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GDL Summit

*** This event has been re-scheduled ***

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic the GDL 2020 Summit, celebrating GDL's 5th anniversary, has been rescheduled to take place next year. With the topics and goals of the Summit - namely finding innovative approaches to global challenges - being highly relevant, GDL members from around the world will be meeting online in a virtual prE-Summit from May 10 - 31, 2020.

The Summit Working Group - composed of the GDL members Amarachi IgboegwuEdna MartinezSusanne Salz and Stefan Cibian – has created formats to bring the network together and create a vibrant environment in which to discuss topics at the heart of future diplomacy. 

The prE-Summit as well as the Summit will follow three overarching objectives:

• to present the new GDL strategy to the GDL community and to discuss it as a basis for further GDL activities going forward, 
• to have a substantive discussion on relevant themes using innovative methods, 
• to re-connect, strengthen and celebrate the GDL community.

You can find the whole programme here.

Photo: Luciana Marcos
Photo Credit: Jean-Baptiste Hounsou
Photo: Holly Picket
Photo: Marc Beckmann
Photo: Luciana Marcos


The Summit Working Group has defined three main themes for the prE-Summit and Summit:

1. Global Leadership: The Future of Diplomacy

Today’s world is changing substantially. Challenges ranging from transformations in technology and security threats to significant environmental pressures are shaping current global relations and the underpinning governance mechanisms. Different relevant actors are emerging, showing the importance of more conscious forms of leadership and governance. At the same time, these diverse challenges are increasing fears and driving fresh waves of authoritarian leadership, putting pressure on human rights and democracies. How can these challenges to global governance be better understood? How can actors from different sectors work together to better understand and face up to the transformations? How can the capacity for leadership be enhanced at a local, national and global level? What is the role of networks, such as the GDL, in testing innovative formats of partnership and more conscious and responsive communication?

2. Partnership for Sustainable Development - SDG 17

Globally, the Member States of the United Nations agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. The SDGs aim to bring together the global community in order to tackle key global challenges by 2030. The Goals are ambitious in terms of the number of topics covered, the types of actors engaged, the targets and the financial resources needed to drive the proposed changes. Who are the key actors in achieving the SDGs? What partnership formats are needed in order to achieve the Goals? How can the GDL – itself a public private partnership – contribute to incentivising and strengthening the existing partnerships?

3. Security (Climate Crisis, Migration, Gender & Inequality)

Security is an area that both impacts and is impacted by the advancement in technology, environmental change or, as recently experienced, migration. The types of threats as well as modalities to ensure security and defence are transforming and diversifying. The increasing threats of terrorism and cyber-crime are joined by the growth of phenomena such as migration due to environmental challenges, war, or economic deprivation. How do we make sense of these interconnected security challenges? What is the role of illegal financial flows in increasing security threats? What is the impact of these emerging threats on issues such as gender and inequality? How can inter-sector formats, such as the GDL, contribute to better understanding and addressing the emerging security challenges?

prE-Summit, Summit and Labs which will take place over the course of the next year, will address these challenges. The aim is to evaluate the current conditions, provide concrete approaches for action and define the role of the GDL in facing these challenges.

Amarachi Adannaya Igboegwu

Ms Amarachi Adannaya Igboegwu is an Equity and Empathy Consultant with vast international training and coaching experience. Her primary goal is to empower both private and public institutions with a view to enhancing and building their human capacity by improving communication lines and promoting belongingness.

Her doctoral research study connects critical self-reflection and self-knowledge to the conscious teaching of elements that are necessary for dealing with structural racism. She has pioneered pre-service teacher training courses on the topic of conscious teaching, led workshops and given talks on the importance of critical self-reflection and the impact of implicit bias in daily life.


Edna Elizabeth Martinez Quintanilla

Edna Martinez is an enthusiastic consultant in sustainable development and public policy. For over a decade, Edna has worked to design, develop and implement 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 at the Mexican Ministry of Environment 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 also co-wrote 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 at 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 organisations. 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.

Susanne Salz

Susanne Salz’s key areas of expertise and interest are sustainable development and global governance. She is heading a project on multi-stakeholder-partnerships to implement the 2030 Agenda at GIZ.

Previously, Susanne started the United Actors, an innovative start-up in the global governance scene, worked at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Action Campaign, at the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the OECD and UN Volunteers. In 2012, Susanne managed the involvement of local governments in the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development on behalf of ICLEI. In her free time Susanne enjoys rowing and competes in 100km rowing races on the Rhine.


Read more about Susanne in her blog 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.

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