This spring, 12 Rice University students met with counterparts studying in the Middle East at Education City in Doha, Qatar, for the 2012 Public Diplomacy and Global Policymaking Program colloquium. The four-day event featured discussions on topics such as social media and gender, religion, science diplomacy, knowledge-based economies and democracy.
The student-led program culminated in a report that examines the varying opinions expressed by members of both delegations during the trip. Co-authored by all of the Rice participants, the publication contains recommendations for improving communication between people of different nations, as well as conclusions about the critical role of education and the unique abilities of nongovernmental organizations.
The report also communicates the lessons learned at the conference, while demonstrating the potential for "citizen diplomacy," even at the student level.