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Co-Creation
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GDL in Action: Co-Creating at the prE-Summit

By Julie August

Working together in a co-creation setting in which members can inspire each other and come up with new ideas is key to the GDL’s work. The prE-Summit therefore also included a co-creation session for participants, albeit in an online format. The aim of this session was to generate a climate for potential cooperation between GDL members, linking the three main themes of the Summit to existing or planned projects of the participants, and encouraging them to include the current situation relating to COVID-19 in their ongoing and future projects.

Starting the session, GDL member Patrick Mpedzisi emphasised that the concept of cooperation itself should be redefined for the future. Instead of the traditional, paternalistic and patriarchal understanding according to which a strong, experienced, rich partner cooperates with a weak, unexperienced, poor one, we should try to generate cooperative partnerships on the basis of horizontal, respectful dialogue and mutual understanding. Taking this into account, every project and every case is different – cooperation can take many forms and work towards many different aims, as Patrick pointed out.

Participants then worked on three different topics in smaller groups - corresponding to the guiding themes of the prE-Summit:

GDL member Blair Glencorse introduced and facilitated the discussion about Security, which addressed such fields as the climate crisis and migration, as well as gender and inequality. He pointed out that security is no longer only an issue of military, police and border controls alone, but that it connects to global issues beyond that. In the context of COVID-19, the issue of health security is becoming increasingly important and will certainly play a role in future diplomatic work. However, COVID-19 will also influence mobility, borders, asylum and citizenship – all of which relate back to security.

GDL member Diego Osorio introduced and facilitated the discussion about Partnership for Sustainable Development – SDG 17. He asked participants what can be achieved by personal engagement and which contexts lend themselves to establishing partnerships. He emphasised that there are plenty of great ideas about what to do. However, five years after the “birth of the SDGs”, the world has not seen enough improvement.

Describing the GDL as a “social capital builder”, members were encouraged to take action. The diversity of participants and free conversations in the GDL make it possible to jump from abstract concepts to inspiring personal stories that encourage everyone to start to merge projects and launch collaborations.

GDL members Amarachi Igboegwu and Stefan Cibian introduced and facilitated the discussion about Global Leadership: The Future of Diplomacy. They asked how diplomats should be prepared to face the challenges of today, in general terms, and also after COVID-19. The COVID-19 context is drawing attention to opposing concepts of leadership across the world. Both authoritarian concepts of governance and more democratic, citizen-centred approaches are particularly apparent right now.

Leaders have the opportunity and a duty to cope with challenges that are to come, many of them unpredictable. For the participants of this discussion, this means that leadership also needs to change. Good leaders are in touch with the people and bring unheard voices to the table; the participants established that they need to be fast, flexible, creative and compassionate.

All in all, the co-creation session made it clear that some topics cut across all the discussions that were held, such as climate change, gender justice and inequality. This is one more reason why collaboration between different actors and institutions is needed.

In the coming months, GDL members will be encouraged to find people to connect with and to design projects, the implementation of which can be supported by the Leading Partners and the wider audience during the Live Summit to take place in 2021 at which the co-creation process can hopefully be continued in person.

