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Annegret Warth at the 11th Lab in Berlin, Photo by Marc Beckmann

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.

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Annegret Warth

Annegret Warth has a strong background in academia, civil society and administration. She works at the interface between education and diplomacy by merging local, national and international perspectives on formal and non-formal education.

At Stuttgart Municipality, she currently coordinates a network which aims to mainstream education for sustainable development by encouraging intersectoral cooperation between education, civil society and administration.

In her academic work, Annegret has developed a non-essentialist approach to overcome Eurocentric research on youth in the Global South. As a 2018/19 Mercator-IPC Fellow, she explored potentials of local youth policy and youth participation in Turkey. She has formerly worked as a research and teaching fellow at Goethe-University in Frankfurt.

Since 2010, Annegret has been active at the intersection of research and practice in youth exchange with a focus on Turkey. She is a consultant to stakeholders in youth exchange including the German-Turkish Youth Bridge, the International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany (IJAB), and Stiftung Mercator.

Annegret studied Educational Science at Tübingen University, Marburg University and Bosporus University in Istanbul. She holds a PhD in International Youth Research from Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg.



Max Bouchet
Max Bouchet is a senior policy analyst and project manager at the Brookings Institution, affiliated with the Center for Sustainable Development and the Global Economy & Development Programme.

Connecting with scholars, diplomats, businesses, city and community leaders from countries of the Global South and North, he researches the making of stronger local communities. He co-manages the Brookings SDG Leadership Cities network to develop relationships and solutions with city leaders to advance sustainability and inclusion. Passionate about the role of local governments in addressing global challenges, Max works to elevate the leadership and innovative power of cities in multilateral diplomacy.

Over 2018-2020, Max combined his research on global cities with a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship (Global Governance Futures 2030) and a Policy Center for the New South Fellowship (Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leader). Previously, he was chief analyst of Conway, Inc., an Atlanta-based economic development consulting firm. Max graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po Paris, France) with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs.


Read more about his vision on city-to-city diplomacy here.

Chi Nguyen

Chi Nguyen is the Ontario Liberal Party candidate for Spadina Fort-York. Chi will be running in the upcoming provincial election in 2022, with the goal to represent the area where she grew up in the Ontario Legislative Assembly.

Previously, she served as 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.


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