This year’s lab will be based on the theme “Cultural Understanding.” Sensitivity to a community’s specific customs and traditions plays a crucial role in sustainable development. Our lab endeavors to propose development solutions with this essential lens in mind.

Our sessions will take place on Thursdays from 6:00 to 7:30 PM and will begin 5th Week of Fall Quarter. Sessions for Winter and Spring Quarters will be determined based off of group availability. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding personal conflicts with meeting times. 

Student Benefits

  • Experience with workshops and simulations that convey an essential set of international development skills
  • A community of passionate, like-minded students on campus
  • Access to a network of successful development practitioners
  • Assistance in finding an internship for Summer 2017
  • Collaborative fundraising activities to finance internship travel
  • Opportunity to create an individual capstone project
  • Extensive pre-departure training for internship sites


  • September 19th - GDL applications go live on our website
  • September 20th - GDL booth at the Enormous Activity Fair
  • September 21st - International Institute Open House: 2:30pm, 10383 Bunche Hall    
  • October 6th - Information Session: 5pm, Kerckhoff Patio
  • October 13th - Information Session: 5pm, Kerckhoff Patio
  • October 14th - Applications due
  • October 24th - Students will be notified of their acceptance
  • October 27th - First meeting with all accepted students


Our 2016-2017 Lab's educational workshops will include - but are not limited to - the following.               
Ethics of Development: This workshop will pose questions surrounding the moral implications of designing development policy for another country. By facilitating debate over a case study, the activity will challenge participants to think from multiple angles and appreciate the complexity of international development work. 
Introduction to Development Models: This workshop is a good way to ease students into the theoretical topic of development. Students will learn about the different development models of the past, and how/why such models have evolved into the development paradigm we have today. 
Human-Centered Design: Human-Centered Design is a creative approach to problem solving that places the people affected by a solution at the center of the ideation process. In this workshop, students will hear the stories of individuals affected by a development issue and undergo rapid prototyping to propose human-centered solutions. 
Social Lean Canvas Development: The social lean canvas is a powerful tool developed by the Hikurangi Foundation that helps development practitioners outline all the key aspects of a socially-conscious project. In this workshop, students will use the canvas to outline one of their Human-Centered Design solutions in detail. In doing so, participants will be able to gauge the feasibility of their initiatives.
Landscaping and Needs Assessment: In this workshop, participants will be challenged to create a report on the current cultural, socioeconomic, political, and medical status of a community they have just been exposed to. Prior to engaging in the activity, participants will be exposed to a number of quantitative and qualitative survey strategies used by development practitioners. 
Financial Planning for Development Initiatives: Fiscal planning is an important aspect of any project, especially development initiatives. Students will learn how to fundraise, find sponsors, and plan financially so that their initiatives are economically sustainable. 
Proposal Writing for Development Practitioners: Students will gain skills in writing initiative proposals for development projects, which is pivotal in approaching potential donors for funding and gaining community support in general.
Project Evaluation: After receiving information on the World Bank’s development project evaluation strategies, students will have the opportunity to evaluate different solutions to common development problems. 
Storytelling for Good: Storytelling is a crucial aspect of gathering support for a development project. Successful storytelling involves creating a narrative, adding a human component to foreign issues, and tailoring an effective call-to-action or takeaway. Through this workshop, participants will learn how to effectively convey a message and rally audiences around an issue.


Visit our Contact Page to apply today!