The prime time of digital diplomacy exclusivity is phasing out. Not because it will disappear, nothing could be less true; but it is certainly starting to “share the screen” and coexist with traditional in-person diplomacy that is slowly back, alive and kicking. Both worlds are blending in what diplomatic jargon has also started calling “hybrid diplomacy”, a phenomenon predicted by scholars and practitioners alike. Consensus, however, appears to be less strong on how the two worlds will coexist, the main challenge remaining to strike the best possible balance of both.

(Photo credit: Julian Ortiz — Photographer)

We know for a fact that the Covid pandemic pushed…


More Vienna cafés and videoconferencing for the post pandemic world

I set out to argue that the pandemic has had a “positive” effect on diplomacy. I do so fully aware that I could have always resorted to the overused adjective “interesting” to describe that very effect, perhaps more diplomatically. The purpose remains to give a brief account of the beneficial impact of the pandemic on the digitalization of diplomacy and how that ultimately led diplomats to become more aware than ever before of the nature, significance and peculiarity of their work.

The very nature of diplomacy is personal. It has…


(Publicado en ElDiarioAR el 23 de junio de 2021)

Como diplomático de carrera, también estoy convencido de que llegó el momento de que los diplomáticos se conviertan en disruptores digitales. La tecplomacia existe desde hace un tiempo y algunos países fueron pioneros, no hace tanto, en lanzar “embajadas virtuales” y, más recientemente, designando “enviados especiales” y hasta “embajadores tecnológicos” en Silicon Valley. Ahora que la pandemia dejó tantas lecciones aprendidas en carne propia sobre las posibilidades y los recursos que la tecnología ofrece también a la diplomacia, llegó el momento de pasar a la disrupción digital.

Pasado el momento de…


Original photo credit Julian Ortiz — Photographer

As a career diplomat, I’m also convinced that time has come for diplomats to become digital disruptors. Techplomacy has been around for a while, with some countries pioneering not long ago with “virtual embassies” and, more recently, appointing “special envoys” or even “tech ambassadors” in Silicon valley. The moment is ripe for digital disruption now that the Covid pandemic has left so many lessons learned in the flesh in terms of the possibilities and resources that technology offers also to diplomacy.

After the prime time of digitalization of diplomacy during the peak of the pandemic, the balance of power between…


El momento de máxima audiencia de la diplomacia digital en exclusiva se está apagando. No porque vaya a desaparecer por completo, nada podría ser menos cierto; pero sin dudas está comenzando a “compartir pantalla” y coexistir con la diplomacia tradicional en persona que, poco a poco, está regresando, vivita y coleando. Ambos mundos se fusionan en lo que la jerga diplomática también ha comenzado a llamar “diplomacia híbrida”, un fenómeno anticipado tanto por académicos como por profesionales de la diplomacia. Existe menos consenso, sin embargo, sobre cómo coexistirán los dos mundos. …


On the digitalization of public diplomacy’s most precious face-to-face tool

After so many months with the world at a halt due to the pandemic, there seems to be finally some light at the end of the tunnel also for exchange diplomacy. Even when it may be still too early to be completely happy and accept “hybrid” formats as the future norm, this important tool of public diplomacy is timidly but progressively coming back to normal in the timidly and progressively emerging post Covid world.

The impact of the pandemic on this tool of public diplomacy has been devastating as it…


Más Café Vienna y videoconferencias para el mundo pospandémico

Me propongo argumentar que la pandemia ha tenido un efecto “positivo” en la diplomacia. Lo hago plenamente consciente de que siempre podría haber recurrido al excesivamente utilizado adjetivo “interesante” para describir ese efecto, tal vez de manera más diplomática. El propósito sigue siendo dar una breve descripción del impacto beneficioso que ha tenido la pandemia en la digitalización de la diplomacia y cómo ello llevó, en última instancia, a que los diplomáticos hayan ganado mayor consciencia sobre la naturaleza, importancia y peculiaridad de su labor.

La propia naturaleza de la diplomacia…

Gerry Diaz Bartolome

Career diplomat, keen advocate and passionate about foreign affairs, multilateralism and digital diplomacy. Future is hybrid and lessons learned from pandemic!

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