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Alec Ross in Conversation — OII Internet Awards 2013

8 Nov 2013

Alec Ross, recipient of an OII Internet Award, explains his ideas of ‘21st century statecraft’ and ‘Civil Society 2.0’ as well as briefly describing the subject of his upcoming book. The former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ross relates that the notion of 21st century statecraft entails reforming state diplomacy to actively engage with foreign publics through technology, thereby moving away from the more distanced methods of the past. According to Ross, US diplomats largely accepted the change, in part to reassert their power vis-à-vis the increasingly dominant military and intelligence services concerning foreign policymaking. As for Civil Society 2.0, Ross claims that it is not simply a reiteration of the ‘soft power’ concept, but rather a notion that recognises how civil society members are sometimes better suited than governments to address certain problems. Ross ends by discussing his upcoming book, which will examine the challenges of globalisation from a 2010-2025 perspective and what these will entail for states and societies, as well as for individuals.