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The Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) is a vibrant platform for exploring creative and more inclusive approaches to diplomacy.

By connecting unusual partners and fostering dialogue among different networks, the GDL experiments with new ideas, uses them to build strategies and thus develops impact oriented responses to global policy challenges.

Get a closer look at the GDL through our Factsheet and the GDL Strategy 2025. You can reach out to the GDL Secretariat for any further inquiries.

Impressions from the GDL

11th GDL Lab, Berlin, September 2019. Photo Credit: Marc Beckmann
GDL at the Bled Strategic Forum, September 2019. Photo Credit: Tamino Petelinšek/STA
10th Lab, Accra, June 2019. Photo Credit: Jean-Baptiste Hounsou
GDL at the Latin America-Caribbean Conference in Berlin, June 2019
9th GDL Lab, Chicago, November 2018. Photo Credit: Michelle Kanaar
8th GDL Lab, Berlin, June 2018. Photo Credit: Marc Beckmann
GDL Activity at The Hague Digital Diplomacy Camp, 2018
7th GDL Lab, Berlin, November 2017. Photo Credit: Marc Beckmann
6th GDL Lab, Buenos Aires, June 2017. Photo Credit: Graciela Vargas
5th GDL Lab, Montreal, November 2016. Photo Credit: Luciana Marcos
4th GDL Lab, Berlin, June 2016. Photo Credit: Oliver Ziebe
3rd GDL Lab, Berlin, November 2015. Photo Credit: Kamila Zimmermann
3rd GDL Lab, Berlin, November 2015. Photo Credit: Kamila Zimmermann
2nd GDL Lab, Istanbul, June 2015. Photo Credit: Holly Picket
1st GDL Lab, Berlin, November 2014. Photo Credit: Dirk Enters
31/08/2021

The Future of Europe – Bled Strategic Forum 2021

For the Bled Strategic Times 2021, GDL members Burak Ünveren and Elif Çavuşlu illustrate the importance to develop solutions to fight disinformation and fake news and discuss how the communication deficit of the EU could be addressed.

[more]

16/06/2021

Fourth-Track Diplomacy: Its Time Has Come

This article by GDL member Eirliani Abdul Rahman and Suzanne Goodney Lea published in the Journal of Dialogue Studies examines how rethinking dialogue and using digital technologies could foster increased citizen engagement in diplomacy. One example: GDL's strategy of Diplomacy 4.0.


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09/04/2021

Training for International Diplomats Yearbook 2020

Looking back at the year 2020 this Federal Foreign Office yearbook included reflections on GDL actvities such as the prE-Summit and the European Diplomatic Programme.


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11/02/2021

Leadership | Diplomacy 4.0: Tackling global challenges through the Global Diplomacy Lab

GDL member Elsa Marie D’Silva describes how the Global Diplomacy Lab can have an impact on the future of diplomacy in an article for The Diplomatic Pouch a platform by Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy

[more]

Book Launch Teaser
29/01/2021

The Demographic Dividend and the Power of Youth – Voices from the Global Diplomacy Lab

GDL members published a compendium of essays together with Anthem Press reflecting on the role of young people as actors of change. 


[more]

Desktop Diplomacy
© AA
03/11/2020

Desktop Diplomacy

GDL members trained young diplomats at the 21st European Diplomatic Programme which was hosted virtually by the Federal Foreign Office during Germany's Presidency of the Council of the EU.

 

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01/09/2019

Learning with the Global Diplomacy Lab

The Partnerships Resource Centre at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) of the Erasmus University (EUR) reflects on its cooperation with the Global Diplomacy Lab.

[more]

28/06/2019

Global Changemakers – Cities as Future Labs

GDL Member Julia Jaroschewski's wrap-up of an interactive GDL session at the Latin America-Caribbean Conference. Main topic of the session was the question how cities can function as future labs for innovative forms of diplomacy and sustainable strategies.


