Hello, World: The Rise of Tech Diplomacy

How does Silicon Valley upend traditional forms of diplomacy?

Photograph: CC-0

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


April 12, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-07:00)


$10 (online) - $15 (at the door)

Diplomacy is no longer limited to states. Today, tech companies engage more people than any given nation, and some are responsible for decisions and impacts once limited to governments. In turn, governments are taking on new forms of diplomacy to stay at the forefront of innovation, to secure the rights of their citizens, and to warrant safe and successful future developments for their countries.

Join us to discover the various ways diplomacy has evolved in the Silicon Valley ecosystem, from tech ambassadors to dedicated innovation centers. DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform, in partnership with the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco and swissnex San Francisco, have mapped this diplomatic landscape and summarized their findings in a report that will be launched at the event. Government representatives from around the world will also pitch their models of “tech diplomacy.”


6:00pm – doors open
6:30pm – welcome
6:40pm – country pitches
7:10pm – report launch
7:20pm – panel discussion
8:20pm – networking
9:30pm – doors close


Gioia Deucher, swissnex San Francisco

Gioia Deucher is the CEO of swissnex San Francisco. Her professional journey has taken her to various countries, from Colombia and Switzerland to the U.S. and Palestine and Brazil. Gioia has dedicated the last eight years to fostering cross-continental collaborations to inspire and strengthen Switzerland’s innovation ecosystem. Before setting out to build the first Latin American swissnex office in Brazil in 2013, she headed the Startup and Innovation team at swissnex in San Francisco, where she has returned as CEO in July 2017. Gioia holds a Master’s degree in International relations from the Graduate Institute (IUHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland, and a second Master’s in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School in Medford/Boston, USA.

Jovan Kurbalija, Geneva Internet Platform

Dr. Jovan Kurbalija is the Founding Director of DiploFoundation and the Head of the Geneva Internet Platform. A former diplomat, Dr. Kurbalija has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology. He has been a pioneer in the field of cyber diplomacy since 1992, when he established the Unit for Information Technology and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta. Dr. Kurbalija was a member of the United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance (2004-2005), special advisor to the Chairman of the UN Internet Governance Forum (2006-2010) and a member of the High Level Multistakeholder Committee for NETmunidal (2013-2014). Since 1997, Dr. Kurbalija’s research and articles on cyber diplomacy have shaped research and policy discussion on the impact of the Internet on diplomacy and international relations. His book, An Introduction to Internet Governance, has been translated into 9 languages and is used as a textbook for academic courses worldwide.