The Power of Diaspora

Broadcaster and Writer Guto Harri chaired this afternoon’s discussion which considered how the Welsh diaspora could help Wales develop economically post-Brexit. Kingsley Aikins, founder of ‘Diaspora Matters’, talked about Diaspora Capital, the idea that the power of diaspora takes three forms: the people connected by particular place, the money they can contribute to it, and the knowledge they can share to help it develop.

Entrepreneur Mark Neale, the Founder of Mountain Warehouse, said that it is harder to build businesses outside of the Europe Union, and that it is the younger generation who will grow the Welsh economy. He said entrepreneurship is “hard to teach, but easy to encourage”.

Kingsley Aikins spoke about Ireland as an example which Wales could follow by creating networks. Aikins said Dublin shook off its “male, pale and stale” reputation and helped Ireland become “sharp, modern” and “intensely international”, through building networks like the ‘Global Irish Network’.

He said the CASE method – Copy and Steal Everything – would benefit Wales, and that his strategies for diaspora network building were influenced by the American University alumni model. “Diaspora engagement is a non-competitive industry”, said Aikins. He considers the present moment “an opportunity for Welsh soft power”.

Picture left to right - Kingsley Aikins, Guto Harri, Dr Rachel Minto, Mark Neale.

If you missed this you might enjoy Event 333, ‘The WFGA Annual Review’ on Friday 1st June at 4pm.

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