Dear GDL Member, dear attending Expert,
This website was designed for you to gain an overview of all the important information about the Lab. We look forward to seeing you in Slovenia soon!
Incubator Lab: 29 October - 1 November 2022 (Slovenia)
Hosted by GDL Members Vivian Valencia, Diego Osorio, Kyle Matthews and Stefan Cibian, the Environmental Peacebuilding Lab will examine new pathways to integrate peacebuilding and climate security from the perspective of interdisciplinary engagement, public diplomacy, civil society participation and proactive grassroots efforts.
From October 29 to November 1, the Lab will bring participants to Ljubljana, Slovenia, the "green heart of Europe" and a leading partner of the GDL.
The Lab will start at 2.30 pm on Saturday, October 29, at the Impact Hub (see below).
You are also invited to get yourself briefed for the days ahead and to get an overview of the participants, partners and locations down below. Please familiarise yourself with the groundrules.
Please note that during our Lab there are Slovenian national holidays and many shops might be closed.
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 working at the Research Chair in Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Action at Bishop's University.
Vivian 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.
Diego Osorio 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.
Dr Ștefan Cibian is Co-founder and the executive director of the Făgăraș Research Institute, Romania, and visiting lecturer in international development at Babeş-Bolyai University. In his research and teaching, Stefan is focused on development and statehood in Sub-Saharan Africa, development policy, development assistance, international organizations, migration, and human rights.
Stefan, who received his Ph.D. in political science and international relations from the Central European University, Vienna, is director at Cibian Consulting S.R.L. and involved with many civil society organisations such as FOND, the Romanian NGDO Platform, and CONCORD, the European confederation of NGOs working on sustainable development and international cooperation.
Kyle Matthews is the Executive Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University Montréal 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.
At Concordia, Kyle founded the Raoul Wallenberg Legacy of Leadership project as well as the Digital Mass Atrocity Preventing Lab, which works to counter online extremism and study how social media platforms are being used as a weapon of war.
Besides being GDL Member and one of the BMW Foundation’s Global Responsible Leaders, Kyle is a member of the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations and the Federal Idea, a think tank devoted to federalism. He is further an advisor in the field of atrocity and genocide prevention.
Frank works as climate change advisor in the Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation at the WUR. He combines his expertise on water and natural resources management with elements of gender, social inclusion and governance.
He has more than 25 years of working experience with the private sector, research organisations, governments and civil society organizations on issues of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction, climate vulnerability assessment & adaptation planning and issues of climate-related conflicts and migration.
His responsibilities within the WUR range from knowledge development and research, capacity building through trainings and workshops, network development and project coordination and resources development.
Juš is an analyst at Deloitte Consulting working on public sector and sustainability projects and is pursuing a Master's degree in International Relations and Affairs at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences. He has also been an active member of the Student Association for International Relations – Globallis.
His main focus is sports diplomacy, on which he is currently writing a book. Additionally, he has conducted research on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Slovenia for the national report to the United Nations. He is a member of the Global Chamber of Business Leaders and a Delegate of their Young Business Leaders Programme.
Laura Yasmin Aumeer is Director of the Europe Asia Department at Conciliation Resources, an international peacebuilding organisation. She oversees Conciliation Resources' work in the South Caucasus and South Asia regions, and directs cross-regional thematic peacebuilding work on climate change as well as women, peace and security. She initiated Conciliation Resources' latest programme on climate change and peacebuilding, bringing together strategic interventions in the Philippines, Kashmir and Uganda. She participated in the recent Stockholm +50 environmental conference as well as the 2021 Seville Workshop on climate, peace and security.
Laura is an expert on adaptive peacebuilding management and directed the Smart Peace consortium, which integrated research and implementation to address complex conflict problems. Before Laura joined CR, she set up and managed violence reduction programmes with a focus on learning and innovation, managing teams in Nigeria, South Sudan and Malawi. She previously worked in the UK Department for International Development (DFID), supporting adaptive programming and learning.
She has also worked in and with grassroots UK-based charities to advocate for an inclusive approach to tackling gender-based violence and to increasing support for women's organisations.
Dr Moncef Bouaziz is a researcher at the Institute of Mine surveying and Geodesy at the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany.
After completing an engineering degree in Water and Soil Management and then a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and Management, he worked in the private sector.
From 2008, Moncef went on to pursue a PhD within the Remote Sensing Group at the Technical University of Freiberg in Germany. The focus of his doctoral thesis was monitoring land degradation from space. After his PhD thesis, he received an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grant to continue his research as a post-doc at the Technical University of Dresden.
Between 2012 and 2015, Moncef joined the faculty of environmental sciences at the TU Dresden in Germany as a research fellow. From 2015 to 2021, he was assistant professor at the University of Sfax in Tunisia. Currently, he is the ambassador scientist of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Tunisia.
