Future Forum 2022

"From Growth to Wellbeing: Rethinking Development for a Digital, Green, and Just Transformation"

In 2022, the Divisions "Economic and Social Development, Employment" & "Methods, Digital Transformation, Innovation" in cooperation with the Sector Networks invited GIZ employees to a joint learning journey. A series of virtual learning and exchange formats spanned a range of diverse topics, where participants from GIZ and external guests came together.

From 13th to 14th September 2022 a two-day conference was organised in Potsdam.

For more information on the Future Forum, visit our website From Growth to Wellbeing (giz.de).

Below you will find teasers for all sessions of the three thematic blocks "From Growth to Wellbeing", "Combining the social, economic and environmental aspects of development" and "Strengthening Resilience".

Additional information

13 Sep 2022 - Day 1: Inspiration


Inspiration was the focus of day 1. We have invited speakers from 54 countries and 46 institutions to discuss the following questions: How do we manage to think about and actively advance a sustainable economy, social integrity, and ecological sustainability? How can we use global challenges and megatrends to contribute to the transformation towards more resilient societal structures? 

On the Main Stage we curated a programme with inspiring speakers. Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Member of the Management Board of GIZ set, the scene and introduced the topic of this year‘s Future Forum. Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President of the Club of Rome, reflected in her keynote speech what “Beyond Growth” means 50 years after the Club of Rome’s wake-up call “The Limits to Growth” was published in 1972. Three panel discussions with representatives of our main commissioning parties BMZ and EU, the East African Community, international think tanks and academia shared different perspectives on the vision of a social, ecological and economic transformation. Inspirational talks addressed future trends and highlighted the role of digitalisation and education.

Three peer learning rounds consisting of 14 Break-out Rooms each allowed the participants to deep dive into their specific areas of interest, covering topics ranging from health over vocational education to green hydrogen. All sessions’ topics and their respective teasers are listed down below.

“World order at the crossroads”: At the fireside chat we had the chance to discuss with Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili and Jochen Steinhilber from BMZ the repercussions of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine on current and future challenges in our partner countries.

14 Sep 2022 - Day 2: Peer Learning


Peer Learning was at the center for our 2nd day of the Future Forum 2022. Before splitting up in two panels, we reflected on the importance of lifelong learning, a failure culture and levers for innovation management with the head of GIZ’s sectoral department, Dirk Aßmann. Following this, there were two parallel panels. One panel on how to strengthen resilience in an interconnected world with Tilman Altenburg from the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) and a second panel on “Linking the three elements of sustainable development with the challenges of just transition” with Mr. Markus Engels from the Global Solutions Initiative, among others.

The event in Potsdam closed with a panel discussing insights and lessons-learnt and an outlook to the Future Forum 2023, which will be organised by the divisions “Climate Change, Rural Development, Infrastructure” & "Methods, Digital Transformation, Innovation".

Additional information

1. Alternative models for economic development

Voices from the Global South by PEGNet: Beyond Growth? Alternative models for economic development

The devastating effects of climate change, species extinction, and increasing inequality within and between countries are exacerbating ongoing threats to democracies and the integrity of societies worldwide. Common socioeconomic practices and systems need to be fundamentally rethought beyond the doctrine of economic growth. The aim of this event is to discuss how an alternative development cooperation can look like, which deals with alternative models for economic development beyond growth. 


2. Green Skills for a Transition to a sustainable future

Green Skills for a Transition to a sustainable future - The renewable Energy sector in Indonesia and Viet Nam is getting future ready

TVET systems in partner countries are often unprepared for providing the skills needed for sectors that are key to the green transition. To ensure the effective and sustainable development of the Renewable Energy sector, this shortfall must be tackled immediately. Developing a skilled workforce that meets the requirements of new jobs and promoting employment in Renewable Energy should be integral parts of a sectoral strategy development and implementation. 


3. New paths towards an inclusive world of work

New paths towards an inclusive world of work

Join us and the founder of "Dialogue in the Dark", Dr. Andreas Heinecke, and Dr. Michael Lorz (director of the enableMe Foundation) and be inspired on how we at GIZ can promote the inclusion of people with disabilities through digital formats that create jobs for people with disabilities and contribute to a more sustainable economic and social development of our partner countries worldwide.


