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GDL Members Hosting a Night Owl Session at Bled Strategic Forum 2019

For the fourth year in a row, the Global Diplomacy Lab has been invited to host a session designed and led by its members at the 14th Bled Strategic Forum (BSF), which took place from 2 to 3 September 2019 in Bled, Slovenia.

Under the title (Re)sources of (In)stability, this year’s conference examined the role of the (re)sources of peace and security, sustainable development and economic progress. The sources of global instability have become more complex, dispersed and unpredictable. Effective management of strategic resources maintains stability, reduces security risks and improves living standards – whereas uneven and unjust distribution leads to inequality and the concentration of resources in centres of power.

Focusing on the creation of a resilient and inclusive democracy from a gender perspective, GDL members Cecilia Barja, Elizabeth Maloba and Elsa Marie D’Silva hosted a Night Owl Session at which participants were invited to discuss the role of women as stabilisers for democracy and a (re)source of peace, stability and sustainability.

Photo by: Tamino Petelinšek/STA
Photo by: Tamino Petelinšek/STA
Photo by: Tamino Petelinšek/STA
Tamino Petelinšek/STA
Photo by: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and the Centre for European Perspective, the BSF was launched with the vision of bringing together decision-makers from different fields, encouraging open debate on contemporary political, security and development challenges, and searching for new ideas and solutions. After more than a decade of annual gatherings, the forum has evolved into a leading international conference in Central and South-Eastern Europe. It draws together regional and global actors from the spheres of diplomacy, policy, business, science and innovation for the purpose of finding answers to the burning challenges of today and tomorrow.

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Cecilia Barja Chamas

Cecilia Barja Chamas has led political processes and cross-sector alliances in Latin America and the United States for 18 years. In 1999, she co-founded the political party “Movimiento Sin Miedo” and was elected to the office of councillor for La Paz at the age of 23. In 2008, she coordinated Magis Americas in New York, mobilising resources for “Fe y Alegría”, a Jesuit network of 3000 schools in 17 Latin American countries.

From 2010 to 2016, she was a member of Fundación Avina in Colombia, leading cross-sector alliances in six Amazonian countries and the peace process in rural areas of Colombia. Since September 2017, Cecilia has been part of the North Carolina Congress of Latino Organizations, affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), a grassroots network that builds relationships between races and religions on issues of common concern such as housing and education. She has a Master’s in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School.

Elizabeth Maloba

Elizabeth Maloba has worked as an organisational change and business growth facilitator since 2002, and has extensive experience in capacity building, knowledge management, facilitation and conflict resolution.

She works to provide support to organisations to enable them to achieve their objectives by supporting them in making decisions, solving problems, exchanging ideas and information, and learning. She has considerable entrepreneurship experience, having started her own business and invested in a couple of small businesses over the years. This experience allows her to combine entrepreneurial and management skills where needed. She also provides training on entrepreneurship and leadership.

She is currently studying for her master’s degree in organisational development. She lives in Nairobi and has worked in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Somalia and Benin. Her personal interests are travelling and reading.


Find out more about her engagement here.


Elsa Marie D’Silva

Elsa Marie D’Silva is the founder and Managing Director of Red Dot Foundation (Safecity), a platform that crowdsources personal experiences of sexual violence and abuse in public spaces. Since Safecity started in December 2012, it has become the largest crowd map on the issue in India, Kenya, Cameroon and Nepal.
Elsa Marie is an alumna of the US State Department’s Fortune Program, a fellow with Rotary Peace, Aspen New Voices and Vital Voices, and a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader. She is listed as one of BBC Hindi’s 100 Women. Moreover, she has won the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award launched by Dušan Stojanović (European Angel Investor of the Year 2013) and the SheThePeople’s Digital Woman Award in Social Impact.
Prior to Safecity, she spent 20 years in the aviation industry, where she worked with Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines. In her last role in aviation, she was Vice President Network Planning.


Read more about Elsa's work at Safecity and see for yourself in this this documentary. She also has a very clear vision for the Global Diplomacy Lab .


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