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New tools and methods are used to fight for people’s hearts and minds – Vejonis
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    New tools and methods are used to fight for people’s hearts and minds – Vejonis

    RIGA, June 12 (LETA) – New tools and methods are used to fight for people’s hearts and minds, said Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis, opening conference Riga StratCom Dialogue 2018 today.

    Addressing participants of the conference, he said that today’s world is facing many challenges, ranging from avoiding nuclear war through terrorism and migration to global warming, ageing and environmental protection. These challenges have deep roots and there will be no quick and easy solutions.

    "Therefore we should identify and address the causes rather than just react to the symptoms. We need to understand better what is going on, and in particular, why it is happening. Technology is progressing on this in lightning speed. And there is a tendency to focus here on the search for solutions. I believe that this is fundamentally the wrong course of action. We must put people ahead of technology," the president said.

    "In the last couple of years, we have done much to strengthen our hard security. NATO’s eFP is an important step in securing our defense. While this is essential for our safety, we must also take the next step. That is to strengthen our soft security capabilities. The battle for the hearts and minds of our populations is increasingly taking place in the moral and cognitive domains," he said

    "Our Western values are under threat from rivals targeting our social cohesion, shared norms, and economic and institutional structures. Public trust in the democratic election process is under attack. These are challenges to the very foundations of our democracies. To defend ourselves we must communicate about, with, and between people. We must understand their needs, motivations and thinking," he went on saying.

    He added that strategic communication is a central part of this work. It offers a tool for dialogue, for interpreting problems and their root causes. It allows to frame solutions towards the intended goals. Strategic communication is about creating changes and being the architects of the future – rather than merely reacting to events.

    Strategic communication is only the third step on our path. It will only be successful if it is based on strategic thinking followed by strategic planning, the president said.

    The third Riga StratCom Dialogue 2018 conference is held on June 11-12.

    • Published: 12.06.2018 13:05
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