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How our Welsh diaspora could be the key ingredient to future growth in Wales

31 Oct, 2017

What else can be done to support Government efforts to strengthen Wales’ financial future…and how are other countries doing it?

We’ve been banging the drum for the last few years about the true power of our Welsh diaspora.

When we talk about our ‘Welsh diaspora’, we mean the populations of people that were born in Wales and have moved away, those who perhaps have lived or worked here, those with ancestry or a strong affiliation for Wales.

Wales is more agile and global than ever before. The concept of ‘nation’ for many people is being redefined and reimagined.

Because of technology, we’re no longer bound by geographical boundaries and it’s easier than ever before to connect with and mobilise groups of people.

We’re not only interested in groups of traditionally influential businesses, corporations and thought leaders – but the grafters, the doers and the cheerleaders who may have left Wales, but may be looking for ways to give back and share their enthusiasm.

Everyone else is doing it – so why can’t we?

“The only mistake a country can make – is not to connect with its diaspora. Just as the global Irish have been a massive asset to Ireland, so the global Welsh could be a huge asset to Wales."

We’ve blatantly used an album title from the Manic Street Preachers above, but with good reason. Wales is one of the last ones standing in terms of actively seeking out and leveraging the talents of our diaspora.

Our friends in Kea and Scottish Enterprise have been out there community building (and reaping the rewards) for more than fifteen years. For some countries (like India), diaspora engagement (linking, networking, creating opportunities and joining people together) is a major part of their poverty alleviation efforts at home.

Kea is the global network for New Zealanders

Global entrepreneurs can play a very direct role in boosting the economic prospects of Wales – but we also have to speak to their personal interests and desires, be they social/emotional, financial or legacy-based.

In short – our Welsh friends overseas are tremendous assets with much to give.

Kingsley Aikins is a thought leader in diaspora engagement (and a supporter of GlobalWelsh), he states:

“The only mistake a country can make – is not to connect with its diaspora. Just as the global Irish have been a massive asset to Ireland, so the global Welsh could be a huge asset to Wales. But only if you start nurturing and building that network. Unless action is taken now, Wales will fall behind. Every country need its friends…and Wales has such friends around the world.”

The Welsh diaspora in numbers

  • 3 million = amount of Welsh diaspora overseas
  • 1 million = The amount of Welsh people and friends we’re aiming to connect
  • 20 = as few as 20 entrepreneurs could dramatically transform Wales’ future
  • 0 = amount of Ministers with responsibility for engaging with Welsh diaspora

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