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Diplomacy by networking and alumni support
To date, more than 3000 diplomats and leaders from nearly 180 countries have participated in our programmes. Approximately 200 of them are currently assigned to their respective diplomatic missions in Germany, some of them as Ambassadors. Our alumni retain their status as important contacts for us whether assigned to posts in Germany or abroad. In keeping with a network-orientated foreign policy, we place great value on keeping in touch with our former participants after the completion of their courses with us. We have therefore developed a broad selection of instruments which allow us to promote global networks and to strengthen the relationships within the existing alumni network.
‘Diplomacy by Networking’ - What is new?
As a global social network, Alumniportal Deutschland brings together alumni of various German organisations. Training for International Diplomats also uses this service to allow its alumni to keep in touch with one another. The alumni portal is funded by the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and run by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Goethe Institut.
On 11 March 2015, around 50 representatives of various organisations that use the alumni portal for their networking activities met in Berlin at a conference on how the service should be developed. As the person responsible for the Training for International Diplomats project, Diplomacy by Networking, Gesa Giesing took part in a panel discussion on the topic of “My alumni, your alumni – everyone for themselves or achieving more by looking after international alumni together”. The main question was how coordination and synergy can be improved in this area, how duplication of labour and services can be avoided and how reciprocal access to networks can be achieved. In small countries, for example, it often only makes sense to hold events if several organisations work together. Various models of internal coordination and communication were presented and discussed at the conference. A working group is now preparing a tool that will allow the partner organisations to see what the other organisations are doing with just one click.
The project 'Diplomacy by Networking' offers Training for International Diplomats alumni services such as regional meetings abroad, events in Germany, network consolidation programmes and various online and offline publications. Apart from providing access to other networks, a further task of the project is to include more Germans in this international network, particularly colleagues from the Federal Foreign Office and its missions abroad, but also former programme assistants and alumni of the kulturweit (Bridging Cultures) volunteer programme. The second main task is to encourage alumni to take even more initiative and to organise networking activities, such as regular regional get togethers. Training for International Diplomats can provide alumni with funding for such activities. Alumni are welcome to apply for this funding at their local German mission.