Impressions of COY13 and the UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn, Germany

Photo 07.11.17, 12 15 53Written by Julia Theilen, graduate student of International Communication at St. John’s University. 

At the closing ceremony of COY13 (the thirteenth Conference of Youth) held prior to the UN climate change conference COP23 (the twenty-third Conference of Parties) in Bonn, Germany, a young woman representing the Pacific Climate Warriors, moved the audience with her metaphorical speech: Continue reading “Impressions of COY13 and the UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn, Germany”

IICM engaging with UN EMG at Nexus Dialogue in Geneva, Switzerland

geneva-2-e1509024738599.jpgWritten by Julia Theilen, graduate student of International Communication at St. John’s University. 

On October 19th, 2017, the UN Environment Management Group (EMG) held the third event of its Nexus Dialogues Series, this time taking place in Geneva, Switzerland. The IICM supported UN EMG in communication activities around the event.

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Ambassador Kai Sauer Speaking to Students on: “New International Order. The United Nations and the Changing Political Thought.”

dsc_6945.jpgOn Thursday, October 12th, the Institute for International Communication hosted Ambassador Kai Sauer, Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, for an engaging guest talk and discussion with students about the United Nations and the changing political thought.

Continue reading “Ambassador Kai Sauer Speaking to Students on: “New International Order. The United Nations and the Changing Political Thought.””

When Disasters Strike Digital Communities Take Action: The Impact of Social Media

twitter-292994_640In today’s society, numerous times social media has emerged as the main source of information during and after natural disaster events and human-created emergencies. For example, during recent natural disasters, social media platforms were heavily used to communicate with loved ones, contact authorities, and provide updates on the disaster.

Continue reading “When Disasters Strike Digital Communities Take Action: The Impact of Social Media”

Sustainable Innovative Collaboration

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Written by Alexis Dursunyan, Graduate Student of International Communication at St. John’s University. 

A round table allows for equal, free flow of conversation and collaboration between individuals. Research shows that circular seating arrangements lead to people feeling a need to belong. ICSB Academy was a series of round tables; inspiring innovation, creativity and best of all friendship. Continue reading “Sustainable Innovative Collaboration”

Presenting Student Works: (1) New Action Plan for Global Refugee Crisis and (2) Overcoming Contemporary Challenges in the European Union

student-849825_1920Below, we uploaded two currently relevant works by Master’s students of the International Communication program at St. John’s University. Continue reading “Presenting Student Works: (1) New Action Plan for Global Refugee Crisis and (2) Overcoming Contemporary Challenges in the European Union”

Scholars Engaging in Academic Discourse at Consumer Identities & Digital Culture Symposium

symposium-13On March 28, 2017, the Institute for International Communication and the Division of Mass Communication at St. John’s University hosted an academic symposium on “Consumer Identities & Digital Culture”. The symposium gathered scholars across disciplines to examine notions of identity in consumer culture. Speakers presented a range of research from historical perspectives to industry practices, from policy questions to race, gender and global diversity, across film, television and social media. Continue reading “Scholars Engaging in Academic Discourse at Consumer Identities & Digital Culture Symposium”

2017 Corporate Accountability Index Launched to Hold Companies Accountable for Protecting Users’ Digital Rights

RDR-4Sustainable business in relation to our physical environment has become the norm. Today, companies commonly make extensive efforts to take environmental and social responsibility for their business activities. However, most companies do not pay the same respect to our digital environment. Internet and telecommunications corporations need to contribute to creating an information ecosystem in which our fundamental human rights, such as privacy and freedom of expression, are respected. The next step toward transparency about what companies are doing and how it affects our lives is to get companies held accountable for our digital environment. A powerful lever to bring this change and to get companies to do the right thing is the Ranking Digital Rights 2017 Corporate Accountability Index.

Continue reading “2017 Corporate Accountability Index Launched to Hold Companies Accountable for Protecting Users’ Digital Rights”

Empowerment of Women and the Economic Impact – Guest Speaker H.E. Mrs. Teuta Sahatqija, Ambassador of Kosovo

ambassador_Teuta-6A developed and progressive country needs both genders to play an active part in economy and politics. No society can be strong if half of the population is left out. Why should one gender be underrepresented? That would be like having two hands, but only working with one.

