Afghanistan Meets the USA: A Forum for Young Leaders (AFMUSA)

"Collaborating for a Peaceful Partnership: Framing the Post-2014 Bilateral Agenda"

(Washington D.C. & New York City; June 23rd - 27th, 2014)

About the AFMUSA Weeklong Seminars

Every 4-6 months the ICD will organize a Weeklong Seminar, which offers individuals the opportunity to join AFMUSA by participating in a 4-5 day program. 

The AFMUSA Weeklong Seminar is an international and interdisciplinary gathering of students, young professionals, and cultural practitioners from across the world. The seminar provides an excellent opportunity for young people to expand their knowledge of current and future developments in these fields, meet with current and former key players and build sustainable networks with each other. The program will consist of speeches, panel discussions and seminars held by leading figures from the fields of politics, economics, diplomacy, academia, civil society, and the private sector. In addition to the academic components, participants will take part in a range of social and cultural activities. 

Certificate of Attendance - All weeklong seminar participants will be awarded an official certificate of attendance upon completion of the program, which will provide details of the speakers who took part and the topics discussed. Each certificate will be signed by members of the ICD's Advisory Board (The ICD Advisory Board list can be found here)

Seminar Methodology

AFMUSA Weeklong Seminars are weeklong interdisciplinary programs that include the following components: 

Lectures & Discussions - A range of lectures will be held by experts from the fields of politics, economics, diplomacy, academia, civil society, and the private sector. These components will inform the participants about key perspectives related to the themes of the Weeklong Seminar, raise their awareness of other salient issues in Afghanistan and the US, and introduce them to the field of cultural diplomacy. Each lecture will be followed by a question and answer session with the speaker. 

Workshops & Role play - The timetable of each Weeklong Seminar will include interactive workshops that offer participants the opportunity to take part in structured discussions on subjects related to the Seminar themes. Workshops provide a valuable counterbalance to lectures by providing an opportunity for participants to express their own opinions and learn from each other. 

Round Table Discussions and Debates - These discussions offer a more intimate setting for speakers and participants to converse and debate openly. They also allow the participants to interact more directly with the speakers and their fellow participants in a more neutral, equal, and interactive manner. Not only are participants able to pose questions to the speakers in these discussions, but the speakers may also pose questions to the participants, all while enjoying a more comfortable, informal, and interactive setting. 

Group Visits - During the ICD events, participants are able to see the city from a different perspective.

They will be able to experience all that Washington D.C. has to offer, as well as partake in visits to top Washington D.C. organizations, including: the White House, the State Department, the National Gallery of Art, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and various embassies throughout the city. 

Leadership Initiatives - Leadership initiatives are cultural exchange initiatives organized by members of ICD Forums with the support of the ICD. These initiatives are the foundation of the ICD's work, because they allow the principles of cultural diplomacy to be spread beyond the members of the Forum. At the beginning of the Weeklong Seminar participants will be given guidance on how to plan, develop, and execute leadership initiatives that have a constructive, sustainable influence on intercultural relations. The participants will then have the opportunity to present their projects to the group at the end of the weeklong seminar. In addition, the ICD will outline how it can help to support the realization of these initiatives through its network and resources.

Networking, Social and Cultural Activities

Each Weeklong Seminar will include social and cultural activities for the participants. These components give participants the opportunity to see a different side to the city, helping to provide a more informal environment for the participants to get to know each other, and allowing the participants to see cultural exchange initiatives that are already being organized. The ICD offers an expansive social agenda including: interactive panel discussions, roundtable discussions, workshops, debates, parties, film nights, conference concerts, embassy receptions, group dinners, and visits to cultural and historical sites: 

Embassy Receptions - The ICD has partnerships with embassies for every conference in order to offer evening receptions as well as lectures and events during the day. These receptions are held both at the ICD House and at various embassies, and offer the opportunity to network with foreign diplomats. Participants are able to fully immerse themselves in the culture of the host embassy through the traditional song and dance performances, traditional cuisine, and a uniquely international atmosphere. 

Film Nights - In addition to running a weekly Film Night the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy often invites representatives of the film industry to participate in events. These individuals are then able to share their expertise and productions with the audience. It is through these Film Nights which the participants are able to visually and acoustically experience the cultures of others. 

Conference Concerts - Conference Concerts are a way for participants to experience the culture and art of foreign countries. In the past, the ICD has sponsored world-renowned performers who have shared their artistic mediums and talents with the audience. These concerts vary in nature, and include: traditional dance, interpretive dance, violin concerts, choir performances, piano concertos, symphonies, hip hop, jazz performances, and more. 

Group Dinners - Conference participants are able to dine with fellow participants and speakers at a wide assortment of restaurants, where they are exposed to new and exotic cuisines, including: German, British, Greek, French, Russian, Italian, Oriental, Baltic, African, Indian, Turkish, Latin American, Spanish, Mediterranean, Caribbean, and more. 

Parties - The ICD hosts a large number of parties in different indoor and outdoor locations each year, to which all the conference participants are invited. These parties include themed evenings, embassy receptions, cultural celebrations, language exchanges, historical commemorations, film nights, conference concerts, boat parties and more. Each of these events allows the ICD participants to casually interact with fellow participants and speakers in a more relaxed and informal manner, as well as meet others from the international community.