Beyond Social Media: The Indonesian MFA To Address Challenges and Opportunities of Digital Diplomacy

Jakarta, July 12, 2018 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia in cooperation with Pulse Lab Jakarta and DIPLOFoundation held an international seminar on digital diplomacy on July 12, 2018 in Jakarta. The seminar was attended by diplomatic corps, representatives of Ministries and Institutions, Civil society organizations, and private organizations. The seminar was opened by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi.

"Digital diplomacy connects individuals and we call it as earthly diplomacy between humans and diplomacy. I think this issue discussed during the meeting. Innovation and digital diplomacy have become a necessity, "Retno said in remarks.

Traditional practices of diplomacy have been applied through controlled communication of (and between) international agencies and institutions, embassies and governments. Thanks to improved access to the internet and digital technologies, diplomacy has adjusted itself to the current trends.

In responding these dynamic changes, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Pulse Lab Jakarta and DiploFoundation have co-organised “The International Seminar of Digital Diplomacy" with a view to addressing some of the emerging challenges and opportunities.

Several other diplomacy practitioners, including Allaster Cox, Deputy Head of Mission Australian Embassy; Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen, Ambassador of the Embassy of Denmark; Professor Jovan Kurbalija, Founding Director of DiploFoundation; and Derval Usher, Head of Pulse Lab Jakarta, joined the seminar.

From an overview of the successes and challenges of digital diplomacy to digital diplomacy's influence on diplomatic activities, the seminar involved a number of engaging discussions and provided real-life examples of everyday interactions and challenges.

Jovan Kurbaija, the Director of DiploFoundation, talked a lot about the application of digital diplomacy via social networking sites. “In this digital era, the use of social media for diplomacy has become a necessity. Almost all global leaders have Facebook and Twitter accounts now and use them as diplomatic channels," he said.

“However, digital diplomacy has a huge potential beyond social media. This seminar provides a platform to facilitate many of these dialogues," closed Jovan.​