Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Introducing Globalburgh

After clearing up a few technical problems, I've finally published my first Globalburgh blog post at the website for Pittsburgh Quarterly. "Globalburgh" is the name of the IntoPittsburgh project I'm leading. My goal is to network the Burgh Diaspora for purposes of economic development in the Pittsburgh region. Joe Angelelli's comment on my inaugural blog post helps to flesh out the pilot initiative of Globalburgh:

One of the keys to reconnecting with the "Bethel Park Diaspora" was the creation of a free http://www.Ning.com social networking site. We had a list of 25 e-mails back in late November when we started the site. We now have 220 members on there (we had 550 graduates in our Class of 1988). We "closed" the site to non-classmates just to keep the conversation to ourselves, but that has not slowed old classmates from finding us.

We're actually in the process of creating a website to help other classes plan their reunion without the use of a reunion planning service - and to generate Google Ad revenue to underwrite our own 20th reunion next September...we're an enterprising bunch!

One strategy could be to create a network of local high school classes on Ning as they plan their 10th and 20th class reunions, then connecting the X number folks from each class who may be interested in the Kiva idea applied to Pittsburgh.

Using high school reunions as a catalyst for growing Pittsburgh's peer-to-peer micro-lending network is a great idea. I'll continue to blog about our efforts at Globalburgh. In addition to updating our progress on that front, I intend to make the case for promoting outmigration. This radical policy approach is the antithesis of attempts to stem the tide of brain drain. I'm an advocate for enabling greater geographic mobility. The Kiva-inspired micro-lending network is one way to secure some benefit for the Pittsburgh region. Improving inmigration is another way, something other IntoPittsburgh projects are already addressing.

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