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Salzburg Global Fellowship

15 Faces for the Future
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Salzburg Global Fellowship

15 Faces for the Future

Salzburg Global Seminar’s mission is to challenge current and future leaders to tackle problems of global concern. To this end, Salzburg Global brings young, emerging leaders to Schloss Leopoldskron, not only for our Academies programs, but for every Salzburg Global session. Nearly 500 of our 1844 Fellows who attended sessions between 2011 and 2013 were under the age of 40, in addition to the more than 800 Academies participants. Below are just 15 of our remarkable young Fellows.

Patricia Garza

Sessions attended: 498, 503

Patricia participated in the inaugural Young Cultural Leaders Forum and returned for the Young Cultural Innovators series planning meeting a year later. She was selected because of her extensive work in various different arts projects – from theater to fashion – working with diverse groups, like the Latino community and LGBTQ youth, across Los Angeles. Her roles at Center Theater Group, the largest non-profit theater group on the US West Coast, have seen her getting out into the community and introducing theater to the “unusual suspects,” and ensuring that the issues of diversity and acceptance are fully integrated into the new plays that the group produces.

For “Faces of Leadership” video profile, please see: youtu.be/mT9Jx9HFzyI


Session attended: SAC 04

Lubna came to Salzburg as a student participant of the three-week-long Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change in 2010 while studying for her undergraduate degree at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. She is now the director of the Media and Digital Literacy Academy of Beirut (MDLAB), an initiative inspired by the Salzburg Academy. MDLAB aims to advance digital and media literacy education in the Arab region through both a two-week summer program for graduate students and academics (the first of which was held in 2013) and year-round work to develop curricula and publish them online in an open source environment.


Sessions attended: 490, 532, 538

Phloeun is the executive director of Cambodian Living Arts and CEO of Season of Cambodia. His family fled to Canada to escape the Khmer Rouge when he was three years old. He returned to Cambodia in 1998 and helped bring a small EU-supported program training artisans, Artisans d’Angkor, from 50 artists to a self-sustainable company employing over 1000 artisans and staff. In 2010, he was appointed the first executive director of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA). Under his leadership, CLA has grown from supporting 15 master artists to offering leadership development, capacity building, and numerous creative industries projects, transitioning into one of the first arts advocacy organizations in Cambodia.


Germany, Tunisia, UAE
Sessions attended: 508, 544

German-born Belabbes founded the Munathara Initiative, a Tunisian-based online and television debate forum to foster the participation of youth, women and marginalized communities in Arab public discourse. Following his session at Salzburg with Fellows from Egypt, Libya and Yemen, as well as Tunisia, Belabbes was inspired to focus Munathara’s programming on these four transition countries, launching a series of debates on human rights, inclusion and diversity. As well as being a Salzburg Global Fellow, Belabbes is recipient of the US-based National Democratic Institute “Democracy Award” for recognition of his “efforts to use technology to expand opportunities for citizen participation and to make governments more transparent and accountable.”

For audio interview, please see: soundcloud.com/salzburgglobal/belabbes-benkredda


Rwanda, USA
Session attended: GCP 38

Lavar is currently serving in the US Peace Corps in Rwanda. He was a student participant of the International Study Program on Global Citizenship in 2010. Lavar has a passion for addressing health disparities and health care reform, and during his time in the Peace Corps he will be working closely with the local community and organizations to develop the capacity of local health centers and community-based health workers to plan, coordinate, deliver, monitor and evaluate areas of maternal and child health, hygiene, nutrition, Malaria, and HIV and AIDS.


Session attended: ISP 07

Funlayo first came to Salzburg as a student participant of the seventh International Study Program on Global Citizenship during her studies at Bronx Community College. She returned to Schloss Leopoldskron as an intern. Since graduating, Funlayo has gone on to become an adjunct lecturer at Boston College and teaching fellow at Harvard University, where she is currently a doctoral candidate in African and African American studies with a primary field in religion, focusing on Yoruba Ifa-Orisa traditions as practiced in Nigeria and the Americas. Funlayo is the founding director of the African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association and executive director of the Orisa Community Development Corporation, a non-profit organization dedicated to community building.


Sessions attended: 498, 503

Jimena is the director of International Affairs at the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico, and former Program Coordinator at the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, where she helped promote Mexican culture in New York. She believes cultural management is about “the motivation and passion for the arts, and utmost respect for the artists... I’ve had the honor of learning from some of the most passionate and experienced leaders of the trade, who’ve taught me that cultural leadership is about being of service... working to create the best possible conditions for creativity and innovation to flourish.”

