Digital diplomacy on Medium

April 2017 roundup of recent posts on foreign policy and diplomacy.

Interesting news from Medium as the platform is refocusing on its user base and products. After the release of Series last monthas described in this post by katie zhu and in the previous edition of Digital Diplomacy on Medium — the company has now launched member-only content.

Digital Diplomacy on Medium is also available as Series. Click here or the image above from your phone to access our Series.

Medium’s new membership and content subscription offerings are certainly going to be useful tools for the political and diplomatic communities.

An email inviting users to subscribe to Medium’s new membership program read:

This membership program is the next step in our effort to change the way content is created, shared, and rewarded on the internet. It’s time to rethink the media ecosystem.

“One of the beauties of Medium is that it covers an almost-infinite variety of topics,” the platform’s co-founder and chief executive officer Ev Williams wrote in a recent post.

“And we’re planning for our member-only content to eventually reach into some of those smaller niches,” he added.

I believe it can be a new venue for niche topics like digital diplomacy or the use of technology in foreign policy.

As Medium is evolving, here’s this month’s roundup of interesting posts from our community of diplomacy’s digital practitioners, government and non-governmental institutions that are experimenting with long-form content.

As always, if you have ideas for future posts or you want to write about digital diplomacy and technology in foreign policy, ping me here or on Twitter, write a response to this post, or submit your post by email.

[This and past posts are also available on Medium Series: click here]


1. THE EU AT 60

The European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), the in-house think tank of the European Commission, publishes its first Series — the new mobile-only tool recently launched by Medium — to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome and the founding of what today we know as the European Union.

On March 25, 1957, the six founding members of the EU — Belgium, France, Germany (then West Germany), Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands — gathered in Rome, Italy to sign the the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, also referred to as Euratom. The 60th anniversary, celebrated by the leaders of today’s EU in Rome, was also the focus of the first Series posted by the Italian embassy in Washington DC (Italy in US).


2. INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Sania Nishtar of Pakistan, one of the three nominees chosen by the Executive Board of the World Health Organization for the post of director-general, celebrates International Women’s Day with a post on improving the health and wellbeing of women and girls.

Gender, along with the equity and sustainability, must be part of the overarching lens and a basis for the development and implementation of all policies and programmes. Sustainable Development Goal 5 focuses on gender and I recognise the importance of women’s and girls’ education as the best investment a government can make in its own future.

Also on International Women’s Day, the British Cabinet Office celebrates the women in the UK civil service; Susan Markham, former senior coordinator for gender equality and women’s empowerment at USAID, talks about her recent trip to Liberia — where she worked with women who are thinking about running for elected office in their country — and the lessons the US can learn from women around the globe; Katie Jacobs Stanton of Color Genomics honors the brilliant women in science who are boldly working to improve the health of women and their families around the world; and the International Republican Institute highlights the Women’s Support Network in Morocco.


3. FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Emmanuel Macron takes to Medium to lay out his agenda as one of the frontrunners to the French presidential elections.

J’ai décidé de me présenter à l’élection présidentielle car je veux redonner à chaque Française et chaque Français confiance en eux, confiance en la France et dans notre capacité collective à relever nos défis.
I decided to run for president because I want our fellow citizens to regain confidence in themselves, believe again in our country and in our collective ability to meet our challenges .

Macron also cites the radical transformations brought by the digital age, which are having an impact in “how we produce, consume, and live together.”


The Swiss and U.S. flags at the welcome of President of the Swiss Confederation Johann Schneider-Ammann in the United States of America in March 2016. (Photo credits: Embassy of Switzerland in the US)

4. SWITZERLAND

Switzerland’s ambassador to the United States Martin Dahinden debuts on Medium. His first post is an interview with highlights of 2016.

Switzerland is the birthplace of the Red Cross movement and it is the depositary of the Geneva Conventions.
I am very personally attached to those humanitarian ideals and principles.

The Embassy of Switzerland in the USA launched on the platform in October last year.


5. DIPLOMACY AT SXSW

James Barbour, spokesperson of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States (EUintheUS), highlights the participation, for the first time, of the European Union at the iconic SXSW in Austin, Texas.

We were at SXSW because we wanted to take new insights from the EU, particularly in the areas of innovation, technology, film and creativity, to the SXSW community. And I think we succeeded.

6. KOSOVO

The Kosovo Embassy in the United States debuts on Medium with a post on the country’s 9th anniversary as a sovereign state.

Traditionally, on this day, we look back and celebrate our rich ancient history, which has helped shape our values, culture, and made us into the precious country we are today. In particular, we celebrate our youth — the beautiful and creative minds, talent, and energy of young Kosovars.

7. TECHNOLOGY AND TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS

Amy Studdart, fellow at the German Marshall Fund, writes about the intersection of democracy, social change, security, and technology.

The internet and technological advancement are battle grounds for the future of the liberal order, between different forces, instincts, and human traits. This moment could present an unparalleled opportunity to further the principles that underpin that order: empowering democratic participation; facilitating global cooperation; further opening the global economy, and advancing the rule of law.
Via http://brussels.gmfus.org/

The global order and transatlantic relations were topics also discussed at the GMF’s Brussels Forum, an annual high-level meeting of some of the most influential North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders to address pressing challenges currently facing both sides of the Atlantic. One of this year’s speaker was Senator John McCain, who summed up his address on populism and internationalism here on Medium and said of the Brussels Forum: it “has become a critical thread that helps to bind the fabric of our transatlantic community.”

This is no time to despair — for on our side we have the cause of truth, and right, and justice. This is a time to trust each other, rely on each other, roll up our sleeves together, and work even harder on behalf of the values, and the world order, and the way of life that we all hold dear.

8. #JOINTOGETHER

The United Nations launches a new Medium publication Stories of Solidarity, part of #JoinTogether, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. Everybody is invited to share their stories and join the publication.

Everyone is invited to submit positive stories about refugees and migrants and to help us raise visibility of these stories. We can all help to turn the tides on the negative portrayal of those groups currently prevalent in the public discourse.

The post also invites readers to explore what UN agencies are offering on Medium: UNICEF; UN Refugee Agency; World Food Programme; United Nations OCHA; UN Women; UN Development; United Nations Foundation.


9. THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

Mark Surman, executive director of Mozilla, presents a recent study on the digital divide, supported by the Gates Foundation. The research explores how low-income, first-time smartphone users in Kenya experience the web, and what digital skills can make a difference.

Three billion of us now share the Internet. But our online experiences differ greatly, depending on geography, gender and income. […] This undercuts the Internet’s potential as a global public resource — a resource everyone should be able to use to improve their lives and societies.
A photo from Mozilla’s Digital Skills Observatory work. (Photo credits: Mozilla)

10. CUBA

The Westminster Journal for Global Progress (WJGP), a student-run journal of Westminster College, writes about human rights and the future in Cuba.

Since the death of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, there has been much speculation over how the issue of human rights in Cuba will change. Castro left behind a legacy of human rights abuses, ranging from limits on freedom of expression to the use of firing squads to silence opponents.

WJPG debuted on Medium this past January.


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