As the West faces a crisis of confidence in its narratives about democracy, media and the liberal global order, the Milton Wolf Seminar 2017 will examine the historical legacy and prospects for learning from one past Western effort at addressing the future through a political project: The Marshall Plan. This week, leading scholars, policymakers and journalists will gather in Vienna to discuss 'The Yearning for Transformative Visions' in the West today. Newpolcom's Ben O'Loughlin will speak about how narratives for transformative visions could be projected amid today's global information flows. Joining Ben will be Jim Rutenberg, Media Editor at the New York Times; Anja Kaspersen, Head of Strategic Engagement and New Technologies, International Red Cross; Andrei Richter, Professor, Senior Advisor, Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media; and Michael Freund, former head of Media Studies at Webster University, journalist at Der Standard, and board member at the Marshall Foundation.
The Marshall Plan unfolded in a world of nation states defined by clearly demarcated (if contested) physical territories. Ben and the other speakers will explore the complex and multifaceted role of new technologies in the articulation of grand narratives for society. The distributed and multi-modal global information system is a central battlefield in the war of contemporary visions. The debate will explore how communication technologies provide new pathways for the promulgation of and resistance to grand narratives as well as new developments in legal, technical, and social dimensions of public diplomacy and propaganda surrounding those narratives.
The Milton Wolf Seminar is an annual gathering organised by the Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania. Past participants from newpolcom include Dr. Cristian Vacarri and emerging scholars Dr. Billur Aslan, Dr. Gwenyth Wang, and Dr. Joanna Szostek.