DiploNews - Issue 153 - February 2, 2010

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Upcoming Study Opportunities

May 2010 Online Courses

You are invited to apply for the following courses beginning the week of 10 May 2010:

These courses are available as University of Malta Accredited Courses (application deadline 8 March) and as Diplo Certificate Courses (application deadline 5 April). For further information or to apply, click on the titles of the courses above or visit our courses website.

Internet Governance and ICT Policy Courses

Diplo is offering two online programmes designed to improve Internet governance and ICT-policy-related knowledge and skills for participants mainly from developing countries. The programmes will promote meaningful participation in the global decision-shaping debates on Internet governance. The first programme is for applicants from the Americas, Europe, MENA, and Asia, and information is available at www.diplomacy.edu/ig. The second programme, funded by the Secretariat of the ACP Group of States and the European Union in partnership with seven ACP institutions, is for applicants from African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) states. More information is available at www.diplomacy.edu/acp. The deadline for applications for both courses is 12 February 2010, and the foundation courses will run from March 1 until 28 May, 2010.

Professional Development Workshops

Language and Influence (22-24 March 2010). Our workshop on Language and Influence will explore how language works and how to use it to attain goals. The primary objective is to provide participants with a linguistic toolkit that will enable them to use language effectively and to defuse the most frequent difficulties in language use, such as ambiguity, analogy, argumentation, and suggestion. Another objective is to practice presentation skills. The leader will introduce participants to the art of rhetoric and encourage them to hone the art of “brief, trenchant and, if possible, witty” interventions. A study of visual language may be included in the workshop on request. Here, too, a toolkit of rhetorical devices is provided and applied to both photojournalism and branding.

Leadership and Decision Making (25-27 March 2010). How do we make decisions? Why are some decisions harder to make? What are the benefits and the risks of making decisions? Our workshop on Leadership and Decision Making addresses the issue of how to make decisions in politics, business, and everyday life, how to influence an audience, and how to exercise leadership. Course participants will learn how to define an issue, evaluate the setting, give priorities to options, and take action. They will discuss how to develop an alternative course of action and reach intermediate and final goals. Through an interactive presentation, role-play exercises, and self-evaluation, the participants will enhance their arguing skills and learn how to make rational choices, and to motivate and influence an audience. 

Last call for applications

Due to the large number of applications, Diplo will be running an extra session of Diplomatic Theory and Practice beginning the week of 22 February 2010. A few places remain in the Diplo Certificate Course: apply as soon as possible from our courses website

After Copenhagen: The Road Ahead

The long-awaited climate change conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 ended in disappointment for many. The outcome document, the non-binding Copenhagen Accord, stipulates that states announce their voluntary mitigation goals by the end of January 2010. In a press briefing on 20 January, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary, Yvo de Boer, mentioned three outcomes of the Copenhagen conference: (1) it raised the climate change challenge to the highest level of government; (2) it reflected a consensus on the necessary, long-term global climate change response; and (3) negotiations not immediately available to the public apparently “brought an almost full set of decisions to implement rapid climate change action near to completion.” Looking ahead to the next conference in Mexico, de Boer pointed out that if “Copenhagen didn’t produce the final cake, . . . it left countries with all the right ingredients to bake a new one in Mexico.” The full press briefing is available on YouTube.

The Top Fifty Sustainability Books

In December 2009, the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership published a list of fifty books said to be among the most thought-provoking in the field of sustainability. All of them centre on ideas related to globalisation and sustainability. Some are well known, such as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, No Logo by Naomi Klein, and Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen, or the famous 1972 essay, The Limits to Growth by Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows, Jrgen Randers, and William Behrens. Some of the selected books are less well known, and include Human Scale Development by Manfred Max-Neef. The selection spans the almost sixty-year period from Aldo Leopold’s 1949, A Sand County Almanac, to the 2007 volume by Nicholas Stern, The Economics of Climate Change. The list will surely provide inspiring reading for all interested in the field.

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