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Policy Workshop on "Preventative Health in Low- & Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) - Impact of Misinformation & Disinformation"

Lab: September, 28 to October, 1 in-person or hybrid event in Nairobi, Kenya (tbc)

Organised by GDL member Gaurav Sharma with support of Eirliani Abdul Rahman, the Lab focuses on the fundamental inequity in access to healthcare in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) brought to lightby the pandemic.The majority of LMCIs have no effective and established social security or health insurance systems in place, compounding health-related risks and challenges in particular for vulnerable communities. These shortcomings are aggravated amongst other factors by mis- and disinformation, gutted infrastructure, lack of professional resources, etc. The Lab is designed as a peer learning and knowledge-sharing workshop on preventative health for GDL members, policymakers and civil society actors.

The Incubator Phase will be dedicated to generating a consolidated understanding of current challenges linked to "Preventative Health in LMCIs" with a specific focus on the consideration of misinformation and disinformation. By targeting regional stakeholders with particular interest in preventive health systems and their implications for the overall health architecture of local societies, the curriculum will be based largely upon (expert) group interaction, knowledge sharing, and real-life examples from LMICs.

The Impact Phase will centre around a policy discussion to identify key themes that should be included in the preventative health mandate with a particular focus on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. An abductive approach will be used as facilitation methodology to provide a flexible framework in which participants can work together while remaining grounded in a set of principles that allows the emergence of new ideas.

You can find the One-Pager here.




Improved paths towards Environmental Peacebuidling

A grassroots efforts approach to peacebuilding adapted to climate security

Incubator Lab: 29 October to 1 November in Slovenia
Impact Lab: tbc

GDL members Vivian Valencia, Kyle Matthews, Diego Osorio and Stefan Cibian will host a Lab examining new pathways to integrate peacebuilding and climate security from the perspective of interdisciplinary engagement, public diplomacy, civil society participation and proactive grassroots efforts.

The participants will jointly analyse and address different types of conflicts linked to or induced by climate change. The Lab will follow a practical approach to addressing these conflicts effectively by concentrating on prevention.

Togehter with extenal interlocutors the GDL members will work towards two key objectives:

1. To identify and propel dynamic models of collaboration between the scientific, policy making and advocacy spheres; and

2. To map and adapt strategies, concepts and tools linked to peace(-building) and conflict resolution, taking into account the specifics of climate change and security.

As an additional outcome, the Lab participants will produce a short guiding policy paper with an agenda, mapping and recommendations to ensure a sustainable outcome of the Lab.

Read the One Pager for more information.



Photo: Marc Beckmann

Memory in Presence: Memorial Sites as Providers of Empowering Education

Incubator Lab: June - October 2022 (online)
Impact Lab: November, 7 to 12 in Buenos Aires and Rosario (Argentina)

For this Lab, GDL members Banu Pekol and Julie August are working together with the ESMA Memory Museum in Buenos Aires and the International Holocaust Remembrance Association to develop a training course for specialist audiences in societies traumatised by social conflict, war, dictatorship, colonialism, slavery, racism, as well as pandemics. These phenomena provide a breeding ground for extremist attitudes, so it is crucial to focus on building a resilient society that is capable of dealing with past traumatic experiences.

The Lab builds on ideas from the GDL's 7th Lab on “Memory, Truth and Justice Museums and Memory Sites as Spaces for Mass Atrocities Prevention”. After a preparatory phase starting in April 2022, an online Incubator Lab will follow from June onwards. During a series of online workshops, participants will examine the scope of the topic and explore tools to analyse different practices and sites, and a training to be delivered in Argentina. For example:

Memorial Site Sharing Session 1: Thursday July 6th, 18.30–20:00 CET

Memorial Site Sharing Session 2: Friday July 7th, 18.30–20:00 CET

Cinema Club Sharing Session 1: Tuesday August 2nd, 18.30-20:00 CET

Cinema Club Sharing Session 2: Wednesday August 3rd, 18.30-20:00 CET


The Impact Lab will take place in-person in Argentina including key diplomats, museum staff, civil society workers and GDL members from November, 6 to 11. It will consist of two training sessions drawing on material from the online workshops. The first training session will address Argentine and international diplomats based in Buenos Aires, empowering them to engage in more inclusive and innovative diplomacy. The second training session will be designed for staff members working in memorial sites and museums. 

Read more about the Lab here.


