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Can conversation change the world

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was helped to the podium, a frailer man now than when he brought Glasnost and Perestroika to the world almost thirty years ago. One of the 20th century’s most seminal figures delivered a fairly bleak keynote speech to the audience gathered in Sharjah, one of seven emirates, and near Dubai.

In the 1980s, the leader of the former Soviet Union and America’s President Ronald Reagan helped change the world through dialogue and diplomacy. The theme of harnessing the power of conversation to change the world permeated the third edition of the International Government Communication, held in the United Arab Emirates. Social media has connected the universe in a way that was inconceivable all those decades ago.

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Originally published at On Line Opinion on the 21st of March, 2013.