4. Making economic modelling work

Making economic modelling work for green and just transformations to enhance wellbeing 

In a very simplified way, models describe how societies and economies work. To holistically grasp human, environmental, and economic components of wellbeing, the emphasis of economic models on GDP growth should be adapted to support policymaking for wellbeing economies. How should elements of wellbeing be introduced in economic models? What changes in our perspective when wellbeing elements are considered in decision-making? These are questions that our session will address.


5. Challenge Funds

Challenge Funds: Lessons Learnt and Future Opportunities with the GIZ Innovation Fund

Having an idea for a project is great and even better getting fundings to implement the idea. In order to ensure the quality of the results, Sector Networks integrated mentors as a support structure within their Challenge Fund initiatives.  
Let’s check with the team from GIZ Innovation Fund what are lessons learnt. They will also give future opportunities of successful support structures, especially when it comes to methods and tools.


6. Innovative Development Programming

Innovative Development Programming at the Trade and Environment Nexus 

The global trend towards the integration of the environment and trade offers new opportunities for developing countries but can also pose challenges and risks. Indeed, many of the proposed measures ultimately require developing countries to satisfy new sustainability standards. In order to achieve a just green transition, it is thus crucial to support developing countries through innovative development projects at the nexus between trade and the environment.


7. Future Proofing Cambodia 

Future Proofing Cambodia: Drawing on Global Best Practices to Build National Systems which will Strengthen Societal Resilience

Despite being in its infancy, the Cambodian national social protection system has proven its worth in the face of severe socio-economic challenges brought about by COVID-19. However, the system needs further strengthening in anticipation of more severe and regular shocks brought about by climate change or macroeconomic crises. In this session, discover how social protection plays a crucial role in the journey towards a better life for the people.


8. Cool White

Cool White (skilled crafts initiative - painting rooftops white)

Scientists from Berkeley estimate that a 100m2 white roof can save up to ten tons of CO2 per year. This is equivalent to the average energy consumption of a US household. The aim of Cool White is to show the effect of white roofs in a vivid and striking way. White roof tops lower temperatures within buildings and thus increase peoples’ wellbeing.


9. The creative sector matters for the Global South

The creative sector matters for the Global South: Creative Jobs of a Digital Tomorrow 

How are digital creative jobs linked to the potentials of an IT-enabled future of work?  What market and job potentials and decent precondition derive from this? The GIZ-led intersecting exercise on the nexus of international discourses on the future of work and creative economy has assessed the impact of digitalization on both fields. We will discuss how digital creative jobs of the future might look like. 


10. Local and indigenous knowledge systems

Knowledge, Power and Diversity – the role of local and indigenous knowledge systems in rethinking development

As GIZ what might it mean moving beyond growth paradigms? What patterns of engagement does this require? What knowledge informs our approaches? We’ll explore how knowledge and approaches of indigenous and local communities might inform new development work. We’ll learn how projects interact with those knowledge systems for future solutions and engage with experts on the critical question – what will it take to move beyond hierarchies of power and knowledge? 


11. shERPa - Digitalisation of (M)SMEs

shERPa – Digitalisation of (M)SMEs through Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems  

Are you working on improving the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized companies? Did you already consider digitalisation as a potential means to achieve this? Are you looking for approaches to support the digital transformation of MSMEs?
In case, your answer is “Yes!”, shERPa – our FMB advisory offer to digitalise (M)SMEs through (Open Source) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems – may guide you in this process!


12. Building strong and sustainable partnerships

Building strong and sustainable partnerships - Exploring how multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) work together to address multi-dimensional challenges 

Have you ever wondered how different stakeholders can collaborate even more effectively? Experience the process of building a multi-stakeholder partnership in a sustainable textile value chain context, acquire new tips and tools to set up partnerships. Slip into the role of a department head in a global fashion company, a political representative within the EU, a trade union member or a NGO representative and contribute to building a shared vision! 


13. Sustainable finance Taxonomies

Taxonomies: The new gold standard of sustainable finance instruments? 

