Home Global Events Global Solvers Co-Lab Global Solvers Co-Lab: 13-5-3 UN-limited

Unlocking Sustainable Development

Launched in 2018, the Global Solvers Co-Lab convenes emerging leaders from across sectors and geographies to learn, collaborate, and co-create meaningful solutions to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on a local level with the global context in mind.

Transforming Our World with the Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations’ Agenda 2030 along with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present a comprehensive plan for Sustainable Development on the planet, particularly emphasizing the need for collaborations across sectors and stakeholders.

With the Global Solvers Co-Lab, we’ve set out to use this power of collaboration as a guiding principle to catalyze collective action. “Co-Lab” stands for a collaborative laboratory where novel ideas, skills, and approaches emerge through action. A collaborative space that converges young leaders from across identities, cultures, sectors, scientific backgrounds and professions; the Co-Lab aims to advance the realization of SDGs across the street, and the globe.

Greater than the sum of its parts 

About the Global Solvers Co-Lab 2020

After a vastly successful CoLab 2018, the Melton Foundation and the Ernst-Abbe-Stiftung are yet again calling SDG advocates and practitioners from across the globe to bring their know-how, passion, and curiosity to the Global Solvers Co-Lab 2020, happening from 7-12 June 2020 in Gotha & Jena, Germany. And this time, we’re going deeper! 

Building on decades of experience in Global Citizenship collaboration, the Melton Foundation together with Ernst-Abbe-Stiftung is launching the second iteration of the Global Solvers Co-Lab. The Co-Lab provides a platform for up to 20 young SDG practitioners to join hands, hearts, and minds to forge actionable pathways towards advancing sustainable development at scale.

Founded on a collaboration framework that embraces diversity, aspires equitable as well as sustainable solutions, and nourishes cross-boundary collaborations, the Co-Lab 2020 brings together emerging SDG champions to learn and build solutions to local and global issues concerning: 

We are calling this triage of goals “13-5-3 UN-limited”.

What to expect from the Global Solvers Co-Lab?

At the Co-Lab, 'it’s not just talk'. We expect to roll up our sleeves and get to work as we unpack global issues and work together on approaches to tackle them. As a participant, you’ll be a co-driver of the activities - expect to engage in intensive collaboration at the Co-Lab 2020.

Here’s the brilliance of collaboration that will transpire at the CoLab 2020…

  1. Work with emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds: A safe and brave space alike, the Co-Lab 2020 convenes young and passionate social impact leaders from a multitude of backgrounds to connect, collaborate and co-create a future that ensures lives of dignity for all from grassroots level up.
  2. Continued engagement with change agents: Framed by online activities prior to and after the event for participants to prepare and follow-up on the activities, the Co-Lab is nothing less than space for global citizenship magic to unfold.  
  3. Converge contemporary practices with historical research: In collaboration with the Gotha Research Center, we will merge insights from past and present-day initiatives while – in return – stimulating novel approaches to tackle historical research on SDG related domains.
  4. Seek guidance from global experts: Skilled facilitators, experienced mentors, and top-notch domain experts and partner organizations set the impetus to unpack the intersection of the SDGs 13-5-3.
  5. Participate in an SDG Bootcamp: Through a series of collaborative workshops, project visits, and interactive sessions, participants contribute with their experiences, skills, and tools to deepen their understanding of complex global issues. Combine this with exploring how our focus SDGs intersect, growing the capacity to drive and mobilize change for collaborative actions, building networks for impact, and developing tangible approaches to advance sustainable development – the CoLab 2020 will be nothing short of an intensive, goal-driven, result-oriented SDG Bootcamp!

By tapping into collective capacity, the Co-Lab drives insight and inspiration to hone skills and catalyze solutions with sustained impact on SDGs 13, 5 and 3 – all in six days.

You can be one of the 20 Global Solvers from around the world to participate in a life-changing experience!

Who can apply to the Global Solvers Co-Lab?

The Co-Lab 2020 is an immersive experience that offers tools, resources and the impetus to take responsibility and act on the issues related to SDG 13 (Climate Action), 5 (Gender Equality), and 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).