Throughout his academic research, from undergraduate to doctoral level, he has specialised in developing models to monitor and predict trace gases, aerosols, and drought impact on ecosystem health.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia
Regional Organizer for Southwestern Europe at BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt.
Eva Tomič was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 22 July 1966. She studied International Law at Ljubljana University and obtained master's degree in International Law at Ljubljana Law Faculty (with a thesis on the Responsibility to Protect). She began working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1991.
On 10 September 2022, she became Ambassador-at-Large for Climate Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia.
Previously, she was the Head of the Ministry’s International Organisations Department, in the Directorate General for Multilateral Affairs. Prior to that, she served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France (2015-2019), was Head of Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2009-10) and served as a Deputy Permanent Representative at Slovenia’s Missions in Geneva and New York. She has devoted most of her career to human rights issues.
She has been a member of a number of Slovenian delegations, notably in negotiations for the Rome Statute for the ICC, and has led international negotiations, such as those for modernising the Council of Europe Convention on Data Protection.
She has also translated William Styron’s Darkness Visible into Slovenian.
Eva Tomič has twins, Lejla and Niko, who were born in 2012.
Gorazd Trušnovec (1973) graduated cum laude from the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana, Slovenia, but soon realized that he was more interested in other fields; for many years he devoted himself to cinema as a film critic, essayist and screenwriter, and for 8 years he was the editor-in-chief of Ekran, the main Slovenian film and TV magazine with the longest tradition in the region.
For the last decade, he has been mainly involved in the development of urban beekeeping in Ljubljana as the president of Urban Beekeepers' Association of Slovenia, and has taken part in numerous bee-related interdisciplinary projects, including as a consultant in international development projects in Africa and Asia.
Luis Alfonso Ortega Fernández has a degree in Biology, specialising in Geographic Information Systems. He is the director of the non-governmental organisation Fundación Ecohabitats in Colombia.
He has worked for several Colombian government agencies related to the environment and rural development. He has worked as a consultant for United Nations projects, German and British cooperation agencies and national and foreign universities in the design and implementation of participatory methodologies for the analysis of vulnerability to climate change and variability, as well as the establishment of protected areas in high conflict territories. He has also served as a consultant for state agencies in participatory processes of zoning and environmental management of national forest reserves.
From 1997 to 2005, he worked for the Government in the management of natural resources. Moreover, he was regional director of the National Parks Unit, spearheading the creation of several National Parks and other conservation bodies.
As a biologist, he was involved in the description of three species of birds new to science. He has developed participatory methodological tools for risk management and the development of farm adaptation plans since 2005.
Tanja Miškova is Ambassador-at-Large for Water Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia.
During her diplomatic career, she served as Director General for Multilateral Affairs and Development Cooperation, as head of Department for Emerging Challenges, as Ambassador to Egypt (non-resident to Jordan, KSA, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman), as Diplomatic Adviser to the President of Slovenia and as Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Slovenia to Israel.
In her current work, she is focusing on the four priority areas of the Slovenian water diplomacy: water & peace nexus, transboundary water cooperation, water & climate change nexus, and SDG 6.
Wiebke is convinced that social transformation will only take place if we offer spaces and support networks where people can meet, get to know each other, share and understand their different perspectives and finally create meaningful common goals. At the core of her interest is the quest to contribute to an improved international understanding.
Wiebke has acted as Head of the Global Leadership Academy, an international program commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented in the framework of the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) from 2013-2022.
Previously she was serving as Head of GIZ Corporate Communication Office Berlin, held responsibility for the Liaison Office to the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and acted as Senior Advisor for East Asia. Before joining GIZ, she has been a lecturer in sociology, focusing on transformation processes in East and Central Asia, economical ethics, comparative sociology and world system theory. She holds a Master of Science in Political Science and East Asian Studies and a PhD in Sociology.
Wiebke is currently GIZ staff on leave, dedicating a year to support the establishment of international multistakeholder dialogue processes and networks as central elements of international development cooperation.
Slovenska cesta 56, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Impact Hub Website (in Slovene)
Our working space will be the Impact Hub Ljubljana. It is not only a modern co-working space, but also a globally connected, locally rooted network for innovators and entrepreneurs. It is a community of social innovators, driven by the desire to change our world for the better.
ATTENTION: The door entry code is 304472#
Dalmatinova 15, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
+386 1 239 00 00
Our accomodation during the Lab will be the City Hotel Ljubljana.
It is located in the heart of Ljubljana, near the river and with a view on Ljubljana castle. The city centre is walking distance from the hotel, there you can find a variety of restaurants. It is in a traffic-free area with the main bus and rail station 400 meters away.