Global taxomania – it is happening: Taxonomies are receiving significant interest globally; around 40 countries have already launched or are currently developing a taxonomy. Taxonomies help to define and classify sustainable economic activities. They play a key role in channeling investment flows into sustainability-aligned activities and facilitate finance for a just & green economic transformation. This session provides key insights into the relevance and different uses of taxonomies.


14. Future of Work: Employment Potential

Future of Work: How Can We Harness The Employment Potential Of The Green Transition?

In a crisis-mired context, facing a global pandemic, wars, global warming, the calls for environmental responsibility are building a momentum to push towards a greener agenda, to build forward better. Green sectors and enterprises need to be strengthened and the speed at which traditional sectors adopt greener practices needs to increase. More firms, skills and jobs need to go green and we can make a difference supporting that transformation!


15. What does "Just Transition" mean for me?

What does "Just Transition" mean for me? - Peer learning session on practical steps to integrate Just Transition into your project design

You wonder what BMZ’s new core theme just transition means for you? Learn from short inputs by your peers and share your thoughts in interactive discussions on integrating just transition into your project design and implementation. Hear how to move from “jobs” to “just jobs” and from promotion of “inclusive” to promotion of “green and inclusive” business to achieve the goal of a socio-ecological transformation of the private sector. 

Additional information

1. From Theory to Practice: Reducing Inequality

From Theory to Practice: Reducing Inequality While Boosting Environmental Sustainability and Economic Development  

Inequalities are structurally embedded and shocks such as Covid-19 have widened fractures. Reducing inequalities requires deep changes in predominant economic paradigms, which allow for a sustainable transition towards economies in which economic, social, and ecological prosperity grow together. The session will look at how inequality, economic growth and climate change are interlinked and provide space to discuss promising policies and approaches that reduce inequalities while boosting economic and environmental sustainability.


2. Women's economic empowerment in a digital world

Women’s economic empowerment in a digital world - female finfluencers revolutionizing financial literacy

How can we use digital technologies for women’s economic empowerment? Use the Gender Quadrant as a tool to analyze, evaluate and reflect on gender barriers when working on digital approaches. Learn through the lens of the A-FIN project about how financial literacy is being revolutionized in the Palestinian Territories using social media influencers to push female finance and finfluencers as a development tool. 


3. International Spillover Effects in SDGs

International Spillover Effects in SDGs

Progress made in a particular economic, social, or environmental area may generate positive or negative impacts beyond national borders. These impacts are called ‘international spillover effects’. Social and environmental problems – such as the production of greenhouse gas emissions or the tolerance for poor labour standards – systematically passed on from high- to lower-income countries, undermine a countries' efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 


4. The Circular Economy Imperative

The Circular Economy Imperative - Consequences for our work on labor markets, skills and trade impacts

The transition to a circular economy will require systemic changes on every level. This interactive peer-learning session will focus on the consequences for our work on labor markets, skills and trade impacts: How will the future of work look like and what impacts will there be globally? What skills will be needed? How can GIZ prepare and integrate these aspects into their projects? 


5. Follow-up Discussion on Just Transition

Deep Dive: Follow-up discussion on the challenges of a just transition

Information shared on the Panel on Just Transition will be reflected and discussed. Additional Information will be given. Networking with colleagues working in the same field possible. 


6. Transitioning towards a Circular Economy

Transitioning towards a Circular Economy – Experiences from the private sector, academia and development cooperation

The transition to a circular economy will require systemic changes on every level. This interactive peer learning session will focus on the consequences for our work on labor markets, skills and trade impacts: How will the future of work look like and what impacts will there be globally? What skills will be needed? How can GIZ prepare and integrate these aspects into their projects? 


7. Promoting green businesses and livelihoods

Promoting green businesses and livelihoods while leaving no one behind - Experiences from India and Morocco

Combining social, economic, and ecological development - while leaving no one behind? Can we tackle these objectives jointly to improve the lives of excluded groups and what challenges must be addressed on the way? The Indian and Moroccan teams will share their approaches for promoting (green) businesses and livelihoods and look forward to learning from your experiences. Join us for a voyage from the Moroccan forests to the Indian countryside!


