Engaging Diasporas Around the World

On April 1, 2021, researchers at the Growth Lab shared insights and approaches to understanding global diasporas and diaspora engagement. Not all diaspora groups are equal, and they interact with their host country in a myriad of ways. The Growth Lab has worked in several contexts, including Albania, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Ethiopia, Jordan, among others, and shared an overview of what we have learned and implications for future research and policy implementation.

Speakers: Ljubica Nedelkoska, Daniela Muhaj, Nikita Taniparti, Ana Grisanti. Moderated by Ricardo Hausmann, Growth Lab Faculty Director and Rafik Hariri Professor of the Practice of International Political Economy at the Harvard Kennedy School.


Ricardo Hausmann: [00:01:42] Welcome welcome, I'm Ricardo Hausmann, I'm the Director of the Growth Lab at Harvard University, and we have here our star-studded panel of research fellows at the Growth Lab that has conducted research on the diasporas of countries that we work on. In the Growth Lab, we are very focused on trying to uncover the secret of growth and prosperity, and we're seeing a really, really important role to the productive, know how the productive knowledge society uses. And we always like to say that technology is really productive knowledge and that it takes three forms, embodied knowledge and tools, codified knowledge and codes, recipes, formulas, protocols, how to do manuals, and tacit knowledge in brains. And of these, it's easy to move tools in containers. It's easy to email codes. But the know-how resides only in brains, and it's very hard to move know-how from brain to brain. Malcolm Gladwell likes to say that takes 10000 hours to become good at something. And we don't have too many ten thousand hour chunks in our lives to become good at too many things and so on. So it takes a long time to acquire know-how. And so we know-how into brains is a slow process. Moving brains is a much quicker process. And then and so we've been very focused on studying the mobility of know through the mobility of people, through migration, through business, travel, through people working in companies and the FDI going into your country, your own companies establishing activities abroad, etc... But many countries have a diaspora and diaspora can play a very important role in terms of connecting society to the knowledge that is out there. And then a particular diaspora stands to understand two societies and they can see the gaps, the technological gaps, the market opportunities, et cetera, and they can potentially play a very important role. And this became very obvious to us when, through one of our Fellows, O'Brien was doing research on companies in Albania. And they all happen to be returnees from the diaspora. And they learned there because their business idea by working abroad and then realized that they could bring those ideas home and so on. So that got us into thinking that maybe diasporas have a role to play and that the literature wasn't there too focused on the literature, had a lot of focus on remittances and things like that. But that they may have a more substantive role to play in connecting society to the technologies, the markets, the professional networks, the links to the rest of the world that this would happen not because the government is connecting to somebody on top, but because the whole society has members of of of of the family living in some other place in some other communities. So that's what inspired all our work. And we've had the opportunity to think about these issues in the context of Albania, in the context of Sri Lanka, in the context of Ethiopia, and in the context of Colombia. We also have had a chance to study the very, very recent, and rapidly growing Venezuelan diaspora. But there but the issues there are not issues about technological diffusion back home yet. I'm sure they will eventually be. But but but not yet. So in in in in doing these things, I'm going to call on research managers and fellows at the lab. I'm going to start by asking two questions to Ljubica Nedelkoska, Ljubica has been a research manager, a research fellow at the Growth Lab. She managed the Albania project for several years. She has been doing academic research, very important areas of the skills acquisition and development and occupations and tasks and so on and she oversaw the Albania project and now has overseen and has managed the projects in the Diaspora Project in Colombia, so Ljubica, I wanted to ask you, what are the tools and techniques that you have deployed in the study of Diaspora's? [00:07:24][342.0]