Further Events

European Diplomatic Programme
GDL members have trained young diplomats in communication, mediation and leadership.
Bled Strategic Forum, August 31, 2020
GDL members host a virtual session on city diplomacy and the future of multilateralism
Gender Alliance Summit on August 26-28
Three days of interactive online sessions bringing together feminist across networks
Online GDL prE-Summit, May 10-30, 2020
A series of virtual formats bridging the waiting time for in person meetings in the GDL community
1+1=17? Partnerships for the SDGs
What constitutes a strong partnership when what you reach for is a better world?
Global Leadership in the 21st Century
"Leadership is a matter of constant preparation and an exercise in day-to-day decisions"
Security mission: global vision
A virtual fishbowl aimed at understanding global security threats requiring new ways of cooperation.
Inspiring Labs - then what?
GDL members, hosts and partners discuss how to move further with past Labs.
And now, what’s next?
A preview of the forthcoming regional GDL Labs in 2021.
City Diplomacy and the Future of Diplomacy
What role could city diplomacy play for the future of multilateralism?
Falling Walls Lab 2019: Walls in Diplomacy
Ivana Petrov presented a pitch about the importance of inclusive diplomacy
Bled Strategic Forum 2019
(Re)sources of (In)stability: GDL members hosted a Night Owl Session
GDL and the Fulbright Program
David Patrician and Juliana Figale presented "Being global citizens"
Federal Foreign Minister Maas focused on LAC
GDL members shaped the LAC initiative and the Forum: Future Affairs
Workshop at the World Press Freedom Day 2019
Elizabeth Maloba and Patrick Mpedzisi discussed safety of women journalists
Online Safety of Women Journalists
UNESCO, Bosch Alumni Network and GDL co-create a session at OSCE conference
European Week of Regions and Cities
Egin Ceka discussed freedom, independence and plurality of media in EaP countries
City Diplomacy for Better EU Enlargement
GDL Members pitched their ideas at the European Parliament in Brussels
GDL selected for the first Paris Peace Forum
The GDL was one of 120 projects within the Space of Solutions at the 2018 Paris Peace Forum
Design Thinking for Public Policy
Uber & Co. vs. Taxis – Test driving Design Thinking in a real-world public policy challenge
Bled Strategic Forum 2018
How do we distinguish a fact from a perception or a myth? How do we bridge the divide?
Raising Awareness of Unconscious Bias
The Global Diplomacy Lab held a workshop at the UN Global Festival of Action
What will be the next wall to fall?
Elizabeth Maloba on how to fight youth unemployment at the Falling Walls Lab in Berlin
Climate Change Multi-stakeholder Diplomacy
The Global Diplomacy Lab at the German Pavilion during the COP23 in Bonn
Jasdeep Randhawa at the Climate Conference
Climate Action & Human Wellbeing at a Crossroad: Historical Transformation or Backlash?
40th Anniversary of the Brandt Commission
GDL Members pitched their visionary ideas to Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel
To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question!
The Global Diplomacy Lab at the Bled Strategic Forum 2017
Managing Diversity in a Time of Turmoil
The Global Diplomacy Lab at the Global Media Forum of Deutsche Welle in Bonn
Decoding Global Diplomacy
Fifth GDL Digital Series on 29 September, 6 & 12 October
Falling Walls Conference & Lab 2018
Tarek Alsaleh presented his pitch on how to break the Wall of Localising Aid
Creative Bureaucracy Festival 2018
Julia Kloiber and Nicola Forster represented the GDL at the Creative Bureaucracy Festival 2018
The Hague Digital Diplomacy Camp
An unconference about influence and diplomacy in a diffuse digital world
Love Out Loud GDL@re:publica 2017
Julia Kloiber speaks at re:publica about Collaboration in Civic Tech, Berlin, 8 May 2017
Open Situation Room in Bogota and Medellin
Reintegration Strategies for Internally Displaced Persons in Post-Conflict Colombia, 21 March 2017
Open Situation Room in Mumbai
Bridge over Troubled Waters: Achieving Water Security in India, 22 March 2017
Open Situation Room in Kathmandu
Technology and Community Presence to Prevent Catastrophes, 21 March 2017
Open Situation Room in Montreal
Leveraging Technology and Diplomacy: Creative Solutions to Humanitarian Crisis, 20 March 2017
Open Situation Room in Geneva
Creating Digital Trust and Engagement in Remotely Controlled Environments, 21 March 2017
Humanitarian Diplomacy Lab
A Series of Open Situation Rooms across the Globe with Pitch Night in San Francisco, March 2017
When Paul came over the Sea
Documentary #Pauloverthesea - Journal of an Encounter by GDL Member Jakob Preuss
Cities Combating Urban Poverty
HABITAT III - SODEM in partnership with GDL and FES Turkey, Quito 19 October, 2016
GDL Member at UN Summer Academy
United Actors Founder Susanne Salz joins UN Summer Academy in August 2016
Financing Global Education Opportunity
GDL member Amel Karboul speaks at UN General Assembly, September 2016
Embassy Lab on Future Diplomacy, Berlin 2016
GDL Side Event: Embassy Lab on Future Diplomacy, Berlin 7 October, 2016
Bled Strategic Forum, Slovenia 2016
GDL Side Event: Night Owl Session at Bled Strategic Forum, Slovenia 5 to 6 September, 2016
Strong GDL Representation at WRLF
World Responsilbe Leaders Forum of the BMW Foundation, 19 to 22 May 2016, Munich
GDL Member at Falling Walls Lab
Susanne Salz speaks at Falling Walls Lab in Berlin, November 2015
From United Nations to United Actors
GDL Side Event in New York, 12 October 2015

Julie August

Julie August is a graphic designer and art curator. She works as a graphic designer for publishing houses and architects, as well as cultural and social projects, and also organises exhibitions. Before moving to Buenos Aires, she lived in Berlin for 15 years. As art director at the small left-wing publishing house Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, she converted part of her home into a project space for contemporary artists.

