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DiploNews – Issue 331 – 1 September 2017

Celebrating 15 years of DiploFoundation and 25 years of research and training

15 years of DiploFoundationIn November 2017, we celebrate 15 years of DiploFoundation, and 25 years of research and training in the fields of diplomacy and the Internet (at that time ICT). To mark this milestone, we will reflect on the role of diplomacy in the modern era, and the impact of technology and other areas on the core functions of diplomacy, while keeping a firm eye on the future. We invite you to join us in Malta, on 17–18 November 2017, for a conference on The Future of Diplomacy. Learn more about the celebrations, and read the message from Diplo director Dr Jovan Kurbalija.

Upcoming study and training opportunities

New online course on digital commerce

DiploFoundation and CUTS International Geneva are launching a new edition of the Digital Commerce online course. The course, offered in partnership with the International Trade Centre, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and the Geneva Internet Platform, assists stakeholders from various sectors in developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs) to increase their knowledge and capacity to engage in multilateral digital-commerce-related negotiations and discussions. It provides an interdisciplinary coverage of e-commerce, from both digital and trade perspectives. The development and delivery of this course is supported by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The course starts on 25 September and the application deadline is 7 September 2017. Please visit the course webpage to read more and apply.

Applications open for the 2018 Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy

Diplo is now accepting applications for the 2018 Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy, and the Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy with a specialisation in Internet governance. These unique postgraduate programmes, offered in co-operation with the University of Malta, include a 10-day residential workshop in Malta followed by 16–20 months of online learning. Visit the Master in Contemporary Diplomacy webpage to read more. Scholarships covering 20–50% of the Postgraduate Diploma fee are available for applicants from small and developing states. The programme starts on 5 February 2018. The application deadline is 15 October 2017 for international applicants and 15 November 2017 for Maltese applicants.

DiploFoundation's Master in Contemporary Diplomacy

Autumn courses on diplomacy and digital policy

Diplo offers a wide range of exciting online courses this autumn, starting the week of 3 October.

Apply by 4 September 2017 for Diplo certificate courses. For further information or to apply, click on the titles of the courses above, or visit our courses webpage. Register now to reserve your place.

Malta scholarships

Thanks to support from the government of Malta, partial scholarships are available for applicants from developing countries to attend upcoming Diplo online courses. These scholarships cover 30–70% of course fees and can be applied to most online courses in 2017. Browse our course catalogue and contact us at admissions@diplomacy.edu for further information.

For more information on any of our courses and on partial scholarships, contact admissions@diplomacy.edu. You can also sign up for our courses mailing list to be informed about upcoming courses.

In our new policy brief, read how the topic of data is addressed in SDG discussions

Our new policy brief Leaving No One Behind in the Data Revolution, written by Diplo’s Barbara Rosen Jacobson, analyses how the topic of data has been discussed over the past four High-Level Political Forums on Sustainable Development (2014-2017). Looking at the how data has been mentioned by IISD and UN reporting services, she found that the forums not only refer to data increasingly often, but the topic is also being discussed in more and more detail. The dominant theme in which data is discussed is ‘disaggregated data’, most likely fuelled by the sustainable development goals’ (SDGs) aim of ‘leaving no one behind’. However, there is a growing recognition of the pressure this puts on small and developing countries when collecting and analysing an increasing amount of data. To address inequalities between countries’ data capabillities, as well as the increased diversity of sources of data, there is a demand for standardisation and harmonisation on the part of the international community. Finally, it remains to be seen whether the current data-focus in SDG discussions is generated by today’s ‘data-hype’, or whether it is rather a more in-depth recognition. Ultimately, to reap the benefits of the data-revolution for development, a more down-to-earth understanding of data’s potential, limitations, and challenges is necessary.

Issue 23 of the Geneva Digital Watch newsletter is out!

