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By on 21 Dec, 2012 | From the channel/s: Diplomacy

'We cannot afford to get wise slowly' was the answer from one junior diplomat to my question about how young diplomats, attending last week's Seminar on 'Excellence in Diplomacy' in Belgrade, demonstrated so much wisdom. Wisdom is usually associated with age and experience.

By on 19 Dec, 2012 | From the channel/s: E-Diplomacy

‘The higher the budget often the lower the impact of e-diplomacy projects,’ was the first counter-intuitive insight by Ambassador Alexandre Fasel, Swiss Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva (delivered at the Geneva e-diplomacy day).

By on 22 Nov, 2012 | From the channel/s: E-Diplomacy

One of the questions I was asked at the recent conference on Innovation in Diplomacy was why we chose to involve so many senior participants (a few of them have seen seventy winters).  The main reason was to address two increasingly important biases which can hamper innovation and creativity:

By on 21 Nov, 2012 | From the channel/s: E-Diplomacy

Close to 100 diplomats and academics had a vibrant and engaging discussion at the Geneva E-diplomacy Day.  One of the outcomes was the drafting of e-diplomacy principles (which the session participants dubbed ‘e-diplomacy laws’). Ambassador Alexandre Fasel, Swiss permanent representative of the UN, summarised his experience of e-diplomacy in the first four principles:

By on 07 Nov, 2012 | From the channel/s: Diplo Blog

Have you ever had a problem reading a person’s name from their conference badge? You can usually find about the name of the conference, although you already know what conference you are attending. You can find the name of the venue,  although you should already know where you are. You can find the dates, although again, you should know what these dates are. Yet the three most important pieces information – name, organisation, country – are very often lost in this mix.

By on 15 Oct, 2012 | From the channel/s: Diplomacy

The Nobel Prize announcement has triggered another round of EU bashing. There are many reasons today to be critical of the EU. Any positive appraisal of the EU project could be seen counter-intuitive. Keeping this mind, I would like to argue that the decision of the Nobel Prize committee is not only justified but also visionary.

By on 24 Sep, 2012 | From the channel/s: E-Diplomacy

The Philippines and the United Arab Emirates are the closest friends in the Facebook world. Serbia is among Austria’s best friends. Georgia and Russia are good friends as well!  A map of more (or less) expected Facebook friendship is available at the Mapping of the World’s Friendship. The level of friendship for each country is calculated by the number of Facebook friends people have abroad.

By on 16 Sep, 2012 | From the channel/s: Diplomacy

The recent attacks on diplomatic missions in the Middle East have brought into focus the discussion on embassies and the tension between their function and protection. It reminds me of sessions in the early 1990s when I assisted young Maltese architectural students to design an ideal embassy for a pan-European architectural competition. They found  my explanation of diplomacy  as a profession that builds bridges between nations through engagement and dialogue counter-intuitive. Most embassies are surrounded by high walls and guarded by heavily armed soldiers.

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