Mobile Future

A World of eDiplomacy

In recent years, we’ve grown accustomed to using our phones to make dinner reservations, buy movie tickets, find our way around town and stay connected to our friends on our favorite social networking sites.

Sending a text, downloading a new app or playing a game are ways that we use our phones everyday to improve our lives, and the U.S. State Department has taken notice. The State Department is now using this technology as a tool to promote its mission of fostering diplomacy around the globe.

A recent article on the Washington Post’s Post Tech details the efforts being taken by the State Department:

In Congo, e-mails and text messages are being used to warn women and children of attacking rebels nearby. In sub-Saharan Africa, text messages are instructing people how to take HIV medications. In Iran, an online video from President Obama to Iranians on their new year went viral.

The State Department is taking the technology we use to stay connected to discourage violence, promote mobile banking and build bridges among nations. And though this is an innovative approach, they’ve also had help.

Ali Reza Manouchehri’s company Metro Star Systems was contracted by the State Department to craft mobile phone programs to better inform citizens around the world about America.

Manouchehri said the choice of the mobile phone was only natural thanks to its ubiquity, which includes less-developed countries. Even in a poor household, a family might share a common mobile phone for family use, he said. The hope, Manouchehri says, is to form "spontaneous communities" of people having fun and learning about America, connected around the world via a cellular network.

By using simple technologies like games and text messages, Manouchehri and other creative minds are helping connect cultures and promote better understanding among nations.

Everyday our phones make our lives better – it’s exciting to see how they can make our world better.