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What is Knowledge Diplomacy and can it genuinely address global challenges? Or is it just another version of traditional diplomacy, extending bilateral relations for the benefit and competitive advantage of one or two nation states?

Going Global 2018 in Kuala Lumpur included a conversation around 'Knowledge Diplomacy' and heard perspectives from leaders and diplomats from a variety of geographical contexts. Many of the ideas discussed, however, were anchored in traditional – and possibly outdated - views of diplomacy.

So, what do we mean by knowledge diplomacy, what does it look like in action and what can we learn from examples?

Huge challenges are impacting across national boundaries, all around the world while at the same time, limited resources are driving countries to be increasingly inward looking. Traditional diplomacy, for many, prioritises national competitive advantage over global good. In that context, is knowledge - and its producers – creating a new type of diplomacy whose role is to build international relations for mutual benefit? Are knowledge producers the real diplomats of the twenty first century? If so, this may have significant implications for the future role played by international higher education and research. 

This session presents a discussion paper: “Knowledge Diplomacy in Action”, exploring a number of practical examples of knowledge diplomacy impacting on the world. We will hear a presentation of the discussion paper, followed by an open discussion between senior figures in HEIs and non-governmental agencies working to support and facilitate international HE and research links.

See also