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What happened at Diplo in APRIL 2024

02 May 2024

Dear colleagues,

In April, Diplo’s dynamics accelerated. In this summary message, you can find practical examples of Diplo’s ‘DNA,” which could be described as around five ‘I’: inclusive, impactful, informed, impartial, and innovative. You can see how these values are implemented in practical activities. 

You can just watch a 2-minute video summary by DiploAI avatar for April or go deeper into explanations of our activities. Let us listen to Lauren….

INCLUSIVE: Ensure that marginalised voices and views are heard

Inclusivity comes in two ways: through voices and views. On voices, Diplo ran training on cyber diplomacy for African diplomats in Addis Ababa (15-16 April) and cybersecurity panel to strengthen continental voices in the global tech debates. It also runs online sessions to strengthen the voices of online actors in cybersecurity.

Regarding inclusivity of views, Jovan Kurbalija delivered a keynote address on  AI and religion during the EU Future session, which involved a wide range of religious and faith communities.

IMPACTFUL: Solve concrete problems and dilemmas

You never know if you make an impact by our training. Official questionnaires are approximations at best. Usually, the effect takes time to be noticeable. However, we can see that in this era of fast AI changes, the impact is noticeable faster than before.

After Addis’s training on African cyber diplomacy, we got a few inquiries about using AI for drafting AI/digital/cyber strategies for diplomatic services and governments in Africa.

In Geneva, during the presentation for the UN Communication Directors, our concrete proposals on UN 2.0 and the UN Summit of the Future triggered a few follow-up threads. 

The impact is usually triggered by making practical and tangible AI technologies that are otherwise abstract and sometimes almost ‘magical’. ‘Eureka’ moment is created by ‘touching’ AI through solving concrete problems.

INFORMED: Build on facts and scientific basis

Diplo always wants an informed and solid understanding of the issues we cover. For example, we discuss AI governance by knowing how AI works technically. Sometimes, our simplified and informal communication mislead observers about the solidity of Diplo’s policy and technical background research. 

Three events stand out in April. 

First, Sorina Teleanu’s analysis of the GDC Zero draft is the most detailed and professional analysis of this document, as you can see here

Second, Jovan made numerous proposals for UN 2.0 for the UN directors of communications based on background data and analysis, such as low interactivity among websites of the UN family.

Third, during the Diplo and GIP-hosted event, the key architect of the EU AI Act provided a thorough analysis of this historic document. Mazzini’s analysis from insight was complemented by Sorina’s analysis from ‘outside’ based on a thorough reading of the text of the EU AI Act. 

IMPARTIAL: Open for different views and positions

Impartiality is one of the key features of Diplo. Last month, our activities span all continents and a wide range of policy and regional perspectives. In one week between 15 and 19 April, we started on Monday with a ‘Policy Meets Tech’ event supported by the United States.  On Monday-Tuesday, in Addis, we ran a cyber diplomacy training for Africa with the support of GIZ.

On Friday, we hosted an online event on the occasion of 30 years of internet in China, with messages from Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet, and Qiengen Hu, the mother of the Chinese internet. 

In April, we also brought the EU perspectives through ‘Unpacking the EU AI Act’, African involvement in digital policy, Middle East priorities, and reporting from NETmundial, hosted in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Our April activities were real bazaars of ideas, views, and proposals. 

INNOVATIVE: Create substantive innovation beyond hype

At Diplo, innovation is not a project or event. It is how organisations operate thorugh the ‘Cognitive Proximity’ approach of fostering closer creative links between humans and between us and machines. Practically speaking, this ongoing innovation results in concrete tools and methodologies applied in our teaching or support for negotiations and global diplomacy. Although innovation is often associated with technology, our experience is that innovation is often related to organisational and management approaches.

During April, students in our coures were learning about AI by using AI as a learning tool. As we saw above, participants drafted cyber and AI diplomacy strategies at two trainings for the African Union and Kuwait while discussing cyber and AI issues.

In support of the UN Future Summit, we ‘innovate’ by grasping the future via understanding narratives and language related to framing the future. Our upcoming ‘Future Literacy’ course should help us use ‘future’ more carefully, as it has both inspirational and manipulative potential, as many authoritarian traditions from the past can show. 

Selected EVENTS

Unpacking the EU AI Act event 916x530px 1

29 April 2024 | Gabriele Mazzini, the key architect of the EU AI Act, provided a detailed analysis of the first comprehensive AI law.

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22-26 April 2024 | Executive training in Diplomatic Negotiations and AI focused on new knowledge and skills for Kuwait 2035 diplomacy. 

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20 April 2024 | Jovan Kurbalija, director of DiploFoundation, provided a keynote address on AI and religion at European Future Talks 2024 in Dublin. 

30 Years of Internet in

20 April 2024 | China connected to the internet on April 20, 1994, marking a pivotal moment in its digital history. In the past 30 years, the internet has driven China’s economic growth, uplifting…

africa cybersecurity

17 April 2024 | Social media platforms offer benefits but also bring significant cybersecurity risks like data theft, identity fraud, and cyberbullying. To combat these challenges, awareness, identifying vulnerabilities, exploring remedies, and discussing solutions…

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17 April 2024 | Summary Report from the session with Dr Jovan Kurbalija Welcome to the ‘Wondering Birds’ club! Membership in this club is not required! However, it is ‘required’ to use critical thinking…

PolicyMeetsTech logo 300x182 1

15 April 2024 | The ‘Policy Meets Tech’ event will focus on quantum computing, discussing its functions, potential implications, and global competition. Experts Amb. André Xuereb and Prof. Barry Sanders will lead the discussion.…

Sorina GDC briefing

9 April 2024 | Diplo and the Geneva Internet Platform are hosting an invitation-only briefing for Geneva diplomats to discuss the Global Digital Compact Zero Draft, as part of ongoing briefings on digital policy…


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From Diplo Classroom in April

Comments, Questions and Annotations

This statistics of 3185 comments, questions, and annotations illustrates vibrancy of Diplo’s classrooms. Here is a glimpse of Diplo’s classroom with annotated texts…

 File, Page, Text, Webpage
Screenshot from Diplo’s online classroom

as well as comments on videos and course recordings…

 File, Webpage, Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Face, Head, Computer Hardware, Electronics, Hardware, Monitor, Screen, Lisa Badum
Screenshot from video commenting segment

In April, Diplo launched AI campus.

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