Geneva Engage2019-02-14T09:42:50+00:00


Geneva Engage Award ceremony

Photos from the conference

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What ?

Geneva Engage is a two-day conference about e-participation. It is part of a process of research and innovation, aimed at increasing the engagement of International Geneva with communities worldwide.

The Geneva Engage conference is organised by DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform, in co-operation with the Republic and State of Geneva, the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva and the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Why ?

There is a need to foster effective links between International Geneva and communities worldwide that are affected by climate change, migration, human rights, trade, and other policies discussed and negotiated in Geneva.

The availability of the Internet in conference rooms introduces the possibility of more inclusive and open global governance. E-participation can contribute to more effective implementation of the SDGs by ensuring that policies and initiatives are owned by as wide and diverse a community base as possible.

How ?

Geneva engaged illustration
Engage Here

Engagement in Geneva-based policy processes can be fostered through the innovative use of e-participation tools.

Most of us experience e-participation by using, for example, Skype chat. Some organisations use highly sophisticated teleconferencing tools. The wide range of tools and methods is summarised in this e-participation illustration. You can help shape the Geneva Engage discussion by adding comments directly on this illustration (visual discussion) or via e-mail.


All times are in Central European Time (GMT+1)

Day One – 27 January

11.00 11.30


11.30 11.45

Welcome address by | Video

  • Ambassador Alexandre Fasel, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations in Geneva | Speech
  • Olivier Coutau, Delegate for International Geneva, Republic and State of Geneva | Speech
  • Jovan Kurbalija, Director of DiploFoundation and Head of Geneva Internet Platform
11.45 12.10

Keynote address and presentation of awards

  • Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) | Video | Speech
12.10 13:00

Geneva Engage Award to the most effective users of social media among Geneva Missions, International Organisations and NGOs | Video

Why are we so good? Highlights, tips and tricks from the four winners (Geneva eStars) | Video

  • Thomas Wagner, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of France to the UN
  • Dave Drodge, Head of Digital, World Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF) | Presentation
  • Sari Setiogi, Head, Media Monitoring and Social Media, World Health Organisation (WHO) | Presentation
  • Ilaria Paolazzi, Policy and Programme Manager, Child Rights Connect
13.00 14.00

Lunch break

14.00 14.20

Introductions, greetings, and informal networking

14.20 14.40

Why are we so good? Highlights, tips and tricks.

  • Richard Boly, Mind The Bridge Foundations and  Former Director of the US Office of eDiplomacy | Video
14.40 16.00

How can we implement remote participation well?

What can we learn from the experience of key players in the Internet governance process? Contributors from the ITU, ICANN, the IGF Secretariat and the Internet Society

  • Luis Bobo, Associate Information Systems Offices Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) | Presentation
  • Nigel Hickson, Vice President, Global Stakeholder Engagement, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numers (ICANN)
  • Edmund Tam, Head, Conference Technology Support Division, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • Todd Tolbert, Senior Director of Information Technology, Internet Society | Video
16.00 16.15

Coffee break

16.15 17.30

How can we implement remote participation well? What to do when it goes wrong – stories of disaster and recovery

Peer assist workshop: participant questions addressed in small groups

  • Designing events for persons with disabilities | Derrick Cogburn, Executive Director of the Institute on Disability and Public Policy, American University | Video
  • Designing large events and preparing effective remote moderation | Diplo e-participation team
  • What to do when it goes wrong – stories of disaster and recovery | Diplo e-participation team

Feedback & questions | Introduction to the agenda of Day Two agenda

Day Two – 28 January

09.00 09.10

Introduction of the Second Day

09.15 09.40

Why are we so good?

E-diplomacy highlights, tips and tricks

  • Stefano Baldi, Training Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy
09.40 11.20

How can we implement remote participation well?

Speed geek format: knowledge exchange on key questions for engaging remote participants

  • Fabrice Boudou, Director of Information Technology, World Trade Organization
  • Rolf Landua, Head of Education and Public Outreach, CERN
  • Edmund Tam, Head of Conference Technology Support Division, International Telecommunication Union

Discussion questions: What support exists for e-participation, in Geneva and online? How can we share resources and experience? How to manage multilingual participation?

