Public Diplomacy in Asia – Conference Preview

Partner contribution – Is people-to-people diplomacy the future of international relations in today’s hyper-connected world? How might states tap into the growing influence wielded by non-state actors and, together with state-driven initiatives, enrich the tapestry of relations between nations?

To celebrate 30 years of building people-to-people ties, the SIF will host Singapore’s first-ever Public Diplomacy in Asia conference from July 26 – 30, 2021. The online event is organised in partnership with the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy, and will bring together 40 public diplomacy (PD) experts from 15 countries, representing the private, public, and people sectors. The discussions over five days will center on public diplomacy policy and practice in Asia, and feature the launch of Winning Hearts and Minds: Public Diplomacy in ASEAN.

The conference will examine how Asian nations – both state and non-state actors – engage global publics to deepen mutual understanding and engender trust among citizens and nations, contributing to the study of cultural, development, and digital diplomacy. It will also highlight the evolving roles of youth, business, and cities in international relations.

In addition to engaging in thought-provoking discussions, conference guests will also be able to network with fellow attendees and meet with SIF’s volunteers – Singaporean volunteers who play the role of Citizen Ambassadors – and overseas friends and partners who enable our work. A total of seven “Kopitiam” and “Human Library” sessions are interwoven into the programme to allow conference delegates to network with one another and build meaningful connections.

They can also visit a virtual exhibition to learn more about public diplomacy organisations operating in Asia and beyond, as well as experience a slice of Singapore life through a set of curated videos at “Gateway to Singapore”.

We welcome interested persons to register to attend via

Conference Program

Engage in thought-provoking discussions with our panel of 40 public diplomacy practitioners and experts as they weigh in on public diplomacy policy and practices in Asia.

Tap on expert opinions from speakers such as:

  • Dr Nima Asgari-Jirhandeh, Director, Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, World Health Organization
  • Dr Corneliu Bjola, Associate Professor in Diplomatic Studies, University of Oxford
  • Dr Nicholas Cull, Professor of Public Diplomacy, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California
  • Dr Dino Patti Djalal, Founder and Chairman, Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia and Former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia
  • Mr Ridwan Kamil, Governor of West Java
  • Dr Lee Geun, President, Korea Foundation
  • Dr Megumi Muto, Vice President, Japan International Cooperation Agency
  • Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, Chairman, Singapore International Foundation
  • Tan Sri Michael Yeoh, President, KSI Strategic Institute for the Asia Pacific
  • Professor Zhao Kejin, Professor and Chair, Department of International Relations, Tsinghua University

The full list of speakers can be viewed here.

The conference will also feature the launch of Winning Hearts and Minds: Public Diplomacy in ASEAN – the first-ever compilation on public diplomacy in Southeast Asia, which attendees will receive first access to.

View the conference agenda to plan your experience.

Public Diplomacy in Asia 2021

Participate in discussions across different forms of public diplomacy, such as cultural, development, digital, health and business diplomacy; and have close-up engagement with public diplomacy practitioners and experts from Asia through live Q&As and networking sessions.

Sign up today at

Public Diplomacy in Asia 2021 is organised by The Singapore International Foundation

The Singapore International Foundation makes friends for a better world. Our journey over the last 30 years, has taken us to more than 28 countries and impacted  nearly 16 million lives. We do this by bringing Singaporeans and world communities together to uplift lives and effect positive change.

Our work is anchored in the belief that cross-cultural interactions provide insights that strengthen mutual understanding. These exchanges often inspire action and enable collaborations for good. Our programmes have brought diverse communities together to share ideas, skills and experiences in areas such as healthcare, education, arts and culture, as well as livelihood and business.

We do this because we believe we all can, and should, do our part to build a better world, one we envision as peaceful, inclusive and offering opportunities for all.

TPBO supports the event as media partner. More stories and insights on public diplomacy


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