8. Green Business Ecosystems

Green Business Ecosystems – Connecting the Dots

Recently improved international framework conditions as well as changing consumer preferences have created new growth opportunities for green businesses all over the world. However, green business ecosystems in many GIZ partner countries are still not functioning effectively and existing opportunities are therefore not being capitalized. We will present some new national and international approaches to promote green business ecosystems and discuss potentials to make GIZ support more effective. 


9. H2/PtX - Only Green or Also Just Transformation?

H2/PtX - Only Green or Also Just Transformation

Hydrogen (H2) is considered the last mile to decarbonisation. As carbon-free fuel for long-distance carriage (e.g. shipping) and combustion processes in heavy industry (e.g. steel production) H2 can replace fossil fuels where electrification does not provide a proper solution. Countries with high potential for power generation from renewable energies and low power-generation costs could become large-scale H2 producers and benefit from the energy transition home and abroad – if ecological risks are managed properly and growth is managed inclusively. Together with representatives from international organisations, academia, and project implementers we will discuss how sustainable H2 value chains can be developed that provide income and jobs and thus support not only an ecological but also a social and just transformation in our partner countries. 


10. Co-Creating Global Public Good solutions

International Spillover Effects in SDGs

Have you ever come across the concept of Global Public Goods? How does it relate to your work? How can the provision of such goods can enable development? How to move away from single point solutions towards complex systemic development interventions? In this interactive session we explore the reality of protecting and delivering Global Public Goods. Using agile methods, we figure out the significance for our work, missing points, and potentials to unlock progress towards systems change. 


11. The Future of Work is now! Perspectives from the Global South

The Future of Work is now! Perspectives from the Global South on the Digital Economy and Gig Work

The session is relevant for all those working on issues concerning just transitions, digital transformation, future of work, employment promotion, platform labour, decent work and fair work. In particular, it will be very useful for colleagues interested in understanding the issues at all three levels micro (workers), meso (platforms) and macro (policy makers).  We would also welcome the participation of the colleagues working actively in the global south.  


12. No Green without Blue

No Green without Blue – A Sustainable Blue Economy is essential for sustainable development pathways

The Sustainable Blue Economy (SBE) can contribute to reducing hunger, maintaining healthy ecosystems, improving human health, social equity and inclusive economic growth. This session presents an approach how GIZ can address SBE comprehensively and integrate SBE into existing and new projects connected to the marine realm. We aim to inspire and provide orientation to colleagues on SBE and collect their feedback and ideas as to how to get into action.


13. Green Finance and the transition in MENA

From Paris to Sharm El-Sheikh: What does Green Finance hold for the transition in MENA? 

Did you know the Middle East and North Africa is among the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change? And that at the same time green finance represents uncharted territory to many partner countries and GIZ across the region? This must change. All eyes on Sharm El-Sheikh: There’s no time to lose. Join our learning journey and contribute to laying the foundations for mainstreaming green finance in MENA. Don’t miss this opportunity. 


14. How to mainstream "Leave no one behind"

Beyond preaching to the choir - How to mainstream "Leave no one behind" within GIZ

Leave no one behind (LNOB) is the central promise of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs and a crucial dimension for all GIZ interventions. Even though committed colleagues and partners already work on that, beyond the “LNOB – bubble” its relevance is still not reflected sufficiently in GIZ’s intervention areas. With this session we want to go beyond preaching to the choir, share ideas how to raise awareness and scale-up promising LNOB approaches within GIZ.


15. Participating and sustainable NDC

How to design a participating and sustainable Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)

What can other countries learn from the Peruvian way when it comes to the design of their NDC? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Peruvian way? What is the biggest risk of the Peruvian way and what should other countries avoid doing?

Additional information

1. Innovation and convergence in health and social protection

Local innovation and digital convergence in health and social protection

How can we bring on the importance of health and social protection systems to respond to the different segments affected with shocks/covid (prevention measures vaccinations set up for health and Social Protection systems to help people) and how can interoperable systems support this?
How can we be better prepared for such shocks in the future and what can we explicitly learn from the country context experience?


