education diplomacy

Compulsory teaching of foreign languages was always unnecessary because we're blessed to have English as the national tongue - the language of business, diplomacy and tourism in almost every corner of the world. Worse, we've taught these languages with too few trained teachers, and in a ludicrously unco-ordinated way.

Shanghai-based English-learning software maker Saybot, Inc...commands a workforce of 100 engineers, product developers and salespeople who create interactive learning software that’s used by more than 180 million students in China. Earlier this year, the company also launched a new web-based English-learning environment for kids called Alo7 in China, the country home to the most internet users in the world.

October 1, 2009

What’s changed about the climate for cultural relations between the peoples of the world? Pretty obvious, the global economic crisis. On the eve of the G20 summit, cultural relations might seem marginal, irrelevant or a luxury we can’t afford. All the answers surely lie with international institutions, diplomats and politicians, not international education and cultural links. And as for international consensus on climate change, can we afford to care any more?

WASHINGTON -- America should “trumpet” the doubling of visas issued in the past year to U.S.-bound students.

That was the advice of panelists at a public diplomacy program this morning.

The U.S. foreign policy machine has been churning out a lot of bad ideas lately. To what do we owe this increased supply of bad ideas? Is it mainly the fault of the current foreign policy team? The permanent foreign policy apparatchiks? Where do all these bad ideas come from?

The short answer is, "all of the above." Bad ideas are not just the fault of the Bush officials that control the White House, State Department and Defense, although to them goes the lion share of responsibility for providing and enacting really bad ideas about foreign policy.