Being Diplomatic and Calm for 2019

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, CEO of Grassroot Diplomat, reflects on the activities that had taken place in 2018 and looks forward to the new year. Check out her musings in her latest Founder's Blog.

Photo Credit: Ben White Photography

Photo Credit: Ben White Photography

With only four weeks to go before the start of 2019, I can’t help but think what an excellent year this has been for the team at Grassroot Diplomat. We have been working quietly over the past two years on major products and services and now that we are ready to engage publically with the world, we still have so much more to do.

The recent launch of the Diplomatic Planner is one of my biggest highlights. All too often, I had met with former diplomats and international relations practitioners lamenting over the state of our governance and how difficult it is to get anything done within complex and highly bureaucratic systems. One of my personal challenges after completing my diplomatic training was understanding how to grapple with major issues related to conflicts of interests and ethical dilemmas that is marred by the work we do. The Diplomatic Planner was created to help individuals tackle such issues whilst also creating a personal brand and identifying a niche that fits well with one’s interests, skills and viewpoints of the world. The Planner is not a book! It is a 100% practical toolkit that you physically write into with weekly schedules, monthly calendars, monthly mind maps, and further reading resources that can be found in the Grassroot Diplomat Online Academy.

The Grassroot Diplomat Online Academy is a project that was created to complement the Diplomatic Planner. The Academy focuses on 12 very specific themes introduced by the Planner that trains its users to master soft power skills and techniques that are vital in succeeding in international relations. The Academy is ever-growing and will continue to be worked on for as long as we are in business. It is a subscription-based online training that encourages diplomats to become independent learners. No tests, no exams. Just self-reflection and self-examination. However, if you do require further assistance, we are continuing to offer one-to-one Diplomatic Career Coaching where you get the opportunity to discuss any areas of your professional life that requires further help.

While these are just some of the projects we have launched this year, we can’t relax just yet. 2019 will be a big year for us as we release the “Brexit Handbook” that was created as a result of the British Exit referendum from the European Union. This handbook provides evidence of why it is essential for diplomats and governments to lead on matters of their people and country in a more public facing role, providing a sense of calm and clarity that strategically places the people first. The book also provides essential leadership skills by enhancing soft power tools for the wider diplomatic community. Fully utilising soft power tools will enable diplomats and governments to reach their potential and better engage with their people and nations. Understanding and applying soft power techniques can increase engagement and also counteract negative perceptions about their country and people.

We also have to prepare for our much-awaited Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award which recognises politicians and diplomats representing the people’s interest at the highest level. With the noise and activities of Brexit, it will be interesting to see who you nominate for this accolade in the coming year. The nomination is open to politicians and diplomats of all levels operating anywhere in the world. If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please do get in touch.

All of our activities and services can be viewed on our website:

As we continue to strengthen our board, provide outreach for our services, and bring a sense of calm to the world, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and we look forward to working with you in 2019.


All the best,

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa
CEO, Grassroot Diplomat