For NATO, we have interviewed Russian analysts on how to improve NATO-Russia relations and we organized Q&As between our members and NATO's senior civilian representative in Afghanistan. With Germany's best-selling tabloid Bild we created the Feldpost Aktion to send letters of support to Bundeswehr soldiers in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, we have been media partners to Security and Defence Agenda's "Security Jam" as well as the technology conference Digital Life Design (DLD), conducting video interviews with leading digital technology experts on the role of internet tools for international politics and citizens engagement.
Germans Express Solidarity with Troops in Afghanistan
The Atlantic Initiative, publisher of atlantic-community.org, teamed up with Germany’s best-selling daily newspaper Bild to encourage readers to write personal messages of support to German soldiers stationed in Afghanistan in an effort to boost morale.
German Defense Minister zu Guttenberg has expressed his delight at the initiative: "This is a great joint undertaking by the Atlantische Initiative and Bild. Our soldiers more than deserve this type of broad, visible support by the public."
A soldier stationed in Afghanistan shared his thoughts on the “Feldpost” campaign. He commented on the political debate in Germany surrounding the ISAF mission and what it means to the soldiers in the field. The Defense Policy Spokesperson of the FDP Parliamentary Group Elke Hoff sent this letter.
Dialogue with Decision Makers
Atlantic-community.org editorial team organized in cooperation with NATO's Public Diplomacy Division a two part dialogue, before and after the Kabul conference, between our members and Ambassador Mark Sedwill, NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan. Throughout a lively exchange of views, he responded to critical questions and comments from community members on topics such as the role of narcotics, gender issues, parliamentary elections, co-operation with Russia, and the issue of civilian casualties. You can read the first and second part of the debate and watch video statements by Ambassador Sedwill.
This is yet more proof that your ideas, opinions and suggestions are reaching and being seriously considered by decision makers at the highest levels.
Enhancing NATO-Russia Cooperation: A Survey of Russian Experts
Furthermore, the Atlantic Initiative conducted a NATO sponsored survey of Russian experts on their country's relations with the Alliance. The goals of the survey were to not just discern expert opinion, but to work toward improving relations by giving the Russian strategic community a chance to have its voice heard during NATO's process of developing a new Strategic Concept. The results were published in the special Lisbon summit edition of NATO Review which you can view here.
Technology and International Politics: Video Interviews at DLD 2010
At this year's Digital Life Design conference, atlantic-community.org's editor-in-chief Joerg Wolf conducted five video interviews with experts about the potential of digital technology for international politics and civic engagement:
- UNHCR: Tweets from the Edge
Claudia Gonzalez: Social media is transforming how the UN relates humanitarian crises to the global public. In this interview, the former head of Public Relations and Special Projects in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees explained how Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other platforms have added a new dimension to their humanitarian work.
- The Wiki Way to Create Change in Global Politics
Jimmy Wales: The founder of Wikipedia discussed the importance of websites like Atlantic Community where people come together to create solutions for how to make the world a better place. The key to constructive online debates is to amplify the more moderate voices.
- Social Media Challenges International Organizations
Jeff Jarvis: The internet is putting power in the hands of global citizens. Large international organizations are missing opportunities to harness that power to improve relations with their constituents. Citizens need to continue to use this technology to create new “social assets”.
- The Internet Revolutionizes Politics
David Kirkpatrick: Facebook is already a powerful network to organize political protest and could contribute to the emergence of global political parties. Social Media might even create a global government. The technology is advanced, but the attitudes of the citizens need to catch up.
- Social Media Shapes Public Opinion
Peter Berger of the website Suite101.com asserted that it is essential for governments to participate in social media. New media is making the spread of information across borders instantaneous.
Atlantic Community was involved in the "Security Jam", a virtual conference which took place in February, featuring keynote contributions from world leaders and participants logging on from around the globe. Security & defense practitioners, leading political and military figures, think tanks, academics, and journalists all interacted online in an effort to build concrete solutions together.
The organizers described Atlantic-community.org's contributions as an excellent example of how to design policy recommendations and recommended our work to the other participants. You can download the final report here.
Op-Ed Competition: Women on Transatlantic Security
It is with great pleasure that we have recently announced a new op-ed competition sponsored by the U.S. Mission to NATO and NATO's Public Diplomacy Division.
Open to women under the age of 40 from NATO member and partner countries, the goal is to contribute to the empowerment of women in peace and security. This forms a key part of our efforts to broaden the foreign policy debate, give a voice to a new generation of thinkers and to contribute to a more diverse transatlantic strategic community. The competition increases the overall visibility of women in the international security debate and supports young women who are in the early stages of their careers by prominently featuring their analyses and policy recommendations.
How You Can Support Atlantic-Community.org
Please continue to engage in the debates and contribute op-eds on the most important challenges that Europe and North America face. Op-eds only need to be 500 - 700 words long and contain a clear thesis with policy recommendations. By doing so, you will be making your voices heard in the foreign policy discourse.
Last but not least, we would be extremely grateful if you could extend invitations to your friends and colleagues to join atlantic-community.org. Our community has now grown to over 5,000 members and with your help, we hope to see it expand further. As you know, we provide extensive opportunities for networking, career development, and debate as well as concrete opportunities to influence decision-makers.
Furthermore, if you wish you can also make a donation. Any contributions are greatly appreciated.
Thank you for taking the time to read this update and we will rejoin you in the New Year with new articles starting January 13.
Atlantic Community Editorial Team