September 23, 2019– Washington, DC – The Atlantic Council today launched a new website, building on a cross-organizational strategy to deepen its digital reach and capabilities. The site is just one of many measures the Council will undertake in future months to use new technologies to enrich its studies, research, events and collaborative networks.
“The Council’s traditional focus on advancing constructive US leadership alongside friends and allies gains dramatically through the deployment of more powerful digital tools to inform and galvanize a global community of like-minded individuals,” said Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council president and CEO. “The new website provides a far more effective platform from which to do that. What will follow are more innovations, including rich, long-form content, infographics, video essays, photo essays, and audio alongside our existing blog posts and publications.”
“We are at the beginning of a new wave of possibility for the Council,” said Andrew Marshall, vice president for communications. “We want to use written content, video, graphics, and images in new ways to bring our ideas to life and shape the critical debates of our time. Organizations like ours need to be on the front line of communicating the defining challenges the world faces. We need to do it in ways that connect directly with people how they want, and on the platforms they choose.”
In the first week of operation for the site – www.atlanticcouncil.org – the Council is rolling out new digital products to better showcase our expertise and enhance our impact. Here are a few examples:
- The Transatlantic Security Initiative shows in an interactive infographic how NATO European allies are responding to US President Donald J. Trump’s calls to spend more on defense.
- In a new photo essay, Lithuanian combat photographer Ieva Budzeitkaite provides an inside look at NATO forces preparing for potential crises deep in the Baltic woodlands.
- The Syria Source blog showcases in a video essay the work of the Kesh Malek graffiti art movement in Idlib which connects art and humor to convey the desperate situation of civilians.
- The Atlantic Council will also unveil its new feature collection, beginning with a comprehensive explainer on the road to sanctions.
- In the first of its new ‘Long Take’ essays section, the Council provides a deep dive into the implications of Brexit for Scotland and the potential for a fracturing United Kingdom.
In a larger sense, the site is designed to provide users a far richer experience. That includes:
- It will underscore the dynamism and multi-faceted, results-oriented capabilities of the Atlantic Council’s staff: The new site is much more modern in everything from its design to headlines (now “sentence case,” with only the first word and proper nouns capitalized) to more contemporary colors and fonts.
- It will be easier for users globally to find content. The site prioritizes mobile users and employs an improved search function with issue-focused navigation.
- It provides a flexible platform for further innovation. The website is more user friendly for readers and staff, and it will provide a platform for ongoing innovations such as plug-in software features and embedded media.
- It will improve our ability to collaborate. The website was designed to encourage agile team collaboration and make it easier to rapidly add new areas of work. For example, our “Crisis in the Gulf” page shows how we already are using this ability to empower our teams’ response to unfolding events.
- Moving faster. “Relevance at speed” is a key principle of our work. The new website will allow us to produce our content faster and thus policy makers, decision makers, and other users can access it when it is most relevant.
- More choices about how we “visualize” our ideas. The new website allows the Atlantic Council to more powerfully illustrate its ideas through images, graphics, and video, thus heightening the impact of its words.
The contractor for the site is ParsonsTKO, a company that has helped a diverse set of organizations develop engagement that creates change, including: the MacArthur Foundation, Stanford’s Social Innovation Review, Internews, CrossFit, Inc., and The Folger Shakespeare Library. The website is built on WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system, using version 5.2.
The next stage of our work will focus on further enhancing our content and improving the collaborative capability of our US, transatlantic, and global communities. This also begins a multi-year effort to tap the new technologies, including artificial intelligence to big data, to enhance the Atlantic Council’s ability to address a series of historic challenges ranging from a new era of major power conflict and new challenges to open market democracies to rising challenges to the existing global system of institutions and governance.