Online Meetings and Conferences: How to Run Effective and Secure Events
Online meetings and conferences are now a necessity for most organisations.
In this highly interactive, practice-based course participants learn how to plan, manage, and run successful online events: choosing and using an appropriate technical platform, planning the entire process from the initial idea to follow up, and effectively moderating interaction in an online environment.
It is amazing how an online course could encompass all these teaching methods: text to read, lively discussions, critique, team work, staff mentorship, and hands-on practice. We could learn in a cozy, enjoyable atmosphere, yet powerful and demanding. As with all Diplo courses I would say e-learning with Diplo is immersive, innovative. It is addictive!!!
- Yasir Elsanousi, Deputy Director, Elsabil Charitable Health Center, Sudan
I was particularly impressed by the use of group moderation exercises that allowed the participants to gain practical skills in running and moderating online meetings and events. Skills gained through the course are very relevant to my career as a diplomat as I adopt the new future of online meetings.
- Nancy Diana Wanjiku, Foreign Service Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya
Note: DiploFoundation is pleased to offer a limited number of full and partial scholarships provided by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.
Dr Stephanie Borg Psaila is the Director for Digital Policy at DiploFoundation, and the Editor of the GIP Digital Watch observatory. In 2018-2019, she served as Diplo's Interim Director and Head of Geneva Internet Platform, replacing Founding Director Dr Jovan Kurbalija during his one-year position as co-Executive Director of the Secretariat of the United Nations High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
Stephanie holds a Doctorate in Law (LL.D.), a Master's in Contemporary Diplomacy, and two law-related diplomas from the University of Malta, and her special areas of interest include legal issues in digital policy, human rights, and e-diplomacy. She holds a warrant to practice as a Notary Public in Malta, and is a former journalist with The Sunday Times of Malta.
Dr Massimiliano Fusari Senior Lecturer, University of Westminster
Dr Massimiliano Fusari researches and produces digital media as visual storytelling for the strategic communication of social topics and international affairs. He is a recognised academic scholar and results-driven consultant with 30 years of established education and professional experience. As associate professor at the University of Westminster (UK), he runs the Digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB and lectures in the analysis and production of visual literacy, digital creativity, and cross-platform storytelling. He is currently reshuffling his online lab, The Visual Storytelling Academy, to incorporate the production of his mobile app –The Meta-Image.
Dr Katharina (Kat) E Höne researches, writes, and teaches on a number of issues in the area of diplomacy, global governance, and the impact of technology on international relations. Over the last years, she has focused on research at the intersection of diplomacy and technology. She was part of a research project on Data Diplomacy: Updating diplomacy to the big data eraand the lead researcher and author of Mapping the challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence for the conduct of diplomacy report, both supported by the Ministry for Foreign of Affairs of Finland. In addition, she has more than 10 years of experience in teaching international relations at universities in the UK and Germany, and in delivering in-situ, blended, and online training to diplomatic practitioners. Kat holds an MA in Diplomatic Studies (University of Leicester, UK) and a PhD in International Politics (University of Aberystwyth, UK). In her work, she is driven by her aim to level the playing field at international negotiation tables through capacity development, and to provide out-of-the-box thinking and inspiration by drawing on her passion for science-fiction.
An expert in remote participation, Mr Arvin Kamberi heads up Diplo’s Webinar Team. Based in Belgrade, he has been working on webinars and other web-based remote participation since 2011. Arvin has been part of the remote participation team for many international forums, such as the IGF, EuroDIG, and local IGF events such as IGF Africa. From 2014 to 2015, he was a part of the IGF Working Group on Remote Participation (established in 2008), and involved in the elaboration of IGF remote participation guidelines.
Arvin has a keen interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain developments; first as an avid ‘miner’, then more in terms of regulation and consensus mechanisms surrounding the decentralised systems. His primary focus is on Bitcoin development, but he follows other cryptocurrency developments and the blockchain/distributed ledger technology, too. Vice President of Bitcoin Association of Serbia, Arvin writes extensively about Bitcoin and blockchains. He holds an MA in Film and Video Production from Belgrade University of Art.