Ljubica Nedelkoska: [00:07:27] Hello, everyone. I'm thrilled to see such an audience and such an audience from also outside our center. So it's my pleasure to be here. So in terms of methods and tools, we have been very open-minded in the sense that I personally started a lot of the research on Diaspora between 2014 and 2015. And we never said like there is one right way of studying the diaspora. We always started with the research questions and we adjusted our methodology according to what would bring us to answers most quickly and to the best answers. So let me give you some examples of the countries where we engage. Their very basic question is, where is our diaspora? What are they doing? So that's an exercise of mapping the diaspora. And in that way, it requires really good statistics from host countries. So for that purpose, we started using a lot of microdata like censuses and surveys that have good coverage of the foreign population of a place. Now, more recently, we, as we were learning about the pros and cons of using this data for mapping the diaspora, we started complementing this work with also data from social media like Twitter and Facebook and Ricardo, you yourself have written more than one work using Twitter data or Daniela work with Facebook data. And while each one of these is not enough to answer the full range of issues that we're interested in when mapping the mapping, when mapping the diaspora, they really complement each other. Just to give you an example, for instance, national statistics will never give you an example of where you will it will never give you an estimate of how often the diaspora travels back home. But tracing where people tweet from and how often they tweet from their host country and from their home country can give you a fairly good estimate of how often they travel back home without you having to personally interview or survey these people. Now, other ranges of questions require different approaches. So, for instance, another very another set of very important questions is how engaged is my diaspora? What is the sentiment of the diaspora towards my country or towards certain policies? And what are their intentions to return? Can I get them engaged? What drives them back home? So those set of questions are really, really hard to answer with any existing data out there. And for that reason, we have engaged very actively in designing diaspora surveys. So hopefully we have reached a very fine version of a Diaspora survey that Daniela, Ana, and I have been involved in, one for Albania that Daniela lead and one for Colombia, that Ana and I lead. So in the third source of data that's that has proven incredibly important is actually doing interviews. There are certain things that you can not ask enough in the form of a survey that only allows for, you know, that many questions and not very open-ended questions. And therefore, we conduct a lot of interviews, especially with outliers from the diaspora, which we call the agents of change. Examples are transnational entrepreneurs, professionals of certain Ethnical origin that have ties both with home and at least one host country. So in this sense, we really use a range of methods that we borrow from sociology, economics, even demographic research to form a very comprehensive view of where one's diaspora is, what their interests are, how engaged they are, what their intentions to return are, and so on. Let me stop there for this question. [00:12:47][320.0]

Ricardo Hausmann: [00:12:48] Thank you. Thank you. Let me ask you a follow-up question, Okay so. So you've worked on Albania, on Sri Lanka, on Colombia from a say thirty thousand foot view. What are your takeaways from your experience analyzing Diasporas? [00:13:09][20.6]

