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  • Silicon Valley entrepreneur urges diaspora to transform NI tech sector

    Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

    Northern Ireland’s diaspora can play a pivotal role in rebranding Northern Ireland as a “software destination”, says David Kirk, a Belfast-born executive in Silicon Valley.

    Writing a call to action in today’s Belfast Telegraph, Kirk says it’s time to make a bold transformation to capitalise on the great talent and passion among entrepreneurs, technologists and potential business leaders. He sees the talent; what’s lacking in the North is the know-how to progress the ideas, talent and drive into “something that will make the world drop its jaw”.

    He envisions the diaspora playing a key role:

    Aggressively reach out to the diaspora. Invite them in. Listen to them. If you are reading this anywhere on the planet and you have a connection (or even feel you have a connection) to Northern Ireland, you are invited. If you are in Northern Ireland and can provide time, resources or expertise then you are invited. It’s no good just cheering (or sneering) from the sidelines anymore.

    Kirk notes, “The most successful Northern Ireland technology entrepreneurs no longer live there, but almost all want to give back.”

    This compelling call-to-action is the latest in a series of initiatives aimed at focusing the talent of the diaspora to help back at home.  This is exciting stuff – technology is facilitating so many new ways of rapidly channelling the diaspora’s good will into effective action back home.

    Related sites:

    “World wide webs” diaspora book published by Australian think tank

    Monday, February 18th, 2008

    “World wide webs: diasporas and the international system” has been published today by the Lowy Institute for International Policy, an independent think tank based in Sydney, Australia. The paper by Michael Fullilove looks like a significant contribution to the field of Diaspora Studies.

    From the website:

    In this paper, Michael argues that diasporas (communities which live outside, but retain their connections with, their homelands) are getting larger, thicker and stronger – with important implications for global economics, identity, politics and security. Michael compares diasporas to ‘world wide webs’ emanating from states, with dense, interlocking, often electronic strands spanning the globe and binding different individuals, institutions and countries together. World wide webs offers a fresh take on globalisation which raises difficult questions for national governments, including the Australian government.

    Download “World wide webs” from the Lowy Institute website.