Realigning Diplomacy by Networking

In-person Lab: October, 16 to 18 in Berlin (Germany)

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Training for International Diplomats, an in-person Lab will take place from October 16 to 18, 2022 in Berlin. Being closely tied to the German Federal Office’s Training for International Diplomats, the joint Lab provides the ultimate opportunity to bring young diplomats together and, additionally, offers a unique chance for participating in a discussion on the future of the training initiative. The Lab hopes to help participants improve their professional skills under the motto “Diplomacy by Networking”.

Two or three GDL members are going to facilitate the Lab and twelve more will participate on behalf of the GDL, joining a group of around 20 of the FFO’s alumni. Together, the participants will actively discuss strategic approaches and innovations needed to make Training for International Diplomats an integral part of modern diplomacy and to develop effective tools necessary to address current global challenges.



Labs that have already taken place in 2022:


Social Innovation to address the nexus of Human Mobility and Development

GDL Lab in Mexico City, Mexico

Incubator Lab: September 2021 (online)
Impact Lab: October 2021 - February 2022 (online)

Organised by GDL Members Edna Martinez and Carolina Sheinfeld, the Lab was hosted by Daniel Gamboa from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Mexico and supported by Myriam Martinez in strategy design. This Lab aimed to co-design solutions for immigrant integration in Mexico. The country has the second-largest number of migrants in the world and as a neighbour to the Northern Triangle is a recipient for emigrants. People from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador migrate to Mexico, in addition to refugee communities from Venezuela and Haiti. 

Over the span of eleven days, over thirty participants from thirteen different countries participated in workshops and discussed with expert practitioners, journalists, scholars and grassroot leaders on what the root of the problem is and how solutions can be actionable. 

The problem is the relevant gap between the global initiatives and local communities. We still want to understand how this aperture between the efforts of the national government, local authorities, private sector or international organisations and bottom to top efforts of the civil society, media and migrant women and youth, came to be. Reasons for that are various. Little visibility of efforts, or poor coordination between actors could result in every attempt of solution to nullify. Links between institutions could be broken and make cooperation more difficult and especially if the solutions are unscalable as the numbers are still unknown. 

Incubator Lab

The Incubator Lab approached the challenge with defining the issue on hand at first and focusing on the hypothesis and statements. For example, awareness, education and transparency are also issues that need to be considered, as well as other stakeholders and the involvement of institutions and understanding their processes. 

Although, because of COVID-19, the approach was kept digital, many experts and practitioners shared their experiences, from i.e. El Chaparral - the biggest encampment in the north of Mexico. 

Impact Lab

Solutions and ideas to improve the situation on the border of Mexico involved migrant / refugee encampments and involving the private sector. But also changing the perception towards migrants positively and improving gender inclusion, for example regarding the LGBTQ communtity. The insightful contributions of all participants are recorded here in more detail.

Mexico Lab
Mexico Lab

Global Leadership and the SDGs: What Role for Local Communities?

Incubator Lab: December 2020 December 2021 (online)
In-Person Impact Lab: May, 15 to 19 in Făgăraș and Sibiu (Romania)

GDL member Stefan Cibian has hosted this Lab together with the team from the Făgăraș Research Institute and has been supported by many local partner organisations. In a world where the majority of people live in local communities, the role of these communities in global affairs is only rarely reflected. Given the increasing democratisation of international relations, the overarching aim of the Făgăraș Lab was to explore the role of local communities in global leadership, partnership for the SDGs, addressing security and global challenges, and innovation in diplomacy.

In terms of impact, the Lab in Făgăraș contributed to a local region becoming more engaged globally and assuming more  responsibilities towards achieving the SDGs, while being aware of the challenges that can negatively impact its own
development and security. The approx. 20 participants have reflected on how small urban and rural communities, including communities with high diasporas, can play a constructive role in leadership on global challenges, be they SDG-related, political, or security challenges.

The Lab comprised three tracks:

1. The Făgăraș Municipality and the SDGs (with the Făgăraș Municipality as challenge holder);
2.  Community Foundations and the SDGs (with the Țara Făgărașului Community Foundation as challenge holder);
3. Social entrepreneurship and the SDGs (with Ashoka Romania as challenge holder).

You can find more information here.


Water Diplomacy 4.0: Process Matters

Incubator Lab: June, 14 to 16 in Berlin (hybrid format), Impact Lab: August, 25 to 28 in Slovenia (tbc)


Organised by GDL member Kathryn Bryk Friedman, the Lab “Water Diplomacy 4.0: Process Matters” faced the challenge of providing adequate fresh water resources for people and ecosystems in the 21st century.

