February 2018

Evolution or Revolution? Diplomacy in the Digital Age

The European Centre for Government Transformation convened the High-Level Roundtable on Digital Diplomacy under the timely theme of Evolution or Revolution? How Digital Diplomacy Will Change the World and How the World Is Changing Digital Diplomacy. The one and half day-long roundtable brought together a high-powered group of international diplomats, policymakers, chief information officers, academics and other thought leaders from, inter alia, Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Sweden and the European External Action Service. Prof Jovan Kurbalija, professor of diplomacy at the College of Europe and founding director of DiploFoundation, kicked off with a thought-provoking overview of key trends in digital diplomacy. Maria Belovas, head of communications at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and leadership team member of the Digital Diplomacy Coalition, led a fascinating workshop on big data and social media, and shared the advanced work of the Government of Estonia in this field. Later, François Rivasseau, head of security and space policy and special envoy for space to the High-Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy at the European External Action Service, animated an interactive breakout session on cybersecurity and state-level cyber crime, and high-level facilitators brought the CIOs together for a “design thinking” session to study policy options and share best practice. Managed by the Lisbon Council, the European Centre for Government Transformation is a high-level network and multi-disciplinary research centre for studying state transformation and exchanging best practice. It was founded in 2009 by the Lisbon Council, the College of Europe and Accenture.