/// Alec Ross, Digital Diplomat, on 21st Century Statecraft
Hubert Burda Media/DLD Alec Ross (left) in conversation with Nick Bilton at DLD Germany. For as stodgy and out-of-touch as the cogs of U.S. government seem at times, it’s not all paper-pushers working behind the scenes. Some are more in touch with what’s going on in the digital world than you’d think. Case-in-point: Alec Ross, a senior advisor for innovation to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (and soon Senator John Kerry, who will succeed Clinton), who spoke at the DLD Conference in Munich, Germany on Sunday evening. Indeed, being tech savvy is built into Ross’ job description; along with the 155 other digitally-focused employees at the state department, he’s charged with finding technological solutions to the world problems, ranging from ending world hunger to dealing with violations of human rights. To the latter point, for instance, his office has helped smuggle fiber-optic cable into countries where the Internet has been restricted. As for the coolest things he’s worked on (at least, of the declassified projects he’s allowed to talk about), Ross spoke a little about two in particular, both of which I’d love to see in the field. First, say you were a protestor in Tunisia back when the Arab Spring was happening.