Conflicts and tensions over this natural resource are the norm, especially in transboundary water systems (TBWS). Cooperation and problem-solving are integral, as by nature of TBWS, every process, policy, decision and action must be approved by at least two different national, subnational and local systems. Each of these systems has different priorities, resources, legislation, politics, etc., making the process very complex. Oftentimes, power politics at the (sub-)national level overshadow any existing technical water expertise in TBWS.

The Lab consists of two phases: first, the GDL hosted an Incubator Lab in Berlin from 14 to 16 June 2022 that focused on storytelling and training. Participants were exposed to a myriad of diplomacy tools, including a very effective participatory process tool – scenario analysis. Scenario analysis is not about making predictions, but about empowering participants, building relationships, and creating alternative stories about the future that are not impossible to achieve. Secondly, with this context and training in mind, the GDL will host up to two Impact Labs in regions experiencing TBWS challenges to apply ideas and skills gained from the Incubator Lab.

Prior to the Incubator Lab in Berlin, four preparatory Case Clinics wre held to present concrete challenges and opportunities of transboundary water diplomacy. They werehosted by your GDL Members Islam Abdel JabarMahmoud JavadiKrishnendra Meena, as well as one of the experts joining the Lab - Prof. Irena Creed .   

Below, you can find a detailed schedule and attached more information on each case:

Case Clinic 1
Prof. Irena Creed - Geopolitics of Forest Water - Unchartered Territory
Case Clinic 2
Mahmoud Javadi - Water Diplomacy Between Iran and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

Case Clinic 3
Krishnendra Meena - Transboundary Water Diplomacy between India and Pakistan
Case Clinic 4
Islam Abdel Jabar - Water Diplomacy in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories


You can find all the relevant information on the Lab here. Special thanks go to everyone who participated in the Lab!



Bringing Youth Voices into 21st Century Policies

Lab: July,14 to 16 (online)

Hosted by GDL Members Theresa Carrington, Elsa Marie D’ Silva, Fabrice Muchiga, Nurana Mammadova and Ghada Zribi, the Lab brings together 18 Diplomats as well as GDL Members and 42 youth to discuss and design policy recommendations on the future work, capitalizing on the demographic dividend and addressing the aspirations of youth.

This Lab aims to exchange perspectives between the diplomats and the youth by building trust and learn new tools for hands-on implementation of solutions to effectively design programs addressing the needs. During the online Labs in July this year, the diplomats will gain extensive knowledge of the changing economic and social environments that impact the future of youth.




Kathryn Bryk Friedman

Kathryn Bryk Friedman, PhD, Esq., is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Research Faculty at SUNY Buffalo.

She is a recognised foreign policy expert in border security, water governance, migration and human rights, as well as trade and innovation, and has provided strategic advice to government officials in regions including Central Europe, the EU, Africa, Latin America, and most recently North America, with a focus on Canada. She has experience leading Track 1.5-2 diplomacy. 

Kathryn has also served as a Fulbright Fellow (Germany) and an Abshire Inamori Leadership Fellow at CSIS in Washington, DC. Kathryn frequently provides guest commentaries in various media, including The Hill and NPR. She clerked for two appellate judges and is admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court. She is a Leadership Circle member of Foreign Policy for America.

Kathryn has a PhD in international relations and JD, magna cum laude, with a concentration in international law.

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.

Elsa Marie D’Silva

Elsa Marie D’Silva is the founder and CEO of Red Dot Foundation (Safecity), a platform that crowdsources personal experiences of sexual violence and abuse in public spaces. Since Safecity started in December 2012, it has become the largest crowd map on the issue in India, Kenya, Cameroon and Nepal.

Elsa Marie is an alumna of the US State Department’s Fortune Program, a fellow with Rotary Peace, Aspen New Voices and Vital Voices, and a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader. She is listed as one of BBC Hindi’s 100 Women. Moreover, she has won the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award launched by Dušan Stojanović (European Angel Investor of the Year 2013) and the SheThePeople’s Digital Woman Award in Social Impact.

Prior to Safecity, she spent 20 years in the aviation industry, where she worked with Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines. In her last role in aviation, she was Vice President Network Planning.


Read more about Elsa's work at Safecity and see for yourself in this documentary. She also has a very clear vision for the Global Diplomacy Lab.

Fabrice Muchiga

Fabrice is a leadership, education policy and social innovation enthusiast, with exceptional communication and advocacy skills who believes in making a difference and in the power of groups of people to find solutions to the most pressing issues in their communities through collaboration and innovation. He works as a country representative for ASHOKA in the DR Congo, coordinates the Robert Bosch Alumni Network in East Africa and has joined the Training for International Diplomats programme.