Based on the conviction that strength is born of diversity, we actively encourage applications from across cultures, sectors, backgrounds, and geographies. All applications need to meet the following expectations:

  • The Co-Lab 2020 is focussed around SDG 13, 5, and 3, i.e Climate Action, Gender Equality, and Good Health and Well-Being, respectively. Applicants are required to have a clear understanding and tangible experience in these domains, along with a healthy portion of curiosity to learn and explore. Advanced knowledge about the SDGs 13, 5 and/or 3 is a nice to have, yet not required. 
  • Demonstrable commitment to and a track record of tackling issues that relate to the focus SDGs is a prerequisite for the Co-Lab – be it as a student leader, a volunteer, an activist, a (social) entrepreneur, an intrapreneur, a researcher, or as an engaged citizen.
  • We strongly believe in the power of diversity. Therefore, we encourage applications from across cultures, sectors, backgrounds, and geographies, and we expect applicants to bring curiosity and the openness to work in a highly diverse setting.
  • Because complex issues demand networked solutions, applicants must bring the willingness and drive to work collaboratively towards shared solutions, be self-starters and able to build partnerships to achieve substantial solutions – at the Co-Lab and beyond.
  • At the Co-Lab, participants are co-creators as we unpack global issues and design tangible approaches to tackle them – at the grassroots level and/or a global scale. Clarity about the skills, know-how, and experiences you will bring to the CoLab, as well as a sense of what you hope to take away is key to making the Co-Lab effective and enriching for you and everyone else.
  • Contents are best suited for students or early-career professionals between 20 – 30 years, who are looking to grow networks and capacity to become conscious and responsible change agents in their community and at a global level. 
  • Solid knowledge of the English language and strong communication skills are necessary to actively participate and interact throughout the Co-Lab.
Our Code of Conduct:

The Global Solvers Co-Lab: 13-5-3 UN-limited will be fun, engaging, experiential, and quite intense. Participants, trainers, and organizers equally commit to proactive participation and contribution to the activities - at the Co-Lab and beyond. Because we cherish diversity and constructive collaboration, people from different backgrounds and lifestyles will share space and rooms. It is essential for all of us to be respectful of each other in order to ensure a productive and conducive environment throughout the Co-Lab. Based in a location of historic importance and beautiful landscapes, the Co-Lab venue and surroundings are of unique touristic value ‘off the beaten track’. We encourage travel, as long as it doesn’t affect your physical, mental and emotional presence throughout the Co-Lab!
This is an adventure for us all: be flexible, stay focused, engage actively, and have fun.

What expenses should you expect as a participant?


Travel scholarships will be available to candidates who have been selected as participants of the Global Solvers Co-Lab: 15-5-3 UN-limited, especially those joining us from afar.

In addition, we encourage participants to organize crowdfunding campaigns in support of their expenses to attend the Global Solvers Co-Lab, such as the participation fee, costs for visa or passport, etc. Crowdfunding Campaigns are a powerful way to build awareness for your cause while raising the needed funds. Here are 10½ tips to help you organize your campaign and reach the goal.

Participation Fee

At the Global Solvers Co-Lab, everyone contributes. If selected as a participant, you will be expected to contribute your share in the form of a participation fee:

  • Students/low-income: 100,- USD (equivalent to 90,- €)
  • Working professionals: 200,- USD (equivalent to 180,- €)

This participation fee will give you access to sponsored lodging, meals, and all activities throughout the Co-Lab along a Certificate of Completion. In addition, travel scholarships will be available to candidates who have been selected as participants of the Global Solvers Co-Lab: 13-5-3 UN-limited.

Upon admittance into the program, participants are expected to pay the registration fee in order to confirm their attendance.

Are you ready to push the needle?

Join the Global Solvers Co-Lab: 13-5-3 UN-limited and boost your knowledge, tools, and networks to advance Sustainable Development across the street and across the world! Be one of 20 Global Solvers to embark on a life-changing journey from 7 – 12 June 2020 in Gotha and Jena, Germany! 

Apply by January 31, 2020!


Apply to be a Global Solver!

About the Organizers

The Global Solvers Co-Lab: 13-5-3 UN-limited is organized by the Ernst-Abbe-Stiftung and the Melton Foundation - here's a little more about our work.