Online Meetings and Conferences: How to Run Effective and Secure Events
Online meetings and conferences have become a necessity for most organisations.
In this highly interactive, practice-based course participants learn how to plan, manage, and run successful online events: choosing and using an appropriate technical platform, planning the entire process from the initial idea to follow up, and effectively moderating interaction in an online environment.
Note: Full scholarships for this course are provided by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland (FDFA).
Dr Stephanie Borg Psaila is the Director for Digital Policy at DiploFoundation, and the Editor of the GIP Digital Watch observatory. In 2018-2019, she served as Diplo's Interim Director and Head of Geneva Internet Platform, replacing Founding Director Dr Jovan Kurbalija during his one-year position as co-Executive Director of the Secretariat of the United Nations High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
Stephanie holds a Doctorate in Law (LL.D.), a Master's in Contemporary Diplomacy, and two law-related diplomas from the University of Malta, and her special areas of interest include legal issues in digital policy, human rights, and e-diplomacy. She holds a warrant to practice as a Notary Public in Malta, and is a former journalist with The Sunday Times of Malta.
An expert in remote participation, Mr Arvin Kamberi heads up Diplo’s Webinar Team. Based in Belgrade, he has been working on webinars and other web-based remote participation since 2011. Arvin has been part of the remote participation team for many international forums, such as the IGF, EuroDIG, and local IGF events such as IGF Africa. From 2014 to 2015, he was a part of the IGF Working Group on Remote Participation (established in 2008), and involved in the elaboration of IGF remote participation guidelines.
Arvin has a keen interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain developments; first as an avid ‘miner’, then more in terms of regulation and consensus mechanisms surrounding the decentralised systems. His primary focus is on Bitcoin development, but he follows other cryptocurrency developments and the blockchain/distributed ledger technology, too. Vice President of Bitcoin Association of Serbia, Arvin writes extensively about Bitcoin and blockchains. He holds an MA in Film and Video Production from Belgrade University of Art.
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).
Ms Virginia Paque Internet Governance and E-diplomacy Programmes
Born (and currently residing) in the United States, Ms Virginia (Ginger) Paque lived in Venezuela for more than 35 years. An educator and administrator by profession, she has 25 years’ experience in business and manufacturing systems consulting. As a board member of the United Nations Association of Venezuela, her work as the Venezuelan member of the World Federation of United Nations Associations Task Force on WSIS marked her entry to the world of Internet governance (IG) during the Geneva PrepComs. Active in Civil Society discussions on IG, Ginger served as IG Caucus co-coordinator for two years. She was a member of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) from 2015 to 2017. Having completed a Master in Contemporary Diplomacy with a thesis focusing on the importance of IG as a new diplomatic priority, Ginger currently lectures on IG for Diplo and curates human rights topics for the GIP Digital Watch observatory.
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Online meetings have long been seen as a poor substitute for face-to-face ones. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses from governments around the world, this view has changed. Online meetings are now a necessity for most state and non-state organisations. The question is no longer ‘should we use online meetings despite their drawbacks?’, but rather ‘how can we use online meetings effectively?’ and ‘how do we blend online with face-to-face meetings?’
With the recent restrictions and limitations on international travel, online meetings have become a key working tool for governments, businesses, and organisations worldwide. Diplomacy and global governance have been particularly affected as meetings, conferences, and other major events are being cancelled. As lockdowns are gradually being lifted, we are faced with questions on the future of meetings, and how to switch to hybrid formats which combine online and onsite meetings.
What skills will you gain?
How to organise and run online meetings, starting from the initial idea, via practical steps, to reporting and wrapping up
How to effectively moderate online events
How to select an approach to online and blended (hybrid) meetings that meets your organisation’s needs
How to manage the psychological and behavioural aspects of online interaction
How to select appropriate technical platforms and tools
How to benefit from the current uses and potential contributions of artificial intelligence (AI) for online events
Diplomats and other civil servants, and staff of international and non-governmental organisations, who need to build skills for managing, organising, and moderating online events.
This course is conducted entirely online over a period of four weeks. Reading materials and tools for online interaction are provided through an online classroom. The course is based on a collaborative approach to learning, involving a high level of interaction. Each week, participants read an assigned module text, adding questions and comments as hypertext entries. Lecturers and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the module text. Participants also take part in a practice-based exercise for building management and moderation skills for online events. At the end of the week, participants and lecturers meet online to discuss the week’s topic and to practice using different platforms for online meetings.
Please note that due to the spread of course participants across time zones worldwide, scheduled online meeting times may not fall within working hours for all participants. Some participants may need to attend online sessions during the morning or evening hours.
This course requires a minimum of six hours of study time per week. Before you apply, please consider carefully whether you can commit the necessary time in order to complete the course successfully.
Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate awarded by DiploFoundation.
Applicants should have:
Working experience with government, an international organisation, or a non-governmental organisation.
Responsibility for managing and/or running online meetings or conferences for an organisation or institution.
Sufficient knowledge of the English language to read academic texts, discuss complex concepts with other course participants, and deliver short presentations.
Regular access to the Internet.
Sufficient time for online study (at least six hours per week).
The course fee is €1000 per participant.
Full scholarships for selected applicants will be provided by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland. Preference will be given to applicants from developing countries who are responsible for managing and/or running online meetings or conferences for their organisation or institution.