In January 2021, DiploFoundation held the introductory session of its new series of open monthly Zoom discussions on the evolution of diplomacy and technology titled Diplomacy and Technology: A historical journey.
The main aim of the series is to anchor current debates on artificial intelligence and the digital in a wider context of how humanity dealt with the emergence of new technologies in the past, and how we should/can deal with it today.
The main audience of the series are practicing diplomats and diplomatic academic institutions.
During the series, we will explore the evolution of diplomatic techniques, such as representation and negotiations, and shed more light on non-Western diplomatic and tech traditions.
As you can see on the dedicated web page, we interviewed the leading primatologist Prof. Frans de Waal and talked about ‘diplomatic’ behaviour among primates, in an attempt to understand the innate nature of animals and humans in regard to conflict-solving .
In our second session, which will be held on 25 February, we will focus on prehistoric diplomacy; in March, we will be covering ancient civilizations, moving with each episode towards our current time.
If you feel this is a topic you are interested in, we invite you to take part in our Zoom discussions, as well as to contribute to the series via interviews and webinar discussions. Your advice would be particularly useful in pointing out new angles for addressing the interplay between diplomacy and technology, as well as informing us about publications and resources that can be useful to the audience.
The series will be shared as creative commons material for teaching and research purposes.
Inspired by Churchill’s saying that ‘the longer you can look back, the farther you can look forward', we hope to contribute a bit to the current 'axial time' in the history of humanity when rules for our AI and digital future are being set.
Visit our dedicated page Diplomacy and Technology: A historical journey for more information.
Jovan Kurbalija, PhD
Executive Director, DiploFoundation | Head, Geneva Internet Platform