Saturday, June 25, 2016

The codes for success in Silicon Valley

Timur Sirt, Daily Sabah

uncaptioned image from article

Intellectual capital, knowledge-based economy and value creation are the key words for Silicon Valley's development. the Global Entrepreneurship Summit that took place from Wednesday to Friday in the U.S. also provided a stage for Turkey's female entrepreneurs who are looking to get a share of the prestige at an international event

Supported by the U.S. president Barack Obama and organized by the Obama administration, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) hosted three successful Turkish women entrepreneurs. Turkey was represented by Başak Taşpınar Değim of armut.coml; Bedriye Hülya, the founder of Blift; and Gökçe Gülcüler with her "Ustamdan" initiative. The summit, organized between June 22 and 24, welcomed entrepreneurs, investors and journalists from all over the world. The founder of, Başak Taşpınar Değim, represented Turkey at the GES+ program; the founder of Bfit, Bedriye Hülya, was the keynote speaker of the second day; and Gökçe Gülcüler, the founder of the Ustamdan project, represented Turkey as a social entrepreneur. Secretary of State John Kerry joined the second-day event, expressing his congratulations to all the entrepreneurs attending.
Every 95 of 100 entrepreneurs fail
There are around 1,773 entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and California, and about 95 percent fail in receiving investment. Executives in San Francisco and Silicon Valley said that only 5 percent of entrepreneurs are successful in receiving investment.
Social entrepreneurship fixes problems
Some American universities have created solutions for developing countries and information technology is a great tool to spread solutions all over the world. US Department of State Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel offered insights about the GES 2016 event, first begun with the support of the Obama administration in 2009, and said they have begun to see the results in entrepreneurship around the world. When journalists pointed out the similarities between the motivations of entrepreneurs and journalists, and stated our hope that social entrepreneurship might lead to a more livable world, Stengel said, "I worked as a journalist for many years before taking up this position in the U.S. Department of State. We believe that we are investing in society by supporting entrepreneurship. The state should contribute to building the necessary ecosystem, but it also should stay out of it. People should contribute to build a life style of a good quality through civil organizations and social entrepreneurship."

The British establishment didn't think 'Brexit' could win, but it did. Here's why.

Ann M. Simmons,

Image from article, with caption: A young couple painted as EU flags protest outside Downing Street in London. They opposed Britain's decision to leave the EU.

Britons have always had a level of Euro-skepticism and those campaigning to remain in the European Union simply failed to push the positive, experts said.
“The whole 'remain' campaign got mired in the negative,” said Nicholas Cull, a professor of public diplomacy at USC. “But it’s bigger than the campaign. In terms of public diplomacy, the European Union failed to communicate and did not do enough to remind us of the European Dream. The European Dream was about learning to work together and about celebrating our differences, and about moving forward in peace, and about being better because our connections.” ...

Refugee Athletes Team Up for 2016 Olympics in Rio

uncaptioned image from entry
Jun 23, 2016
The International Olympic Committee has created the first-ever “Refugee Olympic Team” set to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics this August. Comprised of 10 athletes from Africa and the Middle East—including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Syria—this historic team was created as a symbol of hope to bring attention to the refugee crisis. While all of these athletes have fled poverty or war, not all of the refugees were competitive athletes, some were “newly discovered at refugee camps.” With nearly 60 million people displaced in 2015, this video [see] is a powerful reminder of the power of public diplomacy to both raise awareness of global issues and to convene people in dialogue. 

Quotable: Jacob Olidort on the influence of jihadist ideas

Thursday, June 23rd 2016
“Being prepared and agile in the face of the new global jihadist threat requires a fundamental reorientation of our analytical, operational and bureaucratic resources.”  This reorientation was the focus of an essay, “After ISIS: A Smarter Way to Fight Radicalization,” in the National Interest on June 21, 2106.  In it, Jacob Olidort, a Soref Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, also noted, “To effectively address today's terrorist threat, we must begin by acknowledging the unique ways in which jihadism propels violence, and proceed by assessing where Western states have real strengths and real vulnerabilities in their approaches.”  Some bullet points:

  • Last week's tragic attack in an Orlando nightclub once again underscores the resonance of the Islamic State's message for seemingly unaffiliated individuals around the world. However, it also brings to light the real challenge of measuring and dealing with the influence of jihadist ideas . . .

