Diversity and cultural competence: Mission critical elements for U.S. foreign policy

Dean Ernest J. Wilson III’s keynote speech at the Conference on Diversity, Inclusion and U.S. Foreign Policy. Read More »

How to Make a Region Innovative

strategy + business, 2012

To foster economic growth, innovation clusters need to draw on the power of an interrelated “quad” of sectors: public, private, civil, and academic.

Even as communication technology makes it easier to connect with people around the world, the value of clusters will remain. Regions will continue to vie to become the next Silicon Valley or Bangalore. The ones that succeed will be those that deliberately cultivate talented, creative people; foster management reforms that promote innovation; and build networks among key leaders. By focusing on those three leverage points, leaders of a cluster can bring together the four critical sectors — public, private, civil, and academic — nurturing a community that becomes, in itself, an engine of sustainable innovation and economic growth.  Read More »


Presentation to the Foreign Affairs Committee, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference

Public diplomacy is a relatively new discipline and profession, but it has become more and more valuable as countries become more inter-connected. It will be especially valuable in the Year of the Dragon, 2012. This speech explains why next year will raise serious new political, economic, technological and strategic uncertainties between China and the United States, uncertainties which can be reduced if public diplomacy is employed vigorously. After defining public diplomacy, I suggest short, medium and long term actions that the US and PRC can pursue to advance mutual understanding and trust. Read More »

Welcome Remarks at Cooney Center 2011 Leadership Forum

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop’s 2011 Leadership Forum, “Learning from Hollywood”

Dean Ernest J. Wilson III delivered remarks to 200 thought leaders in entertainment media, education, research, philanthropy and policy at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Worshop’s 2011 Leadership Forum, “Learning from Hollywood.” The forum was held on the USC campus from May 16-17, 2011. Agenda & Speakers

The goals of this conference are extremely important for the future of our youth, and hence for the future of the country. Games, TV shows and virtual reality are not just playthings. They are instruments for educating—or miseducating—the next generation of Americans. The question is, will we find the imagination and the ethical commitment to raise a generation of kids literate in the new and old ways of learning….?  Read More »

The Flip Side of Metcalfe’s Law: Multiple and Growing Costs of Network Exclusion

International Journal of Communication, 2011

The study of networks has grown recently, but most existing models fail to capture the costs or loss of value of exclusion from the network. Intuitively, as a network grows in size and value, those outside the network face growing disparities. We present a new framework for modeling network exclusion, and show that costs of exclusion can be absolute, and might, at the extreme, eventually grow ~exponentially, regardless of underlying network structure. We find costs of exclusion can also be spread to the “included,” through several mechanisms including parallel networks, and also highlight how future research needs to capture the interaction of alternate or parallel networks to the network at hand. Backed by empirical evidence, this will have wide-reaching policy and design implications, including the role of subsidies or direct intervention for network access and inclusion. Read More »

New Voices on the Net? The Digital Journalism Divide and the Costs of Network Exclusion

Ernest J. Wilson III & Sasha Costanza-Chock, 2011

In the information society, diverse communities’ capacity to tell their own stories is especially critical. The transformation of the Internet into the key platform for communication and journalism has created the illusion that barriers long faced by people of color in print and broadcast media will melt away. At same time, the election of Obama has created, for some, the illusion that the United States of America has entered a new, ‘post-racial’ era. However, having a Black man in the White House, however important a sign of progress, cannot alone erase the fact that race, class, and gender all continue to unjustly structure Americans’ opportunities in every sphere of life. Race-based exclusion from full access to and participation in both old and new information and communications technologies (ICTs) remains entrenched. Read More »

The 19th Annual Walter and Leonore Annenberg Distinguished Lecture in Communication

“Bringing Communication to the Center: Reconciling Rigor and Relevance in the Communication Field”
presented by Ernest J. Wilson, III, Ph.D., Dean and Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA.

The next Silicon Valley: USC’s Annenberg?

MarketWatch , 2011

Ernest Wilson smiles when he assesses his job as the dean of the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California.

Wilson, for his part, can take pride in knowing he is making progress with his journalism, communications and public relations agenda. He supervises one of the nation’s most complex and ambitious media-education programs.

Annenberg works in conjunction with such USC divisions as business, engineering and public diplomacy. Labeling USC Annenberg’s School for Communication and Journalism as a simply “journalism” school, in the traditional sense, diminishes what Wilson and his colleagues are trying to accomplish.

Wilson believes that journalism plus innovation equals entrepreneurship, and that word sums up what Annenberg is trying hard to preach to its roughly 2,200 students.

“Five years from now, if we do this right,” Wilson said, “we can establish a new set of competencies for the digital age. Our graduates can go to work for Cisco or the government of China or the World Bank or a school in South Central LA. All of them would understand that communications is at the center. The biggest export in the U.S. economy is content.”  Read More »

Hu’s Coming to Dinner: A Year After the Google-China Dust-Up, Has Anything Changed?

Huffington Post, 2011

On Jan. 19, China’s President Hu Jintao will attend a state dinner at the White House. This comes about a year since his government and Google Corporation duked it out over Google’s refusal to abide by the PRC’s laws to control internet content. There were punches thrown and punches pulled. The heavyweight fight was sort of a draw, with no clear winner or loser. Now is a good time to revisit what the dust-up meant then, what it means today, and what it might mean for the future of U.S.-China relations. Read More »

Digital media’s prevalence adds extra challenge to strategic PR

PRWeek, 2010

Executives must reconcile the rapid reconfiguration within the formal communications function. The dividing lines between what we used to call PR, corporate communications, investor relations, advertising, marketing, and customer service are being dissolved and radically rearranged. When a CEO wants to take his or her company into new markets, who should guide the process? How are these responsibilities to be reassigned and evaluated? Read More »