Tomorrow: Alec Ross at Brookings on 21st Century Statecraft

At Brookings tomorrow, Alec Ross will be introducing the State Department's 21st Century Statecraft initiative to Washington.  He's given speeches on it in New York and Camden, Maine, so the assumption must be that DC is ready to handle it. The event is full, but I'll be there live-tweeting and post-blogging, so if you can't make it, tune in for updates.

Alec RossIt's still a somewhat vague, ill-defined concept, but 21st Century Statecraft is a hot topic for technology nerds and foreign policy wonks alike. (A big shout out if you also fall in both categories) Essentially, it's about leveraging new technology-- like SMS, social networking, online video, etc.-- to expand diplomacy beyond the traditional government-to-government relationships, and include everyday people around the world in the business of international relations.

I don't think it's too bold to say that NDN played a role in developing some of the ideas that underpin 21st Century Statecraft.  In particular, a 2007 paper co-authored by Ross and Simon Rosenberg argued that our world is increasingly tied together in a single, global information and communications network-- a change facilitated largely by the rapid adoption of mobile phones-- and that our government had to do a better job working in this changed world, and preparing its citizens to operate in this world.

This concept of a fully networked globe has been at the core of the new 21st Century Statecraft initiative that Ross will talk about tomorrow. If nearly every person on earth has access to the same information, and the same basic tools of communication, this opens radically new doors for American diplomacy, and can facilitate entirely new ways for our country to advance our interests and promote our values around the world.

Nobody said this technology wasn't disruptive. Like I've said before-- it's changing everything.