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Knowledge Diplomacy Seminar - Knowledge Diplomacy and Crisis

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This online Knowledge Diplomacy seminar series is a collaboration between the Goethe Institut, British Council (France and Germany), University of London (London and Paris) and is supported by ICR Research, SOAS, Queen Mary University of London and the NEXTEUK project.

The series takes place in a form of online discussions that bring leading experts and institutions together to discuss how Knowledge Diplomacy is highly relevant in both academic and policy circles in addressing pressing global issues. This is an opportunity for academics, policymakers, practitioners and students to join an exciting conversation and exchange ideas linked to the emerging concept of Knowledge Diplomacy.

In the recent decade, crisis situations, such as violent conflicts, have increased substantially and brought more complexity to the search for solutions in addressing existing emergencies. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has witnessed a sequence of enormous losses in regional stability and human lives that affect Asian, African, Latin America and Caribbean regions, and most recently, Eastern Europe.

The concept of Knowledge Diplomacy helps us understand the intersections between different stakeholders such as states, universities, multilateral organisations, policymakers and people in a variety of diplomatic processes that make a real impact and difference in the world, specifically in addressing crisis situations. It is a two-way process, which refers to the role that actors such as international higher education, research, and innovation play in building and strengthening international relations and, vice versa, the role that international relations play in facilitating and improving the work of these actors.

The event is an opportunity for an interdisciplinary panel of experts from academia and diplomacy to discuss the implications for the creation, exchange and sharing of knowledge in the context of the crisis situations, specifically in the context of the war in Ukraine. A particular focus will be dedicated to:

  • The support for scholars at risk and knowledge preservation;
  • The support for higher education institutions in the affected areas, research initiatives, student exchange and etc;
  • The impact of sanctions in light of the conflict situation on research and innovation; and
  • The cancellation of student and scholar exchange programmes.

Our organising team expresses deep concerns about the present war and the loss of lives as a result of the conflict. The event would like to emphasise that the present panel discussion can be seen as a modest contribution in the search for a solution to the present crisis and highlight the potential points for consideration in the on-going and future conflict situations.


• Date: Wednesday 25 May 2022

• Platform: Zoom (to be distributed via Eventbrite)

• Time: 14:15 to 15:45 (BST) / 15:15 to 16:45 (CEST)


The event will be chaired by Professor Mary Stiasny OBE, Pro-Vice Chancellor, International, Learning and Teaching, University of London.

There will be a panel discussion with speakers representing different perspectives of expertise:

  • Jérémy Lachal, Executive Director of Libraries Without Borders
  • Sjur Bergan, Former Head of the Council of Europe's Education Department
  • John Douglass, Senior Research Fellow and Research Professor - Public Policy and Higher Education at the Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE), University of California - Berkeley
  • Minh-Hà Pham, Counsellor for Science and Technology at the French Embassy in the UK