Exchange Matters / August 22, 2018

Perspectives on Diplomacy Begins Here


By Katie Ferman, Senior Program Officer, International Visitors, Cleveland Council on World Affairs

Hosting a Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summit and Learning Lab? Here are some tips from the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, who hosted the first Summit and Learning Lab of 2018:

  1. Spend time with your team brainstorming the strengths of your city and organization. You can’t run a Summit well without buy-in from your team. At CCWA, we got together before submitting our application to brainstorm Cleveland’s strengths, which are in international business and science leadership, and consider CCWA’s strengths in speaker programs and events. We knew combining these elements would create a truly enriching event.
  2. Figure out the “So What?” of your event. Throughout the application and planning process, we asked ourselves: “Why would the Cleveland community care about an event like this?” We chose the theme “Women Who Rock the World” because we truly believe women are paving the way forward in public diplomacy. In addition, celebrating local leaders and learning from each other is intrinsically interesting and valuable to the community.
  3. Convene diverse perspectives. We wanted to present as many viewpoints and perspectives at the event as possible. Our speakers ranged from the deputy director of the NASA Glenn Research Center to journalists. We tied everything together with a central theme.
  4. Break up the day! (And be intentional about it.) You wouldn’t keep exchange participants sitting in the same room listening to speakers for an entire day, so why do it at the Summit? We gave our participants the chance to stretch their legs by holding the Summit in three venues that showed off Cleveland’s stunning architecture. For example, the library garden that served as the meeting point for Summit participants featured statues by Maya Lin, a world renown artist and sculptor who is also a “woman who rocks!”
  5. Make it about relationships. Find creative ways to leverage your organization’s long-standing relationships by involving past speakers, hosts, and local professional resources. Extending invitations to speak or attend the Summit was a fantastic introduction to those who had never heard of our organization. Make sure to follow up with a handwritten thank you note to these new connections to ensure they stay involved in your organization’s future projects and programs.

See full recap and photos from Cleveland


Join International House and the Palmetto Council for International Visitors in Charlotte, NC as we kick off the regional summit on “Economic Development and Entrepreneurship” and Learning Lab on “Fundraising and Marketing for Nonprofits.” Be a part of the conversation on Twitter  at #DiplomacyBeginsHere & #CLT


By Annette G. Alvarez, Executive Director, Global Ties Miami

Editor’s Note: The 2018 Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summits and Learning Labs wrap up in November in Miami, FL. Annette G. Alvarez, Executive Director of Global Ties Miami, offers a sneak peek at what attendees can expect from the Summit on “Community Resilience”:

Why did you choose “Community Resilience” as the Summit’s theme?
Our community is always evolving. It has had to adapt to changes from nature, an influx of people, and stark contrasts between rich and poor. In the face of these challenges, interesting examples of resilience have cropped up and offered members of the community an opportunity to share their stories. These moments demonstrate the value of exchange.

What are you most looking forward to?
Welcoming our IVLP Gold Star alumni, peers, and partners from across the country to our city. The energy is always palpable whenever members of the Global Ties Network come together! We hope our passion for citizen diplomacy will make an impression on local attendees who may become interested in getting involved with International Visitors.

What do you hope attendees will take away from the Summit?
We hope they leave with ideas that inspire them to take a new approach to their work, and with a resolve to continue being a force of good in their communities.

Registration opens in October. Sign up to receive updates by email.