On October 13, the IVECA Center for International Virtual Schooling, in partnership with the Incheon Office of Education East Asia Global Education Institute (IEGI), hosted the Second Global Virtual Roundtable about Public Diplomacy in Modern Era: Promoting Soft Power for Humanity. The roundtable was held via a virtual webinar session while participants from Incheon were present at their conference center. This event was organized to expand the impact of the first Global Virtual Roundtable that took place during the IVECA Summer Camp this year.
The roundtable was honored by the presence of His Excellency Ambassador Joon Oh from Korea and His Excellency Ambassador Hesham Elnakib from Egypt. The event was also celebrated by the expert panelists Mr. Robert Skinner, Deputy Director and Chief of Partnerships and Global Engagement at the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department of Global Communications, and Dr. Mariel Friberg, Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Maryland and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. IVECA’s founder Dr. Eunhee Jung moderated the roundtable discussion.
His Excellency Ambassador Joon Oh opened the session by sharing, “The world we live in today is of course globalized. We are all affected by what happens in any other part of the world no matter where we live…it is time for us to think more about the global common good. There are many global issues we should consider, such as climate change, inequalities, and sustainable development. The future of humanity depends on how we deal with these challenges and how we achieve the global common good.” Ambassador Oh stressed the importance of individuals’ global citizenship in public diplomacy since people should handle such issues with an open mind and respect for diversity in cooperation and inclusion.
In his keynote, His Excellency Dr. Elenakib also highlighted that people, global citizens, are the key players in public diplomacy for realizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While the world is interconnected and shares global challenges, Ambassador Elnakib elucidated how crucial it is for people to collaborate in solidarity with a sense of belonging, compassion, and responsibility for humanity.
Showing their global citizenship, student team panelists from India, Korea and Nepal enthusiastically presented innovative projects they developed during the Summer Camp and improved its branding and promoting strategies. Four teams from three countries presented their soft power to contribute to achieving the SDGs. Korean teams introduced their scientific soft power to fight against plastic pollution and creative ways to foster a global culture of using tumblers for environmental conservation. While the Indian team promoted their medical herb for human well-being, the Nepalese team systemized their NGO initiative to enlighten people on protecting nature.
As an expert’s advice on making a greater impact, Mr. Skinner from the United Nations commented, “know that you can make a difference, believe in yourself in being able to make a difference whether with your family your community you don't need to think globally all the time we all need to make a difference in where we live, and you can make that.”
His Excellency Dr. Hesham Elnakib who taught those students during the Summer Camp concluded the Global Virtual Roundtable by giving his insight, “Remember that public diplomacy is not only a theory, is not only a way of diplomacy, but it is day-to-day life. So remember how to brand, how to promote and how to share with humanity. This is part of you and part of your character. This is your success and future.”
The event was completed successfully, with still resonating meanings and values shared among all participants. Dr. Friberg conveyed, "I appreciate the opportunity to see the phenomenal IVECA presentations and be a part of the panel. The students' progress is incredible and inspiring. What you [IVECA] do for these students and the world is so honorable. "