Cultural Diplomacy in 2016

Diplomacy, strategically networking and building your range of sources to inform your current and future work – vital skill-sets to refine regardless of your sector or profession.

Now more than ever, in a challenging and fast changing political and cultural landscape, our ability to react; adapt and get ahead of the curve have never been more important.

A key aspect of achieving this lies in our ability to make very human connections. Even the best relationships and networks need active, on-going cultivation.

Earlier this summer I was lucky enough to join a youth leadership programme, YLUK (Young Leaders UK), set-up by the extraordinary diplomat that is US Ambassador to the UK Matthew Barzun.

mo-ambassador-matthew

This week I was in London to participate in a reception at Winfield House, honouring the legacy of the Greatest – Muhammad Ali. As well as having the unique opportunity to network with like-minded other young future leaders, the reception afforded me the opportunity to strategically engage with a varied range of influential individuals from a range of sectors in the U.S. and the U.K.

mo-sir-trevor

Co-host for the evening was the equally impressive Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Mr. Khan spoke to the delegation imploring us to be bold. Be ambitious. Seize opportunities and make mistakes along the way – you need to make mistakes and accept these to drive your practice.

mo-sadiq-khan

So what do all of these opportunities afford you? Experience; new knowledge, fresh motivation and a reminder what you are doing, no matter how small the change you are making right now may feel, will, in the long term, matter.

A key learning for me in the last year, has been developing my understanding how to strategically use networks for the right reasons and using these to inform future work. With all networks you get out what you put in and it has to be beneficial to both parties.

Until the next time; I’d love to hear from my own growing network with thoughts on how private and public sector companies across sectors can build on existing partnerships internationally (of course creating new ones along the way) which will allow all of us to use the knowledge and expertise we’ve built up. Thanks for reading – do please comment or get in touch!

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