Hands of a guy on laptop keyboard

The curious diplomat and social media – Stefano Baldi interviewed

Published on 07 August 2013
Updated on 05 April 2024

“Diplomats have to be curious”, says Stefano Baldi in this interview. Stefano has been experimenting with web tools and social media for over 15 years, selecting those which he finds useful and integrating them into his work as a diplomat. Currently Director of the Istituto Diplomatico in Rome, Stefano continues to explore new tools and ways of working. This interview, for example, was conducted using some of the new digital equipment which he has had installed in the Istituto since his arrival there a couple of years ago.

And typically, his suggestion was that we should eschew the traditional short ‘video-blip’ sound-bite format typical of social media and instead try and capture something of the free-ranging conversations about e-diplomacy that we have whenever we meet. We focused on the future, how the life and work of an ordinary diplomat might have changed by 2017 given the inexorable movement of digital technology into all parts of our lives. And Stefano is optimistic that the traditional skills and culture of diplomats can actually support and enable them to integrate the use of social media.  

And this portion of the conversation is nearly nine minutes long, which Internet lore tells us is way too much information. But it is rare to find experienced diplomats who have been wrestling with how to integrate contemporary digital technology into their work for as long as Stefano and he is a natural communicator. So grab a cup of something warm – or something more relaxing – and invest ten minutes of your time, 8.45  to listen and the rest to reflect or comment! 

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1 reply
  1. Aldo Matteucci
    Aldo Matteucci says:

    Cardinal Mazarin used
    Cardinal Mazarin used princely diplomats for colorful pageantry, the ambassadors duelled over order of precedence. For diplomatic substance the autocrat used self-effacing Père Joseph. Amb. Baldi fails to explain why diplomats should worry about virtual pageantry, or use twitter the way the raper was used then, rather than focus on outcome.

    The difference from then to now is that distractions nowadays come a dozen blogs a minute (my blog notwithstanding).

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