Category Archives: education

Nation Branding

While researching the history and purpose of branding to assist the Office of eDiplomacy develop its branding and online style guidelines, I came across the concept of Nation Branding, coined by Simon Anholt in the mid 1990s. Each year, Gfk America
publishs a survey of how countries rank with nation brand recognition. Just as corporations, universities, NGOs and individuals establish a brand that expresses cohesive imagry and specific value, countries also seek brand recognition to build and manage their reputation. This is sometimes called “place branding” when tourism is the product being marketed.

In a post-modern society, emphasis on the symbolic value associated with products, has influenced nations to inventory their distinctive characteristics and use those points of recognition to elevate the country in global popular consciousness.

Canada promotes an energetic nation branding strategy and regularly places at or near the top on the nation branding survey.  A 2010 Financial Post article recommends Canada take advantage of G-8 and G-20 international gatherings to promote the nation’s brand.

Relatively young countries like New Zealand and Canada with robust democracies, effective immigration policy and minimal legacy stains offer proving grounds for the concept of 21st c. nation branding.  Brand recognition for a nation requires more thought than slapping the image of a maple leaf or a silver fern frond on websites or documents, states guerrilladiplomacy.com, a thoughtful blog.

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Food Diplomacy

 

The United States is promoting community gardening to enhance global relations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture promotes community gardens around the world by providing skilled agronomists and master gardeners to local communities.  This You Tube video discusses rooftop gardens and community vegetable gardens.

Some  gardens are hands-on projects in the U.S.A. like the people’s garden on the grounds of the White House or the garden on the National Mall.

 And other gardens are established in foreign countries through U.S. Embassy liaison with the Department of Agriculture.

Seoul’s People’s Garden initiative is growing well.   On Saturday April 10th,  a celebration of the 2010 People’s Garden project at the Ambassador’s residence attracted more than 150 Korean and American volunteers including 61 children.  

Volunteers celebrated spring in Seoul by digging in the earth and planting dozens of vegetable and flower seedlings.  After the planting spree volunteers ate grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. 

By the harvest celebration later this year they’ll feast on grilled vegetables produced in the garden.

The Washington Post reported on the garden created U.S. Embassy in Seoul.

Not Gadget :: Not Ap :: Not Widget

There’s nobody like Virtual Reality  pioneer Jaron Lanier.  Some in IT policy and law don’t appreciate his thinking which should be a recommendation.  The human brain is not a commodity.  Let’s train brains to expanded consciousness, whimsey, creative connection and sustained focus.  Twittering among gagetry and proving opposable manual capacity does not signify a brighter synchrotron or snappier cerebral snapse.  

Read more here:  http://www.slate.com/id/2239466/

Old + Young Diplomats :: E-training?

Myth:  Anybody with a real job is too old and too busy for social networking.

Reality: Average age of a participant in the social media universe is 37 according to Pingdom. A third of all social network site users are over age 45.   Pew Internet & American Life Project  Nine Tribes of the Internet  explains the personality and behavioural features of new media adapters.

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How does this impact eDiplomacy?  Diplomats span demographics and job titles.  There are citizen exchange programs and competitions for student diplomats and  Diplomats in Residence at universities.  Ideascale  wants your opinion on a proposed program for school age diplomats. The American Diplomacy Foreign Affairs Oral History Program archives interviews of senior diplomats.

Great Britain maintains a tradition of grooming young diplomats through the Foreign Service Programme at Oxford as described in this article by Jimmy Burns of the Financial Times.   Will they explore the skills and tools required for 21st Century eDiplomacy —  when a modulated voice and firm handshake translate to streaming video convocations and Twitter text?

The United States is still debating the creation of a U.S. Public Service Academy .  Many prospective American diplomats study their trade at private schools  — Georgetown, George Washington, Tufts and other universities.  Yet any U.S. citizen can apply for the Foreign Service Exam,  a step in the application process for career positions with the U.S. Department of State.   U.S. diplomats receive specific training at the Foreign Affairs Training Center .   

Affaires étrangères et Commerce international Canada (Foriegn Affairs and International Trade Canada) presents their Foreign Service Exam with a practice test.  Find out whether you have the proficiency to represent Canada to the world.

German diplomats embrace diplomacy by networking. Germany’s Federal Foreign Office sponsors international training programs for diplomats with networking opportunities for seminar alumni.  “German foreign policy is peace policy” is a vision statement we can all learn from.

Social Media :: Diplomacy and Democracy

Who formulates best practices for social media in government? 

In the U.S., there are several groups who establish governance for using social media for government communications and collaboration.  Webcontent.gov   provides general guidance.  Web Manager University offers orientation for web professionals new to government practices vis a vis social media. The  Web Content Managers Forum may have restrictions for membership.

At the Department of State, The Public Webmasters Symposium offers best practices for eDiplomats. 

In a quasi e-treaty, Estonia and Spain have signed a safer social networking agreement.  The signatories pledged to advise the European Commission of their  self-declaration and to explain how they plan to implement the provisions described in the agreement. 

Read more about the principles here:  http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/social_networking/eu_action/selfreg/index_en.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/social_networking/eu_action/index_en.htm