Thursday, June 01, 2006

Welcome Pittsburgh Diaspora

As an active member of a Pittsburgh Steelers fansite, I've taken a particular interest in the large number of fans who live far from the city that hosts their favorite team. For a fansite, this widely spread out community is our market. And this market is one that a revitalizing Pittsburgh views as a liability that can only be an asset if the favorite sons and daughters return.

I view Pittsburgh Diaspora as Pittsburgh's greatest untapped asset. Pittsburghers are remarkably loyal to their hometown and their parochial mindset sets them apart from the local population of where they now reside. There is a kind of Pittsburgh nationalism that lends itself to current patterns of international migration, which take advantage of the various new forms of telecommunications to remain linked to their country of origin.

Akin to a university alumni network, graduates of Pittsburgh have left the nest and thrived in new environments. The entrepreneurial spirit that currently eludes revitalization efforts is alive and well in the Burgh Diaspora.

This blog isn't about Pittsburgh the city or Pittsburgh the region. This blog is about the Pittsburgh Nation or Pittsburgh World. There are a number of Little Pittsburghs around the country that deserve their own voice and are waiting to be connected with the people who share this identity.

1 comment:

Kosmo said...

I like how you suggest that Pittsburgh embrace the forces of globalization and migratory patterns of us nomadic types. You further embrace the paradigms of the knowledge economy by suggesting that the Pittsburgh region harness the innovative power of the Diaspora via the power of virtual networks.

But who is building this bridge to connect us Diaspora with the Pittsburgh Cluster of Innovation? If I read the Pittsburgh regional stewardship manifesto correctly, these high technology clusters are the engine of economic growth. But my understanding falls short as regards to how they are identifying, attracting and retaining the knowledge workers or the Diaspora in particular.