DIPLOMACY IN THE DIGITAL AGE

27-29 March 2020

In today’s complex world we need diplomacy more than ever. Diplomacy is the art and skill to negotiate and to find a common ground through dialogue. It requires communicating, listening, understanding, persuading, building trust. Traditional diplomacy achieves its goals by relying on direct human interaction.

However, as a result of recent technological advances it has become possible to engage with millions of people simultaneously at minimal cost. We now live in a more connected world in which diplomacy is no longer reserved for diplomats behind closed doors. We witness that individuals or non-governmental organizations empowered by social media are able to affect international events at an unprecedented scale. Leaders take advantage of digital platforms to communicate directly. Social networks can challenge hierarchies and can even unsettle regimes.

Digital activity, which reaches millions of people by overcoming age old problems of distance and time zones, necessitates a new mindset and culture: It is based on the norms of transparency, speed, informality and interactivity. Yet, to achieve the desired results, these norms often need to be attuned to traditional diplomacy’s practices of tact, confidentiality, hierarchy and formality. Incorporation of digital platforms in the practice of diplomacy compels Foreign Ministries to develop new strategies and methods.

“Antalya Diplomacy Forum” will be launched in Antalya, a historical and beautiful city on the Mediterranean coast. It aims to be an annual gathering for dialogue, bringing together leaders, academicians, thinkers, opinion makers, diplomats as well as businessmen and entrepreneurs to exchange ideas on global and regional challenges. The theme of the first Antalya Diplomacy Forum is the impact of the digital age on foreign relations.

Key note speakers and distinguished panelists of the first Antalya Diplomacy Forum will be looking for answers to questions like: "How do technological advances influence diplomacy and international relations?", "What are the implications of digitalization on traditional diplomatic practices?", "Are policy agendas changing?", "Do technological advances have the potential to create 'better' opportunities across the global community?", " How are Foreign Ministries adapting to new forms of communication in areas like public diplomacy and humanitarian diplomacy?". There will also be break out sessions, during which panelists will focus on issues that have global impact as well as the regional issues.