Conference Location

United States Capitol

Conference Partners

The World Forum on Cultural Diplomacy in North America

"Building Cultural Bridges to Strengthen the Relationships between North America and the Global Community"

(Ottawa; July 25th - 28th, 2023)


North America is privileged to have one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse populations in the world, and therefore has a unique opportunity to create and implement cultural diplomacy based strategies that strengthen cross-cultural relationships. Serving as a hub of cultures from all corners of the world, North America can use its cultural diversity as a resource to improve international relations and thus create real lasting benefits to its political, economic and cultural sectors.

Indeed, cultural diplomacy has played a pivotal role in US and Canadian Foreign Policies, demonstrated by examples such as the founding of the Fulbright Program in 1946, the employment of Jazz Ambassadors during the Cold War and the famous International Visitor Leadership Program launched by Nelson Rockefeller in 1940, which still brings many upcoming leaders from around the world to the United States every year. Through this comprehensive practice of cultural exchange and dialogue the USA has proven itself to be a pioneering country of cultural diplomacy. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the ‘Cold War’ the view that prevailed in Washington DC was that there was less need to pursue cultural diplomacy initiatives. Programme budgets suffered considerable reductions as a result and the opinions of critics were largely ignored.

As for Canada, a recent report, the first Study done since 1994, published by Canada's Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade highlighted the importance of the country's culture to its foreign policy objectives.   Yet the Committee was of the firm belief that the full potential of cultural diplomacy – as a pillar of Canada’s foreign policy – has not yet been realized by the Government of Canada.  The 2020 conference will therefore highlight  the importance of building cultural bridges for the benefits of North America national security, economy, and well-being of North American citizens, while illustrating the cost-effective advantages of such programs compared to other policy alternatives. The conference will bring together legislators, senior academics, diplomats, representatives of the private sector and civil society to initiate joint-programs that will increase the volume of North America´s  engagement in cultural diplomacy .

The conference will campaign for new programs, increased budgets and greater governmental attention of the unique opportunities practicing cultural diplomacy can bring. The conference will also publish a report based on the speeches and suggestions from all speakers and participants, which will be delivered to politicians and decision-makers as well as to the international community.


Speakers during the symposium will include leading politicians, chief diplomats, leading governmental officials, senior academics, renowned authors, journalists, and celebrated artists. These speakers will include a large number of individuals from the ICD Advisory Board. To learn more about the ICD Advisory Board, please click here.

Participants »

Participation in the conference is open to governmental & diplomatic officials, academics, artists, journalists, civil society practitioners, private sector representatives, young professionals and students as well as other interested individuals from across the world.

If you would like to reserve a position and participate in the symposium, please click on the link below and fill out the online registration form:

Certificate of Attendance - All Symposium participants will be awarded an official Certificate of Attendance upon completion of the program, which will provide details of the speakers who took part in the event, and list the topics which were discussed. Each certificate will be signed by members of the ICD Advisory Board.


International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in North America will take place in Ottawa. The conference will include visits to number of important political, historic, and cultural locations across the city .

Participant Papers »

The Academy for Cultural Diplomacy encourages academic research and analysis of issues related to the goals of the Symposia, and would therefore like to welcome participants to submit a paper they would like to be considered for delivery at the Symposium. Following the Symposium, the papers will be included in the proposal document that will be issued and sent to all governments and leaders of the international community. To read articles submitted by participants of our international conferences or to submit a paper please click here ».