Ljubica Nedelkoska: [00:13:12] Yeah, that's a great question. So there is so much we have learned from engaging in different countries. I think one of the most important things is that for a meaningful engagement and in particular meaningful economic engagement, many stars need to be aligned. There are many diasporas that engage in a meaningful way back home, even in the absence of government intervention. And then there are many diasporas that would not be engaged in a meaningful way in spite, even if the government would intervene. And the question is why? So what conditions need to be in place so that we can see a productive engagement of the diaspora? And I don't mean remittances here. Remittances always happen. That's one thing we know. But what I mean with meaningful engagement is mainly the kind of engagement that enables the transfer of knowhow, enables the diffusion of technologies, enables the expansion of business activities from host countries to home countries. And some of the things that we learn are the following. So what conditions need to be in place? One thing, one aspect that's very important about the engagement is the reasons for the formation of the diaspora. And so some diaspora were formed because of economic hardship. And these parts of the diaspora that the left, because of economic necessity, it turns out that are less likely to engage back home compared to a diaspora that left because of seeking opportunities or, for instance, diasporas that were out of conflict in that part of the diaspora is less likely to return back home than diaspora that voluntarily formed outside. Cultural homogeneity of the diaspora helps for engagement. So in countries like Albania and Colombia, where the diaspora is much more culturally homogeneous, they find easier ways to connect with each other abroad and easier ways to connect back home. In Sri Lanka, we saw we saw the opposite because a lot of the diaspora is not only conflict-driven, but also the Tamil community, which forms a large share of the diaspora, does not see and is not aligned in terms of interest with a lot of the governments, which are our Sinhala majority. So. Another factor that's very important is the geographic distribution of the diaspora, high geographic concentration of a diaspora, especially of professional communities, helps a lot be that the concentration of Indian software engineers in Silicon Valley or the Columbian construction engineers in Atlanta, Georgia. These kinds of communities just find it easier to develop, to develop ties within the host country with each other within the diaspora, and then reach out home as well. Another factor I think it's number five on my list is simply opportunities back home. There is a reason why there is a lot of engagement in emerging economies like India and Taiwan from the diaspora, and there is less engagement in economies that are still troubled in many ways and do not offer the business opportunities and the certainty that emerging economies do. And two last factors I'd like to mention. One is complementary assets. So in Albania, we saw that when Albanian migrants in Greece were forced to return back home because of losing their jobs in the midst of the economic crisis in 2009 in Greece, they found it relatively easy to start businesses, agricultural businesses in their hometowns in Albania. These were not high, highly skilled migrants. These were low to medium-skilled migrants. They returned and their complementary asset was the land that they owned so they could rapidly plant new crops and expand business opportunities in their own community while bringing new technology like greenhouses that they learned how to build and run back in Greece. In the case of Columbia, the complementary assets are good quality engineers, and a lot of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs of Colombian origin nowadays is that operations in Colombia to make use of the great engineers that they can hire at 60 percent of the price that they are in the United States. And finally, it very much depends on how attached diasporas are to home for foreign engagements. So second-generation diaspora tends to engage less than first-generation diaspora individuals whose families have migrated fully abroad versus individuals whose family members are still at home are less likely to engage. I think Mark Kozmo here, who is a third-generation Albanian diaspora, defies everything I'm saying because he's hyperactive and theoretically should not be engaged at all. But for most people we have seen in the diaspora, attachment to home really, really matters. So let me stop on that here and. And see what Ricardo has to say next. [00:20:02][410.4]

Ricardo Hausmann: [00:20:03] And so. Thank you. Thank you very much. I'm going to come back to you later on and let me know and move to Daniela Muhaj. Daniela is is a research fellow at the Growth Lab. She has a master's degree from Johns Hopkins. She is originally from Albania, and while she has worked in a bunch of other countries, while at the Growth Lab, she was very enthusiastic about doing the work on the Albanian diaspora. So tell us, Daniela, what have you learned from studying or giving your teeth more in-depth on the Albanian diaspora? [00:20:42][38.9]

