Saturday, April 12, 2008

Atlantic Canada Migration

East Coast Connected (ECC) is the premier sub-national diaspora network. If you are aware of a better one, let me know (jimrussell [at] globalburgh [dot] com). At the very least, ECC is off to a strong start:

Mr. Crowell's idea seems to have struck a chord with Atlantic Canadians both on the East Coast and in Ontario, the destination of choice for the region's university graduates, according to a 2007 survey.

More than 300 people showed up at the glitzy launch party in Toronto, with another 200 on the other end of a massive video conference in Halifax.

Since then, 1,200 people have signed up for the group's mailing list, which alerts members to events designed to connect Atlantic Canadians in Toronto with businesses and government back home.

What may be of interest to the GLUE crowd is the mega-regional scope of the initiative. Atlantic Canada, if you are not familiar with the geography, includes four Canadian provinces and suffers from the same human capital issues plaguing the Postindustrial Heartland. The difference is that the talent that out-migrated is concentrated in one place, Toronto.

If the Great Lakes mega-region could network with only one city beyond the pale, which one would it be? For Pittsburgh, the answer is easy: Washington, DC. For Buffalo, I would guess Charlotte, which could work for Pittsburgh as well. My sense is that the most of the shrinking cities in the Great Lakes Union share one or two brain drain cities that might help to define the mega-region.

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