The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy 2009

"The Role of Soft Power in the International Environment"

Berlin, 27th - 31st July 2009
Excellencies, distinguished guests, and participants of the International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy on the theme soft power, a heartfelt welcome from Berlin. You are visiting us here in the German capital in a special year: Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the peaceful revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall. [more]


The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy 2009 will bring together a diverse group of participants from across the world for a weeklong program of lectures, panel discussions and social events that will look at the role of soft power in contemporary international relations. The speakers during the week will be experts and leading figures from politics, academia, and the private sector. The participants of the Symposium include students, young professionals, senior academics and diplomats, who will have the chance to consider the future of soft power and cultural diplomacy with fellow participants and leading authorities. In the evenings the participants will have the opportunity to network in social events, enjoy live music and entertainment and to explore Berlin's vibrant nightlife.

The International Symposium comprises a weeklong program of panel discussions and lectures in different locations across Berlin. Each component will be followed by an interactive question and answer session with the speaker. This structure enables the participants to hear a range of informed perspectives on the issues under discussion and then raise issues they feel are important for further consideration.

During the evenings the ICD will organise activities and events that will allow the participants to experience Berlin, network and socialise with other participants and the Symposium speakers, and discuss the topics raised during the day.

Symposium Themes

The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy will look at the role of soft power in the international environment and will focus on five related themes:
  • The approaches of states and international organisations to soft power and the role it plays in their policy making
  • The importance of multi-lateral understanding to cooperation on global challenges
  • The role of cultural diplomacy in relations between the Western world and the Middle East
  • The challenges and opportunities of using art and culture as vehicles of national foreign policy
  • The influence of the private sector in the generation and application of soft power
To explore these themes thoroughly from both theoretical and practical perspectives we have selected expert speakers from the fields of academia, politics, and the private sector. We will hear from individuals with experience in prominent international organisations, including the United Nations, the African Union, the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and the European Union, as well as politicians and former politicians who have played instrumental roles in the development and application of foreign and national policies.

The Symposium speakers will also include professors and academics who have been at the forefront of international relations theory over the past two decades and who have played key roles in pioneering and developing the related concepts of soft power and cultural diplomacy.

Sustainable Network

Participants of the International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy will become part of a growing international network of people from across the world with different fields of interest and levels of experience who share a commitment to intercultural exchange. Participants will be able to remain in touch with each other through the ICD Online Network. This network represents a medium through which members can exchange information on research, job opportunities, related events, and coordinate their own cultural exchange initiatives.

The ICD will help to support the Symposium participants in their future activities by providing guidance and advice on possible research topics and helping to support members who plan to organise their own cultural exchange initiatives.

Certificate of Attendance

The participants of the International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy will be awarded an official certificate of attendance at the end of the program. This certificate will confirm attendance and provide details of the speakers who took part during the week and the topics discussed.