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.


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.
READ MORE...
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.
READ MORE...
Designing a Social Compact for the 21st Century: Early Childhood Development and Education
Designing a Social Compact for the 21st Century: Early Childhood Development and Education
Stuart Milne 
Forty early childhood development and education practitioners and researchers are gathering at Schloss Leopoldskron this week to address key questions surrounding pre-school learning around the world. In partnership with ETS (Educational Testing Service), the Salzburg Global session Designing a Social Compact for the 21st Century: Early Childhood Development and Education will generate ideas for a strategic roadmap for delivering universal quality access. From April 15 to 18, the international array of participants from countries including Australia, Brazil, India, Kenya, Lebanon, South Africa, the UK and USA will undergo an intensive program helping them to arrive at this roadmap. Their backgrounds include education, social science, services administration, local and national government, business, civil society and foundations. The session will be co-chaired by Hirokazu Yoshikawa, professor of Globalization and Education at the Steinhardt School at New York University and multi-time Salzburg Global Seminar faculty member and session chair Michael Nettles, senior vice president and the Edmund W. Gordon chair of ETS’ Policy Evaluation & Research Center (PERC).   Empowering people through education is one of the key themes of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, which include the target of providing all girls and boys with access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education by 2030. Meeting this goal is particularly challenging for less-developed countries hard-pressed to tackle the economic “double squeeze” of improving start-of-life opportunities for their citizens while also caring and paying for aging populations. With this context in mind, Salzburg Global Seminar is developing a multi-year intervention with select international partners to coordinate and support an integrated early childhood policy and practice agenda, particularly for disadvantaged populations. It aims to augment international efforts to achieve scale through the best available evidence of what is required to achieve access, quality, and scale. Ensuring equitable, quality and scalable practices in early childhood development and education in developing, emerging and developed contexts will be one of the main challenges for participants of this week’s session. “Research continues to support investment in quality early learning for children aged 0-6 and its positive effects on the workforce and society as a whole, but implementation has proven more difficult,” said Program Director Diasmer Bloe. “Given our history of programming in early learning and education at Salzburg Global and our vast Fellowship network, we are solving the question of how best we can support the realization of universal access to quality early childhood development and education. “Through the help of our high-level participants, this strategic planning meeting will provide us with a roadmap for action for the next three to five years.” This roadmap will take the form of a Salzburg Statement - a synthesis of agreed-upon guiding principles, priority actions, and proposals for urgent consideration. Salzburg Statements from previous sessions have been presented at conferences and in venues around the world, including at the House of Commons in London, the World Health Assembly in Geneva, and the ISQua African Regional Meeting in Accra.
The Salzburg Global session Designing a Social Compact for the 21st Century: Early Childhood Development and Education is being held in partnership with ETS (Educational Testing Service). More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/542. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by following the hashtag #SGSecde.
READ MORE...
