The Diplomatic Forum

When I first worked in Washington, DC back in the early 1980's the Embassy Social Circuit was alive and well. When I was invited to speak at the UN, and later given media accreditation there were many opportunities to socialize with world leaders. Today the landscape in Washington and New York is bleak.

Diplomacy and cultural social networking has been replaced in many areas by electronic diplomacy and perceptions created by electronic mass media, and now millions of unverified opinions on 113,000,000 Blogs. The opportunity to listen to a country's Ambassador, or a leader of industry is now under the control of a television news producer, who crafts the questions on news interviews. Often they have a goal in mind, within a specific news story, and seldom provide an insight into that nation, corporation, culture, or trade opportunities.

Historically the Diplomatic social circuit allowed interaction and networking, but the fear of alcoholic accidents, and the reluctance of the voting public to see their taxes being used for entertaining has all but destroyed this valuable avenue of networking. Corporate Diplomacy has somewhat taken over, and many social events are sponsored by corporations, often at "Arms Length" to ensure effective dialog, but not show undue influence.

 

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