Grassroot Diplomat Talks
Summary: The team of diplomatic consultancy Grassroot Diplomat discuss innovative practices of diplomacy and international relations in today's modern world. Topics include leadership and self-development, networking, public diplomacy, personal branding and brand marketing, and digital diplomacy. Popular guests include: Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Sandra Francius, Cherisse Rao, Jeannette Viens, and Linford Andrews. Find out more: www.grassrootdiplomat.org
Stereotypes and misconceptions run deep about diplomats and their work in diplomacy, but where do these perceptions come from? Even in the year 2020, things haven’t changed much in terms of how people view diplomats. Diplomacy is a career that is seen to be reserved for the elite and is washed with so many stereotypes, it’s difficult for ordinary people to even know what diplomats actually do.
Many people get politicians and diplomats confused because they all work for the government. But politicians are elected and diplomats are not....but diplomats are given a very big title but serve politicians. How does this work? Who is the boss? Who is accountable to whom? What are the similarities and differences? What do diplomats do that is glaringly different from politicians abroad?
Modern day diplomacy is being crushed by ignorance and hate speeches with many, many examples of how people are made to feel like second class citizens. What does that mean and where is this happening?
Countries are misrepresented through perpetual negative stereotypes and the media controls perceptions. How can governments take more control on their self-image and what impact will more proactive branding strategy have on the people?
French is a predominant language used in diplomatic discourse. Words such as charge d'affaires and Ambassador are normal titles but difficult to pronounce by those who are not familiar with such languages. How do you ensure that you use diplomatic languages correctly and is French still dominant, or quickly being taken over other official languages used at the United Nations and other multilateral agencies?
Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, was a wanted man by many of the world’s diplomats. Under his leadership, Assange leaked highly secret and confidential diplomatic cables that embarrassed some of the most powerful governments. So much so, that Assange went into hiding and was taken refuge at the Embassy of Ecuador in London. In this podcast, Talyn Rahman-Figueroa (CEO) talks why Assange was a hunted man and her first encounter with the Wikileaks case when she was on her way to meeting at the Embassy of Colombia, next door to where the hacker was hiding. This podcast was put together by Ahlam Mohammed.
What drives you to have a career in international diplomacy? Do you want to become a diplomat because it runs in your family or know people who do it? Too often, we neglect to navigate our life to our own wants, beliefs, and values. Instead, we simply follow a path based on a prescription of our past.
The birth and death of countries have been a disruptive process for the lives of millions who suddenly find themselves stateless. How does politics and diplomacy change when countries no longer exist or have been annexed by another country?
“Are you a spy?” is a legitimate question that many diplomats get asked. The knowledge for several languages, cultures and number of stamps in a passport makes any average citizen curious about what a diplomat does and how they conduct themselves. In this podcast, Talyn Rahman-Figueroa (CEO) talks about misconceptions of diplomats and what government work really means.
On a personal trip to Germany, Talyn noticed life-size porcelain bears scattered around Berlin. Little did she know that these adorable bear sculptures served more than just being “cute”. These bears served a deep diplomatic purpose and had a history of tolerance and global acceptance. In this podcast, Talyn Rahman-Figueroa (CEO) talks about how she discovered the Buddy Bear Ambassadors and the role these bears play to the modern practices of diplomacy in a country that shared a host of world wars.
Do you think women’s empowerment is bullshit or a necessary activity to help women around the world to get access to equality? It depends on how empowerment activities are conducted and who is in charge.
What is national interest and does it serve the people or the government? In this special podcast, Talyn Rahman-Figueroa (CEO) has an open conversation with Dr Paul Clark, Acting Chair of Grassroot Diplomat, about the tricky balancing act diplomats and politicians have to play in managing conflicts of interests, and national interests. Dr Clark served as a British politician and government minister for 18 years.
Sexism is deeply entrenched in society. We may not be aware that we are creating gender differentiation through our actions and behaviour but when everyone believes and acts a certain way, we grow to expect these attitudes and behaviour as the norm, whether it is right or wrong.
There is almost a sense of mysticism when thinking of some of the amazing activities diplomats get up to. There are a lot of common stereotypes and misconceptions on the roles that diplomats play and all the amazing things they get up to around the around. Many times, simply the very idea of travel and living on the government’s dime is enough for people wanting to pursue a diplomatic career. But is that enough?
All diplomats are therefore expected to conduct themselves in the same way but must be able to stay flexible around how they work around cultures.