Democracy & Diplomacy Community to Offer Citizen Diplomacy International

Learning Life is pleased to announce the addition of Citizen Diplomacy International (CDI) to our new Democracy & Diplomacy Community (DDC) starting in January 2023.

CDI will offer DDC members and the interested public an opportunity to learn, network and advance citizen diplomacy (CD) worldwide.  CD can be defined as communication or collaboration among citizens (not government diplomats) across national borders for shared economic, political, cultural, educational, environmental, health, or other purposes.

Due to globalization, the internet, rising education levels, and long-term democratization across the world, CD is growing, and becoming a more important part of diplomacy and international affairs. CDI help connect CD students, scholars and practitioners worldwide to learn from each other, and where possible, foster collaborations to study and/or practice CD.

Learning Life’s founder, Paul Lachelier, launched CDI in June 2020 as the Citizen Diplomacy Research Group (CDRG) under the aegis of the Public Diplomacy Council, now the Public Diplomacy Council of America (PDCA).  The Group’s email list has since grown to over 1,000 students, scholars and practitioners from 108 countries.  Since June 2020, CDRG meetings have been held every two months for 1.5 hours online via Zoom, with each meeting comprised of two presentations of CD research or practice followed by discussion then announcements.  Since October 2020, the CDRG has also published a CD Bulletin with every meeting, offering CD-related news, events, articles, books and resources.  PDCA members will continue to enjoy access to CDRG / CDI meetings, the CD Bulletin, and our growing CD bibliography.

“Learning Life is excited to offer DDC members CDI to broaden our global connections and engagement in some of the cutting edges of diplomacy,” said Lachelier.  “We are also excited to partner with the PDCA, an organization of which I am a proud member, to foster communication and collaboration between citizen diplomats and government diplomats for the public good.”

“The PDCA is pleased to establish this partnership with Learning Life, which sustains our members’ access to international citizen diplomacy meetings and a growing CD bibliography, while developing a new relationship with a nonprofit innovating CD,” PDCA Co-President Sherry Mueller added.

CDRG participants will see these changes starting in January 2023: (1) a change in the name from CDRG to CDI; (2) a switch from the PDCA to Learning Life in the logos affixed at the top of the CD Bulletin, CDRG’s Linkedin and Facebook pages, and all other communications; (3) a move from six to four meetings per year (2023 dates below); and (4) invitations to join the broader DDC for more opportunities to network, learn and advance democracy and citizen diplomacy.  There will likely be more changes and benefits in 2023 as Learning Life continues CDRG’s work to grow and network the expanding global citizen diplomacy sector, but we will save these announcements for later.  

In 2023, CDI meetings will be on these dates and topics:

March 8, 12:00-1:30pm: health diplomacy

June 6, 11:00am-12:30pm: city diplomacy

September 6, 12:00-1:30pm: democratizing and localizing world affairs

December 5, 11:00am-12:30pm: digital diplomacy, or big data, authoritarianism & CD

To get on the CDI meeting email invitation list, send your preferred email address (ideally a non-work address in case you change jobs) to  You can also join the CDRG Facebook group and/or Linkedin group (the names and organizational affiliations of which will change in January 2023, as noted above) to connect with other CD students, scholars and practitioners worldwide, and to share your CD-related articles, books, events, funding, and other items.