Practical + Theoretical = Useful New Stuff?

I would like to bring together people for a conference including those who “do” public diplomacy using the new techniques and technologies such as augmented reality, social networking, text mining & mobile together along with those who develop and study those things in order to discuss practical applications.  

We need to discuss which technologies can be best used to deliver public diplomacy messages and that we and the larger public affairs community can use.  Integral to addressing these issues are our organizational and mission imperatives, which directly affect the extent of use and acceptance of new methods.  Not every new technology is useful for our work and not every useful technology can be used by us.

Subject clusters, along with notional times

8:30 – 9:00

Registration & seating

9 – 9:30

Introduction – new technologies and the new public diplomacy.    A discussion of what has worked so far and what is in the works for the next six months and beyond.

9:30-11:45 (with 15 minute break in middle)

The next big ideas – I envision a panel with an expert on each of these things giving a 15 minute explanation.  Following is a discussion among the panelists with questions from the floor.   We would ask what are the next big ideas and whether or not they are useful in public diplomacy. 

·         Augmented realty – what is it?  What does it do?  How might augmented reality augment public diplomacy?

·         Gaming platforms/virtual realities – what are they?  What is our public diplomacy experience in their use so far?   What are some future applications?  Will “holideck” functions come to dominate online collaboration?

·         Social networking systems – what are they?  What is our public diplomacy experience in their use so far?   What are some future applications?

·         “Old” new techniques (blogging, webpages, outreach) — what are they?  What is our public diplomacy experience in their use so far?   What are some future applications?


Content – how much do messages matter?  Can a content neutral or content free social network long endure?   Is such a network worth cultivating?   How can it be used to further public diplomacy goals?  Where will content come from in a post-MSM world (this one is for the journalist and journalism professors)?  Can user-generated content replace professionally crafted material? 

12:45- 1:30



Putting it together – Panel session format as above

·         Integration/technological models – can one model encompass all/most forms of new technologies?   Can we understand the new technologies w/o an overall model or framework?  How can we determine the appropriate mix to use in various situations?

·         Integration/anthropological models – how do new techniques fit into and alter existing human networks & relationships, both inside and outside organizations?  

·         Integration/information management – can wikis function as information conduits and knowledge generators?  How will dispersed decision making change power structures and priority setting?   Can a series of tactical decisions become strategy?


Where do we go from here?  What is the future of public diplomacy?  Does public diplomacy need to be run by, or mostly run by, governments?  Can public diplomacy function successfully as only one voice among many?