Carnegie Council Launches "Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds"

May 6, 2008

With support from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs is partnering with Dancing Ink Productions LLC to launch a project called "Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds."

The project will culminate in a series of activities in virtual worlds tailored to bring together Muslims and non-Muslims. It will also produce a range of audio, video, and transcript products, along with a policy recommendation paper which will include a list of specific recommendations for the U.S. government on how to use virtual worlds to promote international understanding. The paper will be distributed through government briefings.

This initiative was originally conceived by Joshua S. Fouts, founder and former director of the Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School, University of Southern California. It received initial support from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation and other sponsors. As his focus on virtual worlds intensified, Mr. Fouts left USC to become Chief Global Strategist at New York-based Dancing Ink Productions LLC.

To facilitate this project, the Council is pleased to announce that Mr. Joshua S. Fouts and Dancing Ink CEO and Creative Director, Ms. Rita J. King, have been appointed Carnegie Council Fellows.

Joshua S. Fouts Rita J. King Joshua S. Fouts Rita J. King"This promises to be an innovative and fruitful venture," says Carnegie Council president Joel Rosenthal. "The Carnegie Council is uniquely placed to involve the academic and policy community in a consultative dialogue about ethics—a dialogue with the power to inform a set of alternative foreign policy priorities. The Richard Lounsbery Foundation has funded Council programs in the past and we salute them as the first major foundation to recognize the full range of internet technology to facilitate public diplomacy."

The Richard Lounsbery Foundation aims to enhance national strengths in science and technology through support of programs in the following areas: science and technology components of key U.S. policy issues; elementary and secondary science and math education; historical studies and contemporary assessments of key trends in the physical and biomedical sciences; and start-up assistance for establishing the infrastructure of research projects. It aims to achieve high impact by funding novel projects and forward-looking leaders.

The Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, established in 1914 by Andrew Carnegie, is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing understanding of the relationship between ethics and international affairs. The Carnegie Council's mission is to be the voice for ethics in international policy. It convenes agenda-setting forums and creates educational opportunities and information resources for a worldwide audience of teachers and students, journalists, international affairs professionals, and concerned citizens.

For more information, please contact Madeleine Lynn at [email protected].

Richard Lounsbery FoundationDancing Ink Productions

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