The third edition of the NATO Public Diplomacy Forum took place on 22nd February 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. Over the last couple of years, the Public Diplomacy Forum has brought certain issues related to communications and public diplomacy to the forefront of the international security agenda. The Forum has addressed questions concerning (1) the challenges the fields of communications and public diplomacy face in the area of crisis communication, (2) the ways of countering propaganda and disinformation campaigns, and (3) the use of new trends in public diplomacy. Governments and institutions of NATO members operate in an era of hybrid warfare, disinformation campaigns, and ongoing crises around the globe - factors which have a direct impact on the well-being and security of their respective citizens. The Public Diplomacy Forum 2016 set out to explore how these unpredictable security environments impact the role of public diplomacy, what challenges the field faces, and what means and practices should be pondered when confronted with these challenges.
The forum was opened with welcome speeches by Dr. Gerlinde Niehus, Head of Engagements Section, NATO Public Diplomacy Division, and Dr. Jay Wang, Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California (US). Mr Janis Sarts participated in the workshop "One year on: Progress on countering propaganda and misinformation campaigns" together with Oana Lungescu (PDD, NATO), Jakub Kalensky (East StratCom Task Force, European External Action Service, Belgium), and Nicholas Cull (University of Southern California, US). Workshop was moderated by Robert Pszczel, Acting Director of NATO Information office in Moscow, NATO.
To follow the discussions from the forum, use the hashtag #Pdforum2016.