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Photo credit: Paris Peace Forum
Photo credit: Paris Peace Forum

Selected Project for the first Paris Peace Forum
11 to 13 Novmeber 2018, Paris

This article is written by Elsa D'Silva and Eirliani Abdul Rahman who represented the Global Diplomacy Lab at the first-ever edition of the Paris Peace Forum from 11 to 13 November 2018.

The Paris Peace Forum is an annual event that is intended to promote governance solutions in five key areas: peace and security, the environment, new technologies, development and inclusive economy. It was created at the initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron to provide a platform for government officials, international organisations and representatives of civil society from around the world. Its open, bottom up format aims to enable these actors to launch collaborative initiatives and track two exercises, as well as mediation efforts and bilateral dialogues.

Being one of 120 selected projects in the Space of Soulutions, we had the opportunity to meet various project leaders and organisations over the three day period. Apart from one on one conversations, we held a pitch on the second day as well as a longer, more in-depth “meet up” on the last day of the event. Our one hour long session used the issue of “Women-friendly Cities” to apply a creative tension format. Asking the participants from various professional backgrounds, countries and different genders a series of ten difficult questions, we encouraged them to take a stand on the issue as well as share their personal experiences. The questions we asked included the following: “Is your city friendly to women and girls?”, “Do you feel safe using public transport late at night in your city?” and “Is the mobile phone a tool for security?”.

All the women present confirmed that they had experienced some form of sexual harassment in public spaces. The men who participated listened respectfully and took in the varying view points as well as sharing their own stories. This storytelling helped to ascertain the fact that sexual violence is a common issue. At the end, there was agreement that there is a need to create spaces for such discussions and dialogues in order to create greater understanding.

This is true not only of the session’s topic, but also of the Paris Peace Forum itself, which plays an important role in promoting peace and intercultural understanding on a variety of issues by creating such a space. Both of us felt strongly encouraged by the openness displayed by the participants, each trying to develop solutions to intractable problems: “Finding common ground at a people to people level has never been more important than at the present when nationalism is on the rise in various countries and multilateral institutions appear to be at risk.”

Entrance to the Paris Peace Forum
From left to right: Elsa D'Silva (GDL Member), Corinna Fischer (GDL Secretariat) and Eirliani Abdul Rahman (GDL Member).
Elsa at the GDL pitch on day two
Eirliani at the meet up session on day three

Further Events

European Diplomatic Programme
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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.
Co-creation - GDL in Action
At the prE-Summit GDL members started collaborative projects on three themes.
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"
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GDL members shaped the LAC initiative and the Forum: Future Affairs
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Elizabeth Maloba and Patrick Mpedzisi discussed safety of women journalists
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UNESCO, Bosch Alumni Network and GDL co-create a session at OSCE conference
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Egin Ceka discussed freedom, independence and plurality of media in EaP countries
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GDL Members pitched their ideas at the European Parliament in Brussels
Design Thinking for Public Policy
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Bled Strategic Forum 2018
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The Global Diplomacy Lab held a workshop at the UN Global Festival of Action
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Climate Change Multi-stakeholder Diplomacy
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GDL Members pitched their visionary ideas to Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel
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The Global Diplomacy Lab at the Bled Strategic Forum 2017
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The Global Diplomacy Lab at the Global Media Forum of Deutsche Welle in Bonn
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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
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Open Situation Room in Bogota and Medellin
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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
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Documentary #Pauloverthesea - Journal of an Encounter by GDL Member Jakob Preuss
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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
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GDL Side Event in New York, 12 October 2015

Elsa Marie D’Silva

Elsa Marie D’Silva is the founder and CEO of Red Dot Foundation (Safecity), a platform that crowdsources personal experiences of sexual violence and abuse in public spaces. Since Safecity started in December 2012, it has become the largest crowd map on the issue in India, Kenya, Cameroon and Nepal.
Elsa Marie is an alumna of the US State Department’s Fortune Program, a fellow with Rotary Peace, Aspen New Voices and Vital Voices, and a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader. She is listed as one of BBC Hindi’s 100 Women. Moreover, she has won the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award launched by Dušan Stojanović (European Angel Investor of the Year 2013) and the SheThePeople’s Digital Woman Award in Social Impact.
Prior to Safecity, she spent 20 years in the aviation industry, where she worked with Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines. In her last role in aviation, she was Vice President Network Planning.

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Read more about Elsa's work at Safecity and see for yourself in this documentary. She also has a very clear vision for the Global Diplomacy Lab.

Eirliani Abdul Rahman

Eirliani Abdul Rahman is co-founder of YAKIN (Youth, Adult Survivors & Kin In Need), an NGO working in the field of child rights and child protection issues, and a member of Twitter’s Safety & Trust Council. She is also Programme Director at the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.

In September 2015, the #FullStop to #childsexualabuse campaign that Eirliani led on behalf of Nobel Peace laureate Satyarthi reached 16 million people over six weeks. She won the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Award the same year. She is a Fellow of the London-based Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Eirliani edited Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s book Will for Children, a collection of essays on child labour published in 2016. Her book on true accounts by survivors of child sexual abuse Survivors: Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse was published by Marshall Cavendish in 2017. It is now in its third print run. She also contributed a case study to the medical textbook Essentials of Global Health, co-edited by Babulal Sethia, Past President and Global Health Lead of the Royal Society of Medicine, published by Elsevier in London in 2018. The book won first prize in the Public Health category at the 2019 British Medical Association book awards.

Eirliani was in the Singapore Foreign Service from 2005 to 2015, serving in Berlin as First Secretary (Political) and then in Delhi as Political Counsellor. From June 2015 to November 2017, she was a member of the Advisory Council of the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL).

Eirliani trains in Colorado and Nunavut, Arctic Canada. She speaks English, German, Bahasa and Russian.

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Read more about Eirliani in her latest blog article. You can also read her articles about her polar expedition, about human trafficking, the injustice of the Brexit for the British Youth and learn more about her work and activism.

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