With this metaphor at the center of her speech, H.E. Mrs. Teuta Sahatqija, Ambassador of Kosovo, illustrated her country’s efforts toward empowerment of women and the economic impact this has on the nascent Republic that declared independence in 2008. Continue reading “Empowerment of Women and the Economic Impact – Guest Speaker H.E. Mrs. Teuta Sahatqija, Ambassador of Kosovo”

Guest Lecture by Fulbright Scholar: Political Participation and Media Use

political-11For some, the Internet is a tool with great potential to bring about social change, mobilization of people and revolutionary movements. Contrasting to this, others argue that political engagement of people on social media cannot be considered activism and real participation after all. Is a new digital democracy evolving or is this idea of revolutionary change through opportunities of mass mobilization on social media just a myth and we have ‘politics as usual’ and the illusion of participation?  Dr. King-Wa Fu, Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab, originally teaching and researching at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong, addressed this timely issue in a guest lecture at St. John’s University. Continue reading “Guest Lecture by Fulbright Scholar: Political Participation and Media Use”

Reflections on Traveling China – Part 3: Different Thinking Styles Reflecting Prominent Philosophies

sanya_2017_small-134A concluding learning from all these explorations is that, just as on the personal level, on the diplomatic level it is equally important to learn about the history and language of the other culture when facing negotiators from differing cultures. One should not assume that the other side will always interpret things in the same way that he or she would do. Definitions and perceptions of concepts such as happiness differ in accordance with different cultural backgrounds. Negotiators need to be patient and sensitive towards nonverbal or indirect communication, build warm personal relationships and finally, another important aspect is to always show respect and maintain face of others, in the sense of not offending or surprising the other side (Glaser, 2005). Continue reading “Reflections on Traveling China – Part 3: Different Thinking Styles Reflecting Prominent Philosophies”

Reflections on Traveling China – Part 2: Indications of Different Cultural Backgrounds for Effectiveness of Diplomatic Negotiations

sanya-20170113-27Since I am sure that failure to understand and appreciate the other culture can lead to conflicts or misunderstandings when people with collectivist and individualistic cultural backgrounds socially interact, I can further assume that these cultural differences also have a significant impact on public diplomacy. Consequently, the next question I asked myself was what role these differences play in the context of diplomatic negotiations between Western and Asian countries. I think, just as on the personal level, it is important to develop mutual understanding for each other’s cultural differences to avoid conflict resulting from not being aware of these differences. Continue reading “Reflections on Traveling China – Part 2: Indications of Different Cultural Backgrounds for Effectiveness of Diplomatic Negotiations”

Reflections on Traveling China – Part 1: Effects of Individualistic and Collectivistic Perceptions of Happiness on Social Relationships

sanya_2017_small-204What is happiness? This is a question I asked myself several times during and after our study trip to China. Whether we were visiting ancient temples in Beijing or the world’s fourth largest statue Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya, lighting incense sticks for prayers I always found myself somehow silently wishing for happiness. Besides this, we had the opportunity to visit the End of the Earth, the Edge of the Sky and the Rim of the Sea – a meaningful spot at the Southern coast of Hainan where couples go to have a very happy married life. To me, coming from the West, aspects of happiness are love, self-fulfillment and health, for example. But what does happiness mean to the many others, mainly Chinese, who were internally praying around me? Continue reading “Reflections on Traveling China – Part 1: Effects of Individualistic and Collectivistic Perceptions of Happiness on Social Relationships”

Cities in Global Economy: How China does it.

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What is the role of communication technology in the development of global cities and what is the significance of metropolises in global economy? These were overarching questions we – a group of eleven students of the Graduate Program International Communication and Dr. Basilio Monteiro – explored during our two-week study trip to the People’s Republic of China. Right after New Year’s, on January 2, we took off to China’s capital Beijing where we spent our first week exploring ancient as well as modern sites, which were and are integral for the development of the city. For the second week, we travelled to warmer climates, to study at Sanya University on the tropical island of Hainan, the most southern province of China. Continue reading “Cities in Global Economy: How China does it.”