Sunday, April 15, 2007

Scottish Diaspora Philanthropy

Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation, is the cultural ambassador for Glasgow, Scotland. Gregorian is reaching out to the Scottish Diaspora in hopes of bringing valuable and significant collections to Glasgow art galleries and museums. Of interest to this blog is Gregorian's mission to help prepare Scotland to take full advantage of the developing knowledge economy:

In January of this year he made headlines by calling for a doubling of budgets for all Scottish universities, arguing that a massive investment in education was needed for Scotland to reap the dividends of the knowledge economy and, perhaps, bring about the much-vaunted Second Enlightenment.

Advice to [Culture and Sport Glasgow head Bridget McConnell] will only come when it is asked for, however, said the cultural ambassador.

"Let me quote Lord Chesterfield," Gregorian said. "Having expertise, knowledge or experience is like having a pocket watch. Wait until someone asks what time it is before you tell them - don't go round town saying, Do you want to know what time it is?' "So my role is that: to give advice when asked, and when appropriate," he added.

While I think that the Indian Diaspora is the exemplar for the Burgh Diaspora, I think Scotland is a worthy model for the Pittsburgh region. Both Pittsburgh and Scotland can point to an economic and cultural golden era, a difficult economic transition, and a large, successful Diaspora. As Gregorian recommends, the first move is Pittsburgh's. The Burgh Diaspora is waiting.

1 comment:

Plangal said...

Cool blog. I am part of the Pgh Diaspora...currently living in Washington, DC. In college, I felt I could be compared in James Joyce, not as a writer, but in that he couldn't wait to leave Dublin and yet was essentially obsessed with it his whole life. Same is true for me and the Burgh. Though, I find myself thinking about moving back more and more.