We are all aware of how non-state actors like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah can run more effective PD operations than the most advanced states. There is a lesson in this. The solution to our PD problem will not come from government, rather it will come from citizens who have an interest in public diplomacy who will take the initiative and use the technology we all have access to and just do it. We need to start thinking in terms of an “entrepreneurial public diplomacy”. What is required is a change in our conceptual framework.
Let’s do a thought experiment. Let’s say we decided to create a non-profit whose purpose was to do public diplomacy, what projects would it undertake? Documentary films, audio speeches distributed on cassette tape, short films distributed on Youtube or emailed from cell phone to cell phone, lectures by pro-liberal democracy muslims, graphic novels in arabic telling stories of arab liberal democrats fighting authoritarianism and fundamentalism, etc. There are a lot of options and obviously some trial and error will be involved in determining what works, but the reality is that we don’t need government to do this, we can do it ourselves.
There is something 5GW-ish about this idea.
This could be a method for Strategic Citizens and/or Socio-Political Entrepreneurs to influence/change/alter/effect the world around them with a pretty good potential return based on the costs involved with low-risk.
I found this while looking for an old post. It was a draft from April 2007 and had never been published. I guess I just forgot about it.