Mentalist to mesmerize "brightest minds" at NATO StratCom conference

June 12 sees the start of the third annual conference run by the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence (STRATCOMCOE) in Rīga. 

Organizers say "more than 700 of the brightest minds representing governments, the military, academia, and the private sector from more than 40 countries" will be in attendance to discuss today’s strategic communications challenges.

Hopefully the people left behind to run the governments, military, universities and businesses will be able to cope without them for two days.

"One of the conference highlights will be mentalist Gilan Gork, who will interactively demonstrate a remarkable ability to decode and influence people’s thoughts," the organizers promise. 

The prospect of this mesmeric maestro taking control of the aforementioned "brightest minds" and bending them to his will is sure to be worth watching, particularly if any of them remain in a hypnotic trance upon their return to active duties on Thursday.

Here is a video of the StratCom Svengali bending some cutlery and putting his head in a noose.

“The Riga StratCom Dialogue is not just a conference about global communications, it is a hub for discussing topics that will shape our future. Modern technology helps us overcome global challenges, but it also creates new ones for the future of work, privacy and governance. Algorithms have already become part of our daily lives, deciding what pops up on our news feeds and influencing what we buy. This year we will focus on human decision making and how it is shaped by technology,” said Jānis Sārts, Director of the STRATCOMCOE.

The conference will be opened by President Raimonds Vējonis, who will appear immediately before the hypnotist, and the event will feature a keynote speech by Tacan Ildem, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, immediately after the generous 14:30-16:00 lunch break on the first day.

The NATO STRATCOMCOE was initially founded by Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, and the United Kingdom in 2014. The Netherlands and Finland joined the Centre in 2016, Sweden in 2017. Canada, France and Slovakia are set to join in 2018.

Many of the panel discussions will be livestreamed at the STRATCOMCOE Facebook page and the full agenda can be viewed at the official conference website. There will certainly be plenty of social media chatter too with pithy comments and Sun Tzu quotations by the truckload likely to be posted alongside the hashtag #RigaStratCom.


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