June 6 - 9, 2021
Given the current COVID-19 pandemic the GDL 2020 Summit, celebrating GDL's 5th anniversary, has been rescheduled to take place in June 2021.
With the topics and goals of the Summit - namely finding innovative approaches to global challenges - being highly relevant, GDL members from around the world met online in a virtual prE-Summit from May 10 - 31, 2020. Find out more about the three focal topics in the conept note (PDF, 90 KB).
The Summit Working Group led the GDL community on a journey through a variety of formats: from virtual fishbowl discussions to intimate skill-sessions. You can follow them on the path, retracing their steps, through texts, cartoons and recordings linked below:
Strong partnerships are at the heart of sustainable development - this the participants of the virtual fishbowl on partnerships agreed on. Different facets of such partnerships were illuminated in the GDL Talks by Patrick Mpedzisi and Blair Glencorse.
In light of the many crisises the world faces, how global leaders act is crucial for combining efforts to overcome them. The virtual fishbowl on leadership discussed necessary adaptions and core perspectives. In two GDL Talks, Netta Ahituv and Chris Fowler shared their own learnings. Further, practice oriented skill-building sessions focused on how to embrace failure and provided tools.
In a virtual fishbowl on security GDL members and experts aimed at understanding todays complex global security threats requring new ways of cooperation. Setting the scene for a high-calibre panel were two GDL Talks by Gabriela Canales and Shakeel Ahmad.
Local governments often find themselves at the frontline of global challenges - dealing with Covid-19 or the implications of the climate crisis. The member-initiated session on City Diplomacy discussed what potential arises through this new area of diplomacy for future multilateralism.
With the aim of taking results of the 2018 and 2019 Labs to the next level, GDL members, partners and hosts discussed what further steps could be taken to ensure sustainable impact of the successful and inspiring Labs.
Bearing these considerations in mind, the GDL is eager to bring the results of the discussion into practice in the course of the forthcoming 2020/21 Labs.
During the prE-Summit 15 GDL members embarked on a methodical thought experiment: in a five-day Foresight scenario workshop, they developed three possible – and at the same time very different – future scenarios of global power balance in 2030.
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.
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.
Netta Ahituv is a senior magazine correspondent at Haaretz newspaper and is the editor of the family section. She is based in Tel Aviv. In 2014 she won the Pratt Prize for journalism in the category of “Extensive and Important Body of Work”. In addition, she has a weekly spot in a TV debate on foreign affairs on the national Israeli channel.
She has an MA in Environmental Philosophy and a BA in Biology and Humanities, both from Tel Aviv University.
She founded a women’s soccer league in Israel, in which women play soccer weekly as a hobby and as an empowering tool. Netta managed to bring 8,600 solar lights to children in Gaza who are off the electricity grid. The project was called Little Suns to Gaza and presented many challenges, especially overcoming obstacles created by the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. Nevertheless, the solar lights passed the border and were handed over to the children. The initiative proved that there is indeed a crack in everything and that's how the light gets in.
Chris Fowler serves as Senior Director of Corporate Development at the USO (United Service Organisations), where he creates partnerships to support America’s military service members and keep them connected to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation. Since joining the USO in 2018, Chris raised over $5m in support of this mission.
A born storyteller and creative problem solver, Chris was raised near Syracuse University in New York (USA) where he later earned his MBA. He has over 20 years of experience in creative professional services and over ten years in digital marketing and strategic communications, with a portfolio of projects that spans the United Nations an two hall-of-fame songwriters.
Chris is a member of the BMW Foundation responsible Leaders Network and was appointed as its first ‘Network Driver’ in North America, where he served as a volunteer community organiser from 2014 to 2019. He is engaged in other international networks as a fellow of the RSA, a charter member of the Transatlantic Core Group, and an active member of Global Diplomacy Lab.
Closer to home, Chris serves as an election officer in Fairfax County (VA, USA), is a board member of Atlas Corps Tech and serves as a member of the Steering Committee for the DC Civic Innovation Council. Staying in touch with his personal passions, Chris has performed in around 10 productions with the Picnic Theatre Company and has coached his daughter’s soccer teams for more than 10 seasons. In 2019, Chris was recognised as a “distinguished alumnus” of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University, where he previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Studies.
An avid footballer, if a bit out of shape, Chris is a keen supporter of Liverpool Football Club. He and his partner Jennifer Herrera live in Fairfax County, Virginia, USA with their two daughters, where they all enjoy listening and making music together.