Home News & Stories Unveiling the Stars: Celebrating the Facilitators Behind the Global Solvers Co-Lab

Unveiling the Stars: Celebrating the Facilitators Behind the Global Solvers Co-Lab

Right in the heart of Gotha and Jena, Germany, something amazing happened this July 2023 – the Global Solvers Co-Lab. It was all about people coming together to make a difference. Let us introduce you to some of the incredible folks who made it happen: "We believe in the magic of collaboration!"

Our Global Solvers Co-Lab stands for a collaborative laboratory where ideas emerge and are tested in the real world through collective action.

It aims to equip emerging, young, community leaders from the Global Solvers Accelerator with the necessary skills to tackle the most pressing challenges of our society while advancing and refining their impact projects!

Here are the people and organizations that made our most recent Global Solvers Co-Lab a resounding success!

Karla Palma: Assistant Professor & Researcher at the University of Chile

Karla Palma, Assistant Professor at the University of Chile, brought a wave of inclusivity to the Co-Lab. Her facilitation of a thought-provoking workshop on inter- & trans-sectionality, power, and perspective-taking was a testament to her dedication to social change. Her engaging session encouraged critical observation, fostering a deeper understanding of power dynamics and a greater understanding of complex societal issues.

Critical Observation and Collaboration: Karla Palma’s session emphasized collaborating with various stakeholders, especially academia while recognizing the value of local knowledge and practices.

Karla holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Media from the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (USA). A journalist graduating from the University of La Frontera (UFRO), she has over 15 years of experience studying and working on the relationship between nature, communication, disasters, and communities in different regions of Chile. Her work has been published in academic journals and edited books in Chile and the United States.

Karla is also an associate researcher at the Center for Research on Integrated Disaster Risk Management (CIGIDEN), an interdisciplinary unit of excellence composed of researchers, academics, and professionals from various institutions and areas of knowledge. Additionally, she serves as an advisor for an international project on the prevention and research of forest fires. She is also a co-founder of the Environmental Community School of the Coast, a pioneering project in Chile that promotes the adaptation of coastal communities to climate change and the promotion of integrated disaster risk management through transdisciplinary work that intersects academia, civil society, and the public sector.

Learn more about Karla’s research, and work, and connect on LinkedIn

Lisa Regina Günther: Transformation Facilitator and Session Host

Transformation is a journey, and Lisa, our Transformation Facilitator and Session Host, guided us through its intricacies. Her workshop on encompassing transformation left participants inspired and empowered. Lisa’s expertise and passion for change truly made a difference in the Co-Lab journey, reminding us that change is the catalyst for transformative growth.

Lisa supports individuals, leaders, high-performing teams, and organizations, and helps them act from a place of clarity, alignment, and ease in this fast-paced world full of uncertainty, which requires systemic solutions to complex challenges. By integrating physical & mental well-being in the creative process, she gives space for accessing our full human potential: from where new ideas, that our planet needs to thrive, can be brought to life in a sustainable way. She applies, but also teaches, and shares practices that give support in transformation processes, like Design Thinking, Mindfulness, and other mental, physical, energetic, or systemic tools.

Transformation through Change: Lisa’s workshop reminded us that sustained change is the bedrock of transformation. Change and transformation are inseparable, with the latter being what we can achieve beyond immediate outcomes.

Learn more about Lisa’s inspiring work and creative process, and connect on LinkedIn.

Cornelia ‘Neli’ Blum: Project Manager at HEROES

Neli, Project Manager at HEROES, took the reins as a Session Host, delivering impactful workshops on Collective Leadership. Neli’s dedication to fostering collaboration and driving positive change was evident, reminding us that together, a brighter future can be achieved.

Neli is a  passionate advocate for global change and transformation. With a deep-rooted commitment to tackling global challenges, she has extensive experience in facilitating workshops,  seminars,  and coaching sessions,  empowering individuals to unleash their full potential. Leading a diverse team in HEROES, a gender-based violence prevention program,  Neli deconstructs power structures through an intersectional lens, applying principles of participation, empowerment, self-organization, and collaboration in Leipzig/Germany.

Learn more about Neli’s work at Project HEROES and her experiences, and connect on LinkedIn

Pooja Channaveerappa: Collective Leadership Advocate

Pooja Channaveerappa, a Team Member at Think Out Loud Berlin, stood out as an incredible Session Host at the Co-Lab. With expertise in Collective Leadership, Pooja’s workshops inspired participants to unleash their potential. Their invaluable contributions left a lasting impact on shaping a brighter future through collaboration and empowerment.