Each room features a photo wallpaper showing a corner of Ljubljana through the lens of the renowned photographer Žiga Koritnik. This way, you can dream under the Dragon Bridge, the Cathedral or another surprising, yet undiscovered corner of the city. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.
Simon Masaba specializes in investigative reporting and is part of the crime team at New Vision newspaper, a subsidiary of Vision Group. He is an enthusiastic reporter with over ten years’ experience in journalism.
He is one of the few reporters focusing specifically on urban violence, human trafficking, terrorist financing, money laundering, the trade in illegal drugs, and other security threats. He has also manages major CSO initiatives, led regional campaigns addressing violence against women and children and built civil society capacities in the region.
His well-researched pieces, have prompted the government of Uganda to increase its efforts to investigate prosecute and convict people engaging in illegal activity. He also provides training focusing on how to bring about a crime-free society.
Alongside his work as a journalist, Simon is also currently undertaking a course in Peace and Security Studies.
Juan Carlos Mendoza is a dedicated professional in international relations and development cooperation, mainly in connection with sustainable development issues.
He worked in the private sector from 2003 to 2010 before joining the Ministry of Energy in Mexico. In 2013, Juan Carlos was invited to conduct research at the UNEP Risø Centre in Denmark to contribute to energy poverty studies in urban and peri-urban areas, and later in 2014 he joined the MGG (Managing Global Governance) programme hosted by the German Development Institute and GIZ in Bonn, took part in the International Futures programme and completed a professional stay at the office of the UN’s international initiative Sustainable Energy for All in Vienna. He has conducted research into social and unequal distribution of resources as a cause of inequality.
His main interests are urban governance and policies, resource-based inequality and cities as global actors.
In 2019, Hatyja Nuriyeva graduated with a BA in international law from the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan. She was privileged to work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan for nearly 6 years of her career, where she learned valuable professional skills such as government policy and regulations, political and media landscape, dealing with documentation, assistance during official meetings, preparation of reports, and organisation of meetings and conferences. Her last position in the MFA was 3rd secretary in the Department of Diplomatic Protocol.
In addition, she has experience of working in the Ministry of Justice, the Turkmen State Institute of Democracy and Human Rights, the Embassy of Turkmenistan in the Russian Federation, and the Permanent Representation of Turkmenistan to the UN in Geneva. She was responsible for legal research and problem identification at the Turkmen State Institute of Democracy and Human Rights.
Pursuing her interest in the economic growth of developed countries, Hatyja decided to continue her academic preparation in the Republic of Korea at one of the world’s top public policy and management think-tanks, the Korean Development Institute (KDI), where she acquired important knowledge in diverse areas of international and sustainable development.
Currently, she is studying on a Master of Law programme at the Seoul National University School of Law. Hatyja has an ongoing interest in legal research, since it is crucial for academic work and inventions. She stays actively engaged in climate change policy research at Climate Scorecard, an international NPO located in the USA as well as the Seoul National University Human Rights Center.
She was selected as a Youth Challenge Developer for the 2021 Global Youth Climate Challenge within the framework of the P4G Seoul Summit organised by the MOFA Korea, National Council on Climate and Air Quality. Hatyja was involved in a presentation at the P4G Summit on the topic of 'zero waste'. With her team, she created a preliminary action plan for reducing plastic use in the context of a circular economy. She was awarded a certificate for active participation by the 8th UN Secretary General of UN H.E. Ban Ki-Moon.
Mome Saleem has a strong background in global governance, peace and security, gender, diplomacy and training for conflict resolution through dialogue.
She has a keen insight into the needs of developing countries and is a well-versed and proficient public speaker in the languages of Urdu, English and Punjabi.
She has conducted training sessions on peacebuilding, transformation, conflict resolution and gender mainstreaming and media content analysis on peace and gender.
Mome Saleem is a Programme Coordinator at Heinrich Böll Foundation Islamabad, Pakistan. Before, she has worked at the think-tank “Sustainable Development Policy Institute” in Islamabad.
Her research interest focused on human security and gender as a cross-cutting theme. Mome has produced research publications on subjects with relevance to Pakistan.
She is coordinator of the Council for Women Parliamentarians.
Patrick M. Seiler is currently working at the project management office of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), overseeing research grants focused on zero emission aircrafts.
He holds a PhD in engineering from the Technical University Darmstadt and an engineering diploma in aerospace engineering from the University of Stuttgart. During this time he won a ISEP grant and a Fulbright scholarship and spent a year abroad studying at Virginia Tech in the US.
His research on multiphase flows won the ECIS 2018 Langmuir award, was presented at seven international conferences and published in three journals. Between his time in Stuttgart and Darmstadt, he experimented on jet engine combustors at DLR in Cologne.