Prior to this, he ran for parliament in the Congo. He has six years of professional experience working with youth and women in the Congo and the great Lakes region, mostly in protecting youth through education with RET International, empowering women and youth in leadership and entrepreneurship with the Africa Youth Leadership Forum. He is currently a consultant for International Alert in youth leadership development.

Fabrice has founded One Best Corporate, a consulting company, and Lift up Africa, a venture that seeks to champion leaders for change across Africa.



Nurana Mammadova
Nurana Mammadova is an international trainer in the topics of Project Management, Political and Citizenship Education, Peacebuilding and Conflict Management, she is a member of Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg and  SALTO EECA  trainers' pools. Since 2014, she joined the coordination team of the national youth program in Azerbaijan called "Time for Development" and in 2018 she was elected as a board member of the MitOst Association and became a sparring partner for Impact Hub Almaty. She also works as a country mentor for the EU4Youth Coordination and Support project implemented by Ernst & Young.

Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in International Economic Relations and a Master’s degree in Diplomacy from Centre International de Formation Européenne, Bilgi University, Institut für Europäische Politik, and intensive master course in human rights from the University of Oslo.

Up-to-date, Nurana has trained thousands of young people and mentored dozens of social projects around Euroasia and North Africa.

In 2019, Nurana was listed among 15 global peacebuilder/changemaker female leaders by the University of Denver and the US Institute of Peace.


Ghada Zribi

Ghada Zribi is a pan-African peace and civic education practitioner working for various national and international non-governmental institutions. Ms Zribi is the founding Executive Director of iBuild Africa (a peer-to-peer support system for African youth), leading major projects around the continent to celebrate the African identity, counter violent extremism among young generations and promote the global Sustainable Development Goals.

Ghada is a United Nations Alliance of Civilizations fellow and a youth representative in the Network of Arab Leaders for Sustainable Development in UNESCO. She is also served as an Ashoka Changemaker scholar in employment in Africa and is serving as Tunisia’s young ambassador for the Youth Counseling and Development Network. 

Recognised for her rich inclusive international experience acquired in over 23 countries, Ghada serves as a project coordinator of the biggest international intercultural service programmes named Lobo Friends Mentorship programme and the International Service Corps at the University of New Mexico, USA, where she engages over 150 college students from over 40 countries in peer-to-peer mentorship and civic engagement opportunities. 

Ghada obtained her Master’s degree in Communications specialising in the niche area related to capacity development in the intersecting areas of youth inclusion, participation and empowerment in the peace-building process, as well as the democratic transition in her post-revolution country Tunisia.

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav Sharma is an Artificial Intelligence Fellow at the Academy of International Affairs ( He is currently on a sabbatical from his role as an Advisor on Artificial Intelligence at the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in India. Gaurav was the Task Force - 5 member of the Think20 (T20) initiative of the G20 from 2016-20 on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Gaurav served as the Ambassador for the Global Leadership Academy for Asia and the Pacific region (2019-20) and heads the Alumni Hub for Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) in India. Gaurav Sharma is the recipient of the German Chancellor Fellowship (2015-16) from the Alexander von-Humboldt Foundation. He was awarded the Crans Montana Forum Young Leaders award (2014) and was the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Young Ambassador of India for the year 2018-19.
Gaurav has more than 17 years of experience: 6 years as an information technology consultant, 6 years in international relations (foreign and security policy) and 5 years in development cooperation. He holds a Master’s in International and European Security from Geneva, a Postgraduate Diploma in International Human Rights laws, Humanitarian Laws, and Refugee Laws and a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology (IT). He is passionate about people and the planet and believes in technology-driven transformative solutions. He is advisor to two NGOs on frugal innovations in agriculture and girl child education. Gaurav has lived in five countries (Germany, Switzerland, India, Australia and Singapore) and visited more than 40 countries and over 150 cities.


In an article for the GDL Blog Gaurav shares his experience of a two-part Strategic Foresight journey. He previously also discussed the role of the G20 and the positive impacts of Covid-19.

Eirliani Abdul Rahman

Eirliani Abdul Rahman is a co-founder of YAKIN (Youth, Adult Survivors & Kin In Need), an NGO working in the field of child rights and child protection issues, and a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council.

In September 2015, the #FullStop to #childsexualabuse campaign that Eirliani led on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi reached 16 million people over six weeks. She won the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Award the same year.

