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Members in Berlin for Lab 8 (Photo by Marc Beckmann)

Successful and inspiring Labs - then what?

By Julia Sattler

The GDL is known for its Labs, of course. This is where the co-creation process takes place as part of an interdisciplinary and intercultural undertaking in which members interact in person – among themselves as well as with project partners – and where new networks are formed.

In the past two years, the GDL’s Labs took place in Berlin and Chicago (2018) and in Accra and Berlin (2019), respectively. The prE-Summit offered the opportunity to recapitulate what had happened in these Labs, to learn about the developments that had taken place in the region following the Labs, and to come up with ideas for how to continue to move ideas to the next level. Since new GDL members had also not had the chance to participate in a Lab to date, but were in the process of deciding which of the forthcoming regional events to apply to for the coming year, the session “Inspiring Labs – then what?” also helped them to get a better idea of the expectations before and during the Lab, and what the possible outcomes could be.

Moderated by Julia Sattler, the first part of the session brought together the local hosts of the 2018 and 2019 Labs, Marty Castro and Firmin Kami Adjahossou, as well as 2018 Methodological Lead Theresa Carrington and 2019 Curriculum Group Member Stefan Cibian. Participants learned about Marty’s motivation to bring the GDL to Chicago to support him as well as the Challenge Holders of the 2018 Lab, the City of Chicago and the Obama Foundation, to establish new approaches to the epidemic of youth violence in the city. They heard from Firmin about how important it was that the GDL held its first Lab in Africa and how productive the exchange with local partners was in order for participants of the 2019 Lab to get to know more about approaches to harnessing the potential of the demographic dividend in Africa.

Theresa and Stefan talked about their experiences with the members-driven approach of the GDL, which also means bringing together people from a wide variety of backgrounds in order to cooperate with each other. Both provided an insight into some of the results achieved in the 2018 and 2019 Labs. Theresa addressed the multidisciplinary toolkit GDL members developed while in Chicago and talked about the importance of the “ecosystem” that was established on the ground among the local partners in the city tackling violence from their different perspectives. Stefan presented the idea developed by GDL members in Berlin to establish cooperative partnerships between German and African cities and facilitate communication between local partners as one approach to seizing the potential of the demographic dividend –  this idea is very much in line with the approaches to city diplomacy discussed in another session of the prE-Summit.

But what do the actors on the ground think about these suggestions? The second part of the event took participants to break-out rooms to meet Sarah Bernardy, Deputy Director of Policy Planning at the Federal Foreign Office, as well as Priscilla Aguilar and Monserrat Ayala, two of the Chicago young people who had participated in the Lab as Young Advisors. While Sarah Bernardy addressed the Federal Foreign Office’s work in the area of city diplomacy and its plans to keep working in this arena, Priscilla and Monserrat talked about the current situation in Chicago, which is not only impacted by youth violence, but also by the COVID-19 pandemic, of course.

Overall, the internal session provided an opportunity for members to understand the working of a Lab and the effects of the GDL’s projects on the ground, and also to follow up on and think about future developments in the region after the Lab – as well as to consider their potential involvement in this regard.

You can revisit the 2018 Labs through this report and the 2019 Labs in this publication.

Further Events

European Diplomatic Programme
GDL members will train young diplomats in communication, mediation and leadership
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
Global Leadership in the 21st Century
"Leadership is a matter of constant preparation and an exercise in day-to-day decisions"
1+1=17? Partnerships for the SDGs
What constitutes a strong partnership when what you reach for is a better world?
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 Webinar 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

Julia Sattler

Julia Sattler is Assistant Professor of American Studies at TU Dortmund University, Germany. Following her dissertation, in which she analysed mixed race narratives using the theoretical framework of contextual family therapy, she began exploring the intersections of American studies and urban planning, mostly working with Detroit, MI, and her native Ruhr Valley. She has worked with multiple urban redevelopment projects, and has co-taught a number of classes with urban-planning colleagues from Germany and the US. Following this trajectory, she is now studying the negotiation of radical urban transformation processes in American poetry. Furthermore, she is conducting research for a new book project on female responses to Walt Whitman’s poetry. Beyond her academic interests, Julia loves theatre, travel, photography and creative writing.  