For interview, please see: salzburgglobal.org/news-media/article/jimena-lara-estrada-its-a-privilege-to-participate


Denmark, Guatemala
Session attended: 506

Fernanda was the first transgender woman to be granted asylum in Denmark, following persecution in her home country of Guatemala. Having successfully campaigned for her own asylum with activists from various LGBT groups in Denmark and across Europe, Fernanda has gone on to co-found her own activism group, Trans-Project in Denmark. In her role she gives public speeches at other organizations and universities, raising awareness of the issues faced by trans women. She also volunteers for TalkTrafficking.org, blogging about human trafficking – a fate faced by many cis and trans women across the world.


Session attended: 477

Bright, president of mPedigree Network, came to Salzburg for the session Innovating for Value in Health Care Delivery. With mPedigree Network, Bright pioneered a system that enables consumers to instantly authenticate the safety of pharmaceuticals at point of purchase by sending a free text message via their cell phone, helping block counterfeit drugs, a worldwide killer of 70,000 people yearly. Bright sees himself as part innovator, part entrepreneur, with mPedigree as part IT enterprise and part social activist organization. Following his Salzburg experience and the global connections it afforded, Bright and mPedigree expanded their focus from Africa to Asia.

For “Faces of Leadership” video profile, please see: youtu.be/JgLr-fHa1pw


USA, Yemen
Sessions attended: 508, 544

Rooj is a Yemeni-American documentary photographer and writer, and also co-founder of SupportYemen, a media collective based in Sana’a, dedicated to creating films and advanced digital media that raise awareness of human rights and social justice issues. As a member of the collective, Rooj was engaged in Yemen’s postrevolution National Dialogue, campaigning for the increased involvement of women and youth in the reconciliation process. Currently, she is organizing photography workshops, putting cameras in the hands of young women and working on a documentary about the human cost of drone warfare – a topic on which Rooj is especially outspoken, providing commentary as an activist for Al Jazeera and RT.


Sessions attended: 498, 503, 538

Ruediger Wassibauer is the founder and artistic director at Schmiede Hallein, a producers’ festival and community, based on three simple principles: network, create, and present. He participated in the Young Cultural Leaders Forum in 2012, returning for the strategic planning meeting for the ten-year Young Cultural Innovators (YCI) program in 2013 and the first session of the YCI in 2014. This experience, together with his work at Schmiede and for advisory councils on state and national levels, has made him the ideal choice for the first ever “YCI Culture Hub” leader in Salzburg, helping the next generation of cultural innovators in the very city where Salzburg Global Seminar is based.


Sweden, USA
Sessions attended: GCP 18, 35, 54, 58

Xenia is a researcher with the Stockholm Peace Research Institute’s Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Program, currently working on the New Geopolitics of Peace Operations Initiative, which aims to enhance dialogue and understanding about the role that emerging global actors play in shaping the future of international conflict management. She first came to Salzburg as a student participant of the International Study Program on Global Citizenship in 2007. She has remained involved in the Global Citizenship Program ever since, returning several times, first as an intern and later as a rapporteur and a resource specialist, and most recently as a member of the faculty, leading discussions with students on conflict resolution.


Sessions attended: 489, 500, 507, Fellow 31

Ayman first came to Salzburg in 2012, when he was studying for his master’s in International Healthcare Systems Management. Since then, Ayman has attended a further two sessions as part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Health and Health Care Innovation series, speaking authoritatively on panels alongside longer-serving colleagues. In his home country of Egypt, since the revolution in 2011, Ayman has moved his focus from working as a doctor and healing people, to healing the health care system at large. He now works with a number of NGOs in Egypt and has also founded his own organization, working to establish innovative community health care systems in the country.

For “Faces of Leadership” video profile, please see: youtu.be/V0bI2pZy44w


Sessions attended: 473, 484, 509

Three-time Fellow Mame is the founder and CEO of Bioessence Laboratories, a Senegalese company that specializes in producing skin care products from African flora. Mame’s company works across rural areas of Senegal, and other countries such as Guinea and Mali, and exports across the region. Through her work, Mame not only connects farmers – many of whom are part of women’s collectives – with producers and sellers, but also seeks to raise the profile of African produce, cosmetology and entrepreneurship.

For interview, please see: salzburgglobal.org/news-media/article/mame-diene-i-want-to-go-back-to-basics


North Korea, Singapore
Session attended: 518

During his studies, Geoffrey visited North Korea and met a college student who wanted to be a businesswoman to prove that women can be business leaders. This incident led Geoffrey to found the Choson Exchange, a non-profit organization that trains young professionals in North Korea in economics, business and law, with the goal of helping North Korea integrate peacefully into the international community. Since 2009, Choson Exchange has had over 900 North Koreans take part in programs. Geoffrey is also a research fellow at MIT focusing on entrepreneurship in frontier economies, a board member of a listed Mongolian energy company, and an advisor to a Singapore-MIT research institute.