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Graphic Recording by Susanne Kitlinski
Graphic Recording by Susanne Kitlinski

GDL prE-Summit
June 6 - 9, 2021

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic the GDL 2020 Summit, had to be rescheduled.

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:

Graphic Recording by Susanne Kitlinski
1+1=17? Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals

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.

Global Leadership for the 21st century

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.

Graphic Recording by Susanne Kitlinski
Security mission: Global vision

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.

Graphic Recording by Susanne Kitlinski
City Diplomacy and the Future of Multilateralism

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.


Successful and inspiring Labs - then what?

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.

Three scenarios of global power balance in the post-COVID-19 world in 2030

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. A later results is this Policy Brief stating opportunities to act in order to counter possible risks.

Taking a real-life trip into the future you can also revisited the other format GDL members organised to stay connected during the pandemic: the GDL rE-Connect.

Further Events

GDL @ Transatlantic Climate Bridge Conference 2022
Three participants of the “Water Diplomacy 4.0” Lab had the chance to speak about transboundary water security Transatlantic Climate Bridge Conference 2022.
Sessions on Collective Culture of Memory
In three online sessions, participants will discuss the concept of transnational memory.
GDL @ DAAD: Workshops to drive Europe forwards
Two GDL members are hosting workshops at a DAAD alumni event on driving Europe forward.
New Book Exhibit: GDL Book Presentation
Eirliani Abdul Rahman represented the GDL at the ESS's New Book Exhibit in Boston.
Workshop: GDL Strategy Implementation
EAC, Secretariat and Dean Mr Polenz met to discuss the working groups' results.
22nd Foreign Policy Conference
Once again, the GDL an Böll Foundation cooperate for 22nd Foreign Policy Conference.
GDL @ COP26, Nov 8
The German Pavilion hosts a GDL discussion on international climate diplomacy.
Falling Walls Science Summit, Nov 7 to 9
GDL member Volkan wants to break the walls of old-school trade diplomacy
Bled Strategic Forum, Aug 30 to Sep 2
GDL members Elif and Burak address the "Future of Europe"
rE-Connect amidst the Pandemic, June 5 to 9
The GDL community met online to connect, collaborate and co-create.
Multilateralism Deconstructed
Three discussions examining status quo, vulnerabilities and opportunities.
Book Launch, January 29 at 3.30 pm
A compendium of essays has been published on the topic of the demographic dividend.
21st Foreign Policy Conference
GDL and the Boell Foundation cooperate on the occasion of the 21st Foreign Policy Conference.
European Diplomatic Programme
GDL members have trained young diplomats in communication, mediation and leadership
Bled Strategic Forum, August 31, 2020
GDL members host a virtual session on city diplomacy and the future of multilateralism
Gender Alliance Summit, August 26-28
Three days of interactive online sessions bringing together feminist across networks
Envisioning the World of the Future
Three scenarios of global power balance in the post-COVID-19 world in 2030
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"
Federal Foreign Minister Maas focused on LAC
GDL members shaped the LAC initiative and the Future Affairs Berlin 2019
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 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
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
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

Patrick Mpedzisi

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, 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.


You can read more about his engagement here and about his reflections on inclusion in this interview.

Blair Glencorse

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.


Find out more about Blair while listening to this podcast in which he shares his vision about sustainable use of resources.

Netta Ahituv
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

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.

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