Eirliani edited Kailash Satyarthi’s book Will for Children, a collection of essays on child labour published in 2016. Her own book Survivors: Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse, a collection of true accounts by survivors, was published by Marshall Cavendish in 2017. It won joint second prize in the 2020 Golden Door Awards. She also contributed a case study to the medical textbook Essentials of Global Health, co-edited by Babulal Sethia, Honorary Fellow and former President of the Royal Society of Medicine, which was published by Elsevier in London in 2018. The book won first prize in the Public Health category at the 2019 British Medical Association book awards.

Eirliani worked in Singapore’s Foreign Service from 2005 to 2015, serving in Berlin as First Secretary (Political) and then in Delhi as Political Counsellor. From June 2015 to November 2017 she was a member of the Advisory Council of the Global Diplomacy Lab. She is a Fellow of the London-based Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Eirliani is pursuing a doctorate in public health at Harvard University. She speaks Malay, English, German and Russian.


Read more about Eirliani in her latest blog article. You can also read her articles about her polar expedition and about human trafficking and learn more about her workactivism and contribution to the Gender Alliance.

Vivian Valencia

Dr Vivian Valencia is an interdisciplinary scientist who utilises perspectives and methods from the natural and social sciences to investigate the socio-ecological processes that shape agricultural landscapes and food systems and the consequences for food security, ecosystems and biodiversity. She is currently Assistant Professor at Wageningen University. She earned her PhD from Columbia University in 2015.

Dr Valencia’s research and professional career have been supported by the National Geographic Early Career Grant, PRIME Fellowship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Marie Curie Programme of the European Commission, Bill and Melinda Gates Millenium Scholarship among others.

Dr Valencia is active in the policy sphere, where she aims to close the gap between science and policy-making. She is a former member of the GDL’s Advisory Council; a BMW Responsible Leader; an alumna of several programmes of the Bosch Foundation; an alumna of the Managing Global Governance Training Programme of the German Development Institute (DIE); and an alumna of the “International Futures” programme of Training for International Diplomats of the German Federal Foreign Office.


Read more about Vivian here.



Kyle Matthews

Kyle Matthews is the Executive Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University and a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. His work focuses on human rights, international security, the Responsibility to Protect, global threats, and social media and technology.

He recently founded the Digital Mass Atrocity Prevention Lab and the Raoul Wallenberg Legacy of Leadership project.

In 2011, he joined the New Leaders program at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

He is a member of the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations and the Federal Idea, a think tank devoted to federalism.



Diego Osorio

Diego is a Senior Policy Advisor for Climate Security & COE at Global Affairs Canada, where he focuses on Security and Defence Relations Division of the Canadian Government as well as the NATO Climate and Security Centre of Excellence.

Previously he worked at the Centre for Rural Development of Canada’s Ministry of Infrastructure and also held the position of Senior Advisor on Climate Security at CGIAR Climate Security. He is a PhD candidate at Utrecht University and a former Canadian diplomat with many years of experience in public administration and international experience covering the UN, NATO, the World Bank, Canadian diplomacy, and private sector ventures.

Diego has worked globally on political and economic matters, climate change-conflict and adaptation policy, as well as institutional and social reconstruction, civil-military coordination, and humanitarian issues. He has deployed to Afghanistan, Colombia, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Indonesia (Banda Aceh), Iraq, Central African Republic, Jordan, Kosovo, Liberia, Pakistan, and Timor Leste, to name some of his multiple field missions. 

His previous positions included Senior Peacekeeping Officer and Senior Advisor on Mediation, Negotiation and Peace processes at Global Affairs Canada.

Diego is an Associate Fellow of both the Raoul-Dandurand Chair in Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at the Université de Quebec à Montréal (UQAM) and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. He has lectured on a variety of topics such as  humanitarian action, governance design, the humanitarian-development nexus, conflict and climate change, post-conflict recovery, at universities in Canada and abroad. Another field he works on is co-creation and human design methodologies. Last but not least he is an Adjunct Professor of Master of Public Policy at Adler University, Canada.


Read more about Diego in his latest article.

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.

Banu Pekol

Dr Banu Pekol’s work focuses on peacebuilding and conflict transformation in relation to contested cultural heritage. Her work spans cultural heritage research on difficult pasts and projects that develop creative and research-based results, specialising in cultural diplomacy, contested heritage interpretation and management. She has over a decade of experience with different cultures at numerous multicultural heritage sites.

