By Maya Babla
LOS ANGELES – Sesame Workshop has 30 international co-productions with 120 other localized versions of the program. Episodes of the local Sesame Street are broadcast around the world, addressing issues ranging from religious tolerance in Pakistan to health and hygiene in Bangladesh. Sesame Workshop provides a top-notch creative model for addressing the Millennium Development Goals, and for conducting public diplomacy. But the real significance of this program is that it appropriates the power of citizen diplomacy to the youngest of the youth population.
In a country like India, with 160 million children under the age of six, this is no small feat, and it’s a unique means of empowering a new generation of citizen diplomats. Continue reading
Posted in Aid Diplomacy, Citizen Diplomacy, Public Diplomacy
Tagged education, international broadcasting, mobiles, Patricia Harrison, Qualcomm, Sashwati Banerjee, Sesame Workshop, Shari Rosenfeld, USAID
By Jerry Edling
LOS ANGELES – India has been described as a land of contradictions, a place that assaults the senses with all the colorful vehemence of a Bollywood dance. The world’s largest democracy is a collage of brilliant hues and stark contrast, which makes it all the more ironic that India’s image as a world player is somewhat hazy and its public diplomacy is still a bit unformed. Philip Seib of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, in a blog published in December of 2010, wrote,
“In many respects, this exotic, chaotic country remains geopolitically undefined. … More and more, India is a significant player in world affairs, and yet it lacks a consistent profile that it can present to the rest of the world.”
Perhaps the problem is that while India has made great strides in defining its character and image, it has yet to define its role as a player in the world. That’s a subtle but important distinction. The central question is not what India is but what it can become.