School of Public Diplomacy 2.0: Youth Track started in Ulyanovsk
School of Public Diplomacy 2.0: Youth Track started in Ulyanovsk. It is the second educational project of the kind, and this time it is focused on youth.

The project will last several months: from June through November. The participants will explore the notion "public diplomacy" and some interesting cases from abroad, learn how to seek and find foreign partners and how to avoid the label of 'foreign agent'.

"It is the second time Ulyanovsk welcomes the School of Public Diplomacy. This year we got over 40 applications. The participants aim to communicate with foreign partners, implement projects and promote Russia's positive image abroad. We have representatives of museums and people whose work combines cultural, humanitarian and educational projects. The graduates of the School will possess all the necessary skills to create a unique project, apply for a grant or implement the project with foreign partners. We shall teach them to find partners, successfully communicate and raise funds for a project," said Diana Kovela, Deputy Director and Head of the International Office of the Fund of Creative Technologies "Ulyanovsk – the cultural capital".

The joint project of the Center of Communications and Innovations and the Fund of Creative Technologies "Ulyanovsk – the cultural capital" was started on June 6th with a three-day off-line training at "Boiling Point" educational site attended by managers and employees of NGOs, civil society activists and social entrepreneurs.

Natalia Burlinova, PhD, President of Public Initiative "Creative Diplomacy" and author of scientific articles on public diplomacy, read introductory lecture "What Is Public Diplomacy".

In the beginning of the lecture that had been initially devised for MGIMO students, Ms. Burlinova spoke of the basics of public diplomacy in Russia, its differences from public diplomacy in the West, its main directions and actors, and then moved on to the role of NGOs in public diplomacy.

"In the Russian social sphere there is no clear distinction between "soft power", "social diplomacy" and "public diplomacy". There is also the old term "people's diplomacy" from Soviet times, and there are new terms like "humanitarian cooperation" and "IDA" ("International Development Assistance"). We need to sort out these terms and see if we can apply any of them to our activity", said Natalia Burlinova.

The first three days of the School are for the basic theory, and then the participants will move on to the nuances of working out their own projects and improve their level of English in informal communication. The participants are in for five months of work, including a series of seminars and trainings with international and federal experts of intercultural communication and social projects. In August there will be another off-line training of team-building and team work. Then the young leaders will do their own projects and present the results in November.

Note that the School of Public Diplomacy is the winner of the competition for Ulyanovsk regional subsidies for socially oriented NGOs. The organizers are Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization "Center of Communications and Innovations" and the Fund of Creative Technologies "Ulyanovsk – the cultural capital".