Global Diplomacy Lab

An intersectoral approach to the diplomacy of tomorrow

The Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) is a platform that allows diplomats and experts from non-governmental organizations to share thoughts and ideas with people working in business, cultural institutions and foundations. At the Global Diplomacy Lab, they look for new and more inclusive approaches to diplomacy and together develop courses of action that extend beyond the realm of conventional politics.

Target groups:

Alumni from

  • Stiftung Mercator
  • Federal Foreign Office
  • Robert Bosch Stiftung
  • BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt
  • GIZ Leadership Academy

The institutions involved contact their alumni directly, while the Federal Foreign Office addresses foreign diplomats in particular. The foundations concentrate on civil society actors. At Stiftung Mercator, we target mainly alumni from our international programmes, especially those in Turkey and China.

Deadline: Stiftung Mercator alumni may apply until October 5th 2019.


To open up diplomacy – beyond sectoral boundaries

Nowadays, global challenges and questions of international cooperation can no longer be resolved solely by diplomacy and foreign policy. Alongside state actors, an increasingly important role is being played by members of civil society and private individuals who act directly at the local level. The GDL aims to reflect this diversity and also to specifically involve these stakeholders. The goal is to learn from one another and to develop a new form of diplomacy that transcends traditional political measures and instruments.


Networking – exchange – discussion

By engaging with one another, participants are expected to jointly develop network-oriented, trans-sectoral and interdisciplinary approaches with a view to giving new impetus to diplomacy. By staging roundtable discussions and expert talks, the platform supplements the existing programmes for international diplomat training run by the Federal Foreign Office and the three funding foundations, the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, Robert Bosch Stiftung and Stiftung Mercator.


By engaging in inter-foundation and intersectoral alumni work

The Global Diplomacy Lab network was established in 2014 under the auspices of former Federal Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Alumni are contacted by the cooperating institutions directly and can thus become members of the network. In addition, a lab is staged twice a year, allowing topics to be worked on and discussed. Members of the network can apply independently to take part in these labs. Around 40 places are available for each lab, which take place at different venues around the world.

Project manager

 Teresa Spancken
Teresa Spancken
Project Manager
+49 201 24522-747

Stiftung Mercator’s contribution

Approved funding: 300,000 Euro Duration: 2013 - 2020

Additional information