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This article first appeared on the MacArthur Foundation's Spotlight blog.
I spent the past week at the Virtual Worlds Conference and Expo in San Jose, California.
There were a number of interesting panels, but two themes caught my attention that I’d like to discuss here: 1) Concern for ROI or Return on Investment in Virtual Worlds; and 2) The Rise of China.
A few months ago I had the pleasure of a nice lunch in West Los Angeles with a team from the British Council out from Washington, D.C. The team was led by Ms. Sarah Frankland, Arts Manager, from the British Council.
The topic was theater and public diplomacy. The Council was trying something new in their programming -- bringing what could be a controversial play to the United States. Not only controversial, but a play that addressed one of the most volatile subjects in the U.S. and the world today: The U.S.-led war in Iraq.
This September, the United States Department of State launched its own blog – Dipnote. The blog is described as an “alternative source to mainstream media for U.S. foreign policy information” and an “opportunity for participants to discuss important foreign policy issues with senior Department officials.” Seems pretty ambitious. If anything, this belated foray into the blogosphere is a necessary if not crucial step towards making the State Department more relevant to its U.S.
This article originally appeared on Diplomatic Traffic.
The largest defeat of British-Indian forces in the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880) came through the leadership of a heroic Afghan woman: Malalai of Maiwand. Malalai courageously inspired dejected Afghan troops and carried the Afghan banner into the battle that would end her life.
I’m just back from the State of Play V conference in Singapore. Congratulations to Dan Hunter, Beth Noveck and Aaron Delwiche for having the vision to host State of Play in Singapore, and the perseverance to keep it there despite the challenges of fundraising for and coordinating a conference 8,000 miles away. Thanks to the MacArthur Foundation for supporting it financially.
As with previous State of Plays I came away intellectually enriched. Moreover, I learned something new and unexpected—and not necessarily from the sources I anticipated.
This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post on September, 20, 2007
Lesson 1: When in China, buy a bike.
After decades of violence, the opium poppy crop remains one of the few stable income sources for poor Afghan farmers, who cannot be effectively persuaded to end poppy cultivation without being granted alternative ways of making a living. In 2005, most farmers complied with the poppy ban set out by the Afghan government with the understanding that legal alternative means of survival would be provided. But when the promised aid failed to materialize, drug production quickly rose again.
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