Daniela Muhaj: [00:20:44] Thank you so much, Ricardo, and thank you Ljubica for setting that excellent stage to follow up on the learnings on the Albanian side. So like you said, I'm Albanian and I'm part of the Albanian diaspora. So going in, I knew I had strong priors that I had to check at the door in the way we approach this in terms of methods and what we found out. Now, Albania is an interesting case because before the 90s we were very isolated. So we had very little contact with the world. And then you have the diaspora of the 90s, which was mostly motivated by economic and political reasons. And here we see like low income or unemployed Albanians and low skilled generally moving to Greece and Italy, which are neighboring countries. Then in the 2000s, you have the rise of a new diaspora. You have increased demands for better educational and professional opportunities as well as standards of living. So the geography of migration and the reasons behind it are changing. So as the diaspora evolves, it's also picking up more so the trends of a brain drain. So the discourse around the Albanian diaspora is very much along with the brain gain and brain drain, even within the Western Balkans, Albania stands out for the number of youth and high skilled professionals that continue to leave the country. And there's a break before the financial crisis and after the period of picking up in acceleration of people either planning to leave or leaving the country. So from the policymaker perspective, this is of concern and the goals are usually how do you prevent the migration, especially of youth and high skilled or how do you encourage them to return in the medium and longer-term? So we wanted to take a slightly different approach because we are academics. We have the luxury of going in and saying we're interested in understanding and then we will reach the policy gap. So this is why we designed this survey, which was adopted, because, as Ljubica said, we wanted to map the diaspora and traditional sources will give you a point of origin, point of destination stocks, and flows. What they miss is the high-definition detail of the migrant's journey. What do they do before? What do they do in between in terms of leaving the country and ending up somewhere outside of the country? And especially how do they evolve after? And through the survey, we were able to capture a lot of this high-definition detail. One of the most striking findings was. Perhaps this is obvious after the fact, but internal migration precedes moving abroad. So what we saw from our survey was that there's a strong tendency for people to move from remote areas of Albania into the capital, which is Tirana, to prepare for migration and this is because higher education institutions and the country's economy is concentrated in Tirana. And then once people leave, they will settle somewhere in Europe. And before the global financial crisis, the most common destination countries were Greece, Italy and Turkey. After we see that the diaspora continues to migrate and it's very dynamic. So the geography of migration is changing. Now we see the old countries in terms of destination becoming steppingstone countries into more distant and higher income destinations like the United Kingdom, Germany. We see the Nordic countries coming up. We see Austria, Switzerland, as well as the United States and Canada. And it's important to understand how this evolution happens if you're trying to get a better sense of the diaspora and how to engage them. Another very interesting aspect was we were also trying, in addition to the journey to measure the pulse of the diaspora. So what are their sentiments, their sense of attachment to home and especially what are their intentions for the future? And here we noticed that people feel a strong sense of attachment to home in terms of identity, in terms of values, language and culture, and they're there is a bit of a sense of detachment when it comes to things like corruption, lack of trust in public institutions, lack of meritocracy, and especially services like education and health. But the sentimental and value-based approach compensates for that. And it shows up in the fact that among the diaspora there is a very high rate of already have community engagement and potential for future engagement. What is another surprising aspect was that when we tried to estimate why did people come back in terms of returning, we found that family plays a very large role in that, and that was surprising to us. So people that have family in Albania, either immediate family or some extended family, are more likely to come back regardless of how the conditions in the country are with respect to education or to the political situation or professional opportunities. So that kind of changed our thinking in terms of like how do you capture the diversity of the diaspora, their experiences, their needs, and how do you translate that into policy? And to wrap this up, what became very evident was that. We went in thinking that the Albanian diaspora is culturally homogeneous and we expected that to be reflected in the study we did, and we found out that even within the youth and high skill, the diaspora is very diverse. There are many diasporas within the Albanian diaspora. So when you're thinking of engaging people as a policymaker, it's very important to keep in mind both the migrant journey and the life cycle journey because people have different points of origin at home and destination abroad, which is evolving over time. And this shapes their experiences, but also interest to engage in a specific sector or within a specific region in Albania lifecycle because the needs of the Albanians abroad vary drastically like youth needs more support in order to succeed. And then people who are more experienced and closer to retirement are in a much better position to contribute back home. So there's the need for more targeted and decentralized diaspora initiatives. So you create an ecosystem that can sustain itself over time. But I will leave it there for now. And I'm happy to add more later on. [00:27:36][412.3]

Ricardo Hausmann: [00:27:41] Thank you so much, Daniela. And let me now move on to Nikita Taniparti, Nikita is a graduate of the MPA program at the Kennedy School. She's been at the Growth Lab for I'm going to guess that over four years or so. She's been all over the place working in Western Australia and Namibia and Ethiopia and elsewhere. She has and she's now currently dedicating a lot of time thinking about Ethiopia. So let me ask you, Nikita, what have you learned from thinking about the Ethiopian diaspora? [00:28:22][41.1]

