On Friday, the Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism held its 10th annual research conference, “A New Era in Cultural Diplomacy: Rising Soft Power in Emerging Markets.”
The event was co-sponsored by the Center for International Studies, and its purpose was to help students better understand the global environment. It explored the cultural diplomacy efforts pursued by a number of countries with emerging economies.
“Organizing an engaging and timely conference requires tremendous research on who are the thought leaders, academics and practitioners [that] will contribute to the overall program, but also to the larger dialogue about cultural diplomacy in emerging markets,” said Assistant Director for Programming and Events of the CPD Stacy Ingber in an email. “The global stage no longer includes the same old players. Countries such as Turkey, India, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Russia must be considered in public diplomacy research and practice.”
The panels throughout the day included “Cultural Diplomacy: Continuity and Disjuncture,” “Confucius Institutes: The Globalization of Chinese Soft Power,” and “Conversation: GREAT Britain in Emerging Markets” and “Dialogues Through Film.”
“I thought the final two panels, [“Conversation: GREAT Britain in Emerging Markets” and “Dialogues Through Film”] were really interesting,” said Reagan Cook, a second-year graduate student studying public diplomacy. “For instance, I knew of the GREAT Campaign of Great Britain, but I didn’t really understand the dynamics and scope of it, and I thought the panelist who presented it did a really good job of explaining the dynamics and actual preparation behind the campaign.”
Panelists included figures from all over the world to talk about their respective topics.
“We want people to unite, and not to judge people through events of the past,” said Executive Director of the Polish Film Festival Los Angeles Vladek Juszkiewicz. “We collaborate with other film festivals to bring certain subjects because we think the subjects can bring out different audiences. We collaborate with Chinese festivals [and] Indian festivals, where issues of human rights are addressed; this is where diplomacy happens. This is the idea of trying to bring people together and educate them.”
Future events of the CPD include a talk by former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, who will discuss his firsthand experience on the complicated relationship with Pakistan on April 2.
“We want students to understand that they are the next generation of public diplomacy practitioners,” Ingber said in an email. “Creating an opportunity for students to engage on these issues, whether they see themselves working in a government setting, for NGOs, or continue on their academic studies, they must be aware of the emerging countries so they can develop their profession and impact on the world’s stage.”