The Internet is reshaping information gathering and communication sharing in diplomatic practice. In the past, there was an overall tendency to focus on the verbal aspects of diplomatic communication. Nowadays, the Internet and social media are increasingly informed by visual forms of communication, including photo opportunities, Instagram stories, and memes. For diplomats to understand what images suggest, evoke, and communicate is crucial to enhance their external communication effectiveness. As such, diplomats should learn how to become more adept in using visual language for their work, especially when it comes to cultural communication and public diplomacy issues.
In short, our October WebDebate explores the often misunderstood, and regularly overlooked, visual quality of communication as specifically applied to the field of diplomacy. By doing so, it aims to draw valuable lessons and advice for today’s diplomats. Our debate will bring together an expert in visual communication – who will make key points using recent examples of successes and failures of visual communication in diplomatic practice – with a seasoned diplomat who will bring his long-term perspective and relate the discussion to the needs of modern ministries of foreign affairs.
Join us online on 1 October at 11:00 UTC / 13:00 CEST. Register to attend this event.
Ambassador Stefano Baldi is a career diplomat in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Since 2016, he has been the Ambassador of Italy to Bulgaria. Previously, he was the director of the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy (2011-2016). He has served at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the European Union in Brussels. Read more about him.
Dr Massimiliano Fusari is an is an internationally recognised academic scholar and results-driven consultant in the analysis and production of visual communication and multimedia storytelling. Through his online lab, The Visual Storytelling Academy, Massimiliano translates more than 25 years of established education and professional experience into a sensible framework for the strategic communication of social topics and international affairs. As an associate professor at the University of Westminster (UK), he lectures on the analysis and production of visual literacy, digital creativity, and interactive storytelling. Read more about him.
About our WebDebates
The WebDebates on the future of diplomacy are live streamed on the first Tuesday of every month. They are organised by Diplo within the framework of the International Forum on Diplomatic Training (IFDT). Learn more about our series of WebDebates.
If you form part of a dynamic circle of practitioners in your community, we encourage you to establish a diplomatic hub to follow the WebDebates and to facilitate discussions.
Amb. Stefano Baldi Ambassador of Italy to Bulgaria
Ambassador Stefano Baldi is a career diplomat in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Since 2016, he has been the Ambassador of Italy to Bulgaria. Previously, he was the Director of the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy (2011-2016). He has served at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the European Union in Brussels, at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the International Organizations in Geneva, and at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations in New York. He was the first head of the Statistical Office of the Ministry from 2000 to 2002. Amb. Baldi has lectured in many Italian universities, holding seminars and courses in international affairs and in soft skills applied to international careers. His most recent research focuses on diplomatic management, social media for international affairs, and books written by diplomats. He is the author of more than 15 books. From 2013 to 2016 he produced and presented a weekly radio programme on diplomats at the webradio Radio LUISS.
Dr Katharina Höne Senior lecturer, researcher, and project manager
Dr Katharina (Kat) E Höne researches, writes, and teaches on a number of issues in the area of diplomacy, global governance, and the impact of technology on international relations. Over the last years, she has focused on research at the intersection of diplomacy and technology. She was part of a research project on Data Diplomacy: Updating diplomacy to the big data eraand the lead researcher and author of Mapping the challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence for the conduct of diplomacy report, both supported by the Ministry for Foreign of Affairs of Finland. In addition, she has more than 10 years of experience in teaching international relations at universities in the UK and Germany, and in delivering in-situ, blended, and online training to diplomatic practitioners. Kat holds an MA in Diplomatic Studies (University of Leicester, UK) and a PhD in International Politics (University of Aberystwyth, UK). In her work, she is driven by her aim to level the playing field at international negotiation tables through capacity development, and to provide out-of-the-box thinking and inspiration by drawing on her passion for science-fiction.