Educating Young People for the Jobs of the Future
Educating Young People for the Jobs of the Future
Salzburg Global Seminar Staff 
Salzburg Global Seminar was founded by young people in 1947 to challenge present and future leaders to solve issues of global concern. Nearly 70 years later, a top priority facing societies in and beyond Europe concerns youth and their economic prospects. Statistics on the true cost of youth unemployment for the global community are hard to come by but one thing is clear. For societies and individuals to prosper and flourish, systems innovations will be needed to equip all young people with the knowledge, skills and opportunities to achieve their potential and perform the jobs of the future. To tackle this pressing topic, Salzburg Global Seminar, as part of its March Board Meeting and Fellowship Program, held a discussion on Thursday, March 18 at the Vienna headquarters of the Raiffeisen Zentralbank, with a panel of experts: Walter Emberger, CEO, Teach for Austria, Bernhard Reisner, Vice-President for Human Capital, MIBA AG, Laakirchen, Austria and Friederike Sözen, Director of Entrepreneurial Education, Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce (WKO).  Austria and Germany have long-standing dual systems of vocational education and worker training and enviably low levels of youth unemployment. In today’s global knowledge economy, is this a strategic asset that can be exported – especially to parts of the world with high unemployment and gaps in the skilled labor market? Could such systems be further improved and what would this mean for public-private sector cooperation? Do vocational educational tracks meet rising employer demands for flexibility and critical thinking? The expert panel focused particularly on the need for “entrepreneurial education,” teaching students not only business administration skills, but also equipping them with a sense of agility and perseverance necessary for the constantly changing job market. “The ‘job for life’ is over,” remarked on panelist.   As digitalization, robotics and artificial intelligence transform the job landscape, the future of work and the role of education will come under increasing scrutiny. With figures such as Google CEO Eric Schmidt calling for “permissionless innovation” and a “culture of creativity,” what practical approaches could boost human capital development across all sectors of society? Will future educational systems need to “relearn learning” and will the distinction between “academic” and “vocational” become outdated as part of these complex changes? What partnerships between government, research, business and technology could pave the way for tomorrow’s citizens to function in and contribute to radically different economies? The event was attend by Salzburg Global’s international Board of Directors, as well as Fellows and Vienna-based educators and entrepreneurs, many of whom are either currently still in or recently just left compulsory or higher education. Insights and recommendations from the Vienna debate will now help to inform Salzburg Global’s ongoing strategic programs on education, innovation and economic and social sustainability, building on expertise within Austria. Salzburg Global is currently developing a multi-year intervention with partners starting in fall 2015, focusing on educational design and assessment for 21st century skills – the “4 Cs”of communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration – and the future needs of a rapidly changing job landscape. This will build on Salzburg Global’s earlier three-year series with ETS on Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps and its complementary programs on emerging challenges for the global economy.
The panel discussion Educating Young People for the Jobs of the Future was kindly hosted by RZB on Thursday, March 19. You can read tweets from the evening via the hashtag #SGSrzb. Photos from the event are below
READ MORE...
Bridging the Rift: How can we reconnect youth to their future?
Bridging the Rift: How can we reconnect youth to their future?
Louise Hallman 
Every generation since the Ancient Greeks has moaned about young people, who have repaid the compliment by rebelling against their elders. But is this creative dialectic grinding to a halt as job prospects for youth worsen around the planet? Has pressure to conform overtaken the passion to drive change? Our Brave New World of 2014 idealizes youth along with celebrity, but the reality on the ground is often far less rosy. This June, Salzburg Global Seminar sought to examine some of these challenging issues in its program “Bridging the Rift: How can we reconnect youth to their future?” Held annually at Schloss Leopoldskron, the Salzburg Global June Board Weekend brings members of the Salzburg Global board of directors together with donors, partners, supporters, Senior Salzburg Global Fellows and staff for a “mini-session” addressing a pertinent issue. Salzburg Global Seminar – founded by visionary students, vested in intergenerational exchange and problem-solving for over 65 years – has a deep-rooted commitment to progress based on Imagination, Sustainability and Justice. 2014 sees the launch of our multi-year program exploring components of A 21st Century Social Compact, starting with a macro-micro focus on innovation and equity in aging societies and in early 2015, a strategic reassessment of early childhood policies. The growing divide between the young and old, especially as we mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I – which triggered the tag “the lost generation,” is certainly a hot topic.  