Nikita Taniparti: [00:28:23] Thank you, Ricardo, and I think I'm also really pleased to see everyone here in the virtual Zoom room. I can tell that a lot of you also have your own unique diaspora stories. And to echo what Ljubica and Daniela have mentioned, there's no single story of a diaspora. And so that heterogeneity of those identities is both difficult to research, but that's where you can kind of find the opportunity, opportunity to leverage those different engagement channels. And so our project in Ethiopia didn't start off thinking too much about the diaspora. We actually started off thinking about the macroeconomic imbalances and sort of a structural view of remittances as a source of foreign exchange that led us to want to understand the diaspora more. And Ethiopia is a very unique country in the region in that it had a very small stint of being colonized by Italy. And compared to other countries in the region, its diaspora is very young because before the 70s, you didn't really find many Ethiopians outside of the Horn of Africa. And in the 70s and 80s, those who fled were conflict-driven migrants. And during this whole time, Ethiopia has always played host to its own inflow of refugees from other countries in the region. And it's also seen people leave as well. So those kind of add to the picture of the movement of people across the border. And so we looked at the Ethiopian diaspora is not very dispersed across the world, but there are top five destinations where Ethiopians now you can typically find Ethiopians, the US, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Canada, the U.K. and so in understanding who the Ethiopians abroad are, we worked with the Diaspora agency, which is a part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia. And we realized very quickly, as Ljubica was saying, we used microdata from surveys and censuses, as well as taking advantage of the fact that we have a project in Saudi Arabia and we have projects in other places where they might have administrative sources of information that we can use to understand different groups there. So we were able to identify who are the Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia, what do they look like? What is the educational and occupational composition of them? Compare that to those in the US and you see some differences and therefore different implications of the way that they can engage Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia. It's mostly men and they're mostly employed in lower-skilled elementary occupations. And so here we were thinking about remittances as sort of a low-hanging fruit in terms of the way that Ethiopians and Saudi Arabia can engage. But when you shift and look at Ethiopians in America, it's much more diverse. There's a lot of heterogeneity. Most of them were born in Ethiopia because they're recent migrants and there's a high potential for different sorts of engagements. The government has also been taking a lot of steps and new initiatives to allow these different kinds of engagements, like investing in a diaspora bond, opening up the capital markets for diaspora, and really recognizing the importance that they can pay, that they can play in both financial and non-financial means. And so we're still in the process of understanding that diaspora more. And it's been very interesting because they're such a large group of people of Ethiopians located in the US. And as Ljubica was saying, we're really trying to dissect and dig into that heterogeneity a little bit more. But I'll leave it there and happy to talk about the policy implications of this later. [00:32:13][229.5]

Ricardo Hausmann: [00:32:14] Thank you. Thank you very much. I'm reminded of one return of the diaspora members Abiy Ahmed, the current prime minister who used to live in Colorado, of all places. So thank you. Let me now move on to Ana Grisanti, Ana has been working on the Colombia project she just finished today, the Columbia report, and so let me ask you, what have we learned from experience. Is Ana online, I do not see her on my screen. [00:32:53][39.0]

Ana Girsanti: [00:32:56] I'm here. Sorry. [00:32:56][0.6]

Ricardo Hausmann: [00:32:57] Oh, good. Good. Good morning. What did we learn in Colombia? [00:33:02][4.7]

