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 works as a freelance project manager for the Global Diplomacy lab where she previously served as an elected advisory council member from 2017 to 2019. She is an experienced professional with a proven track record in the field of public administration and civil society. 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 Belgrade Security Forum.
In 2015, she serves as an exchange officer in the Training for International Diplomats section at the German Federal Foreign Office. This assignment was part of the Fellowship Program for Young Governmental Officials from the Western Balkans, organized by the European Fund for the Balkans.
She is a graduate of the Hertie School of Governance (Executive Master of Public Administration) in Berlin, the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade, and the Diplomatic Academy of Serbia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.