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Diplomacy in the information age (WP1519)


This meeting explored the evolving threats to and opportunities for diplomacy in the information age and brought together senior level policy-makers, academics, corporate executives and other non-government directors. Diplomacy includes obligations to protect citizens, project global influence and promote prosperity.

We explored four inter-related themes by discussing recent trends and developments and also considering a 10-20 year horizon scan:

  • Networks – both diplomatic and social. Understanding, developing, disrupting them. How are networks evolving beyond traditional geographically centred relationships to align with interests and ideologies?
  • Knowledge – building and management – combining open source, proprietary and privileged information to deliver powerful insights and deep understanding. Big data – finding the signal in the noise.
  • Influence – how people get information and form opinions is changing. New phenomena are emerging: post-truth, echo-chambers and filter bubbles. What are effective influencing strategies that embrace these changes?
  • Forecasting – how can data and data-driven decision making help us to anticipate issues and opportunities early and where possible take effective action to mitigate/exploit these?

This dialogue:

  • Explored with you our early data strategy for foreign policy and seek your views in shaping this
  • Began a conversation on crafting a common approach to data among likeminded international partners, creating active partnerships
  • Exposed participants to the latest innovations in the areas of the conference themes
  • Developed a community of Thought Leaders on Diplomacy in the Information Age

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