This is anything but a flash-in-the-pan idea. From inception in 2012 to today, through thick and thin, in snatched moments and spare time, we’ve been working towards a brighter Wales.
Entrepreneurs Wales Conference
The beginnings. At the Entrepreneurs Wales Conference, founded and organised by Walter May, a common theme emerges when talking to non-resident attendees: many are frustrated at how difficult it is to stay connected to Wales and struggle to find ways to give back to the country that helped them. An idea begins to take shape. How can we give people the opportunity to do this and make the most of their passion, knowledge and expertise?
Initial research leads to further understanding around the term ‘diaspora’, the movement or spreading of people away from their homeland, and to someone who can offer expert advice — leading diaspora consultant Kingsley Aikins. Kingsley suggests there could be “as few as twenty members of the Welsh diaspora that could fundamentally change the economic fortunes of Wales.” And with that, the seed for GlobalWelsh is planted.
The benefits of diaspora engagement
Kingsley presents to senior Welsh Government officialsand entrepreneurs on the benefits of diaspora engagement. Work on a proposal for a research project begins, setting questions such as: “What is happening across the globe in terms of diaspora engagement?”, “How do leading diaspora organisations engage their diaspora and what are the benefits?”, “Why do members of these countries give back?”, “Does Wales have Welsh diaspora members with a high propensity to give back to Wales?”, and “Should Wales establish a diaspora engagement organisation and, if yes, how?”
The research project
Financial, intellectual and moral support is secured from entrepreneurs Nick Pearce (Object Matrix), Jason Smith (Blurrt), Dave Dean (Risk Monitor) and Chris Raybould (Centric Global), and Welsh Government, to carry out a 6-9 month research project. Extra help is recruited in the form of Mint Digital’s Tim Morgan and Luke Cornish of Lloyds Bank.
GlobalWelsh is established
The research report is published and an initial business plan is pulled together to formally establish GlobalWelsh.
Hay Festival plays host to two sold out GlobalWelsh events — the first with Rolls Royce CEO Warren East, Julie Mayer of Ariadne Capitol and Tim Finch of Migration Communication Hub; the second a drinks reception hosted with the First Minister and 50 resident and non-resident Welsh leaders.
Our diaspora grows
A year of building and planning. Work continues on identifying our diaspora, evolving the business plan, and raising start-up funding from Wales-based stockholders. The team pushes ahead to bring GlobalWelsh to life.
Official GlobalWelsh launch
May sees the official launch of GlobalWelsh and with it the appointment of WRU CEO Martyn Phillips as Board Chairman, and Keith Griffiths, Chairman of Hong Kong-based Aedas, as Chairman of our Global Advisory Board. To coincide with the launch, another sold out event is held at the Hay Festival, this time with extreme athlete and global adventurer Richard Parks.