Thinking Labs (TL)

Participants have the opportunity to attend two of the total four Thinking Labs on offer. They search for creative responses to existing challenges in higher education programs with regard to contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.

Thinking Labs are designed to mobilise participants’ best ideas and encourage them to contribute actively, bringing in their expertise and experiences.

Four Thinking Labs will be offered around following key questions:


TL 1) German-Arab-Master’s Programmes (GAMP): South-North networks for joint learning and research in the development context

  • What is the potential of intercultural study programmes for achieving sustainable cooperation between the universities involved and initiating change processes?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges of cross-sectoral/interdisciplinary/ (supra-) regional approaches in teaching and research?
  • How do we link theory with practice in order to contribute to sustainable development?

Werner Wasmuth, GIZ, Andreas Böhler, DAAD,  Prof. Mohamed A. Salheen, Ain Shams University, Franziska Laue, University of Stuttgart


TL 2) New Partnerships for Innovation in Sustainable Development (NoPa): the connection between research support and development cooperation projects

  • Can bilateral research actually contribute to local development needs?
  • How do we promote sustainable and effective connections between the research community and development cooperation actors?
  • How do we integrate research results into development initiatives for greater impact?

Ilona Daun, DAAD, Christoph Buedke and Marcus Regis, GIZ


TL 3) Bilateral graduate schools contributing to the development of transformative research approaches

Using the example of the SDG Graduate School ‘Wits-TUB Urban Lab – Interdisciplinary Bilateral Postgraduate Studies Programme for sub-Saharan Africa (IBPSA)’, we explore to what extent higher education institutions can contribute to the 2030 Agenda:

  • How can a joint application-oriented research agenda be developed that supports the implementation of the 2030 Agenda?
  • How can external stakeholders from the spheres of politics, economy and society be involved to ensure social impact and sustainability?
  • How do we integrate innovative methods of digital learning?

Lars Gerold, DAAD, Prof. Philipp Misselwitz, TU Berlin, Department of Architecture, Taki Sithagu, University of the Witwatersrand, School of Architecture and Planning, Aditya Kumar, Development Action Group (DAG)


TL 4) Labour market oriented higher education - cooperation between higher education institutions and the private sector

  • Which strategies and instruments proved to be efficient to
    • make higher education more responsive to labour market needs in developing and emerging market countries?
    • enhance the employability of graduates in developing and emerging market countries?
    • foster entrepreneurship in developing and emerging market countries?
    • promote innovation and technology transfer?
  • What promising strategies exist for establishing strategic and institutional cooperation between universities and enterprises in developing and emerging market countries?
  • How can the German model of dual study programmes be adapted to the context of developing and emerging market countries?
  • How can cooperation between the higher education and research sector and other development sectors (e.g. health, environment, food security) be strengthened to generate the necessary human capacities for reform endeavours and development agendas?

Dr. Karola Hahn, GIZ and Prof. Dr. Anton Mangstl; Prof. Jürgen Bode, University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS), Prof. Natheer Abu Obeid, German Jordanian University (GJU), Tobias Wolf, (DAAD)