rE-Connect Barcamps, June 6 and 7 2021
During the GDL rE-Connect from June 5-9 2021, GDL members used the opportunity to delve into topics they are passionate about. Showing what they have accomplished on a topic, gathering new ideas to move forward or approaching an issue innovatively.
Read more about each of the barcamp sessions below.
Members of the cross-network gender alliance led a discussion on how to accelerate gender equality. One of the main points of agreement: we need care and inclusiveness in order to move to a more equitable and sustainable world after COVID-19. For the field of diplomacy this means, that we have to rethink how we train professionals of diplomacy and most importantly, we have to imagine new kinds of leadership.
What role should the GDL take on in the field of sustainable foreign policy? Which approach should the GDL’s Sustainability Strategy pursue further or more actively? This barcamp session with Sabrina Schulz shared GDL’s Sustainability Statement and collected input on these questions.
Society is becoming increasingly digitalised and interconnected, with computers and algorithms mediating much of people’s daily activity in one way or another. GDL members Amy Coughenour Betancourt, Gaurav Sharma and Florian Bankoley explored Data, Digitisation and Democracy in their discussion. They explored opportunities as well as challenges created by the integration of digital technologies into society.
Sabrina Schulz is the Executive Director of SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network) Germany. She is an expert on climate, energy and biodiversity issues, climate diplomacy, and sustainable finance & economy. Sabrina also works as a lecturer, moderator and facilitator. In addition, she is the Chairwoman of the Board of econnext, a holding investing in sustainable and impact-oriented start-ups.
Between 2018 and 2020 Sabrina served as Head of the Berlin office at KfW, Germany’s national promotional and international development bank where she represented the interests of KfW Group in the political arena. Previously, from 2012 to 2018, she was the Director of the Berlin office at E3G‑Third Generation Environmentalism, an international non-profit climate and energy think tank. Before that, Sabrina worked in various policy capacities for think tanks and consultancies in Germany, the UK, the US and Canada. From 2009 to 2011, she was a Policy Advisor on climate and energy to the British High Commission in Canada and led a project on climate security.
Sabrina holds an MA in Public Policy and Management from the University of Potsdam, for which she also studied at the University of Konstanz and the Université catholique de Louvain, as well as an MA in International Politics and a PhD from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth in the United Kingdom.
She is an environmentalist, an internationalist and a yogini and volunteers as a Policy Fellow at 'Das Progressive Zentrum' in Berlin.
Amy Coughenour Betancourt is a results-oriented social sector leader with a track record of starting, leading and growing social impact organisations and bold new initiatives to empower vulnerable people and communities around the world.
Coughenour Betancourt is the Chief Executive Officer of Cadasta Foundation, a non-profit organisation in Washington, DC founded in 2015 that uses innovative technologies and services to advance land and resource rights globally.
Prior to joining Cadasta in June 2018, Coughenour was the COO at the National Cooperative Business Association, CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) for nearly 7 years, leading a team of over 850 implementing food security, agriculture, and resilience projects in 20 countries. As Deputy Executive Director of the Pan American Development Foundation for 9 years, Coughenour led programmes and business development in over 25 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean working on remittances for development, community-led development, human rights, education, and other areas of human and economic development in the region.
She was the Deputy Director of the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) for 4.5 years, where she was editor of several policy publication series, managed operations and business development, and led innovative policy leadership initiatives on the Caribbean. After leaving CSIS, she served for 8 years as a CSIS Adjunct Fellow.
Coughenour holds an M.A. in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a B.A. in German from Central College in Pella, Iowa. She spent a year on a teaching Fulbright scholarship in Germany; lived and worked in Mexico, Austria, Costa Rica and Germany.
She has served on the board of Interaction since 2016 and is on Interaction’s Executive Committee. She is also on the board of Manna Food Center, a community organisation in Maryland focused on combating food insecurity and ensuring access to food for all.
Gaurav Sharma is currently advisor for Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in India and an affiliate to The Future Society. He previously worked as an independent consultant and policy advisor with institutions such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). He is also a facilitator for the “Youth Climate Leaders” (YCL) in South Asia and the founder of the Indo-Swiss Future Leaders Forum (ISFLF).
Gaurav Sharma is a member of the Executive Committee of the Indo-German Young Leaders Forum (IGYLF) for a Responsible Future and was the DAAD – Young Ambassador of India for the year 2018 - 2019. He was the recipient of the German Chancellor Fellowship for year 2015-2016, funded by the Alexander von-Humboldt Foundation, for his year as a Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Asia Division in Berlin. He has also received a Crans Montana Forum Young Leaders award. Gaurav Sharma served as a Programme Manager at India’s top think-tank, the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and at Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi. He was the Political Advisor at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, New Delhi, from 2012 to 2015. He worked as an IT Engineer for 7 years in his previous incarnation, with Infosys, Merill Lynch, the Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ) and the United Bank of Switzerland (UBS).
Gaurav is one of the members who successfully participated in the Transforming Leadership Lab implemented by the Global Leadership Academy and the Asian Development Bank.
Florian Bankoley was born in Germany but spent his early years in Togo, West Africa, before returning to Germany at the age of eight. Ever since he has enjoyed immersing himself in different cultures and societies, enriching his perception and understanding of the world.
His studies and later work assignments have taken him to different European countries such as France, the UK and Sweden, and across the oceans to the USA, India, China and Indonesia.
After graduating from the ESCP Europe with a Master’s degree in Management, he joined Robert Bosch where he has held a range of positions. He is now head of IT for the automotive business area of Bosch, the largest domain in the group responsible for half of total revenue. In his spare time he loves to spend time with his family, and if time permits to read and exercise.