Smart region: Rethinking regionalism in the 21st century

5-th -7th December 2017 


It is time to take a critical look at the current regional orders, and ask difficult questions about their relevance, efficiency and effectiveness in dealing with the challenges of the 21st century. Systemic challenges such as terrorism, conflict and instability, nuclear non-proliferation, and economic inequality, among others, undoubtedly require a collective strategy.

Yet, as the Brexit vote and the state of the European Union demonstrate, we need to re-assess regional orders and to explore the best ways to make them more flexible, to improve governance, and to meet the different aspirations of member states and their citizens, while ensuring a continued commitment to deeper regional co-operation.

In December 2017, London will host an unprecedented diplomatic summit that will bring a fresh perspective to regional challenges and to international affairs. The summit will be guided by the principles of smart diplomacy, bringing together a diverse community of stakeholders, who will apply innovative approaches to finding practical solutions with a measurable impact. 

New Diplomacy 

The London Diplomatic Summit is an annual forum for in-depth debate and discussion of the most pressing challenges facing the world today. It exists to meet the need for a different kind of high-level global meeting: more inclusive, connected, and results-oriented. The rapid social and technological changes of the 21st century require a new approach to international affairs. Just as soft power increasingly complements – and in some cases can be more effective than – hard power, traditional diplomacy is strengthened by smart diplomacy.

The work of the London Diplomatic Summit will be guided by the principles of smart diplomacy, which is defined by the Global Diplomatic Forum as resting on three pillars: consulting with a range of stakeholders; inclusion of women; and strategically deploying digital technology.

Diverse Community

The London Diplomatic Summit will foster a multi-stakeholder community, dedicated to entrepreneurial diplomacy and proactively shaping the global future.

The Summit will provide the opportunity to create long-term, sustainable partnerships across diplomatic services, government agencies, the media, academia, and the non-profit and private sectors. Delegates will have the option to establish post-conference networks through the Summit’s dedicated online forums and social media. 

Innovative approach 

The Summit will be a place to engage in dynamic, interactive sessions, designed to facilitate fruitful discussion, new ideas, and tangible outcomes. The sessions will take stock of the past, assess the present and project into the future.

To achieve consistent outcomes, the sessions will focus on five themes: peace and security, prosperity, institutions, smart diplomacy, and technology. Hands-on workshops will allow participants to enhance skills in cutting edge areas of diplomacy.

The Summit’s discussions will also be accessible through live streaming, Twitter and Facebook conversations, allowing contributions from anywhere in the world to be received and shared in real time. Delegates will also be able to communicate with each other throughout the day via the Summit’s own mobile app. 


At the London Diplomatic Summit, the world’s foremost experts, diplomats, academics, business leaders and politicians will come together to share knowledge and brainstorm practical solutions.

Findings from each session will be reviewed by a Specially Convened Expert Panel, which will include members of the Advisory Board of the Global Diplomatic Forum, representatives of regional organisations, and other relevant stakeholders.

The panel will conduct work prior to and during the Summit, in order to formulate recommendations that will be formally presented on the concluding day. The impact of these recommendations will reach beyond the duration of the Summit, to inform ongoing research and activity by the Summit’s partners. 


The London Diplomatic Summit will take place over 3 working days. Each of the five global regions (Europe, MENA, Africa, Americas and APAC) will be covered in half-day sessions, which will start with a plenary examining the key challenges facing the region in question.

This will be followed by breakout sessions, roundtables and workshops exploring regional issues in greater detail. These will be organised around five themes: peace and security, prosperity, institutions, smart diplomacy, and technology. The aim will be to brainstorm practical solutions that are rooted in regional co-operation.

The outcomes of the discussions will be recorded and presented to the Specially Convened Expert Panel, which will examine them, and produce formal recommendations on the basis of the Summit’s findings. 

Please click below to download the programme in English, Arabic, French and Spanish:


Arabic   -  click here 

spanish -  click here

french -   click here


Attending delegates have been selected from world leading organisations and institutions, with regional representation in mind, to contribute to the Summit proceeding and outcomes. Delegates can attend by invitation only. Invitations are non-transferable; only within the same organisation and then only after approval from the Global Diplomatic Forum.


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Telephone: +44(0) 208 853 3293