Friday, September 08, 2006

Desperately Seeking Burgh Brain Circulation

Why migration doesn't mean brain drain. That article title grabbed my attention. Some of you out there are familiar with the work of AnnaLee Saxenian. I don't see why her perspective on international migration wouldn't apply domestically:

The pluses are that these regions have historically been peripheral. And this allows peripheral regions to enter the global technology economy very quickly. They link into the production networks of suppliers of components and software that eventually turn into leading-edge technology products.

For example, we see Israel providing security and networking software now. There's also been a shift from Taiwan, a Silicon Valley sibling. It started out in the 1980s providing low-cost assembly and manufacturing, and over time became a Silicon Valley partner because companies there innovated in process and manufacturing to such an extent that their expertise is unparalleled in the world now.

It's a massive transfer of talent in a way that creates new opportunities for new regions.

I wouldn't label Pittsburgh as a historically peripheral region, but we are witnessing a similar economic migration pattern. What is missing is the geographic relationship that places such as Bangalore enjoy. In this sense, we could see a boomerang effect if the requisite network was developed. Maybe there is something like that already in place, but I haven't seen it.

1 comment:

Kosmo said...

Okay, I am a member of this Diaspora. I would be considered a knowledge worker and am more than casually interested in Pittsburgh's high technology clusters.

But I am a nomad and do not want to own a boomerang.

How do you suggest I participate in this regional innovation?