Banu currently works at the Berghof Foundation, on intercultural and interreligious conflict transformation and peace education. She was previously a Historical Dialogue and Accountability fellow at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University.

She is a co-founder of the Association for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (KMKD), which was established in order to respond to the urgent need to protect and preserve cultural heritage at risk. She has worked as a cultural manager at KMKD, where her work included managing creative as well as research–based strategies to preserve heritage, especially of contested heritage sites, and to find concrete ways for communities to embrace and preserve heritage, regardless of the ethnic or religious community that built it.

She was a trainer in the 2020 European Diplomatic Programme, an elected member on the Advisory Council of the Global Diplomacy Lab (2019-2021) and is a BMW Responsible Leader.

Banu Pekol holds a BA from the Courtauld Institute of Art and PhD from Istanbul Technical University. She was a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow on Conflict Transformation through Culture: Peace-building and the Arts and has been awarded the Association Villard de Honnecourt for the Interdisciplinary Study of Technology, Science, and Art Award; a Hellenic Ministry of Culture Grant; the Otto Gründler Award; and grants from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Bodossaki Foundation.

Julie August

Julie August is a graphic designer and art curator. She works as a graphic designer for publishing houses and architects, as well as cultural and social projects, and also organises exhibitions. Before moving to Buenos Aires, she lived in Berlin for 15 years. As art director at the small left-wing publishing house Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, she converted part of her home into a project space for contemporary artists.

The 18m gallery led her to other curatorial projects, first in Albania and Serbia, and now in Argentina and Germany. Together with Rachel Kohn, she has been directing the women artists’ network “Frauenmuseum Berlin” for eight years. She studied literature and art history in Munich and graphic design in Leipzig. She has a 24-year-old daughter and is married to the Argentine filmmaker Liliana Furió. In addition to her cultural activities, she sees a profound necessity to participate in social and human rights issues.


Learn more about Julie in this article.

Edna Elizabeth Martinez Quintanilla

Edna Martinez is an enthusiastic consultant in sustainable development and public policy.

For over a decade, Edna has worked in designing, developing and implementing public policies focused on sustainability. She has adapted international agendas to the Mexican context, such as sustainable production and consumption, waste management, eco-labelling and, most recently, the 2030 Agenda most commonly known as the Sustainable Development Goals.

Edna worked in the Mexican Ministry of Environmental and Natural Resources for over five years, where her proudest achievements include the development of a National Strategy and a Special Program in Sustainable Production and Consumption. She has collaborated with UNDP and the Office of the Presidency in the design of the Implementation Strategy of the SDGs for Mexico and for FAO in the Foresight of the Agricultural Sector. Edna has also co-written a public policy recommendation for the T20 when chaired by Germany. She also finds great satisfaction in sharing knowledge digitally, in open forums and teaching in universities.

Edna is currently part of a project that is creating an offsite space for co-creation, team building and workshop spaces for international and local organizations. This space, known as Mineralito, is in a tranquil rural area, surrounded by beautiful green landscapes and natural reserves. Knowledge sharing and designing and creating sustainable lifestyles is what inspired Mineralito. This project has turned Edna into an avid researcher of bio-construction in the creation of this magical place, where everything is designed and built with sustainability in mind and shared to be replicated.

Edna was raised in the North of Mexico, growing up both in a rural town and in Monterrey, the second largest city of Mexico. Edna currently lives in Mexico City, but she prefers the loud grandiosity and the noble silence of the natural environment.

Carolina Sheinfeld

Throughout her career, Carolina Sheinfeld has sought to advance meaningful change from a local to a global level. Working with the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) she has been able to design and implement initiatives that create safe and welcoming learning environments and through these has reached over 1.5 million students and their families. Prior to coming to LACOE, Carolina Sheinfeld managed a highly regarded programme for immigrants in need of humanitarian protection at the largest legal aid firm in the United States, providing legal assistance, case management and community education to asylees and refugees in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Throughout her career, Carolina Sheinfeld has been actively involved in developing and executing strategies to raise the visibility of the agencies that she represents. She has built and strengthens coalitions and advocated extensively to generate systemic change in the area of immigrant and refugee integration. She is a seasoned trainer and presenter and has thrived as convener and event organiser, both through the Refugee Forum and the Asylum Collaborative of Los Angeles.

Carolina Sheinfeld is a Rotary Peace Fellow and a UN Alliance of Civilizations Fellow. In 2017, she joined the Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange network, a group of integration practitioners in the United States and Germany. She has been part of the BMW Responsible Leaders Network since 2015.

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