Digital Watch newsletter issue 23Published on 31 August 2017, the newsletter covers the latest digital policy updates, including: an overview of the top digital policy trends in July and August, such as the developments in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics that have picked up pace globally; an analysis of the ongoing debate about the right to be forgotten, and the implications of unprecedented growth of major Internet companies; and a round-up of the main updates from our IG Barometer, which indicates that e-commerce, digital rights, infrastructure, and new technologies were among the prominent issues. Download your copy. 

Join us next month for the September briefing on Internet governance. Registrations are now open.

Diplo at MyData 2017

Dr Katharina Höne and Ms Barbara Rosen Jacobson participated in the MyData 2017 Conference from 30 August to 1 September. As part of the Our Data Futures-track, they delivered a presentation on big data’s potential in diplomacy, in the context of Diplo’s ongoing Data Diplomacy research project. Focusing on the core functions of diplomacy, they highlighted both opprtunities and challenges of big data for diplomacy.

Diplo joins the eTrade for All initiative

DiploFoundation has become a member of the eTrade for All initiative, launched during the 2017 UNCTAD E-commerce Week. The initiative aims to expand the positive impact of e-commerce on development. It provides a hub for actors to find information, offer resources, build partnerships and receive the support they need to strengthen digital trade. The eTrade for All initiative can also serve as a vehicle for supporting the implementation of the SDGs on decent work and economic growth, the advancement of innovation and infrastructure, and revitalising global partnerships. The initiative now counts 25 members, comprising governmental and non-governmental actors, working together to connect donors, partners, and developing countries to leverage the benefits of e-commerce. The August edition of the eTrade for All newsletter features an interview with Dr Jovan Kurbalija, Director of Diplo foundation, on a Roadmap for a new partnership.

WebDebate: Should we take ‘new diplomacies’ seriously?

Our next WebDebate asks the question: should we take ‘new diplomacies’ seriously? For some, the term describes the involvement of new actors and the emergence of new topics on the global agenda. They argue that the term captures important shifts in the way in which international relations are conducted. Terms such as digital diplomacy, health diplomacy, environmental diplomacy, and education diplomacy, amongst others highlight new diplomatic practices – using new tools, involving new actors, and demanding a more specialised skill-set. To debate this important topic for the future of the practice and study of diplomacy, we are joined by Mr Shaun Riordan, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Clingendael Institute, and Dr Jovan Kurbalija, the Founding Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform. Join us on 5 September, at 11:00 UTC (13:00 CEST). Register to reserve your place. 

What’s been happening in Diplo’s blogsphere

In her recent post Marilia Maciel looks at the eTrade for All Initiative and highlights Diplo’s reasons for joining and for being committed to the initiative’s core principles. In Offline markets are tech giants’ next quest Stephanie Borg Psaila looks at how Internet companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft are exploring forays into offline markets. She highlights the implications of this in terms of market dominance, tax avoidance, job creation, and competition with traditional players. In addition, Dipo’s director Dr Jovan Kurbalija and Sorina Teleanu have been published in the Huffington Post with an article titled A Summer Diary of Artificial Intelligence. They look at artificial intelligence (AI) and its implications in terms of technology, business, and ethical considerations. They outline recent breakthroughs in AI, emerging AI business strategies, the idea of ‘AI for good’, and questions of policy-making. 

Diplo’s Policy Papers and Briefs: Leaving no one behind in the data revolution

Our newest briefing paper as part of our Policy Papers and Briefs series is now available. In Leaving no one behind in the data revolution Barbara Rosen Jacobson presents her analysis of data-related discussions of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the UN’s main platform on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Looking at discussions between 2014 and 2017, she finds that data is becoming an increasingly central element in implementing and monitoring the SDGs. Key topics are the need for disaggregated data, a growing capacity gap between developed and developing countries, new opportunities for monitoring due to new technologies and big data, and the need for harmonisation and standardisation of data and data collection. She concludes that in order ‘to adequately respond to the “data revolution”, a down-to-earth understanding of the potential, limitations, and challenges of data for development is necessary’. 

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