2. Remodelling digital payments

Remodeling digital payments for the underprivileged and vulnerable

We all depend on efficient money transfers, especially in times of crisis. This holds particularly true for the underprivileged and vulnerable. This session highlights the importance of advanced (digital) payment systems for resilience, provides insights on concrete cases from Niger, Mozambique and Jordan as well as inspiration on how to overcome challenges and barriers in reaching the most vulnerable.


3. Government Data Systems for Resilience

Government Data Systems for Resilience

Covid showed - yet again - that data and evidence are essentials for governments to foster resilience. In this session, we will be looking at the data value chain and present different approaches and drivers to enhance evidence-informed policymaking, e.g. an example from Mexico, an idea for a Data4Policy toolkit, and the “Avoiding Data Graveyard framework” by SDSN TReNDS and Open Data Watch.


4. Building Resilience in Companies

Building Resilience in Companies and Value Chains During the Pandemic & How to Communicate Results Effectively

Combatting the pandemic, GIZ teams applied flexibly existing tools and developed innovative methods. CESARE SIPS showcases how to stimulate local manufacturing of COVID-19 relevant medical and pharmaceutical products by awarding grants to the private sector. Further, GIZ textile projects in Asia supported factories and workers and collaborated closely with different stakeholders, like the private sector. Lastly, we will provide an example of how to communicate successful activities and projects. 


5. Agroecological transformation

Agroecological transformation for inclusive, sustainable and green development

Agroecology (AE) contributes to various SDGs including no poverty, climate change and gender. This session attempts to demystify agroecological transformation processes and share scalable approaches and tools for planning, i.e. at landscape levels, capacity development processes, mechanisms and models for collaborations and linkages with private sectors and markets. It further provides examples of how existing public resources like social protection programmes and others can be leveraged for this transformative process


6. Improving Economic Resilience

Improving Economic Resilience Towards Climate Change Risks – Current Approaches and Perspectives 

The exacerbating climate crisis challenges the functioning of present economic and financial systems, notably in emerging and developing countries. Intensifying climate risks require new risk management approaches from economic policy addressing short-term needs and long-term coherence alike. Integrated and dynamic economic models provide an avenue for climate resilient development. The session will facilitate exchange on such risk management approaches and present innovative solutions to face the increasing climate impacts


7. Can Regional Integration Save the Day?

Can Regional Integration Save the Day? Integration and Digitalisation in Uncertain Times

We live in uncertain times affected by climate crisis, pandemics, wars, and hunger. Societies need to become more resilient. Looking at the African continent, regional integration is key to foster resilience, while innovative digitalisation measures have vast potential for strengthening regional approaches. Join our debate with EAC and SADC officials and get their take on integration and digitalisation in Eastern and Southern Africa and how both combined foster resilience. 


8. Marriage for Resilience

Marriage for Resilience - Leveraging Risk Finance, Green Finance and Social Protection for Systems' Building


9. From vulnerability to resilience

From vulnerability to resilience: Opportunities and challenges of linking financial services and social protection

The wellbeing of billions of people is impacted by old and new environmental, social, economic and political megatrends. Globally, 4 billion people have no access to social protection. Informal workers and other people at the bottom of the pyramid are particularly vulnerable to shocks and crises. This session explores opportunities, challenges, and limitations in linkages between financial sector and social protection approaches to increase the resilience of informal workers to theses shocks. 


10. Strengthening social cohesion

Strengthening social cohesion between refugees and their hosts: Best practices and lessons learnt from Ethiopia & Turkey

While working on social and economic inclusion of refugees as well as green transformation, the QEP and PEP programmes are aiming to strengthen social cohesion in Ethiopia and Turkey. But how successful are these approaches?  The session will present inclusive approaches from Ethiopia and Turkey as well as empirical research on their impact – thus not only discussing how successful these approaches are, but also contributing to the general debate on social cohesion.   


11. Promoting a green and human-centered recovery

Promoting a green and human-centered recovery for long-term resilience in rural Asia

Strengthening community resilience in a post covid scenario requires strategies that simultaneously address health, economic and climate challenges while reducing inequalities. This session aims to present an integrated solution for promoting a green and human-centered recovery for long-term resilience in rural Asia by combining several successful approaches tested in the field. These include the expansion of social protection, promotion of clean energy powered sustainable livelihoods and fostering of climate-smart agricultural techniques.

Additional information