The symposium is part of Salzburg Global Seminar, an independent non-profit institution founded in 1947 with “a distinguished track record of convening emerging and established leaders to address issues of global concern.”
The Seminar utilizes its worldwide network to bring people together to discuss topics as diverse as healthcare, education, culture, economics, geopolitics and philanthropy. Born just after World War II, the Seminar was started to create a constructive dialogue between America and European nations and has grown globally over the years.
Held annually at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, the filming location of scenes of the “Sound of Music,” the symposium selects attendees for the conference based on their submitted applications. Montana Western Chancellor Beth Weatherby, a former fellow of the Seminar, recommended the institution to Professor Gilde.
The session brought together around 50 participants from more than 25 countries. In addition to public and private sector professionals, participants included researchers and academics teaching about the United States in universities across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States.
The theme of this year’s symposium focused on the history and the evolution of the “American Dream.” The term was first popularized by writer James Truslow Adams, and has constantly evolved over time, meaning something different to nearly every generation of Americans. The shifting of the Dream also has global implications, as it can influence political and social structure and attitudes.
According to Professor Gilde, “It was an exciting opportunity to present at the event and to represent the University of Montana Western, and to bring back the discussion to the university and its students.”