Diplomacy Innovators

Diplomacy Innovators is the GDF’s list of some of the world’s most creative individuals and organisations in the sphere of international affairs. The aim is to bring attention to their innovative ideas and solutions, for the benefit of the diplomatic community. Importantly, the work of these innovators also reflects the ethos of the GDF’s Smart Diplomacy Agenda.


professor yuval noah harare: 21 lessons for the 21st century

21 lessons for the 21st century is a book published by Professor Yuval Harare in 2018. It untangles political, technological, social and existential questions, and highlights how they impact the everyday lives of humans worldwide. By presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 

The book offers some clarity, thereby helping to level the global playing field, in a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power. Censorship works not by blocking the flow of information, but rather by flooding people with disinformation and distractions. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century cuts through these muddy waters and confronts some of the most urgent questions on today’s global agenda. 

The Author has raised the question of irrelevance of individuals and societies that wouldn’t have roles in the artificial intelligence dominated 21st century. Many countries can head the way of irrelevance given the current trends


h.e casper klynge: tech ambassador of denmark

Since September 2017, Casper Klynge is Denmark’s & the world’s first Tech Ambassador spearheading the Government’s decision to elevate technology to a foreign policy priority as part of the ‘TechPlomacy-initiative’. Working out of Silicon Valley, Casper has a global mandate with part of his team sitting in Copenhagen and in Beijing thus rethinking the traditional understanding of a diplomatic representation. Given the Influence of the big Tech companies, this is an excellent idea and we will see other countries follow suit. Moreover, it will make sense to see regional organisations having representation with the Tech companies. Given the size of the Tech companies, a group of countries having common Tech policies will have more impact rather than each country working by itself.

Prof Mariana Mazzucato: mission-oriented innovation policy

Professor Mazzucato’s 2013 book, The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths and subsequent work on Mission-Oriented Finance for Innovation brought new attention to the historic successes of mission-oriented policy and its future potential. It was such an approach that put a man on the moon, and lay behind the creation of the Internet and entire 

new sectors like biotechnology, nanotechnology, and the emerging green technology revolution. Done at significant scale, it offers a means to address some of the most pressing problems societies face, and give direction to private investment as a basis for more sustainable growth. Many countries are pursuing innovation-led “smart” growth, which requires long-run strategic investments and public policies that aim to create and shape markets, rather than just “fixing” markets or systems. 

The new framework seeks to focuse on the role of the state as shaping and creating opportunities by working within an eco-system of public, private and third sector actors across the innovation chain.


dr cornelio bjola: Digital Diplomacy

Dr Bjola of Oxford University is the world’s leading authority in digital diplomacy. He has conducted an extensive work on digital diplomacy involving practitioners and academics from around the world. His work covers conceptions and misconceptions of digital diplomacy , limitations of digital diplomacy , propaganda and misinformation. At Oxford, he has been teaching courses on International Diplomacy, Public Diplomacy, Diplomacy & International Law, Climate Change Diplomacy, and Diplomatic Management of International Crisis. He established the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group (DigDiploRox) in 2016 as an academic collaborative project aiming to further the study and practice of digital diplomacy. He convenes seminars, lectures and training on digital diplomacy. The impact of his work will definitely grow in the coming years with more outputs matching the practitioners need.

SOUSHIANT ZANGANEPOUR: Blockchain based global governance system

Soushiant Zanganehpour is a social scientist, entrepreneur and Founder/CEO/Architect of Swae, an AI-powered platform for smarter organizational decisions and 21st century governance. He is the winner of the Global Challenges Foundation New Shape Prize in 2018. Soushiant winning project proposed an AI-supported global governance through bottom-up deliberation. It proposes introducing new technologies and institutions in order to decentralize global governance to participatory and deliberative models. With the struggle of the current global governance system, such innovative proposals are expected to prevail in the coming years


AI global governance

Artificial intelligence (AI) GLOBAL GOVERNANCE Commission is an executive body composed of governments, industry and civil society commissioned to deliver the global Convention on AI. It will deliver the AI Global Convention within the Global Framework with an aim of globally connecting the existing bodies and bringing evidence to re-work policies and governmental structures according to the vision of the future of the AI society. The convention will agree on the vision for future AI global society by setting a framework composed of six guiding parameters: data governance, safety, ethics, purpose, trust and sustainability 

The initiative is important given the speed of growth of AI and its impact on all aspects of societies and how governments and societies are ill equipped to deal with that. Its participatory approach in engaging global network of stakeholders in delivering a convention on AI global governance is an effective way to bring results

Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

Addresses the world’s key water and development-related challenges. Their vision is a Water Wise World – a world that recognizes the value of water and ensures that it is inclusively shared and used sustainably, equitably and efficiently for all. SIWI believes that the best way to tackle water crises, and help bring about lasting change – with the ultimate goal being the eradication of poverty – is to strengthen water governance among public and private actors alike: the political, social, economic and administrative systems and processes that influence water’s use and management. Essentially, who gets what water, when and how, and who has the right to water and related services, and their benefits. 

 The concept of water diplomacyasa dynamic process that seeks to develop reasonable, sustainable and peaceful solutions to water allocation and management while promoting regional cooperation and collaboration. It enables countries to negotiate agreements on the allocation and management of internationally shared water resources. SIWI implements Shared Waters Partnershipprogram, which isa global platform to support and facilitate cooperation over shared waters in regions where water is, or may become, a source of conflict or where water can serve as a catalyst for peace and stability. 


centre for strategic futures (CFS) Singapore

The CSF is a futures think tank within the Prime Minister ‘s office of Singapore . one aspect of the mission of the CSF mission is to developing insights into future trends, discontinuities and strategic surprises. CSF published Foresight: A Glossary, a lexicon of futures-related terms and concepts. One of themes of their focus is Virtual Singapore’ and the human cloud, implications of developments in artificial intelligence, and the impact of climate change. To create more robust futures, the concept of participatory foresight was promoted to involve citizens and different components of the society in envisioning the future. 

Throughout the Process, the CSF has developed entrepreneurial Foresight methodology and organizational fitness in in their futures’ work for Singapore