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Launch of Global Citizenship Alliance

GCA_signingThe Global Citizenship Alliance (GCA) will continue, strengthen and expand the work of the Salzburg Global Seminar’s successful Global Citizenship Program. This move is being jointly announced by Salzburg Global’s senior leadership and the staff of the Global Citizenship Program.

Salzburg, October 21, 2015: After twelve years and seventy-one sessions involving more than three thousand participants from around eighty colleges and universities throughout the United States, the Global Citizenship Program (GCP) is setting out for new horizons. The Global Citizenship Alliance will offer programs in association with the Salzburg Global Seminar, thereby underscoring that both sides remain closely connected and will continue to identify ways to collaborate on the subject of global citizenship education and related opportunities.

Following a round of thorough and constructive consultations, senior leadership of the Salzburg Global Seminar and GCP staff mutually agreed that the time has come to place the GCP on a new foundation. The success of the program has called for a transformation of its organizational structure to make it more responsive to the needs and expectations of its partners and alumni. A strategic review revealed a number of areas for qualitative growth and enhancement, which can be pursued more deliberately by forming a separate and stand-alone association: The Global Citizenship Alliance. These areas include:

  • Seminars and workshops at different locations, including the United States in addition to the familiar location in Salzburg;
  • Tailor-made programs for GCP alumni and other constituencies;
  • Increased ownership and input by GCP stakeholders by involving representatives of partner institutions, faculty and participants in program design, curriculum development and new initiatives of the Global Citizenship Alliance.

“We are very excited about starting an independent organization. It allows us to take our work of promoting global citizenship education together with our partners to a new level,” says Global Citizenship Alliance’s President Jochen Fried who together with his colleagues designed the GCP twelve years ago and had been its Director ever since. “The GCP has always been more than a program of Salzburg Global. It has been a partnership comprised of a dedicated and growing group of colleges and universities, an incredibly loyal and inspired core faculty, the participants of the program ranging in age between 17 and 71 who are spreading the message of global citizenship, and finally the staff of the GCP who have the best of it because we have the pleasure of bringing everyone together around a common idea of critical relevance for 21st century education.”

Dr. Fried’s views are confirmed by Astrid Schroeder, Chief Operating Officer of the Global Citizenship Alliance and former Program Director of the GCP: “If you look at the development of this program over time, the momentum has been leading in the direction that requires us to start the next chapter with the Global Citizenship Alliance. Many of our partner institutions have implemented their particular version of global education suitable for the communities that they serve. The Global Citizenship Alliance will allow us to continue our role as a catalyst of these institutional developments and at the same time to be a more active and versatile hub for cooperation and synergies among our partners.”

Together with a small group of long-term friends and supporters of the GCP, Fried and Schroeder worked diligently during the past several months to establish the legal foundations of the new organization.

GCA_signing4Salzburg Global believes in the mission and goals of the GCP and feels great pride in what it has achieved over more than a decade,” says Salzburg Global President Stephen Salyer. “With support by Salzburg Global the GCP succeeded in building long-term partnerships, secure grants and create brand recognition raising the appeal of our unique campus at Schloss Leopoldskron. We look forward to maintaining our association for many years to come.”

Even as the Global Citizenship Alliance sets out in its own direction, the GCP leaves a rich legacy at Salzburg Global. It has added more than 3,000 alumni to the Fellowship pool and increased diversity in areas including age, nationality, and socio-economic status. The GCP also positioned Salzburg Global at the forefront of innovative concepts in higher education as demonstrated by the growing acknowledgement of the need for global (citizenship) education in the U.S. and worldwide.

In the future, Salzburg Global Seminar and the Global Citizenship Alliance will be separate entities but will cooperate for mutual benefit. Seminars of the Alliance will take place at the GCP’s traditional setting of Schloss Leopoldskron in Austria but there are also plans to offer the program at other locations in Europe as well as in the United States.

Augie Gallego, Chancellor Emeritus of San Diego Community College District and a well-known champion of progressive reforms in higher education, is the first Chair of the GCA Board. He emphasizes the balance between change and continuity: “It is significant that the Global Citizenship Alliance will maintain its strong and historic relationship with the Salzburg Global Seminar. This newly strengthened and expanded GCA will provide even more creative program development, resulting in increased opportunities for our students, faculty and academic staff to participate in global citizenship seminars.”

One of the key goals of the GCA is to keep participation in the program affordable for partner institutions, old and new. Additionally, the GCA will be more diverse and flexible so as to answer to the different needs of its partners such as, for example, short faculty workshops on a specific theme related to global education, connecting GCP alumni through a network of action, brokering cross-institutional curriculum development and research projects, and strengthening PR work on behalf of the members of the Global Citizenship Alliance. The GCA will also form partnerships and strategic coalitions with various associations, non-governmental and corporate partners both in the U.S. and elsewhere that share the goals and objectives of the Alliance.

News and Views

Homeland Earth - A Campaign to Promote Planetary Awareness

"(T)he globalisation push of the last decades has connected all people on all continents and of all nations in a complex way and brought them into an indissoluble relationship with each other. Thus, whether we like it or not, an earthly community of destiny has come into being. (…) But many people and nations lack awareness of this earthly community of destiny. Especially in times of crisis, every nation retreats into itself and seeks its salvation in national solo efforts (…)" "What we need is a worldwide public opinion that represents a planetary awareness and is strong enough to influence the policies of states and international bodies in this direction (…) we must also develop the awareness that we are citizens of Homeland Earth and act accordingly. This is the idea of our international campaign "Homeland Earth." Heimatland Erde | ASPR The Global Citizenship Alliance supports this Heimatland Erde (Homeland Earth) campaign of The Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR), which was founded in 1982. The GCA encourages all of its partner institutions and alumni to familiarize themselves with the campaign for Homeland Earth and to consider supporting it by signing the appeal for this campaign, disseminating its manifesto and participating in events related to the campaign.