Dr Jovan Kurbalija is the Executive Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP). He was a member of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (2004‒2005), special advisor to the Chairman of the UN Internet Governance Forum (2006‒2010), and a member of the High Level Multistakeholder Committee for NETmundial (2013‒2014). In 2018-2019, he served as co-Executive Director of the Secretariat of the United Nations (UN) High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
A former diplomat, Jovan has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology. He has been a pioneer in the field of cyber diplomacy since 1992 when he established the Unit for Information Technology and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta, and later, DiploFoundation.
Since 1997, Jovan’s research and articles on cyber diplomacy have shaped research and policy discussion on the impact of the Internet on diplomacy and international relations. His book, An Introduction to Internet Governance, has been translated into 9 languages and is used as a textbook for academic courses worldwide. He lectures on e-diplomacy and Internet governance in academic and training institutions in many countries, including Austria (Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), Belgium (College of Europe), Switzerland (University of St Gallen), Malta (University of Malta), and the United States (University of Southern California).
Ms Virginia Paque Internet Governance and E-diplomacy Programmes
Born (and currently residing) in the United States, Ms Virginia (Ginger) Paque lived in Venezuela for more than 35 years. An educator and administrator by profession, she has 25 years’ experience in business and manufacturing systems consulting. As a board member of the United Nations Association of Venezuela, her work as the Venezuelan member of the World Federation of United Nations Associations Task Force on WSIS marked her entry to the world of Internet governance (IG) during the Geneva PrepComs. Active in Civil Society discussions on IG, Ginger served as IG Caucus co-coordinator for two years. She was a member of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) from 2015 to 2017, with a specific focus on moving online 'observation' to online 'participation' for greater inclusion. Having completed a Master in Contemporary Diplomacy with a thesis focusing on the importance of IG as a new diplomatic priority, Ginger currently lectures on IG for Diplo and curates human rights topics for the GIP Digital Watch observatory. Accessibility to support inclusion is a high priority, particularly through support for persons with disabilities and multilingual approaches.
Mr Vladimir Radunović Cybersecurity and E-diplomacy Programmes Director
Serbian-born Mr Vladimir (Vlada) Radunović is a lecturer in cybersecurity policy, Internet governance, and e-diplomacy on postgraduate and professional courses. He also serves as an expert with the Geneva Internet Platform. He served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) from 2016 to 2020, and a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) from 2012 to 2014. Vlada has been a lecturer, speaker, and resource person on a number of educational and training programmes and events worldwide, including within the WSIS and IGF processes. His professional and research focus is on Internet governance, broadband policy and net neutrality, cybersecurity and cyber-diplomacy, e-diplomacy, and capacity development. He holds an MSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Belgrade and a Master’s in Contemporary Diplomacy from the University of Malta. He is currently working on his PhD in cybersecurity. Vlada is currently member of the Board of Directors of Diplo US.
DiploFoundation (attn Tanja Nikolic)
Anutruf, Ground Floor, Hriereb Street
Msida, MSD 1675, Malta
Online meetings have long been seen as a poor substitute for face-to-face ones. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses from governments around the world, this view has changed. Online meetings are now a necessity for most state and non-state organisations. The question is no longer ‘should we use online meetings despite their drawbacks?’, but rather ‘how can we use online meetings effectively?’ and ‘how do we blend online with face-to-face meetings?’
With the recent restrictions and limitations on international travel, online meetings have become a key working tool for governments, businesses, and organisations worldwide. Diplomacy and global governance have been particularly affected as meetings, conferences, and other major events are being cancelled. As lockdowns are gradually being lifted, we are faced with questions on the future of meetings, and how to switch to hybrid formats which combine online and onsite meetings.
What skills will you gain?
How to organise and run online meetings, starting from the initial idea, via practical steps, to reporting and wrapping up
How to effectively moderate online events
How to select an approach to online and blended (hybrid) meetings that meets your organisation’s needs
How to manage the psychological and behavioural aspects of online interaction
How to select appropriate technical platforms and tools
How to benefit from the current uses and potential contributions of artificial intelligence (AI) for online events
Module 1: Approaches and preparation
Psychology and behaviour (why we meet, attention spans)
Approaches to meetings (key decisions to make before selecting tools)
Principles of meetings (timing, cost, human resources, discretion, security, and other practical aspects)
This module explores the psychological and behavioural aspects of online meetings, such as how attention spans differ online from offline. We explore the main types of, approaches to, and principles for online and blended meetings, and how to match them to your meeting objectives and needs (awareness building, exchange of information, drafting, official negotiations, etc.).