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Imran Simmins at 7th Lab
04/10/2017

Breaking Down the Established Structures of Diplomacy

This portrait on Imran Simmins, a diplomat and GDL member from South Africa, gives you an insight about the actual work of the Global Diplomacy Lab and the respective contributions by its members.

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17/08/2017

Cold Slog with Eye on South Pole

GDL Member and Director at the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation Eirliani Abdul Rahman on Singaporeans’ adventurous spirit and her plans to conquer the South Pole.

[more]

15/08/2017

Switzerland is Ready for New Ideas

Nicola Forster, GDL Member and founder of the Swiss grassroots think-tank Foraus, on the role of pioneering spirit and technological developments in political systems. [Interview in German]

[more]

25/07/2017

Diplomacy 2.0: The Global Diplomacy Lab in Buenos Aires

With an insight into the 6th Global Diplomacy Lab in Buenos Aires, Deutsche Welle elaborates on the varied work of the network. [article in Spanish]


[more]

24/07/2017

Creating Synergy through Cooperation and Diplomacy

The 6th Lab focused on the difficult issue of mass atrocities in the world and various ways of preventing these crimes in the 21st century. GDL Member David Patrician reports from Buenos Aires.

[more]

5th GDL Lab, Montreal, November 2016 Bild GIZ artikel
01/03/2017

Rethinking Diplomacy

"Akzente", a magazine issued by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), writes about the 5th Global Diplomacy Lab which took place in Montréal in November 2016.

[more]

28/12/2016

What does Digitalisation mean for Diplomacy?

Diplomats, experts from non-governmental organisations and representatives from companies exchanged views on new developments at the Global Diplomacy Lab. The event was accompanied by Deutsche Welle was a media partner.

[more]

08/12/2016

Screw-you-too Diplomacy

The German Newspaper Die Zeit on the question how international politics treat actors who increasingly indulge in breaching all rules.

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Photo: Tarek Alsaleh
10/06/2016

Apps and Dance against the War?

Traditional policy recipes seem to fail. This is demonstrated not least by the civil war in Syria. Diplomatic alternatives were therefore now being sought in Berlin. [Deutsche Welle article in German]

[more]

Photo: Ben Knight
07/11/2015

The Global Diplomacy Lab Tackles Migration

Deutsche Welle reports on the third convention of the Global Diplomacy Lab in which the GDL members came up with a fountain of progressive, outside-the-box ideas for dealing with migration.

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Julia Jaroschewski

Julia Jaroschewski is a reporter and founder of Buzzing Cities Lab, a think tank focusing on digital technology and security in informal settlements such as the Favelas in Rio. She works for Die WELT, Spiegel Online, fluter and WIRED, covering mainly foreign politics, organised crime, the war on drugs and security policy. She studied in Portugal, has an MA in political sciences from Berlin and has worked for the UN in New York and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Mozambique.

Julia has attended the Axel Springer Akademie and Columbia School of Journalism. As a fellow of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation and the Besser-Stiftung she reported from Brazil and South Africa, and from Mozambique as a scholar working for Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung. In 2016 she was part of the international journalism programme for South America, working for the Brazilian newspaper O Globo. She has also spent three months in India as a Media Ambassador for the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

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Read more about her engagement and how cities can function as future labs for innovative forms of diplomacy. More about her ideas on Women in Crime can be found here. Or read her article on community-led crisis response or on Guinea Bissau.

Imran Simmins

Imran is a South African diplomat and holds an MA in International Relations and Affairs from the University of Leicester. His thesis focused on the impact of technology on international relations. He currently holds the position of First Secretary (Political) at the South African Embassy in Saudi Arabia where he developed the policy and structure for the South African Business Forum in Riyadh. 
 