The 18m gallery led her to other curatorial projects, first in Albania and Serbia, and now in Argentina and Germany. Together with Rachel Kohn, she has been directing the women artists’ network “Frauenmuseum Berlin” for eight years. She studied literature and art history in Munich and graphic design in Leipzig. She has a 24-year-old daughter and is married to the Argentine filmmaker Liliana Furió. In addition to her cultural activities, she sees a profound necessity to participate in social and human rights issues.

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Learn more about Julie in this article.

Patrick Mpedzisi

Patrick Mpedzisi is an organisational development consultant with over 15 years’ experience in the NGO sector in Africa. During this time he opened various processes for CSOs in Africa to engage in regional processes. He has managed major CSO initiatives, led regional campaigns and built civil society capacities across the continent. He now focuses on building NGOs’ capacities to be more effective in their sustainability and resource mobilisation.

A lawyer by profession, he also founded Mitupo.org, a platform for restoring, preserving and celebrating African culture and identity and promoting ownership of the evolution of culture. Prior to that, he coordinated the African Democracy Forum, was project coordinator at Southern Africa Trust and led the African Youth Parliament, among other roles. He also co-authored a paper on South African foreign policy and regional integration.

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You can read more about his engagement here and about his reflections on inclusion in this interview.

Blair Glencors

Blair Glencorse is Founder and Executive Director of the Accountability Lab, an incubator for creative, youth-driven ideas for accountability and transparency around the world.

Blair is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Anti-Corruption and Transparency.

Previously, Blair was a Social Impact Fellow at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania, an advisor to the now President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, and worked for the World Bank on issues of governance and development.

He is an Echoing Green Fellow and winner of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Award, the World Technology Award and the D-Prize.

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Read more about Blair in his blog post and his article about a crowdfunding development aid. Also listen to this podcast in which he shares his vision about sustainable use of resources.

Diego Osorio

Diego Osorio is the Head of Resource Mobilisation Partnerships at CCAFS-CGIAR. He is a PhD Candidate at Utrecht University and former Canadian diplomat. He has 23 years of public administration and international experience covering the UN, NATO, World Bank, Canadian diplomacy and private sector ventures.

Diego has worked globally in the fields of political diplomacy, economic cooperation, climate change and adaption policy, as well as institutional/social reconstruction, civil-military coordination and humanitarian assistance. His numerous field missions have taken him across the world, to countries including Afghanistan, Colombia, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Indonesia (Banda Aceh), Iraq, the Central African Republic, Jordan, Kosovo, Liberia, Pakistan, and Timor Leste.

He previously served as Senior Peacekeeping Officer (2006) and as Senior Advisor on Mediation, Negotiation and Peace Processes (2019) at Global Affairs Canada. He is also an Associate Fellow of both the Raoul-Dandurand Chair in Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at the Université de Quebec à Montreal (UQAM) and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. Diego has lectured on humanitarian action, governance design, the humanitarian-development nexus, reconciliation and mediation, post-conflict recovery, political economy, complexity and economic geography, and urban conflict at universities in Canada and abroad. He also works on co-creation and human design methodologies.

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Find out more about his work here. Also read about his engagement here.

Amarachi Adannaya Igboegwu

Ms Amarachi Adannaya Igboegwu is an Equity and Empathy Consultant with vast international training and coaching experience. Her primary goal is to empower both private and public institutions with a view to enhancing and building their human capacity by improving communication lines and promoting belongingness.

Her doctoral research study connects critical self-reflection and self-knowledge to the conscious teaching of elements that are necessary for dealing with structural racism. She has pioneered pre-service teacher training courses on the topic of conscious teaching, led workshops and given talks on the importance of critical self-reflection and the impact of implicit bias in daily life.

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Find out more on her opinion on responsible leadership here.

Stefan Cibian

Stefan Cibian believes that together we can generate social change and inspire our communities. He is passionate about bringing together global experiences and everyday local activities and does this through his work in research, consulting and volunteering.

Stefan has a background in development, international relations, political science and law and received his MA and a PhD from Central European University. His research focuses on peacebuilding, statehood and development in Africa. He is also involved in civil society activities, focusing on community development and resilience. Stefan is director at Cibian Consulting and co-initiator of the Făgăraş Research Institute. He is a visiting lecturer in international development at Babeş-Bolyai University.

Previously Stefan was an Academy Robert Bosch Fellow at the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, Chatham House.

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