Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Global Rust Belt Economic Forum

Tapping the talent of a domestic diaspora mimics established patterns of international migration. A great blog for exploring the possibilities is the Emigrant Advice Network, which focuses on the Irish Diaspora. Today, China is held up as a model of best practice:

With so many emerging efforts to engage the diasporas of various nations around the world, it’s good that Ireland has been upping its game in this respect. Our huge diaspora gives us a head start in engaging with our citizens abroad, and we have numerous local, regional and industry-based networks aimed at assisting the Irish at home and abroad in maximising their business efforts – but it’s clear that we are not alone in our ability to galvanise a global force of entrepreneurs and investors for our national economic benefit. And with the size of the global Chinese community estimated at between 30 and 120 million, a strong network will have a powerful impact.

Unlike the Global Irish Economic Forum, which was overly restricted in being limited to only 180 participants, this one is open to anyone willing to part with the $800 registration fee. Perhaps some of our global Irish entrepreneurs with Chinese and Asian links might be interested in attending – and with the Chinese and Irish diasporas being two of the world’s largest, joint networking could mean profound mutual benefits around the globe and at home.

Diaspora forums are a good idea. (Check out this piece of news about the upcoming Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in India) Much of the economic development potential of out-migration and increasing geographic mobility is there for the taking. It remains a policy frontier.

I propose holding a shrinking cities redevelopment conference in Youngstown. The theme is Rust Belt Refugees and how this talent pool can thrive in America's urban frontier. According to Aaron Renn, the urban frontier meme has captured the imagination of many people. Rust Belt expatriates would be the perfect pioneers to rebuild our cities.

No comments: