This summer marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) in a time of turmoil and uncertainty. After the Second World War, countries across the World have signed the UN Charter in San Francisco in agreement to collectively work on a multilateral future. This year, the global pandemic not only reminds us that we are all interconnected, but also challenges us in upholding the principles that stand at the core of the UN Charter. The unprecedented crisis highlights the need for cooperation across countries, sectors, and generations. It is also a time of deep reflections about past, present, and what is ahead. Science and technology are the nexus of discussions ranging from finding a vaccine against COVID-19 to foresight for the future impact of AI and robotics on our lives and society.
In the light of the UN’s 75th anniversary, swissnex San Francisco and the Consulate General of Switzerland in partnership with ICRC, DiploFoundation, and ICT4peace are hosting a two-part digital conversation aimed at bridging the dialogue between Geneva, the world’s capital for humanitarian and diplomatic affairs, and Silicon Valley, the epicenter of tech innovation. We will explore the challenges and opportunities that new technologies are introducing to the multilateral and humanitarian sector by bringing the technology industry into a conversation with actors from the multilateral and humanitarian sector.
Inspired by the conviction that technology is key to the future of humanity, the Geneva Talks series explores the symbiotic relationship between technology and humanity. The current global health pandemic highlights how central technology has become to address international crisis, and touches on the core values of the UN Charter. The future of the UN and multilateral governance, housed in Geneva, will be inextricably linked to technological progress sparked in Silicon Valley.
Join us on Friday, 26th June, 08:00 – 09:15 PDT / 17:00 – 18:15 CEST
Dr Tereza Horejsova Projects and Partnerships Director
Joining Diplo in 2012, Dr Tereza Horejsova has had an international career in academia and the non-governmental sector in the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Switzerland. She holds an MA in International Area Studies and a PhD in European Studies, both from the Charles University in Prague.
Tereza works on several capacity development activities in the field of digital policy, and is an advocate of bringing practical considerations of capacity building into the discussion. She is chair of the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise's (GFCE) Working Group on Cyber Security Culture and Skills, and a member of Internet Governance Forum's (IGF) Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) where she cochairs the MAG Working Group on Hybrid Meetings. Tereza also serves as the executive director of Diplo US and is responsible for Diplo's activities in the United States.
Dr Jovan Kurbalija is the Executive Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP). He was a member of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (2004‒2005), special advisor to the Chairman of the UN Internet Governance Forum (2006‒2010), and a member of the High Level Multistakeholder Committee for NETmundial (2013‒2014). In 2018-2019, he served as co-Executive Director of the Secretariat of the United Nations (UN) High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
A former diplomat, Jovan has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology. He has been a pioneer in the field of cyber diplomacy since 1992 when he established the Unit for Information Technology and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta, and later, DiploFoundation.
Since 1997, Jovan’s research and articles on cyber diplomacy have shaped research and policy discussion on the impact of the Internet on diplomacy and international relations. His book, An Introduction to Internet Governance, has been translated into 9 languages and is used as a textbook for academic courses worldwide. He lectures on e-diplomacy and Internet governance in academic and training institutions in many countries, including Austria (Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), Belgium (College of Europe), Switzerland (University of St Gallen), Malta (University of Malta), and the United States (University of Southern California).