GDL Members host a Virtual Session at the
Bled Strategic Forum
Bled, Slovenia and online, 31 August 2020
A group of dedicated GDL members hosted a virtual session on the topics of City Diplomacy and the Future of Multilateralism at this years Bled Strategic Forum (BSF). For the fifth time in a row, GDL and BSF pooled their efforts to confront some of the most important global challenges. The 15th BSF addressed the urgent need to support and develop a resilient and sustainable global community and – for the first time - included a strong digital component.
The virtual GDL session at this year’s BSF was conceptualised by GDL members Annegret Warth and Max Bouchet. It explored how cross-border collaboration and experience-sharing between cities is enabling them to lead the way in addressing global challenges. Pragmatism and problem-solving, rather than geopolitical interests, are driving the global multi-lateral cooperation of the age and cities are emerging as global players with their own agenda.
Over the course of 90 minutes, the participants had the opportunity to learn from the experience of frontline researchers and practitioners in the field during a panel discussion, moderated by Chi Nguyen. Afterwards an exchange in breakout sessions dived deeper into specific aspects of the topic.
What has City Diplomacy to do with the Future of Mulitlateralism?
As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and face one of the greatest health and economic crises of our age, the multilateral environment seems weakened by the renewed unilateralism of major powers and the gridlock in international cooperation on migration, global health and climate. Looking ahead, rapid population growth in urban areas means that many of our global challenges and the responses to them will be concentrated in cities. Meanwhile, mayors and local governments have been coming together and filling the gap by connecting across borders in city networks such as C40 Cities and the Urban 20 (U20) to coordinate their efforts to influence global agendas.
Annegret Warth is an educational scientist focusing on international comparative youth and youth welfare research. As a Mercator-IPC fellow she is inquiring the status of networks between local civil society and municipalities in Turkey, with a specific focus on youth work and policy. In her doctoral thesis, she is exploring heterogeneous manifestations of the youth phase in Turkey. Prior to that, she worked as a project leader of the German national network “Research and Practice in Dialogue” fostering innovation in youth exchange and as a research and teaching fellow at the Goethe University of Frankfurt.
Since 2010, Annegret has been active at the intersection of research and practice in the field of youth work and youth exchange with a focus on Turkey. She is active as a consultant for stakeholders of youth exchange including the German-Turkish Youth Bridge, the International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany (IJAB), and Stiftung Mercator. From 2008 to 2010 she worked as a youth worker and project coordinator at the Centre for Civil Society Studies at Istanbul Bilgi University.
Max Bouchet is a research analyst at the Brookings Institution, affiliated with the Metropolitan Policy Programme and the Global Economy & Development Programme. He conducts research on building stronger and more inclusive city-region economies. He also stewards the SDG Leadership Cities network to help local leaders implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Over 2018-2019, Max Bouchet combined his analysis on global cities with a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship (Global Governance Futures 2030). Connecting with scholars, diplomats, business and community leaders from countries of the Global South and North, he researched the role of cities in addressing global challenges. Previously, Max was chief analyst of Conway, Inc., an Atlanta-based economic consultancy firm.
He graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po, France) with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs. Max Bouchet is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and conversant in Mandarin Chinese after studying at Fudan University in Shanghai.
Read more about his vision on city-to-city diplomacy here.
Ms. Chi Nguyen is the Managing Director at Parker P. Consulting, a social enterprise consulting firm owned by White Ribbon. White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.
Ms. Nguyen has been recognised for her contributions to improving the lives of women and girls throughout Canada by the Governor General (2004) and the YWCA (1999). These efforts included running a national Young Women Vote campaign, the creation of the McGill Women in House program and co-authoring the “Little Black Book for Girls”.
She serves on the advisory of Jane’s Walk, a global movement of citizen-based walks that connect people with their own stories about their communities.
In her free time, she likes to race streetcars on her bicycle, eat delicious food, run and quilt.