2019 Agenda

Day One – April 23, 2019

6:00 – 8:00 PM Welcome Reception and Registration (Diplomatic Academy)

Day Two: April 24, 2019

9:00 – 10:00 – Welcome Tea & Introduction

  • Katharine Eltz-Aulitzky,Executive Director, The American Austrian Foundation
  • Monroe Price,Annenberg School for Communication University of Pennsylvania
  • Ambassador Emil Brix, Director, Diplomatic Academy
  • Amelia Arsenault, Senior Advisor, Public Diplomacy Research and Evaluation Unit, US Department of State

10:00 – 11:45 Session 1: Institutions Adjust or At Least Try—Breaking the Cold Hand of Inertia

While regulation evokes immediate associations with law and policy solutions, this panel, and this seminar, takes a broader approach, considering legal, social, technological, and other avenues taken to ameliorate the complex array of social problems wrought by contemporary media vis-à-vis international relations. Representatives from academia, diplomacy, and journalism will set the stage for the ensuing panels. Panelists will articulate the key challenges that today’s complex media system pose for contemporary international relations with a particular focus on assessing the range of solutions put forward among different communities of practice. These presentations will provide a starting point, a chance to bring the diverse Milton Wolf audience into the conversation about competing approaches to improving the role of media, old and new, in international relations.

  • Monroe Price, Professor, Annenberg School for Communication University of Pennsylvania (Chair)
  • James Pamment, Head of department at Department of Strategic Communication, Lund University, Head Researcher for the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency’s (MSB)
  • Peter Guschelbauer, Head, Department of Press and Information; Spokesperson of the Austrian Federal Minister Karin Kneissl and of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs
  • Jim Rutenberg, Media Editor, New York Times
  • Amelia Arsenault, Senior Advisor, Public Diplomacy Research and Evaluation Unit, US Department of State

11:45 – 1.15  Welcoming Lunch

1:15 – 3:00 Session 2: Beyond the Demands of Skirmishing: Legal Norms and International Challenges

In 2011, internet freedom and the right to communicate dominated Milton Wolf discussions about new media’s role in international relations. Less than a decade later, it appears that freedom of expression and information access questions have taken a backseat to discussions about how to curb election interference and misinformation, disinformation, and computational propaganda. This session focuses on the transnational implications of recent legal and policy attempts to regulate domestic media in the name of promoting societal stability. Panelists will discuss an array of legal architectures put forward in different countries, with particular attention to the implications of these efforts for international and domestic norms of freedom of expression and access to information.

  • Emil Brix, Director, Diplomatic Academy (Chair)
  • Daniel Bill Opio, Executive Director, Cyber Law Initiative (CyberLine)
  • Andrei Rikhter, Senior Advisor, Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
  • Emma Goodman, Policy Officer, Media Policy Project, LSE

3:15 – 5:00 Session 3: Shutdowns, Intranets, and Moderation: The Internet and Jurisdiction

The question of immunity of the platform for material placed on it by third parties is now more heavily disputed. The duty of the platform operator to moderate—to establish and enforce standards—is a matter of increasing significance. This is an intense and revealing moment as various governments including the United States, the European Union (and countries within it), the United Kingdom, China, Russia, Pakistan, etc. invent and alter governance arrangements. This panel focuses on the utility and dangers inherent in national attempts to shape media and communications flows for international relations.

  • Tina Freyburg, Professor of Comparative Politics in the School of Economics and Political Science at the University of St.Gallen (Chair and Panelist)
  • Jared Shurin, Strategy Director,M&C Saatchi
  • Julie Owono, Executive Director, Internet Without Borders (Internet Sans Frontières)

Day Three: April 25, 2019

9:00 – 10:00 Coffee and Conversation with the 2019 Emerging Scholars

Supporting junior scholars is a key part of the Milton Wolf Seminar.  Please join us for a morning coffee and a lively roundtable discussion features our 2019 Emerging Scholar Fellows.  They will discuss their research and how it relates to the 2019 Seminar theme.

  • Amelia Arsenault, Senior Advisor, US Department of State (Chair)
  • Phillip Arceneaux, PhD Student, University of Florida
  • Jimil Ataman, MA Student, School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
  • Zahraa Badr, MA Student, Cairo University
  • Bea Bierlein, MA Student, University of Stuttgart
  • Lauren Bridges, PhD Student, Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Josh Cowls, PhD Student, Oxford University
  • Connor Donnan, PhD Student, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania
  • Kevan Feshami, PhD Student, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Brian Hughes, PhD Student, American University
  • Yin Lu, PhD Student, Oxford University
  • Christopher Magoon,  MD Student, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Mariela Morales, PhD Student, Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Maria Skouras, PhD Student, University of Texas, Austin
  • Qun Wang, PhD Student, Rutgers University
  • Anna Young, PhD Student, University of Connecticut

10:15– 12:00  Session 4: Strengthening Independent and Traditional Media

In the wake of information warfare efforts, fake news, election interference and computational propaganda, the focus is too-often on assessing how to regulate and restrict digital activity. Panelists in this session will explore a wide variety of efforts to strengthen traditional media both in terms of supply (i.e. traditional media platforms) and demand (i.e. media literacy). Topics for discussion include how to reimagine public service broadcasting to fight these challenges, attempts to track and limit fake news, and media literacy efforts.

  • Michael Freund, Journalist, Der Standard (Chair)
  • Victor Pickard, Associate Professor of Communication, Co-director, Media, Inequality, and Change CenterAnnenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
  • Karolin Schwarz,Founder,Hoaxmap
  • Ravi Prasad,Director of Advocacy, IPI
  • Andras Petho,Co-Founder, Direkt36

12:00 – 1:15 Lunch

1:15 – 3:00  Session 5: Activism and Sites of Resistance

NGOS and activists play critical roles in the contemporary debates, often speaking truth to power and raising awareness about the social justice implications of different governmental, legal, and technological attempts at normalizing media flows within and between national borders. This panel features activists and academics working on these issues in the international arena.

  • Todd Wolfson,AssociateProfessor,Rutgers University, Co-director, Media, Inequality, and Change Center (Chair and respondent)
  • Wafa Ben-Hassine,Access Now MENA Policy Counsel
  • Lina Dencik,Director Data Justice Lab, Cardiff University
  • Jillian York,Director for International Freedom of Expression, Electronic Frontier Foundation

3:15 – 5:00 Session 6: Digital Propaganda: Digital Problems, Digital Solutions?

Even a few years ago discussions about the role of the internet in international relations centered on the tension between a so-called Western ethos heralding the free flow of information and opponents like China and Russia advocating information sovereignty. Exponential increases in cross-border election interference, computational propaganda, and fake news have upended this bi-polarity. States that once heralded the free flow of information are wrestling with the need to combat information warfare from abroad even as they continue diplomatic interactions. This panel will look at digital solutions to these digital problems. It features representatives from research and technology companies, think tanks, and governments working on innovative solutions to these issues.

  • Victor Pickard, Associate Professor of Communication, Co-director, Media, Inequality, and Change CenterAnnenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania (Chair)
  • Anastasia Mark,Director of Product, Thresher
  • Franak Viacorka,Research Media Analyst, US Agency for Global Media
  • Mike Hull,President, Psiphon,
  • Nika Aleksejeva,Digital Researcher (DFR Lab), Atlantic Council