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Better Inform Policy-Making

Forum for Citizen Suggested Aid Projects

The United States should create an online forum where citizens of different countries can submit proposals for small, targeted aid projects based on their experience on the ground. By involving locals in the aid process, the U.S. would make clear that we are actively listening to publics abroad. Competition for such resources could be based on a similar model to that used by Google in their "Project 10^100." Winners of ...more »

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Improve Workforce Knowledge and Skills

Realize the Full Potential of Students and Young Professionals

The United States is fortunate to possess a wealth of talented graduate students and young professionals who are pursuing careers in public diplomacy. However, it is often difficult for these students to find careers in government service related to public diplomacy. This is due to a number of reasons, including the decentralization of public diplomacy roles throughout the Federal Government following the demise of the ...more »

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Shape the Narrative

Send Public Diplomacy Officers Out Among the Locals

My friend who worked for British Petroleum told me the story of an ambassador he knew when he lived in Trinidad. The ambassador made a point to get out among the locals--he knew store owners by name, could recommend the best place to get fish tacos, learned local lingo, and performed volunteer service in local homeless shelters. Because he gained a reputation for knowing the people and knowing their culture, local officials ...more »

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Confront the Domestic Challenge

Mitigate Foreign Influence Within U.S. Borders

The U.S. public diplomacy community needs to address the evolving threat the United States (U.S.) faces on its own soil. "The world we face: Competing influences" should take account of the rising potential for external state and non-state to seek influence within the United States, particularly using new media as a platform. In the 21st century, U.S. public diplomacy must not be constrained by artificial geographic boundaries. ...more »

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Leverage Technology to Advance Objectives

Cultural Exchange Web 2.0 Site

The Department of State should develop a vibrant cultural exchange site that enables Americans to introduce their culture to foreigners on a personal level. The site should be supported by rich media (ex. interactive timeline) and user profiles, enable submission of user-generated stories by individual users as well as polished stories on historical figures by government web managers, provide functionality for user content ...more »

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Deploy Resources In-Line with Current Priorities

Public/Private Fund for Citizen Diplomacy Programs

The State Department's funding priorities for private and NGO programs in the area of citizen diplomacy are woefully inadequate. Oft times, funding is "wired" for specific State programs and never publicly competed. Also, where funding IS available, State's management system for this funding often fails, resulting in programs that are never fully realized or measured for effectiveness. The U.S. government should establish ...more »

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