Last January Clingendael Academy partnered up with the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) to provide a two-day digital workshop on Crisis Communication. ASEF is an intergovernmental organization that was founded in 1996. Its main task is to bring the societies of Asia and Europe together by facilitating interactions between different actors from their respective countries. It now has 53 Partners, including the European Union and the ASEAN. For this Clingendael training ASEF brought together 19 diplomats from different European and Asian countries to face a variety of different (diplomatic) crises.
Trial by crisis
Through interactive lectures participants were introduced to different concepts from crisis management and crisis communication theory. They also learned how to assign roles in their crisis management teams and to quickly respond via different means to the media. Still, the best way to learn about crises, how your team interacts under (time) pressure and how to apply theory is really to experience a crisis firsthand.
Broadcasting live from our Clingendael studios in The Hague to places as far as Singapore, China and Japan, our trainers therefore subjected the participants to a wide variety of different (diplomatic) crises. These ranged from helicopter crashes involving embassy staff, bomb threats and even a full multiprong cyber-attack. The teams were put under extreme time constraint, creating a virtual pressure cooker for each crisis throughout the 2-days. By the end of the training this trial by crisis definitely helped strengthen the bonds between diplomats from Asia and Europe, who are now better equipped to meet the challenges of the future together.
For more on ASEF, be sure to check their website.