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Strategies for Overcoming Urban Violence:
Exploring Global Perspectives & Engaging for Local Prevention

GDL Incubator Lab (8th Lab): from 17 to 20 June 2018, Berlin

The overall aim of the 2018 Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) curriculum is to create a common set of tools to address issues of violence and segregation that affect urban youth worldwide.

The Incubator Lab focuses on gaining a better understanding of the issues of violence and segregation that affect the urban youth globally. We will do this by sharing lessons and experiences from urban areas around the world that are dealing with this subject with varying degrees of success. Having regard to the “power of place”, examples from Berlin will be contrasted with those from other regions of the world, allowing members to gain a global perspective and connect to the global landscape to identify common trends before delving into the particular context of Chicago. The Incubator Lab also focuses on strengthening members’ skills (e.g. mediation, problem analysis) and developing ideas to be further explored during the Impact Lab. By the end of the Incubator Lab, members will have identified concrete questions to be addressed in depth in the Impact Lab.

The aim of the Chicago Impact Lab is to devise innovative strategies with our partner institutions, which we hope will contribute to their efforts to address violence and segregation among the urban youth in Chicago. Our ultimate goal is for these strategies to serve as a common set of tools for other urban areas struggling with the same issues elsewhere in the world. To place the activities of the labs within the context of substantive diplomatic discourse, we will connect the curriculum of the Incubator and Impact Labs with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations as part of the 2030 Agenda.


The Challenge Holder

Of the various Chicago partner organisations, we identified two as the Challenge Holders: The city of Chicago and the Obama Foundation. Together with local community partners, these institutions will be the key beneficiary of the tools developed in the Lab.

Whilst Chicago has one of the strongest economies in the United States, there are large minority communities within the city which are struggling economically, and it is often within these communities that urban youth violence is most prevalent. This appears to be a common thread for urban youth throughout the world. It is believed that this violence problem is rooted in historic segregation, inequalities in education, economic disadvantage, gang violence and racial/ethnic issues. Issues of poverty, isolation, youth disaffection, racism, and violence rear their ugly heads in so many areas globally. In 2018, the GDL aims to explore strategies and skills for overcoming violence and segregation among urban youth by exploring global perspectives and engaging for local prevention.

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