Falling Walls Lab 2019: Walls in Diplomacy
8 November 2019, Berlin
GDL member Ivana Petrov had the unique opportunity to present her pitch on “Breaking the Wall of Exclusive Diplomacy” at the Grand Finale of the 2019 Falling Walls Lab on 8 November in Berlin.
Each year, the Falling Walls finale and conference provide an opportunity to bring together brilliant thinkers from a multitude of fields. Inspired by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the historic changes that followed it, this year’s Falling Walls celebrated the symbolic 30-year anniversary of the watershed events of 1989. The Falling Walls Lab is a thought-provoking hub that enables thinkers, innovators, decision-makers, scientists and entrepreneurs to reflect on their ideas for the future of our world and to share proposals on how to face contemporary challenges.
Focusing on the symbolic meaning of a wall, Ivana argued in her pitch that diplomacy is known for being exclusive, elitist and something that is done behind closed doors. During her pitch, we learned that walls arise because most people in our societies have no contact with the world of diplomacy.
Ivana introduced the Global Diplomacy Lab as a way to tear down these walls by addressing relevant actors and institutions directly; sharing knowledge and skills; applying new formats and tools to communicate and work with each other; and promoting mutual respect and openness based on mutual trust. The overall aim is a more inclusive and open form of diplomacy. The main idea is thus to solve a problem by including everyone who is affected: “There are always three sides to everything: the one you see, the one I see, and the one neither of us sees.”
Ivana is an experienced professional with more than a decade of work in the field of international projects, public administration, and civil society. She was engaged with the Global Diplomacy Lab, both as freelance project manager and an elected advisory council member.
She worked for the Government of the Republic of Serbia as Communications Officer to the Head of the Negotiating Team for the Accession of Serbia to the European Union. Prior to that, she was Public Relations and Project Manager at the European Movement in Serbia. She also led the media team of the international conference Belgrade Security Forum.
Ivana is a graduate of the Hertie School of Governance, Executive Master of Public Administration programme in Berlin, the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade with focus on international relations, and the Diplomatic Academy of Serbia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.