Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Irish Diaspora and Irish Economic Recovery

In today's Irish Times, Rob Kitchin and Mark Boyle (from NUI Maynooth) write about enriching relations with the Irish Diaspora. Diaspora networks could play a useful role in Irish economic recovery, in relation to exchange of knowledge and know-how. Of particular interest is the Irish Technology Leadership Group, which ivolves Irish people in senior positions in Silicon Valley, who are seeking to invest in Irish companies. This group could help potential Irish start-ups to learn about issues such as commercialisation and technological transfer.

According to Kitchin and Boyle, many countries around the world are putting diaspora strategies into place. Several of these countries – Australia, Chile, India, Jamaica, Lithuania, New Zealand, Scotland, plus the World Bank – are attending a workshop on diaspora strategies today and tomorrow, organised by NUI Maynooth. Rob Kitchin is director of the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis at NUI Maynooth. Mark Boyle is professor of geography at NUI Maynooth. Their working paper outlining a potential diaspora strategy for Ireland can be accessed here.

1 comment:

Mick said...

Whilst one cannot decry the reasons for exploring the economic advantages of a global Irish strategy, one needs to remember why its possible to consider it in the first place.

Its possible because of the cultural heritage and and the sense of identity that the Irish diaspora has taken with it to places around the world.

This sense of identity is predominantly built on personal feelings, and the values that people associate with their historical family home (i.e. Ireland).

To 'do business' with the diaspora in any meaningful way we have to make sure that the relationship is built on the right foundations - one that acknowledges those values first and then seeks to grow on the basis of mutual well-being.

I'm sure many already know this but a little reminder now and then doesn't do any harm either.