Julia Sattler

Julia Sattler is Assistant Professor of American Studies at TU Dortmund University, Germany. Following her dissertation, in which she analysed mixed race narratives using the theoretical framework of contextual family therapy, she began exploring the intersections of American studies and urban planning, mostly working with Detroit, MI, and her native Ruhr Valley. She has worked with multiple urban redevelopment projects, and has co-taught a number of classes with urban-planning colleagues from Germany and the US. Following this trajectory, she is now studying the negotiation of radical urban transformation processes in American poetry. Furthermore, she is conducting research for a new book project on female responses to Walt Whitman’s poetry. Beyond her academic interests, Julia loves theatre, travel, photography and creative writing.  


Marty Castro

Marty Castro is President and CEO of Castro Synergies, LLC, which provides strategic consulting services to persons and organisations seeking to have a positive social impact on diverse communities. He is also President and CEO of Casa Central, one of the largest Latino-serving social services agencies in the Midwestern United States.  

In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Mr Castro to a six-year term on the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), also nominating Mr Castro to be the first Latino Chairperson in the history of the USCCR. Mr. Castro has received numerous awards and accolades for his community service, including the Ohtli Award, the Mexican government’s highest honour presented to those outside of Mexico for service to the Mexican diaspora.

Mr Castro is the recipient of three honorary doctorates of Humane Letters from Roosevelt University, DePaul University, and Governor’s State University. He received his Bachelor’s in Political Science from DePaul University and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

Firmin Kami Adjahossou

With over 15 years’ experience in programme management and advocacy on governance, peace and reconciliation processes, Firmin Adjahossou has been dedicated to the advancement of social justice through the various non-profit international and research organisations in Africa where he has worked. He is currently working as a Civil Affairs Officer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), where he is supporting the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) through peace campaigns, mediation and conflict-resolution mechanisms. Mr Adjahossou’s areas of expertise include development effectiveness, migration and human trafficking, good governance and democratic transition, natural resources, climate change and sustainable development policies.

Until recently, Mr Adjahossou served as Director of Operations of SOPODIVA Training Centre, a regional language centre with offices in Cotonou, Accra and Bamako, which provides intensive English courses for students and professionals from French-speaking countries throughout Africa.

Mr Adjahossou holds two Master’s degrees in Biochemistry and Environmental Management from the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin; he graduated from the GIZ Global Leadership Academy in 2015 and is a Head Trainer in Junior Chamber International (JCI). Mr Adjahossou was the Campaign and Advocacy Officer at the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) from 2007 to 2016, where he supported the leadership of SECAM at the regional and international levels on peacebuilding and mediation, development policies, public engagement and political dialogue for the promotion of a just and inclusive society.
Before that, he worked with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA-Benin) as a Phytopathology Consultant and as a volunteer with the Institut des Artisans de Justice et de Paix (IAJP-Benin) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

Over the course of his professional career, Mr Adjahossou has been able to create a network that has allowed him to engage in person with more than 36 countries in Africa and beyond and to liaise with the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations. His ability to deal with people ranging from Heads of State, parliamentarians, civil society leaders and religious leaders to members of the public from various parts of Africa has been thoroughly tested on many occasions, including the African Faith Initiative Programme on Post-2015 Development Agendas that he co-facilitated from 2014 to 2015.

As an active member of the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) since 2016, Mr Adjahossou was the host of the GDL Accra Incubator Lab held for the first time in Africa and Ghana from 16 to 19 June 2019.

Theresa Carrington

In 2004, Theresa Carrington set out to address the issue of extreme poverty. Having grown up in poverty in the Midwest, she drew upon her life experiences to develop innovative approaches to ending poverty.

Today, Theresa and her team have pioneered a formula that sustainably ends poverty. Known as Ten by Three, the formula has been successfully replicated in eight developing nations, reignited more than 80 broken economies throughout three continents and positively impacted the lives of more than 8000 people and 32,000 of their family members.  

Here is how the formula works: Theresa and her team buys ten artisan products a month at Prosperity Wages from an artisan for three years. The artisan is required to use part of their earnings to start three businesses. Within three years the artisan’s businesses grow to support them and they graduate from the Ten by Three Program. Theresa’s model is widely recognised, and she has received an honorary doctorate of humanities from Washington University in St. Louis for her pioneering work.

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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