Pooja is a dedicated mechanical engineer specializing in sustainable and human-centered design. Over the past 7 years, she has developed innovative solutions that address user needs and prioritize circular economy principles to drive systemic transformation within the realm of product innovation. Pooja is part of the collective, Think Out Loud Berlin, engaging in co-creation, facilitation, and mentoring activities for corporations and startups. As a Melton Senior Fellow, she passionately applies her professional skills to tackle global and local challenges alongside a diverse network of fellows. Pooja‘s desire to share her expertise as a trainer and mentor has led her to apply for the Co-Lab in Jena/Gotha, where she aims to foster collective leadership through meaningful workshops and engage with experienced solvers to drive positive change.

Learn more about Pooja’s work and her experiences, and connect on LinkedIn

Jessie Yang: Social Entrepreneur and Impact Ecosystem Builder

A special shoutout also goes to Jessie Yang from TSD Ventures for her contribution to the Co-Lab. With her impulse session on how to foster an entrepreneurial mindset, Jessie ignited innovative thinking for social impact,  and empowered change-makers, proving that together, they are making a difference.

Jessie is a passionate social entrepreneur and regional impact advocate with a diverse background in driving impact initiatives across eight countries. She successfully built a regional impact community from scratch in Taiwan, engaging over 600 individuals. Through her role as the entrepreneurship lead in TSD Ventures, Jessie collaborated with universities and stakeholders, excelling in fundraising, program management, and implementation. As a social entrepreneur, Jessie established a Hong Kong-based social enterprise focused on ethnic minority rights, leading a team of over 20 people in business operations and strategy within a series C startup. Currently, she is actively involved in building the Africa Social Policy Centre, dedicated to advancing evidence-based policymaking in the developing world. Additionally, Jessie has served as the COO of a prominent furniture company in Southeast Asia.

Learn more about Jessie’s work in the entrepreneurship and impact space, and connect on LinkedIn.

The Global Solvers Co-Lab was woven with expertise, passion, and collaboration. Each expert’s unique contribution added vibrancy to the event, leaving a lasting impact on participants and reminding us that transformation is attainable through collective efforts. From fostering entrepreneurship to promoting inclusive spaces, the Global Solvers Co-Lab showcased the potential of collaboration and the power of knowledge-sharing.

Special Features: Global Solvers Co-Lab Partners

Ernst-Abbe-Stiftung – Co-sponsor

The Ernst-Abbe-Foundation promotes science, research, and innovation as well as social purposes, in particular: Science, research, and teaching at the University of Jena and other institutions and universities in the Federal State of Thuringia – Establishment of Ernst Abbe endowed professorships with sufficient funds – Support for training in the field of ophthalmic optics – Operation and promotion of non-profit organizations and measures for the benefit of the people of Jena, Thuringia and beyond – Fulfillment of social obligations towards former employees of the Carl Zeiss Foundation and the companies that have emerged from it. By co-sponsoring the Co-Lab, Ernst-Abbe-Stiftung has deepened its unwavering support and commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration! 

Gotha Research Center –  Local hosting and logistics partner

The Gotha Research Centre of the University of Erfurt studies the history of culture and knowledge in the modern era. It is not only interested in scientific forms of knowledge – philosophy, academia, natural history, arcane knowledge, especially with a view to the prehistory of the later humanities and cultural studies – but also in more practical forms of knowledge, be they formed by institutions (e.g. administrative, state and legal expertise) or experience-based (practical knowledge, lay or everyday knowledge, “tacit knowledge”). By hosting us, and providing a meeting ground for our Global Solvers Accelerator participants to connect and collaborate, the Gotha Research Centre has significantly contributed to the growth and development of our diverse community. 

As we reflect on this transformative journey, let’s remember that together, we are shaping a brighter and more equitable world and each year, the journey continues – Connecting grassroots experiences, empowering community leaders, and unleashing transformative change!

Through our Global Solvers Accelerator, participants generate ripples of impact: on themselves, by building their leadership capacity and transformative potential. And the in-person Global Solvers Co-Lab solidifies their collaborative spirit. Become part of the next edition – Apply for the 2024 cohort of the Global Solvers Accelerator!