He spent his formative years and youth growing up in multiple European countries. In his free time, he enjoys photography or can be found experimenting in the kitchen.
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.
Tamara Gómez Marín is a young diplomat who has been working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica since 2019. Before that, she served as Parliamentary Advisor in the Parliament of Costa Rica (2015-2019); her principal responsibilities were related to subjects such as: local development, human rights, gender equality, security and drug trafficking, education and indigenous peoples.
She is also an AFS trainer in intercultural education, President of the “Fundación para la memoria de la población LGBTIQ de Costa Rica” (which is working in the creation of a museum for LGBTIQ history), feminist activist, and volunteer in different NGOs. In 2013 she was elected Member of the University Council at the University of Costa Rica as student representative (2013-2014).
She has a Master in diplomacy and a Bachelor in International Trade and Customs, both from the University of Costa Rica.
Her personal interests are mainly human rights, intercultural dialogue, right to the city, peace and conflict management, fight against inequality.
With over 15 years’ experience in programme management and advocacy on governance, peace and reconciliation processes, Firmin Adjahossou has been dedicated to the advancement of social justice through the various non-profit international and research organisations in Africa where he has worked. He is currently working as a Civil Affairs Officer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), where he is supporting the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) through peace campaigns, mediation and conflict-resolution mechanisms. Mr Adjahossou’s areas of expertise include development effectiveness, migration and human trafficking, good governance and democratic transition, natural resources, climate change and sustainable development policies.
Until 2019, Mr Adjahossou served as Director of Operations of SOPODIVA Training Centre, a regional language centre with offices in Cotonou, Accra and Bamako, which provides intensive English courses for students and professionals from French-speaking countries throughout Africa.
Mr Adjahossou holds two Master’s degrees in Biochemistry and Environmental Management from the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin; he graduated from the GIZ Global Leadership Academy in 2015 and is a Head Trainer in Junior Chamber International (JCI). Mr Adjahossou was the Campaign and Advocacy Officer at the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) from 2007 to 2016, where he supported the leadership of SECAM at the regional and international levels on peacebuilding and mediation, development policies, public engagement and political dialogue for the promotion of a just and inclusive society.
Before that, he worked with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA-Benin) as a Phytopathology Consultant and as a volunteer with the Institut des Artisans de Justice et de Paix (IAJP-Benin) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
Over the course of his professional career, Mr Adjahossou has been able to create a network that has allowed him to engage in person with more than 36 countries in Africa and beyond and to liaise with the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations. His ability to deal with people ranging from Heads of State, parliamentarians, civil society leaders and religious leaders to members of the public from various parts of Africa has been thoroughly tested on many occasions, including the African Faith Initiative Programme on Post-2015 Development Agendas that he co-facilitated from 2014 to 2015.
As an active member of the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) since 2016, Mr Adjahossou was the host of the GDL Accra Incubator Lab held for the first time in Africa and Ghana from 16 to 19 June 2019.
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.
In 1999, Samira Irsane graduated from Lille 2 Law School in France, earning an L.L.M. in European and international law.
Before that, she studied law at Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, USA. Most recently, in 2021, she earned a university diploma in energy law and international arbitration law from the Law School of Nanterre-Paris. Professionally, she began her career as a legal assistant at the General Secretariat of the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
It was at the UN and at the EU Commission that she gained first-hand experience of working in the field of human rights law. Following these two experiences, she went on to work in the French government, initially with the Ministry of External Affairs and eventually moving on to the Ministry of Justice, where she was primarily responsible for policies dealing with asylum seekers and legal aid.
More recently, as a legal expert at the Ministry of Ecological Transition, she was a negotiator in European law and a political and diplomatic advisor in the fields of climate change, sustainable transport, energy, urban planning and environment, which included overseeing legal responsibilities.
In addition, as Sustainable Development Advisor at the French Embassy in the Netherlands, she was able to focus specifically on the subject of climate justice. Currently, as a senior legal expert for the Ministry of Finance, she has greatly broadened her expertise in matters of mutual assistance and international judicial cooperation as well as in matters of judicial sovereignty.
Raphael Karutz is currently finalising his PhD at the University of Leipzig and the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).
In collaboration with Stanford University, he is investigating the food-water energy nexus of cities in the Global South, focusing on Pune (India) and Amman (Jordan). He is especially interested in long-term urbanisation trajectories and how these can be shaped in sustainable and resilient ways despite the dual challenge of climate change and rapid population growth.
Raphael has lived and worked in Tanzania and Colombia and strives for more balanced north-south partnerships in academia and other sectors.
As co-founder of zora – the transformation lab, he develops education formats on climate justice and urban sustainability, facilitates stakeholder participation processes, and advises non-profit initiatives oin their organisational development.