Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My presentation at Gov 2.0 O'Reilly on-line conference

On March 11, I took part in on-line conference organized by O'Reilly company. The goal of the conference was to feature Gov 2.0 projects and experiences in 4 countries: Canada, Great Britain, Australia and Israel, and also the social media work of US Peace Institute. I presented the Israel experience.

This kind of information exchange is important not onlu because we learn from each other, but also because we meet people around the globe who deal with the issues of Gov 2.0. So, contect is the king, but connection rules, as my good friend Alon Gilad likes to say.

The recording of the event is now available. To play it back, simply click on the link below. Please note that clicking on this link will launch the AdobeConnect Pro viewer. It may take a few moments to load. Once play back begins, you can navigate through the various presentations and search the chat room. The links in thepresentation are live.

You can also download all of our speakers' presentation slides at:

And the full chat transcript here:

Happy Passover to everybody!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Meeting with high school students

Last week I gave presentation about digital diplomacy to the group of high-school students, about 35 individuals.

And I must tell you this: high-school students are the best audience for this topic. Not diplomats, not branding specialist, not Web 2.0 evangelists. High-school students - because they don't have to believe in social media, they don't have to become social media professionals. They just live in social media.

Unlike other groups I meet with, I didn't asked them how many have Facebook page, because all of them have. I asked them what other networks they use and whether they use blogs. More than half of them use Myspace and Twitter, and others participate in diverse networks. It was interesting to see that only two of them write blogs.

Unlike other groups, including the diplomats from my ministry, the high-school students understand exactly the potential of digital diplomacy.

They are already in fact digital citizens. It's not a big deal for them to become digital diplomats.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Israeli diplomats go to "Better Place"

Last week I participated in the economic diplomacy training program organized for Israeli diplomats who go to their diplomatic postings this summer.

It's already become a cliche that economic diplomacy, like public diplomacy or country branding, has become one of the pillars of modern diplomacy. So the diplomats visit companies, meet with businessmen, hear lectures from heads of economic organizations, like Israel Bank, Export Institute and others.

However, when you come to an enterprise that is not just another company, but the one that dares to change the whole fabrics of modern society - you are not just learning something new. You get inspired.

This way we felt at the Demonstration Center of "Better Place", the company of the Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agassi, who developed the idea of 100% electric car. A car that will dramatically reduce oil-dependence, end air pollution, and will make the world quieter and ... a better place!

Here are some pictures from our visit there and what is especially important, the link to the company. Israel can become the first country in the world that will create national infrastructure for electric vehicles. We, as diplomats, understand well the importance of world where oil dependence is reduced...

Receiving driving permissions at the reception desk of Better Place

Instructor at Better Place explains about the electric vehicle, while loading it with energy

Better Place:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Government 2.0 must be fun

In the last days there was an interesting and really fascinationg discussion about the exact definition of Government 2.0, that took place on Govloop, social netwotk of american government (

I feel that with all our effort to rationalize the contribution of Gov 2.0 to citizens and to government itself, we might forget one important, and in my eyes central element of Web 2.0 - that it's fun! I think that all things based on Web 2.0, including Gov 2.0, are fun. After all, This is social media - and people come to Web 2.0 to communicate because it's fun. They also come to Web 2.0 for advice, information, service and so on - but they are attracted into it because it looks attractive, light and funny. The Gov 2.0, therefore, must include this element. It will attract more people to dialogue and interaction. Governments are perceived as very "serious" and "heavy", so the element of fun must be there as well.

May be the word "fun" looks too amateur and simplistic, but as a practitioner of Gov 2.0 in the last two years I believe it's one of the key elements for Gov 2.0 success.
After all, the work we make will be more interesting and productive - if it's fun.

The twitter of British Foreign Ministry dedicated for british citizens abroad could serve as a good example of what I say: