The Bay Area is a lively hub with organisations and initiatives supporting exchanges between locally posted diplomats and other stakeholders. Below is a selection of such opportunities for exchange.
Cyber and Tech Retreat
Organised by Denmark and in collaboration with the Office of Australia’s Cyber Ambassador, the Cyber and Tech Retreat initiative gathers senior government officials from more than 20 countries to discuss cross-cutting policy issues between cybersecurity, foreign policy, and technology. The retreat takes place annually, and brings together governments, tech companies, and academia to discuss current tech and diplomacy issues in a closed setting.
Freedom Online Coalition (FOC)
Established in 2011, this coalition of 36 member states pursues the common goal of internet freedom and human rights online. They are led by the principle that human rights apply online just as they do offline. The activities of the FOC are coordinated by a chair that rotates annually, with the USA currently serving in that role. The FOC issues common statements to influence norms on an international level, such as submissions to the UNHRC, the Tallinn Manual process, on disinformation, AI and human rights, and many more. Through its Advisory Network and its Freedom Online Conference, the FOC members engage in conversations with other stakeholders. The FOC Silicon Valley Working Group, initiated by Open Austria, brings together members of the FOC with the global technology sector whose products or services potentially impact human rights. In 2023, Canada is leading the FOC working group in Silicon Valley.
Tech Diplomacy Playground Initiative
Open Austria spearheaded and co-leads the Playground initiative, bringing together like-minded diplomats based in Silicon Valley to discuss best tech-diplomacy practices and engage with the private sector. The initiative was launched in 20211Gruver, P. (2022). Tech diplomacy: Tech companies as power brokers in the digital age. Pacific Council on International Policy. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5ea8b04facc8f650c10eebb7/t/62bad653ae91857955934a2c/1656411745984/Tech+Diplomacy+Report_EN_FINAL.pdf and is now co-led by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in San Francisco.
Technology Diplomacy Network
The newest initiative, the Tech Diplomacy Network2Tech Diplomacy Network. (2023). https://www.tech-diplomacy.org/, was launched in February 2023 in San Francisco. It is a joint initiative of the Berggruen Institute, the World Economic Forum (C4IR), the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, and DiploFoundation. It aims to foster collaboration and dialogue between the diplomatic community, civil society, and the tech industry in the Bay Area and beyond.
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Leaving No One Behind in the Data Revolution (Briefing Paper #5)
World Summit on the Information Society and development of Internet diplomacy
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The use of Information and Communications Technology (ICTs) in human rights promotion: A case study of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
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The Rise of TechPlomacy in the Bay area
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Peacetime Regime for State Activities in Cyberspace
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Virtual Diplomacy: Diplomacy of the Digital Age
Olesya Grech investigates the impact of information and communication technologies on the conduct of modern diplomacy.
Net neutrality in Europe
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Journal of Moral Theology, Vol. 11, Special Issue no. 1, Spring 2022, “Artificial Intelligence”
Journal of Moral Theology dedicated special issue on 'artificial intelligence'.
Improving the practice of cyber diplomacy: Training, tools, and other resources – Phase I
Cyber diplomacy, the conduct of diplomacy with respect to a state’s interests in cyberspace, is too important to ignore. Yet, the participation of countries is far from ideal.
The waning of the state and the waxing of cyberworld
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Diplo: Effective and inclusive diplomacy
Diplo is a non-profit foundation established by the governments of Malta and Switzerland. Diplo works to increase the role of small and developing states, and to improve global governance and international policy development.
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