Data-driven Public Diplomacy

Why do public diplomacy practitioners need to understand data science? What does “data science” even mean? And how does artificial intelligence work? This workshop introduces the basic computing and data concepts underpinning modern public diplomacy work. The emphasis will be on how we develop strategic communications by skillfully navigating and accurately interpret various forms of data.

The workshop comprises four modules:

  • Computational Thinking and Data Types
  • Fundamentals of Machine Learning and AI
  • AI and Bots for Public Diplomacy
  • Real-time Analytics and Digital Insights



Computational Thinking and Data Types

An overview of what computational thinking means and entails, and an introduction to a range of data, such as text, multimedia, geospatial and big data, and their relevance and importance to public diplomacy. Understanding data sources is a critical first step in navigating the information landscape.

Fundamentals of Machine Learning and AI

This module explains the logic of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and their applications – and threats – to public diplomacy efforts. It also discusses best practices for data stewardship and dissemination and the differing legal frameworks.

AI and Bots for Public Diplomacy

An introduction to AI’s applications in content creation in the context of public diplomacy. Participants will develop an audience-based strategy for a beta chat bot and prototype a chat bot that may be used in their organization. AI and bots will be key elements in public diplomacy work for the coming decades.

Real-time Analytics and Digital Insights

A hands-on, collaborative learning experience where participants will analyze public diplomacy events in real-time using marketing, cloud-based programs and social platforms. Understanding the life cycle of content and how it moves in the information sphere is a crucial foundation for content creators.


The workshop took place over two weeks in October 2021. It included live sessions of 8.5 online hours, group work between sessions, and assigned self-directed learning. All scheduled meeting times will be in Pacific Time (time zone converter here).


  • Single participant: $1,050 USD (from October 2021)
  • Multiple participants: (3+ from the same organization: $900 USD, from October 2021)


Applications are not being accepted for this Mini-Course right now. Click here to access the online application. You will be notified after your application has been received.