Wednesday, November 23, 2011

cover of The Economist is all about "diasporas" - Youngstown are you listening?

Thousands of former citizens of the Youngstown & Mahoning Valley are returning to the nest this Thanksgiving, walking past airport newsstands seeing the image below on the cover of The Economist:

And there are networking penguins on the cover no less!

Perhaps this is the most graphically perfect representation of the Youngstown diaspora, due to our university's beloved mascot.

(images the property of The Economist)

As an exercise, everyone should read the story in the magazine and each time you see the word "diaspora" substitute it with "people from Youngstown but living elsewhere" and let the message sink in.

Heck, turn it into a drinking game, downing a shot of gravy or slivovica each time you read see "diaspora."

Let's open a bottle and read some examples:

point 1:
"People from Youngstown but living elsewhere" have always been a potent economic force, but the cheapness and ease of modern travel [and ease of communication] have made them larger and more numerous than ever before.

point 2:
These networks of kinship [think cookie table] and language [think brier hill pizza] make it easier to do business across distances.

point 3:
"People from Youngstown but living elsewhere" also help spread ideas. Many of the brightest minds are educated at universities. When they go home, they take with them both language and contacts.

point 4:
"People from Youngstown but living elsewhere" spread money too. They not only send cash to their families, they also help companies in their current location cooperate with local Ohio companies.

point 5:
Migration bring youth to aging areas and allows ideas to circulate in millions of mobile minds.

- - -

in short, developing an effort to engage the Youngstown diaspora can...
- improve Youngstown-based businesses, charities, and institutions
- support a pathway for those wishing to come home

So now that this diaspora concept is becoming more mainstream, can Youngstown do more NOW to engage its Diaspora?

check out what our friends to the north in Cleveland are doing this weekend:
"Potential boomerangs are the target of a talent attraction effort under the aegis of the Cleveland Leadership Center. This Saturday, the group is sponsoring a networking event aimed at college students and recent graduates at the Corner Alley downtown -- intersection of East 4th Street and Euclid Avenue -- from 3 to 5 p.m.
Those who attend can meet with corporate recruiters and civic leaders to learn more about opportunities in Cleveland -- and they'll be only a couple of blocks away from the Christmas lighting celebration on Public Square.
If that sounds like something for you -- or for your children who'll be home for the holiday -- go to for more information or to buy tickets."
and Pittsburgh? (from the Cle PD)
"Civic, political and foundation leaders there are offering a $100,000 reward to someone who will move to Pittsburgh.
They're looking for a special someone, 45 or older, who's both ambitious and civic-minded. Half the money can be used to launch a new enterprise, but the other half goes into a charitable trust the recipient has to spend in Pittsburgh.
"We want to bring in people with wisdom, experience and leadership skills to build the civic capacity," says Shawn Bannon, spokesman for the Experienced Dreamers contest.
It's an essay contest, to be precise. Entrants have until Dec. 16 to detail their grand plans. The winner will be chosen in an online vote.
One middle-aged dreamer will not transform Pittsburgh, of course, but this is about marketing. Pittsburgh has spent decades reseeding its entrepreneurial culture and reclaiming industrial wastelands."
 and Scranton?
"Rediscover Scranton volunteers promote and strengthen greater Scranton’s quality of life and business assets by identifying and contacting accomplished professionals with ties to greater Scranton, informing them of economic, quality of living and growth opportunities, and encouraging them to relocate their businesses and families to the area.

The program cultivates relationships between former and current residents of the area. Rediscover Scranton targets successful company executives, professionals, entrepreneurs, individuals who work in the creative industry and any other successful former residents.

Rediscover Scranton has formed partnerships with leaders from local and regional government and non-profit organizations, as well as local colleges and universities."

and Youngstown?
(fill in the blank)


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