Digital Diplomacy

Hybrid Space

Embassy Lab is a prototype for experimenting with future functions of embassies in the current age of EUization, globalization and digitalization.

Embassy Lab is presented by Hybrid Space Lab at the The Hague Digital Diplomacy Camp 2018.

The Hague Digital Diplomacy Camp 2018

2 February 2018

@ Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Hague

Embassy Lab
2 February 2018

We are experiencing a structural change in the function of embassies – within the European unification process, as well as more generally due to the changing role of the nation state in our globalized and increasingly digital and networked world.

The Embassy of the Netherlands in Berlin created therefore a pop-up think tank for exchange on these topics, for experimenting with new models, and for presenting and communicating innovative projects and ideas: Embassy Lab, a laboratory and possible prototype for the Dutch Embassies worldwide.

Hybrid Space
2 February 2018

The combination of physical and media space, of local place and digital networks, is coined Hybrid Space. Space today is transformed by technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) or Mixed Reality, becoming increasingly hybrid. With the Internet of Things (IoT) Hybrid Space is becoming ubiquitous. Artificial Intelligence and Big Data have the ambition and potential to algorithmically manage these Hybrid Spaces.

The workshop researches how to integrate Hybrid Space developments, with technologies such as AR, VR, IoT or AI, into meaningful applications for diplomats, international organisations and NGOs. It aims to create a group to further pursuit these issues with investigative research and ideation.

Fast-paced advances in technology are creating diffuse and volatile conditions in which international actors operate. Disruptive innovations such as machine learning and big data analytics are changing governments, NGOs, the media, businesses, and in some cases entire industries. New and unexpected players entering the field are putting pressure on the traditional division of roles between politics, business, journalism and civil society. And this is just the beginning: developments like artificial intelligence and blockchain technology are only just starting to have an impact.

For governments and diplomats, as well as the partners they are looking to work with, this poses a challenge. We find ourselves at a turning point that calls for new alliances between actors capable not only of responding to these changes, but capable of anticipating and embracing them. Diego Piacentini, formerly senior vice president at Amazon and now head of the Italian government’s digital technology office, recognises this sentiment: ‘We can never permit ourselves the luxury of feeling that we have arrived: tomorrow we will always a to do better than today.’

The impact of digitalisation is clearly both positive and negative. We can use digital technology to connect people and bring them closer together, but the same technology can also be used to create division. More and more data can be gathered online, but does the data provide us with actual insight? Every day the latest news from around the world is presented to us on a plate via online platforms, but these platforms are also a platform for deliberate fake news. The result is a diffuse digital world. What are the implications of this? How can you make the most of opportunities, protect yourself against threats and avoid ‘noise’? And what challenges and opportunities can diplomats, businesses, journalists and NGOs expect in the future?

To explore these issues, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands is organising The Hague Digital Diplomacy Camp: Influence in a diffuse digital world on 2 February 2018. At this unconference, we are inviting participants to discuss consequences of digitalization for international affairs, to share practical tools and design solutions for the future.

Who’s got the floor? Working with digital influencers to expand civic space.
Luke Gilder, Engagement Strategist at RNW Media

Embassy Lab: an experiment with future functions of embassies in the current age of EUization, globalization and digitalization.
Prof. Elizabeth Sikiaridi and Prof. Frans Vogelaar, Hybrid Space Lab

Augmented Reality for Diplomacy.
Galit Ariel, CEO of Wondarlands and author of ‘Augmented Alice – The Future of Identity, Experience and Reality’

How to leverage the value of data while preventing harm to vulnerable people.
Thomas Baar, HumanityX

Diplohack: are hackathons viable tools for diplomats?
Jon Pelling (Swedish MFA) and Weijer Losecaat Vermeer (Dutch MFA), co-founders of Diplohack

“What is Really Going on Out There?” What a Digital Index of Global Influence (DiGi) could contribute to mapping patterns of influence in the digital world.
Stuart MacDonald (SYM Consulting) and Prof. Jan Melissen (Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’).

Digital Public Diplomacy: From Tactics to Strategy
By Prof. Corneliu Bjola, Jennifer Cassidy and Ilan Manor, University of Oxford.

Hacking SDG 16: Using Digital Diplomacy to Support Accountability and the Rule of Law.
By Blair Glencorse, Janos Koka and Diego Osorio (Global Diplomacy Lab’s Winning #DiploCamp submission).

10.00h – 10.30h: Plenary opening and keynote talks
10.30h – 11.00h: Opening of the wall: participants can submit sessions
11.00h – 11.45h: First round of sessions
12.00h – 12.45h: Second round of sessions
12.45h – 14.00h: Walking lunch with inspiring keynote talks
14.00h – 14.45h: Third round of sessions
15.00h – 15.45h: Fourth round of sessions
16.00h – 16.45h: Plenary closing statement

Closing session at The Hague Humanity Hub
Closing the conference you will be able to see digital diplomacy in action, in a short pitch and discussion session at and with members of the Hague Humanity Hub, followed by closing drinks. This innovation space is host to, among others, UN-OCHA’s Center for Humanitarian DataLeiden University’s HumanityX programme, the Hague Institute for Innovation in LawDutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation and the World Resources Institute.

The Hague Digital Diplomacy Camp 2018