We know that social media connects the world, so these tools are critical to our work here at the State Department. You probably already know that the State Department has a presence on Flickr, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube. But did you know we also communicate in dozens of languages every day on Facebook and Twitter at our embassies around the world? In the 21st century, we must fully leverage the networks and technologies in our interconnected world as a compliment to the traditional tools of diplomacy.
So how are we doing that? And more importantly, why? To answer these questions, and consider both the opportunities and challenges of digital statecraft, the U.S. Department of State will sponsor a panel discussion, “Digital Diplomacy: Making Foreign Policy Less Foreign,” as part of Social Media Week New York City on February 18 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (EST).
Panelists will include Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Doug Frantz (@StateDept) and Coordinator of International Information Programs Macon Phillips (@macon44). Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan (@ECA_AS) will join via digital video-conference.
The panel will be moderated by Emily Parker (@emilydparker), author of Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices From the Internet Underground and digital diplomacy advisor and senior fellow at the New America Foundation. You can watch the event live on http://video.state.gov/live and direct your questions to @emilydparker using the hashtag #SMWState.
We hope you’ll join us, and learn about how the State Department is leveraging digital diplomacy to help improve lives, from providing information to American citizens traveling abroad to assisting people in the wake of natural disasters. We’re using new tools and technologies to build connections among our exchange alumni and to expand international education through new programs like Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). We’re excited about these efforts, and to discuss them with you during Social Media Week New York City. So, tune into the live-stream, send us your questions, and engage with us on one of the Department’s social media accounts. We look forward to hearing from you!