The ‘International Conference on Innovation in Diplomacy’ focused both on innovation areas such as e-diplomacy and on innovation in traditional diplomatic functions (e.g. protocol, consular affairs). The leading innovators in diplomacy, alongside practitioners and researchers provided a reality check of the promises, successes, and failures of innovation in diplomacy over the last 20 years. The need for innovation is faced by numerous challenges and limitations. Diplomacy is a very traditional, hierarchical, and secretive profession. Its culture is shaped by avoiding errors and being cautious about change. In many cases, the key to the success of an innovative project lies in addressing these aspects of professional diplomatic culture. This dynamic between the need to innovate and the challenges faced by innovation created the background for the Conference on Innovation in Diplomacy which was organised on the occasion of Diplo’s 10th birthday and 20 years of e-diplomacy activity in Malta.