Members of the European Digital Diplomacy Exchange Steering Board were engaged in an Expert Study Visit, organised in Phoenix, Arizona, between April 15th and April 19th, 2024. This edition of partnership activities with Arizona State University included members of the Steering Board coming from countries of the Western Balkans, who actively cooperated with students and professors in an exchange of knowledge and good practices.

Building on the foundation of shared work and research, the European Digital Diplomacy Exchange network has fostered a significant partnership with Arizona State University in 2023 and 2024, and this collaboration is set to expand further on synergies and joint partnership opportunities. The active participation of Arizona State University students in the Democratic Resilience in Digital Age online class, for the first time in 2024, is a testament to the strength of this partnership. This class was implemented by Lead EDDE Project Coordinators Mrs Ingrid Omahna, Mr Matt Jacobs and the European Digital Diplomacy Exchange network as part of the second-semester curriculum.

As a continuation of synergies and cooperation, this April, the programme prepared in partnership with the Arizona State University School of Politics and Global Studies and the Melikian Center (Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies), EDDE representatives were engaged in exchanges with researchers and key experts working in the fields of resilience against disinformation, diplomacy, good governance, communication and other research fields, that contribute to information integrity, societal dialogue and democratic resilience. Based on a vast network of opportunities for students within Arizona State University, Steering Board members participated as speakers and moderators in discussions, focusing on their field of work and professional background. Throughout the activities, young students also received more information on opportunities for the progress of a career in Diplomatic professional specialisation.

As part of programme activities, the European Digital Diplomacy Exchange actively explores opportunities that enable mutual learning among Academia and professionals working in the field of digital strategic communications, public affairs, press and public diplomacy, as each of the stakeholders holds important knowledge and experience on practical, theoretical and analytical applications, innovation and trends contributing to more interconnected societies and their democratic resilience. Furthermore, EDDE strongly supports practical experience building for young students through training, mobility exchanges, and active dialogue with state institutions focused on public and foreign policy. It is active engagement and cooperation of young generations in policy-making that is key for capacity and confidence building towards active citizenship and empowerment for young leadership of the future.

In the pipeline, the European Digital Diplomacy Exchange program is gearing up to develop exciting possibilities for further partnership between academia and public diplomacy. Additionally, it is preparing to roll out new capacity-building opportunities for young students at Arizona State University through mentorship and participation support within international foreign policy conferences such as the Young Bled Strategic Forum and the Bled Strategic Forum in 2024.

The project is a result of a joint cooperation between the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana and the Centre for European Perspective.

Find all the photos of EDDE’s visit at ASU on this link.