The Economic Times: 21st Century Statecraft to shape our future: Alec Ross, Hillary Clinton's former advisor for innovation

April 17th, 2013

The Economic Times
By Delshad Irani
17 Apr, 2013

Not too long ago, Alec RossRoss quit his job as the senior advisor for innovation to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But he is perhaps still the most active supporter of 21st Century Statecraft.

For those of us not familiar with the term, Ross explains, “21st Century Statecraft complements traditional foreign policy tools with newly innovated and adapted instruments that fully leverage networks, technologies, and demographics of our interconnected world.”

In other words, use 21st century tools of communication and technology for government business and initiatives, homeland and abroad. “It’s about bringing new approaches to the centuries old practice of diplomacy,” says Ross.

During his time at the State Department, the 42-year-old often dubbed Clinton’s tech guru was featured on several power lists in international publications — the Top 10 game changers, innovators, influencers, et cetera.

Why? Ross and his team developed a bold innovation agenda, a set of new diplomatic practices for the Obama administration. It called for diplomacy to adapt to a fast changing environment. But the initiative he is most proud of so far is the Internet Freedom agenda.

Ross says, “Human rights in the physical world need to extend to online. We made this a major foreign policy issue.” And the agenda was born at a particularly significant hour in human history. There is a big shift in global power.

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