  • While defeating Islamic State should be on the counterterrorism agenda for the next administration, the real objective should be to adequately meet the challenge of twenty-first-century global jihadism.

  • Being prepared and agile in the face of the new global jihadist threat requires a fundamental reorientation of our analytical, operational and bureaucratic resources.

  • . . . it is clear that our war is not just against terror but principally against the jihadist ideas that inspire it.

  • . . . the policy community has not taken the power of jihadist ideas seriously. Indeed, this is clear from the U.S. government's floundering Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs and reinforced in a recent Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council report recommending not using words such as "jihad" and "sharia" for fear of fomenting an "us versus them" narrative. The jihadist threat can only be addressed honestly and thoroughly if we care to understand the power that jihadist ideas wield in propelling violent actions. Jihadism repackages traditional concepts to exploit political circumstances in the Middle East. It is when jihadist ideas do so convincingly that they quickly transform into a kinetic physical threat.

  • Our military successes today are the key to undoing the appeal of Islamic State. It is these victories that we can market in our messaging, and it is these depictions of defeat that make Islamic State most vulnerable.

  • . . . the single consistent dynamic we have failed to appreciate as far as our counterterrorism optic goes is the power of ideas -- specifically, how widely, deeply and permanently they can be distributed. In the age of social media, we have a much wider landscape of where ideas are transmitted and by whom.

  • Ideas are not Newtonian physics, for which every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The insistence by some communities in government operating within the CVE or "counter-radicalization" space that this is the case is, at best, the result of naïve altruism and, at worst, of hubristic ignorance.

  • Whatever the reason, our budget and national security cannot afford to invest resources into mere bureaucratic back-patting as things currently stand. Once we move away from this action/reaction approach, we can begin to understand the truly distinguishing feature of how ideas can influence individuals to independently radicalize.

  • At its core, the policy conversation on CVE is informed by flawed assumptions that understate the power of ideas. Examples of this include the talking points of consulting clinicians; "off-ramping" or slowly taking individuals off the proverbial highway towards radicalization, as is established practice with weaning individuals away from substance abuse; and "trust building" with local communities, through initiatives such as interfaith events and community-oriented activities.

  • Make no mistake: these are all important initiatives as ends in and of themselves. However, they all imply that jihadist ideas are not an explanation.

  • . . . the single root cause of the unique face of jihadist radicalization today [is] the promise of heroism in the battlefields of Islam.

Distinguishing features of jihadism in the 21st century:

  • Social media mobility. * * * social media will not only be the stage on which jihadist screenplays are acted out, but also where new jihadist playwrights and directors will emerge.

  • Territorial causes. * * * increasingly the attacks on the far enemy (the United States, Europe) will be justified in the name of localized and territorially bound causes.

  • Appeal to youth and provision of non-fighting opportunities. One unique feature of ISIS is its appeal among a distinctly young demographic. Indeed, it is the promise of not only battlefield victory and martyrdom but also, ironically, a case for a better and more "Islamic" life in the territories under their control that they promise to new recruits. We need to be mindful of the unique ways in which ideas are not only married to causes, but also packaged for a specific consumer base: youth seeking opportunities for advancement.

  • Technological terrorism. Because of the distinctly young demographic of future fighters, the terrorist threats they will pose will take place on technological platforms and spaces that they master. These include not only hacking, but also cyber warfare and nefarious uses of mobile apps, among others. Cyber security will increasingly be the first line of defense in preserving national security.

  • . . . a pro-regional strategy to counterterrorism would link our conversation on domestic radicalization to planning for political stability in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, and would better prepare us for the day-after scenario once ISIS is ultimately downsized to being just another militia.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Public Diplomacy Scholar Nicholas Cull on Brexit (via facebook)

Stunned by the events of the 24 hours. Making much use of my Facebook 'sad' button. I've already done an interview with the LA Times and I'm part of a round-table on KPCC at 11 am. I feel that the internationalist values which are integral to the best aspects of public diplomacy have taken a terrible blow. We live in a world in which the fantasy of making my own country great again -- be it the Trump's US, Putin's Russia, Xi's China, Abe's Japan -- has displaced the idea of working together to make ALL humanity great for the first time.