11.20 12.20

Widening e-participation

Sharing ways to make remote participation more inclusive

  • Ilaria Paolazzi, Policy and Programme Manager, Child Rights Connect
12.20 13.00

Deepening e-participation Digital storytelling

  • Kuno Schläfli, Head of Knowledge and Learning Division, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
13.00 14.00


14.00 15.15

Deepening participation

  • Nnenna Nwakanma, Africa Regional Coordinator,  World Wide Web Foundation
  • Isabelle Gattiker, Director General of International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH)
  • Kuno Schläfli, Head of Knowledge and Learning Division, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
  • Roland Schatz, Founder and CEO of Media Tenor International AG
  • Jevan Zan, Founder Metazone – Singapore

Discussion questions Knowledge cafe format, gathering views on three key questions: How to transport/convey emotion and power in messages through e-participation? How can broadcast and mass media deepen e-participation? How can remote participants share in the kind of informal exchanges that make face-to-face events so special? How can Twitter help deepen remote participation?

15.15 15.35

Coffee break

15.35 16.30

Inclusiveness & e-participation in pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals

  • Carolina Rodriguez, Coordinator of Perception Change Project, United Nations Office at Geneva
16.30 17.00

Concluding discussion and the way forward for Geneva Engage

  • What (have we learned)?
  • So what (does it matter)?
  • Now what (do we do)?


Geneva engaged award

Geneva Engage Award

The Geneva Engage Award was conferred in three categories: permanent missions, international organisations, and non-governmental actors.

The selection for the award is based on the Geneva Social Media Index (GSMI), which promotes innovative and effective use of social media. You can consult the GSMI Award Report. 

Below you will see the short-listed candidates in these three main categories.

The Top 10 International and non-governmental organisations


Activity, Reception, Total Score (represented by size) and the Production indicator (represented by color), for all 44 NGOs.

  • World Wide Fund for Nature (@wwf)
  • World Council of Churches (@Oikoumene)
  • Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (@gavi)
  • Global Fund (@globalfund)
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (@IUCN)
  • World Economic Forum (@wef)
  • Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (@GAINalliance)
  • International Center for Transitional Justice (@theICTJ)
  • Internet Society (@InternetSociety)
  • Green Cross International (@GreenCrossInt)

The Top 10 Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Geneva


Activity, Reception, Total Score (represented by size) and the Production indicator (represented by color), for all 48 missions.

  • France (@FranceONUGeneve)
  • Switzerland (@swiss_un)
  • European Union (@EU_UNGeneva)
  • India (@IndiaUNGeneva)
  • United States of America (@USmissionGeneva)
  • Albania (@AlMissionUNGen)
  • Denmark (@DKUNmisgva)
  • Russia (@mission_russian)
  • Maldives (@MVMissionGVA)
  • Finland (@FinlandGeneva)

The Top 10 Intergovernmental Organisations in International Geneva


Activity, Reception, Total Score (represented by size) and the Production indicator (represented by color), for all 43 IOs.

  • World Health Organization (@who)
  • United Nations Information Centre (@UNGeneva)
  • United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (@unaids)
  • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (@Refugees)
  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (@unrightswire)
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (@Federation)
  • United Nations Foundation (@unfoundation)
  • International Labour Organization (@ilo)
  • International Telecommunication Union (@itu)
  • United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (@unocha)

About E-participation


Consult the E-diplomacy Library

DiploFoundation has been a pioneer in this emerging field over the last 20 years. Here you can access books, articles, and blogs on e-diplomacy, prepared by Diplo’s lecturers, researchers, and students.

Read more
Internet guide for diplomats

First Internet Guide for Diplomats

Internet Guide for Diplomats (Baldi and Kurbalija) was published in 2000 as the first guide aimed to assist diplomats and others involved in international affairs to use the Internet in their work.

Read more
twitter for diplomats

Twitter for Diplomats

Twitter for Diplomats (Andreas Sandre) is not a manual, or a list of what to do or not to do. It is rather a collection of information, anecdotes, and experiences.

Read more
history of e-participation

Ancient History of E-participation

On 7 October 1963, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organised the first e-participation session in multilateral diplomacy.

Read more
development in e-diplomacy

Capacity Development in E-diplomacy

E-diplomacy, for states and international organisations, requires a new set of skills, organisational changes, and innovative ways of approaching global policy.

Read more
diplomatic reporting

Diplomatic Reporting in the Internet Era

Read more


world map

The registrations are now closed. Follow us next year for 5th Geneva Engage Award.