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How to Leverage Talent Abroad to Benefit Home Countries? Experience and Results Agenda of Diaspora and Venture Capital Networks

Washington, DC.
June 13,  2007

Diasporas networksIn the modern world, talent is the most precious of resources and it tends to move globally. Mobilization of Diasporas for the benefits of country of origin has shown a tremendous potential, yet putting this promise into practice has proven to be elusive: Diaspora networks are easy to establish but difficult to sustain.This is why most Diaspora initiatives fail: as initial enthusiasm evaporates, they tend to wither away. Hence results on the ground: joint projects between home country institutions and Diaspora members are critical to sustain momentum. 

The morning session examined diversity of such joint projects in three pilot initiatives in Argentina, Chile and Mexico which were established in 2005 with the help of WBI’s Knowledge for Development Program. The Deputy Minister of Finance of Chile presented a view of 'enlightened skeptic' on the importance of the Diaspora agenda for reforms at home. The results framework of GlobalScot and Kiwi Expat Association (KEA -New Zealand) were presented as emerging best practices. Since business Diaspora networks are very similar to venture capital networks, the afternoon session explored interaction between Diaspora networks and early stage venture capital networks. For more information, see the complete Agenda (PDF, 16Kb).

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