Youth unemployment rates are sky high in large swathes of Africa and Europe, despite their radically different demographic profiles. Economic inequality is widening in industrialized and developing countries around the world, with knock-on impacts upon social cohesion and regional competitiveness. Too often, young people’s life chances are tied to social determinants which provide gloomy predictors of educational, health and professional outcomes. As the costs of college, medical care, pensions and planetary degradation spiral upwards, intergenerational justice will pose complex challenges in the decades to come. If the ladder of opportunity has indeed broken, as President Obama suggested in his State of the Union Address to the US in 2014, what innovations and incentives do we need to kick-start a bolder vision, build the skills really needed and renew social mobility? What will it take to recharge youth and help them engage as productive members of society? And how can we better connect voices, votes and talents across all generations?These questions and many others were tackled by the roster of speakers for the weekend, which included government ministers and advisors, social entrepreneurs and educators, ambassadors and leading researchers. The audience, too, was diverse with scientists, financiers, theater directors, lawyers, young professionals, as well as college students and retirees all in attendance. Communication problem
Opening the event, Erion Veliaj, Minister of Youth and Social Welfare in Albania, stated: “There’s no intergenerational problem – there is only a communication problem.” As the minister responsible for both young people and pensions, he argued that both ends of the generational divide need to find better ways to communicate with each other.  Governments have a key role to play here: they need to better communicate their public policy decisions so that both the retirees – now wishing to take advantage of the social welfare system they have paid into for decades – and young people – who are facing rising unemployment and are already in need of government support through such initiatives as training schemes and unemployment insurance, as well as expecting to one day too be able to draw a state pension – understand why certain policies are being put in place, what their impact will be, and crucially – who will be footing the bill. Being responsible for both youth policies and pensions, argued Veliaj, was vital to addressing these issues; he must see the problem as a whole, rather than looking after one end of the spectrums’ vested interests, and he encouraged other countries’ governments to follow Albania’s example in joining the ministries together. In a survey conducted in Albania, 50% of school-leavers said they wanted to work for the government, with only 1% responding that they wanted to start their own business. This desire to work in the public sector was because those jobs are seen secure, not because of a sense of civic duty. In fact, when asked to rank a number of options of what was most important to them, the school-leavers ranked appearance as highest, but taking part in civic action as 10th – last place.  Too many people, especially young people, feel excluded from public policy decisions and, feeling disenfranchised from mainstream politics, posited Veliaj, and they thus have no idea how they can positively affect change. How politicians can get more young people engaged in civic activism, helping them finding solutions and not just protesting against what is wrong is a key concern for Veliaj. In Albania, the Socialist Party has been more successful in engaging with their younger constituents via social media, like Facebook, rather than holding mass rallies which had galvanized the youth vote in the past. When “real life” demonstrations have been held, Veliaj maintains that some of their most successful protests – with citizens engaged and politicians responsive – were those that were “fun”, involving costumes, street theater and “flash mobs”, rather than traditional marches or static protests.   Ultimately, if we want young people to be invested in their future, we need to keep them invested and engaged in the political process. Also vital to keeping young people invested in – and prepared for – their increasingly uncertain future, is addressing the state of our education systems.  Reinventing education
In a panel entitled “Do we need to reinvent education?” Lorne Buchman, President of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, USA and Lord Wei of Shoreditch, the youngest peer in the UK’s House of Lords and founder of several education initiatives including Teach First (the UK equivalent of Teach for America, founded by Salzburg Global Fellow Wendy Kopp) and the Future Leaders Trust, advocated for the greater development of creative thinking to help today’s students better adapt to both the challenges and new opportunities that lie ahead in the job market. “Human potential is vast and we neglect it at our peril,” said Buchman, who also told the audience that the number one characteristic CEOs overwhelmingly indicated that they’re looking for in future hires is “creativity.” While we might not all be artistically talented, we can all be creative, Buchman argued, and education needs to nurture this way of thinking. One type of thinking that Buchman particularly advocated was “design-led thinking”, which is not just “making things look pretty” and more about “making and doing” and learning from that process to find better solutions. Wei agreed that children need to be taught more than just “the basics” such as reading and writing; they ultimately need to be able to contribute to society by holding a job and new jobs will require new skills. Education institutions need to recognize where future job opportunities lie and train their young people accordingly. Businesses also should take a role in helping to create new job – after all it is often their determination to innovate that causes job displacement.  Beyond developing specific skills, such as the introduction of computer coding to the UK’s national curriculum this coming academic year, schools need to create curious, nimble, critical thinkers, not rote learners. Too much focus in many countries on testing and targets has led to teaching-to-the-test rather than encouraging students’ creative thinking.  Jobs of tomorrow
