The Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summits bring together leaders in business, government, and nonprofit organizations to forge new connections with local communities around exchange programming and issues. They also serve as an opportunity for local communities to deepen their understanding of US foreign policy, public diplomacy, and how exchange programs such as the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) play a role in each.
The World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana, a Community-Based Member (CBM) of Global Ties US, hosted a Diplomacy Begins Regional Summit in Louisville, KY around the theme of Global Education. SACIV’s Program Coordinator, Tania Kayumova, visited this summit. The two-day program hosted speakers from a variety of different businesses and governmental organizations.
The first day was primarily focused on the opportunities in which Community-Based Members (CMBs), such as SACIV, could improve. The Learning Lab sparked much discussion on how each CBM can learn from each other, specifically on topics such as storytelling, media partnerships, and brand management, as well as working with international liaisons & interpreters. The day ended with a wonderful reception at Kentucky Derby Museum, located on the grounds of the iconic Churchill Downs, where Board Members and staff welcomed summit participants from the Global Ties US network and the region. It provided an opportunity for Community-Based Members, National Program Agencies, Department of State representatives, and prominent individuals to mingle and make new connections.
The second day of the summit was held in the Muhammed Ali Center and was focused on global education and the 21st century workforce in preparing young people for a global future. Speakers agreed that diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of that future. “The most important thing when it comes to global competency is you have to embrace diversity,” one of the participants said. “It’s a word that’s thrown around all over the place, but you really have to live it.”
The evening ended at the dinner table with a local member of World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana and other representatives of the Global Ties US network. Participants shared their personal experiences and life stories of working with international visitors and ensuring that Citizen Diplomacy matters.