Col­lab­o­ra­tions with the “Glob­al South”

Photo: Falk Weiß

The greatest challenges of our time, such as climate change, pandemics or migration, demand collaborations from science that are truly globally oriented. We therefore see it as our task to resolutely take into consideration all world regions in internationalisation.

To strengthen collaborations with the “Global South”1, Humboldt-Universität has been working together with the other three large Berlin universities since 2020 within the framework of the Berlin Center for Global Engagement (BCGE). BCGE pools the disciplinary, regional and country-specific expertise of the four universities and develops it further to contribute to a fairer, more inclusive and safer international scientific system.

  1. We define the “Global South”, as part of the BUA definition, not as a strictly demarcated geographical area, but rather as a description that questions existing hierarchies in scientific production. The ”Global South” therefore includes countries that occupy a marginalised position in global scientific production for various reasons that are often correlated with economic and political asymmetries. 

As part of BCGE, we support the cooperation with partners in the “Global South” on three levels:

  1. Guest visits: BCGE enables the financing of short-term research stays by visiting researchers from the “Global South”, in order to initiate or consolidate collaborations. You can find information on current calls for proposal and deadlines on the BCGE Guests page.

  2. Project funding: BCGE also promotes projects for the intensification of global collaborations. To date, 21 projects have been supported, which focus on topics such as food and nutrition, global health, urbanity and management innovations, among others. BCGE has been promoting two outstanding Signature Projects since 2022: one on humanities and social sciences theories from the “Global South” and another on the relationship between work and social inequality from a global perspective. You can find information on current calls for proposal on the website for BCGE projects.

  3. Trainings: BCGE also offers training with which it primarily sensitises young scientists to underexposed aspects of global research collaborations.

The Co2libri – conceptual collaboration – living borderless research interaction project aims to make knowledge, theories and research practices from the “Global South” visible in Berlin’s research landscape. For researchers and intellectuals from marginalised regions, or from ethnic or religious minorities, frequently remain invisible in scientific discourse. The project participants – a global network of researchers, artists and activists – intend to focus on knowledge and theory-based contributions from the “Global South”. Their aim is to shape the way knowledge emerges and what is recognised as knowledge to be more globally equal. Prof. Dr. phil. Claudia Derichs from HU is managing the project together with Prof. Dr. Kai Kresse from Freie Universität Berlin and Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient. They are cooperating with international partners in Nairobi, Beirut, Delhi and Vienna, among others.

With the Meridian podcast, BCGE presents the work of scientists addressing questions of cooperation between the “Global South” and the global North, academic freedom and scientific diplomacy. The researchers speak, among other things, about their interest in their subject, the cooperation with partners in the “Global South”, as well as current research and debates on it.