How to create functioning dialogue? Vivian Valencia, an elected member of the Advisory Council, shares her thoughts about the Global Diplomacy Lab. For her, inclusive dialogues are happening in situations where “individuals from different disciplines, viewpoints, sectors and parts of society” engage with one another. Vivian reflects upon the future development of GDL as a platform of innovation and collective creation. For her, the GDL is currently one of the few examples having “a discourse that is not paralysed but energised by diversity”. In the article, Vivian also explains why she considers the GDL to be “by definition without definition”.
Vivian is a Research Fellow in Agroecology and Food System Sustainability at the University of Michigan. Her current work investigates relationships between policy, agricultural practices and socioecological resilience of food systems for the family farming sector in Brazil.
In 2015, Vivian received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Columbia University in the City of New York where she investigated the environmental sustainability of shade-grown coffee.
As part of her doctoral work, she lived in remote rural communities in Mexico where she learned first-hand about the challenges encountered by farming communities in making a livelihood while facing external pressures to conserve natural areas.
Vivian obtained a Master’s in Health Science from Johns Hopkins University in 2007, as well as a BS in Biology and a BA in French from University of Florida in 2006.