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Report of the Subcommittee on Programs and Activities Wilson Center Public Diplomacy Initiative December 13, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Report of the Subcommittee on Programs and Activities Wilson Center Public Diplomacy Initiative December 13, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Report of the Subcommittee on Programs and Activities Wilson Center Public Diplomacy Initiative December 13, 2010

2 Fundamental Recommendations Develop big, compelling ideas that are distinctive and not redundant. Make extensive use of new media platforms and technologies, especially mobile platforms. Programs should be demand-driven. Listening is absolutely critical and communicating this feedback to Americans is highly desirable. 2

3 Fundamental recommendations, continued… We shouldn’t define the messages but rather facilitate outreach and “let a thousand flowers bloom.” Recommend that our primary targets be: 1) youth and 2) opinion leaders. Focus efforts during first two years on 2-3 countries – don’t spread ourselves too thin to allow for proof-of-concept. 3

4 Fundamental recommendations, continued… Engage large numbers of Americans, especially “hyphenated-Americans,” in the outreach, primarily using new media platforms. Partnerships: engage a wide range of educational and other institutions and organizations that can enhance and amplify what we do. Engage the corporate community - especially media and technology companies - in programs as well as in financial support. 4

5 Citizen Diplomacy (P2P): Overview “Conveying information and selling a positive image is often best accomplished by private citizens; today the soft sell may prove more effective than the hard sell….networked communications among civil societies…can take advantage of two-way communications and peer-to-peer relations to overcome cultural differences.” Joseph S. Nye, Jr., “The Pros and Cons of Citizen Diplomacy,” The Washington Post 5

6 Citizen Diplomacy (P2P), cont… Citizen Diplomacy should be our primary focus and directed mainly at youth and opinion leaders through a new digital civic landscape that is open and broadly participatory.  By 2014, projections indicated mobile penetration of 90% (Gartner Research, January,2010) Harness the talent and energy of thousands of Americans who want to be of service to their country in a way that promotes peace, mutual understanding, and facilitates the kind of global collaboration urgently needed to solve the most pressing problems. 6

7 Citizen Diplomacy (P2P), cont… Enlist key companies to help us (on a pro bono basis) develop a plan this spring for most effective and economical use of global platforms to support P2P connections and communications, e.g., Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft,, Google, mobile service providers, Internet 2, television networks, online game companies. 7

8 Establish a Virtual “Peace Corps” of Citizen Diplomats to Lead the Charge Recruit members with a Presidential call to action (as well as former Secretaries Rice and Perry). Also engage celebrities to participate as diplomats and help recruit other citizen diplomats --- make it “cool.” Membership confers status and a sense of responsibility. Select and train members to galvanize their communities and drive meaningful dialogue. …But no compensation. 8

9 Virtual “Peace Corps” continued... “Virtual Peace Corps” members will drive connections, working with local institutions such as universities, schools, professional organizations, religious groups to foster dialogue between peers. “Core of the corps” would be drawn from universities, schools, civic organizations, professional groups (especially journalists), women’s organizations, youth organizations, retired diplomats, and others that can reach youth and key opinion leaders. Establish team leaders in US to manage volunteer teams of individual contributors. 9

10 Virtual “Peace Corps” continued... People with common educational, professional and civic interests are most likely to maintain sustained communication and deliver the greatest impact. By building trust relationships, credibility of shared information can be strengthened. Network of teams allows for rapid response to crises. Establish website for finding individuals and groups with similar interests; set up user- based rating system. 10

11 Virtual “Peace Corps” continued... Encourage collaborations on joint service projects designed to improve lives such as: protecting the environment and promoting entrepreneurship, political participation, education for girls, and training for journalists. Seed local (non-US) participation through grants. Leverage existing networks such as, Twitter and Facebook to amplify reach. 11

12 Virtual “Peace Corps” continued... Leverage face-to-face exchanges sponsored by the State Department and others by encouraging participants to join virtual corps once they return to US and extend communications for longer- term. Capture these's energy and passions created by these exchanges for post- program period that could have its own set of goals and outcomes. Facilitate but don’t control communications (but do screen for hate speech and the like). 12

13 Collaborative Storytelling, Continued… Mirror back to Americans: organize volunteers to feedback to Americans how we are seen. Help educate Americans about foreign countries and cultures. Create a collaborative media project with targeted populations driven by Corps volunteers and some professional producers that promotes inter-cultural understanding.  Allow nonlinear, digital storytelling  Multi-media that becomes auto- generated and self-maintaining 13

14 Collaborative Storytelling, Continued…  Accommodates mobile, radio, Internet, and television formats.  Use new Zeega digital platform with easy interface; avoid extensive government restrictions on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google.  Can also function as media literacy training.  This could be, for example, a global version of Mapping Main Street – remapping the world through shared stories harnessing people-to- people creativity. 14

15 Engage Mass Media As Well Launch citizen diplomacy outreach by broadcasting televised, global forums on particular topics early to create a foundation for follow-up virtual conversations. Forums would be televised live through partnership with networks such as MTV and include music. Involve celebrities. 15

16 Engage Mass Media As Well, Continued… As another form of corporate support: Consider partnering with Ad Council to create a targeted international program to reach key audiences. In advertising, provide useful information about available American educational and other services and/or promote online and televised activities. 16

17 In Conclusion Create an unprecedented, bold initiative to galvanize and empower large numbers of Americans to serve as virtual citizen diplomats, engaging in sustained communications with peers in a small number of targeted countries, leveraging key institutions, organizations and corporate partners in the process. Organize… inspire… connect… communicate…and through our collective actions convey all that is best about America. 17

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