The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s international relations and diplomacy academic, training, best-practice and research institution, has today marked UAE Innovation Week with a designated innovation programme focused on the future of 21st Century diplomacy.
Students heard and explored how diplomacy of the future will be shaped by everything from robotics to artificial intelligence and discussed ways they could embrace these new technologies and ways of thinking.
The one-day programme builds on the Academy’s vision and solidifies its standing as an innovative platform that prepares UAE diplomats and officials from across government with the right tools and approaches to face the challenges and seize the opportunities of a fast-changing world.
Ambassador Tom Fletcher, an EDA adviser, former UK Ambassador to Lebanon and author of ‘Naked Diplomacy’, an authority on digital diplomacy and statecraft, gave a keynote lecture on the innovations that will change diplomacy, including artificial intelligence, data mining, shifts in social media use and robotics, as part of the 2016-17 EDA’s 21st Century Diplomacy course. Manuel Muniz, an international relations scholar and Director of the Program on Transatlantic Relations at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, shared with EDA students an overview of how to understand the underlying political trends that have created so many surprises in 2016.
In honour of the nation-wide held Innovation Week, Bernardino Leon, EDA President, also launched plans for a diplomatic ‘Innovation Hub’ at the Academy, a forum for 21st century diplomats to create and share ideas that have the power to reshape diplomacy. The hub will become a regional centre of excellence for international relations theory and practice, bringing together entities at home and abroad in diverse areas, such as those involved in digital, business and cultural diplomacy and also those pioneering the development and use of new technologies through seminars, conferences and new work streams soon to be announced. The recruitment of a full time researcher for the new 21st Century Diplomacy course was announced.
The EDA President said, "We are proud to be supporting the government effort during Innovation Week, in an area, diplomacy and international relations, which, like any vocation, has to continue to innovate and adapt to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century, not least in light of rapid developments on the global stage. Pioneering solutions and a cadre of well equipped and engaged diplomats have the power to build on years of successful engagement and help shape the future direction of our societies and businesses for the common good. Over our first two years, it has been an honour to play our small part in supporting the country’s wider efforts and leadership role in this regard through offering innovative new courses, inviting visiting speakers, hosting practical training and initiating research projects into some of the most pressing areas affecting the UAE’s interests.’ UAE Innovation Week is one of the largest innovation initiatives in the world and a nationwide celebration of innovation for everyone in the UAE in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai which seeks to help create a widespread culture of innovation in the UAE and strengthen its position as a global hub for innovation.