Module 2: Effective moderation
Essential characteristics of a good moderator
Steps for effective moderation
In this module, you learn how to prepare both technical and practical aspects of moderating a discussion, including technical skills, attention to accessibility and user experience, and mitigation of problems and failures (the common ‘can you hear me’ or ‘un/mute your mic’ situations). We also discuss the application of rules of procedures in online meetings.
Module 3: Advanced and emerging technologies for online meetings
AI tools and their use the context of online meetings
Virtual and augmented reality for online meetings
This module looks at advanced and emerging technologies for online meetings. We look at tools that are already in use and those that might change the future of online meetings. By the end of the module, you should be able to answer these two questions: First, what advanced and emerging technologies are out there with (potential) applicability to online meetings? And second, what do they mean for the future of online meetings?
Module 4: Security for online events
Information security challenges (flow of digital data, components of information security, and risk assessment)
Minimising security risks (encryption, security settings, digital hygiene)
Digital data is like water: it easily leaks. In this module, we explain how data flows around the Internet when we use everyday applications, what are the main risks for information security, and how we can address them. By the end of this module, you will be able to rationally assess the real security risk of a particular online activity. You will know what to look at when selecting various communication and collaboration platforms, and what are the ‘rules of thumb’ for setting up and using these platforms smartly.
Diplomats and other civil servants, and staff of international and non-governmental organisations, who need to build skills for managing, organising, and moderating online events.
This course is conducted entirely online over a period of four weeks. Reading materials and tools for online interaction are provided through an online classroom. The course is based on a collaborative approach to learning, involving a high level of interaction. Each week, participants read an assigned module text, adding questions and comments as hypertext entries. Lecturers and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the module text. Every week participants also take part in a practice-based exercise for building management and moderation skills for online events.
Please note that due to the spread of course participants across time zones worldwide, scheduled online meeting times may not fall within working hours for all participants. Some participants may need to attend online sessions during the morning or evening hours.
This course requires a minimum of six hours of study time per week. Before you apply, please consider carefully whether you can commit the necessary time in order to complete the course successfully.
Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a Certified Online Moderator certificate awarded by DiploFoundation.
Applicants should have:
Working experience with government, an international organisation, or a non-governmental organisation.
Responsibility for managing and/or running online meetings or conferences for an organisation or institution.
Sufficient knowledge of the English language to read academic texts, discuss complex concepts with other course participants, and deliver short presentations.
Regular access to the Internet.
Sufficient time for online study (at least six hours per week).
The course fee is €1000 per participant.
A limited number of full and partial scholarships will be provided by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland. Preference for scholarships will be given to applicants from developing countries who are responsible for managing and/or running online meetings or conferences for their organisation or institution.
Selected applicants will be notified of acceptance after the application deadline.
In case of enquiries, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This course perfectly responded to a know-how gap many of us experienced while abruptly transitioning from physical to online meetings in international Geneva. With all of our diplomatic meetings moved online, it has been great to compare different web conferencing platforms, to choose the one that best fits the needs of our meetings. I loved the hands-on approach of the course, which provided step-by-step guides on preparing and running online meetings as well as opportunities for students to test the features of different platforms and even moderate online discussions.
Charline Van Der Beek, Economic Affairs, Development Cooperation, Environment and Internet Governance Attachée, Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations in Geneva (May 2020)
The course was very well designed, relevant to current times, and most importantly, easy to digest and apply. After the 5-week course, my level of awareness and confidence on how to effectively conduct and attend online meetings improved significantly. From planning, technical, and social aspects for online meetings to tips and tricks for effective moderation, I gained a great deal of new knowledge – applicable for both my professional and personal engagements.
Selly Muzammil, Regional Government Partnerships, World Food Programme Regional Bureau for MENA, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, in Cairo (May 2020)
I found the discussion on the role of Moderator to be especially useful. Preparing the team is as vital to the success of the meeting as is the actual moderation. It was also very helpful to move from role of participant to the role of organizer and to understand what are the elements which are vital to the success of a virtual meeting. The entire Online Meetings for Diplomacy and Global Governance course was extremely beneficial and very appropriate at this time when so many of us have been suddenly thrust into the world of virtual meetings.