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'The Che Guevara of 21st Century is the Network'

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, November 19 2010

Photo credit: phill.d

That statement, and the rest of today's PdF LatAm talk by Alec Ross, the State Department's* Senior Advisor on Innovation, about the State Department's so-called "21st Century Statecraft" approach to the U.S.'s diplomatic and development work around the work, has sparked some spirited conversation both in the audiotorium in Santiago's Telefónica building and on the conference's Twitter stream.

We're working on grabbing the video of the talk and otherwise rounding out the conversation, but in the meantime, do dip into the Twitter stream for a good taste of the debate, though with the caveat that Ross was on stage, and not mixing it up on the backchannel. Ross's talk and the discussion that is rippling from it is a fascinating glimpse at what happens when the United States Department of State takes their tech-aware orientation on what they do out into the world, particularly to this part of the world, one where the name "Che Guevara" evokes passions and that is far from a blank slate when it comes to creativity in U.S. foreign policy.

*See this disclosure about the working relationship between Personal Democracy Forum and the State Department.