Prior to this, he served as an official in South Africa's Foreign Ministry, covering issues related to South Africa's position on science and technology in a multilateral organisation such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). Before that, he served as First Secretary (Political) at the Embassy of South Africa in Berlin, Germany, from 2014 to 2017; as Desk Officer for the National Office for Coordination of Peace Missions, as well as on the USA Political Bilateral Desk. His first diplomatic posting was as First Secretary (Political) at the South African Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe, from June 2007 to July 2011, where he dealt with a range of issues from serving on the secretariat of the South African Mediation Team to dealing with the land issues in Zimbabwe as they affected South Africa.
 
Throughout his teenage years, he took up various leadership positions as a student activist in organisations that stood up against apartheid and any other forms of injustice. To this day, he holds and maintains these values.

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Read more about Imran in this blog article.

Eirliani Abdul Rahman

Eirliani is a student in the doctoral program in public health at Harvard University where she is a Prajna Leadership and Julio Frenk DrPH Fellow. She 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, a Chatham House Member
a Red Dot Foundation-Safecity Board Member 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.

She is an award-winning author. She was lead editor of "The Demographic Dividend and the Power of Youth. Voices from the Global Diplomacy Lab", a peer-reviewed compendium of essays on the demographic dividend (Anthem Press 2021). Eirliani also contributed a case study to the medical textbook Essentials of Global Health, co-edited by Babulal Sethia, Past President and Global Health Lead of the Royal Society of Medicine (Elsevier 2018). The book won first prize under the Public Health category in the 2019 British Medical Association book awards. She is co-author of "Survivors: Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse" (Marshall Cavendish 2017). Now in its third print run, the book won joint 2nd Prize at the inaugural Golden Doors Award in September 2020. She edited Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi's book "Will for Children" (Prabhat Prakashan 2016).

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.

A graduate of the London School of Economics and Warwick University, Eirliani was a British Council Pathfinder scholar. She speaks English, Malay and German fluently, and has rudimentary understanding of Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin and Russian.

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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.

Nicola Forster

Nicola Forster is the President of Swiss Society of Common Good (SSCG) and the Co-President of Swiss Green Liberal Party (GLP) in Canton Zurich. Until 2019, he was also the Founding President of the Swiss crowdsourced think tank foraus (Forum Aussenpolitik) and remains a social entrepreneur and public sector innovator. He is a co-founder of the political movement Operation Libero, the German grass-roots think tank Polis180, several foraus spinoffs around the globe, the staatslabor as well as the Global Diplomacy Lab.

With his innovation consultancy crstl.io, Nicola advises different foundations, international think tanks and foreign ministries on creative formats and strategic innovation. He was the Founding Curator of the Global Shapers Bern Hub (World Economic Forum) and sits on the boards of the Fondation Science et Cité (as Vice President), Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, Law and Economics Club as well as Foundation Jean Monnet pour l’Europe. Nicola is a Swiss Ashoka Fellow and Mercator Fellow ans is a member of the Swiss National Commission for UNESCO.

He has been ranked among the top 99 foreign policy leaders under 33 by The Diplomatic Courier. Nicola regularly contributes to Swiss and international media and is a frequent keynote speaker, panelist and moderator (e.g. with the Open Situation Rooms design thinking format).

Nicola holds a degree in law (lic.iur./MLaw) and has studied in Zurich, Montpellier and Lausanne. He is currently based in New York, Berlin and Switzerland and has lived in a wide range of countries, including Ethiopia, Russia, Australia and Belgium.

David Patrician

David Patrician is a freelance journalist and moderator.

In 2006, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and came to Germany on a journalist exchange. Some of his assignments included being embedded with the German Bundeswehr in Afghanistan, as well as producing and hosting some special reports for WDR, Radio Bremen, RTL Nord, Deutsche Welle, Newsweek and Delta Radio (a weekly radio show entirely in German).

Prior to this, he was a radio and news producer for the Voice of America in Washington, DC. David graduated from the University of Maryland with a double degree in government and politics, and did some of his master’s degree at Georgetown University.

