzburg Global Seminar about the evidence that supports the need of early childhood development and why governments around the world need to start focusing on same. "If we want to achieve sustainable societies and survival of the planet, we can’t not invest in human development and that starts prenatally," explains Yoshikawa. The Millennium Development Goals only focused on infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate, but Yoshikawa believes that needs to change to achieve human development and growth within planetary boundaries. According to him, children do not just need to survive. They also need to thrive. Decades of science from different disciplines all point to the same conclusion: the healthy development of children provides a strong foundation for healthy and competent adulthood, responsible citizenship, economic productivity, strong communities, and a sustainable society. There is extensive evidence, he says, that supports this conclusion. The randomized experiments, according to Yoshikawa, have shown that over a period of time the cost benefit ratio of investing in to early childhoods is quite high.  “In quality of early childhood experience, returns to society is $5-$8 for every dollar invested,” he says. Not only that, but of the scientific ranking which deems which development goals are worth the most from an economic perspective, Yoshikawa says that the early childhood development ranks in the top five. He also explains that the quality of services that will be provided as part of policy and programs under the SDGs has to be decided by each country through a consensus building process.  “The conversation has to involve diverse set of stakeholders in every country – e.g., civil society, government, NGOs, parents, citizens – to come to an agreement, to what children deserve. These children are too young to tell us. We have to rely on research base. We need to rely on cultural values and norms of societies and the expectations, citizens of a country have, what constitutes a productive member of that country’s society.” However, the SDGs are still in writing stage. Global inputs are expected to continue for next several months and by the end of 2015 the wording will be finalized. “It is an unprecedented global effort. It is an exciting time and a historic one for the world,”, says Yoshikawa. During this time collaborations like the program Early Childhood Development and Education at Salzburg Global are important in providing tools and guidelines for UN member nations because, as Yoshikawa explains: “The SDGs are not going to come with a guide to child development. “Indicators scattered across the goals will be relevant to children and there needs to be some guidance that brings those together and then links them to concrete policy and practice steps.” The interdisciplinary collaborations at the session were the highlight for Yoshikawa as early childhood fields had not engaged in anything like this before. “The challenge and opportunities for the SDGs is that people who work in human development areas have to learn and think about people who work in the environmental sustainability area, the biodiversity area and move beyond health and education.” Following his involvement in the Salzburg Global session, Yoshikawa assisted in the compilation and editing of the “Salzburg Statement on Quality Early Childhood Development and Education for All Girls and Boys” which can be read online below:
Click here to download the Statement as a PDF ________________________________________ The Salzburg Global session Designing a Social Compact for the 21st Century: Early Childhood Development and Education was held in partnership with ETS (Educational Testing Service). More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/542
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Session on Youth, Economics and Violence Ends in Optimism
Session on Youth, Economics and Violence Ends in Optimism
Stuart Milne 
Session 549 | Youth, Economics & Violence: Implications for Future Conflict closed out last week with participants sharing what they would take back from the session and apply to their own work. While young people face many challenges and are often the victims of physical and structural violence across the world, discussions on the final day of the session touched on the civil unrest unfolding simultaneously in Baltimore, MD, USA following the death in police custody of 25 year-old Freddie Grey. A participant observed that crime was merely a symptom, not the cause, of the underlying problems facing marginalized communities in Baltimore. Rather, the protests and civil unrest were more to do with a lack of inclusiveness, with communities feeling they are not part of the system.  Another participant quoted the controversial civil rights activist Malcolm X, cited several times throughout the session, who said young people could only gain self-respect through their own achievements. The participant said this spoke of a need to empower youth to fulfil their ambitions regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances.  Participants were also reminded that the problems facing Baltimore are not unique to African-American communities in the United States. The group heard that 30% of South African youth are projected never to hold a formal job in their lifetime, fuelling a call to transform the socioeconomic system in South Africa rather than improve access to something fundamentally broken. Participants were also keen to use what had been shared during the session back in their respective countries and fields to influence their work.  Several participants from Africa and the Middle East said they wanted to start cultural hubs in their communities to share the ideas generated at Salzburg Global and provide outlets for young people to express themselves. One participant observed that many people in the Arab world were already thinking about progressive art, and so there would be no need to reinvent the wheel to get such projects off the ground. A participant shared how they wanted to rectify the lack of peace centers in the Middle East, while another spoke of a proposed project to match young people in Syrian refugee camps in Turkey with local Turkish youth. At numerous points in the session the media was pointed to as a problematic actor in the relationship between youth and violence, particularly when young people are portrayed as inherently violent and hate speech is commonly broadcast. A participant proposed the creation of a neutral media network in Yemen to change the public perception of youth in that country and prevent their efforts to change their socioeconomic situation from being hijacked by religious extremism. A participant from the Balkans spoke of their determination to encourage youth to participate in politics at higher levels, and how they had found better ideas for tackling the pressing issue of hooliganism in their country. Another participant shared their new-found sense of optimism for the future of democracy in Hong Kong, which is far richer in potential resources for action than many other parts of the world. Finally, a number of participants spoke of the pressing need to use the diverse range of talents and expertise assembled for the session, from activists to practitioners, researchers and policy-makers, to continue the work begun at Salzburg Global Seminar and translate their engagement with each other into concrete action.
The session Youth, Economics & Violence: Implications for Future Conflict was held in partnership with the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
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Youth, Economics & Violence: Implications for Future Conflict
Youth, Economics & Violence: Implications for Future Conflict
Stuart Milne 
Over 60 researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and young people will gather at Schloss Leopoldskron on Sunday for five days of intensive discussion of the issues affecting marginalized youth around the world. In partnership with the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Session 549 | Youth, Economics & Violence: Implications for Future Conflict aims to produce a prioritized policy framework for countries and regions most affected by changing youth demographics and related challenges. Youth are supposed to embody a country’s hopes for the future, but in many parts of the world young people are being denied opportunities to achieve their full potential due to limited access to education, health care and jobs. Marginalized youth, young men especially, have long been associated with revolution, protest and social disorder. In many countries young people are being left at the margins while their governments focus on maintaining law and order at the expense of their needs and wants. As the percentage of under-25s in developing countries rises above 50% and urbanization accelerates, there will be interconnected problems of high youth populations in urban areas without access to jobs, livelihoods and pathways to economic security. Without holistic strategies, these will have major implications for social cohesion and broader security issues, particularly in failing social systems. This Salzburg Global session brings together representatives of a wide range of disciplines and sectors to create a network of stakeholders related to large youth populations, economic insecurity, and social conflict to find ways of assisting areas in greatest need. The session will be co-chaired by Ahmad Alhendawi, the first UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth; and Alfred Blumstein, J. Erik Jonsson University professor of urban systems and operations research at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The broad range of researchers and policy-makers coming to Schloss Leopoldskron include representatives from the fields of public health, anthropology, economics, crime prevention, international development and psychiatry. They are joined by leaders working directly with young people in countries such as Pakistan, Uganda, South Africa, Syria, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. Over the next five days they will together address pressing issues surrounding the future of global youth in a variety of group discussions and plenary sessions. Topics include civic and social systems for and expectations of youth, innovation for and by youth, and lessons from America’s war on drugs.
To read and join in with all the discussions in Salzburg, follow the hashtag #SGSyouth on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The session Youth, Economics & Violence: Implications for Future Conflict is being held in partnership with the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
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