Press Releases: Remarks at the Opening of the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit

By Newsroom America Feeds at 23 Jun 15:42; see also.

image from

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Stanford University Memorial Auditorium
Stanford, California
July 6, 2016

My thanks to Rick Stengel, the State Department’s point person for public diplomacy, and to Charlie Rivkin – he’s one of our top voices in the State Department on economic and business affairs – for their vision in helping to organize this GES, and to Ambassador David Thorne for his role in helping us to take this message out on a global basis. ...
I want to particularly thank our hosts here at Stanford, a learning institution that so embodies this area’s tradition of innovation that President John Hennessy is known as the godfather of Silicon Valley. ...
We need you to establish your businesses with two frames in mind: to create new products, yes, and do well, yes, turn a profit, help your local community certainly, but also to tackle the enormous global challenges that we face. And in the end – of all the problems that we face, I just want to narrow this down for you to think about it in the context of your meetings in the next days and of what you decide to do when you go out of here and take what you’ve learned or pursue your dream. I want you to think about these interconnected challenges.
The first is violent extremism and the emergence of radical non-state actors who have no agenda outside of the frustrations that they exploit, the bigotry that they espouse, and the conflicts that they inflame. ...
Our second challenging, literally growing in urgency every single day, is to preserve the health of our planet in the face of climate change and other environmental dangers. ...
Now, our third generational challenge is tied to the first two. It is to improve overall governance capacity all over the world so that leaders everywhere fight corruption, so they earn public confidence and inspire unity and a sense of vision. ...
And you may not realize it, but you also provide a highly visible and very effective rebuttal to the propaganda of violent extremist groups. Because your optimism provides an alternative to their nihilism. Because you’re trying to build the brighter future that in fact these folks are determined to prevent. Because you are living a narrative of modern civilization and progress that is diametrically opposed to the dark worldview of Daesh and its ilk, the very enemies of civilization itself. ...
So these are our shared challenges, my friends, as you gather here for two days of total input and stimulation and listen to our common calls to action. These are the areas where we can and must be partners. And it is for these reasons among many more that the Obama Administration has made supporting you, supporting entrepreneurs, a top priority in our diplomacy and foreign policy. ...
[L]ed by Ambassador Thorne, we’ve sent teams of public and private sector leaders on innovation roadshows across Asia to strengthen ties and support new business formation in critical and fast-growing regions. ...
GES is about daring. It’s about knowing your power to change the world – and then acting on it. It’s about leading our planet towards a future of prosperity, peace, and progress. And I look forward to joining with you and all of you as we realize that vision in the years ahead.
The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

India to host US govt’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit next year

Samidha Sharma,

image (not from article) from

Palo Alto, California: US President Barack Obama's flagship foreign policy programme which he launched six years ago is coming to India next year. The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) centres around promoting economic growth, inclusion, and opportunities among entrepreneurs from across the world, with a special focus on emerging nations from Africa and Asia.

Recognizing the importance of fostering and enabling environment for innovation and empowering entrepreneurs, the United States welcomes India's hosting of the 2017 GES, a press statement from the White House said. This comes at a time when India's thriving startup ecosystem has gotten a further push with the local government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's active support of the entrepreneurship ecosystem via initiatives like Startup India.

While addressing a select media group, Richard Stengel, under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, said on the sidelines of GES 2016, that even with a regime change at Washington DC later this year, the annual event will continue having gained momentum over the years. "Entrepreneurship is such an American idea whoever the next president or administration is fostering entrepreneurialism is something anybody would support. The fact that 2017 is already on the cards is a big thing. The foundation is so strong and robust that it will continue. It's a win-win proposition." Stengel told TOI that the impact
measurement of GES is something the US government is looking to do going forward.

India's answer to GES, was held in January this year when Modi unveiled his government's ambitious project 'Startup India' in Delhi with the charter of encouraging the youth to "be job creators, not job seekers[.]"

Being held at the Stanford University campus this year, GES has picked as many as 700 entrepreneurs, among them are Uber's cofounder Travis Kalanick and Airbnb's Brian Chesky, along with 300 investors who will be representing 170 countries. The first day of the summit was devoted to emerging youth and women entrepreneurs, in a smaller event known as GES+.On the first day of GES, which focussed on women and youth entrepreneurs, computer maker Dell along with data analytics company, IHS unveiled a report of the 25 best cities globally for women founders based on parameters like availability of capital, technology, talent, culture and markets. Delhi ranked 22nd on the list of cities which have most successfully been able to attract startups founded by women with New York, the Bay Area, London, Stockholm and Singapore forming the top five.

(The writer is in Silicon Valley to cover GES 2016 on an invitation from the US government)