The Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs annually sponsors 25 German-speaking young professionals and university graduates from all disciplines who are committed to improving the world of tomorrow. During the 12-month programme, Fellows work in two or three international organizations that are active worldwide – non-governmental or non-profit organizations, or business enterprises. The Fellows’ own practical questions serve as their project proposals and determine their workstations anywhere in the world. Seminars are also held on current issues in international cooperation, and to develop their leadership skills and key competencies.
Ida Westphal is a lawyer with a focus on Agricultural and Environmental Law. She gained professional experience, amongst others, at the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and as a researcher in the field of environmental policy at Öko-Institut e.V. Ida studied and worked in Berlin, Potsdam, Paris and Cape Town. During her legal training, she also studied Agricultural Science in Berlin and worked as an intern to a Togolese NGO in the field of agriculture. As a Mercator Fellow, Ida will focus on possibilities for alternative licensing models in the seed sector based on the open source concept to counter negative ramifications of patents on seeds.