If we can ensure future generations are creative thinkers, there still remains the question: “Where will tomorrow’s jobs come from?” In a panel of the same name, US Ambassador to Austria and venture capitalist Alexa Wesner, together with Seán Cleary, Chairman of Strategic Concepts (Pty) Ltd and Executive Vice Chairman of FutureWorld Foundation sought to answer this question. Wesner highlighted that in the US, the jobs market is reliant on both individual entrepreneurial spirit and international trade agreements. Trade agreements such as Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which are currently under negotiation, will offer US small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to key new markets. It is the SMEs, rather than the huge multinationals, that have accounted for 60% of new jobs in the US since the economic downtown, and some 94,000 of these SMEs export to Europe alone. Those that export are able to grow faster and hire more people than those that do not; trade is vital for job creation, argued Wesner.  Individual entrepreneurial spirit needs to be harnessed to start such SMEs in the first place. Echoing points made on the earlier panel, Wesner called for schools to help embed this sense of entrepreneurship from an early age. Some schools in the US have adopted “Lemonade Day” to teach business skills such as market analysis, supply and demand, and cost structure in a child-friendly and easily understood manner.  For Cleary, workers of the future need to look to new sectors for tomorrow’s jobs. As Wei mentioned in the education panel, up to 40% of jobs in the US are currently at risk of being displaced, and this not just manual labor, but also many “white collar” jobs too, such as accountancy and data analysis, as well as manufacturing. “Faster CPUs and the age of big data will consign many repetitive jobs to the garbage chute of history,” elaborated Cleary. The three biggest “recession-proof” areas for new job opportunities, suggested Cleary, will come in the fields of “substitution, optimization and visualization” and there are many emerging technologies that will provide the jobs of tomorrow. Reiterating the call for more creative thinking in education, Cleary said: “The illiterate of the future are not those that cannot read or write. They are those that cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” “The future is of your own making – you cannot rely on the government to give you a job,” remarked one speaker during the weekend, and whilst public sector employment is waning, many people still expect to be able to rely on the state to provide health care, welfare and pensions, a burden that will only increase as populations age and fertility rates reduce.  Footing the bill
In the final panel of the weekend, leading aging researcher, Pieter Vanhuysse, Head of Research and Deputy Director at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research in Vienna, and Rosanna Wong, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, tackled the question “Intergenerational justice: who pays for what?” By 2030 in US, 77 million baby boomers will “hobble into old age”, which means there will be 100% more retirees than today – but only 18% more workers. Who will pay for the pensions of the soon-to-be retired? And can those who will retire further in the future even expect to collect a state pension? Are the workers of tomorrow entitled to the same standard of living as the retirees of today? As well as the pensions deficit, there are other previously unaccounted for costs that are rising: much of the West and increasingly developing countries too are living beyond their environmental means – passing on the ecological deficit onto future generations also. Of course, if there were a simple answer or policy formula to “who pays for what?” governments would have already have implemented it. Different states face different demographical challenges – and they also have different (perhaps unrealized) biases ingrained in their policies. Vanhuysse’s research found that, even when controlled for demographical differences, much of Central and Eastern Europe (which are mostly “middle-aged” compared to Western Europe) had what he referred to as “pro-elderly” policies, which were disadvantageous to their working populations. More government spending is given to welfare and pensions than education, for example. One way to rebalance this pro-elderly bias would be to introduce proxy votes for parents to vote on behalf of their children’s future. But this would assume that the parents would truly vote in their children’s favor, and that the elected politicians will then enact policies that are in their younger constituents’ interests. As one of the youngest members of the audience in Salzburg pointed out: the average age of a member of the US Congress is 62 – the same age at which one can start to collect Social Security payments. “Where’s the incentive for politicians to reform entitlements?” he asked.  In closing the weekend’s discussions and answering the question “who should pay for what?” the response from one speaker was: “Ultimately we all pay – shared responsibility is what intergenerational justice is all about.”
READ MORE...
Displaying results ###SPAN_BEGIN###%s to %s out of ###SPAN_BEGIN###%s
<< First < Previous 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28 29-33 Next > Last >>