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ADDTech 2014 - Frequently Asked Questions

What is ADDTech?
The Aspen Institute Dialogue on Diplomacy and Technology (ADDTech) is a private conference of carefully selected group of prominent leaders from the sometimes disparate worlds of diplomacy and technology. Expert participants from diverse disciplines and viewpoints exchange valuable insights, and develop innovative recommendations to address how new technological tools can be used better for public or citizen diplomacy around the world.

What is the purpose of this website?
This site displays the report resulting from the 2014 Dialogue on Diplomacy and Technology. The series of chapters, written by rapporteur Richard Kessler, captures the insights of the participants during the conference. As social networks and mobile technologies become increasingly more popular among private citizens and the public, the use of technology will continue to alter the landscape of diplomacy. The chapters examine the public diplomatic apparatus of the United States as it builds relationships with foreign governments and societies. This site acts as a dynamic space for viewers to explore the Roundtable content and engage on the topic.

What is the Communications and Society Program?
The Communications and Society Program is an active venue for framing policies and developing recommendations in the information and communications fields. As one of over thirty policy programs at the Aspen Institute, the Program provides a multi-disciplinary space where veteran and emerging decision-makers can develop new approaches and suggestions for communications policy. The Program enables global leaders and experts to explore new concepts, exchange insights, develop meaningful networks, and find personal growth, all for the betterment of society.

The Program’s projects range across many areas of information, communications and media policy. Activities focus on issues of open and innovative governance, public diplomacy, institutional innovation, broadband and spectrum management, as well as the future of content, issues of race and diversity, and the free flow of digital goods, services and ideas across borders.

Who leads the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program?

Charles M. Firestone is executive director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program. Since his appointment in December 1989, the Program has focused on the implications of communications and information technologies for leadership, the impact of new technologies on democratic and social institutions, and the development of new communications policy models and options for the public interest. He was also the Institute's executive vice president for policy programs and international activities from 1997-2000.

Prior to his positions with the Aspen Institute, Mr. Firestone was director of the Communications Law Program at the University of California at Los Angeles and an adjunct professor of law at the UCLA Law School. He was also the first president of the Los Angeles Board of Telecommunications Commissioners, which advises the Mayor and City Council on all regulatory matters relating to the cable and telecommunications fields.

Mr. Firestone's career includes positions as an attorney at the Federal Communications Commission, as director of litigation for a Washington DC public interest law firm, and as a communications and entertainment attorney in Los Angeles. He has argued several landmark communications cases before the United States Supreme Court and other federal appellate courts. Mr. Firestone is the editor or co-author of seven books, including Digital Broadcasting and the Public Interest (The Aspen Institute, 1998) and Television and Elections (The Aspen Institute, 1992), and has written numerous articles on communications law and policy.

He holds degrees from Amherst College and Duke University Law School and resides with his wife, sculptor Pattie Porter Firestone, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Who sponsors ADDTech?
We would like to thank our senior sponsor the Jane and Marc Nathanson Family Foundation for its contribution and Dean Christopher Hill and the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies for their partnership and contribution to this Dialogue.

Who moderates ADDTech?
Charlie Firestone, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, moderates the Dialogue and all other roundtables produced by the Communications and Society Program.

Who are the participants at ADDTech?
Over the years, notable participants have included Madeleine Albright, Alec Ross, Walter Isaacson and Dina Powell, among others.

Can I attend ADDTech?
Participants at the Dialogue are a carefully selected group of prominent leaders from the sometimes disparate worlds of diplomacy and technology to address how new technological tools can be used better for public or citizen diplomacy around the world. Participation at the Diplomacy and Technology conference is by invitation only.

Where does ADDTech take place?
The Dialogue on Diplomacy and Technology takes place at the Aspen Meadows Conference Center in Aspen, Colorado.