In addition, he has also moderated dozens of international conferences, including for example the Water Act Summit in Paris prior to COP 21.

 

Elsa Marie D’Silva

Elsa Marie D’Silva is the founder of Red Dot Foundation Global (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, Nigeria and Nepal.

She is an advisor to Women 7 (W7) under the German Presidency and part of the working group on Ending Gender based Violence. The W7 is a group of civil society organizations who come together to promote proposals on gender equality and women’s rights to governments within the Group of 7 (G7). At the same time, Elsa is a D&AD Awards Jury member for Impact (2021, 2022) and Future Impact (2021) and an Impact Council member.

Elsa Marie is an alumna of the US State Department’s Fortune Program, Stanford CDDRL as well as the Swedish Institute Management Program. She is a fellow with Gratitude Network, International Women's Forum, Yale World, Rotary Peace, Aspen New Voices , SE Forum, Vital Voices, Fast FWD Philadelphia, Chevening Gurukul at Oxford and a Reagan Fascell Democracy Fellow at NED. Moreover, Elsa is a BMW Responsible Leader, Bosch fellow and is listed as one of BBC Hindi’s 100 Women. She has won the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the SheThePeople’s Digital Woman Award in Social Impact and the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award.

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.

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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.

Eirliani Abdul Rahman

Eirliani is a student in the doctoral program in public health at Harvard University where she is a Prajna Leadership and Julio Frenk DrPH Fellow. She 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, a Chatham House Member
a Red Dot Foundation-Safecity Board Member 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.

She is an award-winning author. She was lead editor of "The Demographic Dividend and the Power of Youth. Voices from the Global Diplomacy Lab", a peer-reviewed compendium of essays on the demographic dividend (Anthem Press 2021). Eirliani also contributed a case study to the medical textbook Essentials of Global Health, co-edited by Babulal Sethia, Past President and Global Health Lead of the Royal Society of Medicine (Elsevier 2018). The book won first prize under the Public Health category in the 2019 British Medical Association book awards. She is co-author of "Survivors: Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse" (Marshall Cavendish 2017). Now in its third print run, the book won joint 2nd Prize at the inaugural Golden Doors Award in September 2020. She edited Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi's book "Will for Children" (Prabhat Prakashan 2016).

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.

A graduate of the London School of Economics and Warwick University, Eirliani was a British Council Pathfinder scholar. She speaks English, Malay and German fluently, and has rudimentary understanding of Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin and Russian.

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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.

burak-uenveren4

Burak Ünveren

Burak Ünveren is a journalist and moderator born in Istanbul, based in Bonn. In addition to his work as a freelance moderator, he also works as an editor at the Turkish Programme and the Chief Editorial Office at Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster. He specializes in global and European affairs, domestic and international security and Turkish foreign policy.

He studied in Leipzig, Vienna and Istanbul. He is an alumnus of the International Parliamentary Scholarship programme of German Bundestag as well as the Training for International Diplomats programme of German Federal Foreign Office.

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You can learn more about Burak and his view on the role of international media for inklusive diplomacy in his first blog article

Elif (Çavuşlu) Perla

Elif Perla is an EU affairs expert based in Brussels. She currently works as a consultant to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships, and as an expert for the EU’s Sivil Dusun (Think Civil) Programme supporting civil society in Turkey. Prior to this, she served at the Ministry for European Union Affairs (MEU) of the Republic of Turkey for eight years, where she began her civil service career in 2010. She also worked at the European Parliament as a Pat Cox Fellow and at the European Commission as a National Expert in Professional Training. As the co-founder of Roman Medya, she was actively involved in issues concerning human rights, anti-discrimination and Roma rights in Turkish civil society.

Ms. Perla holds a BA in Social and Political Science from Sabancı University, an MA in EU Foreign Policy and Security Issues from the University of Warwick, which she attended with a Jean Monnet Scholarship, and an MSc in Governance and Development from the University of Antwerp.

 

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