Ana Girsanti: [00:33:03] Thank you for that introduction and thank you Ljubica and Daniela for already setting the stage for talking about the Colombia Project. So the Colombia Project, we wanted to understand what made Diaspora likely to engage as well with their home country. And we used, as you said, a bunch of different methods to try to understand the diaspora and how they were likely to engage. One of the methods that we use for which I was most involved with the survey. So we got a lot of interesting insights from the survey. We very we benefited a lot from the Albanian survey that already had been in course. But I want to talk about a little bit of the sentiment analysis that we did of Colombians abroad. And I just think that this sentiment analysis brought to light a lot of learnings that we can have from Diaspora and the fact that learning from the diaspora is something that is is they are uniquely positioned to talk about the structural problems that are at a place in their home countries in many different ways. So some of the themes that came up when doing the sentiment analysis, we had a question at the end of the survey that invited the diaspora to speak about anything that we might not have covered in the survey. And first, I want to say that out of thirteen thousand six hundred respondents, there were at least nine hundred nine thousand two hundred people that wanted to share their opinions in some way. So, so so from that, the first thing the first conclusion that I would make is that these people want to give back. They want to provide their opinions as to the structural problems that are happening in their country that made them leave or that keep them away from coming back. Ah, and. I think this goes back to some of the Growth diagnostic methods that we employed in the lab because one of the things that we tried to look at is we tried to look at agents that have overcome constraints and successful stories of firms that have been able to operate in the country. But we always have the difficulty of not being able to look at the cases of agents that we're not able to make and we're not able to have that success. And I think that diaspora that left the country because of specific problems that were. That pushed them away are examples of those agents that might have had some economic activity in the country but had to leave because of different issues. So I want to talk a little bit about some of the common themes that came up in doing this sentiment analysis. We did a qualitative codification of some of the responses to the open-ended questions in the survey. And a lot of the things that came up, at least of the Venezuelan diaspora did not surprise me. I think that a lot of people that leave Latin America know that these are issues that have been structural for the region for a long time. And I'm talking about issues of security and crime in the streets and then also issues of corruption, as Daniela mentioned also. And societal issues were a big component. And I define those in terms of also meritocracy and getting work opportunities that were suitable for these people. But then at the same time, a strong sense of identity and pride shines through these comments as well. So from that, I think we can see that, of course, not only do they have important contributions to make about what these structural problems in Colombia are, but they also have a lot to say about how to fix these problems or not fix them because there's no easy fix, but like at least make contributions to towards solutions. So I think I'll stop there for now. And if we want to talk more about some of the findings of the survey, I'll let Daniela speak about that. [00:38:39][336.0]

Ricardo Hausmann: [00:38:40] Thank you. Thank you, Ana. let me go back to you Ljubica, because I was just the first author of the Colombia report and just finished that. Tell us, what's your take on your learnings and especially what you think are the policy implications of your study, which are? [00:39:04][24.0]

Ljubica Nedelkoska: [00:39:08] Thanks Ricardo. Let me try to speak about policy, not only about Colombia, but more than Colombia, I think judging by the audience that there might be interest there, there might be interest for more of a comparative approach. And so most developing countries by now have large diasporas. However, my impression is from the places where we engaged, is the diaspora policies largely understated, and I think that one of the reasons is, is that, unlike other policies, it doesn't have an immediate effect, at least not immediate economic effect other than maybe remittances. And actually, Kingsley Akins, who was here in the audience, I'm really honored to see him, a few weeks ago, he said to us that diaspora policy is more like managing serendipity. So it's like planning your luck. You cannot make it happened but happen. But if you, you know, if you're prepared, opportunities will come to you down the road. However, what I have learned so far is that the least countries should do is that they should know their diaspora. And let me give you an example of what we saw happening in Albania. So back in 2009, Albania didn't have any meaningful way of or successful way of engaging the diaspora. Mark may say that's still the case, but I think they have gone a long way since then. They have a minister for diaspora. They have a much more structured diaspora umbrella, actually. Also, the organization that that market is is is leading. So the diaspora today is nothing like that. The Diaspora organization, is nothing like the one in two thousand nine. But in 2009, when the crisis in Greece happened and large numbers of Albanians all of a sudden decided to return home because they had nowhere to go and they lost their jobs in Greece. Remittances fell and the government was bracing for the impact of the increased pressure on the labor market that they were expecting. Albania itself was entering a recession. There were very few jobs that the economy was churning and everyone was afraid that these migrants will come and compete for those same jobs. Now, the full story of this is much happier because last year of this, migrants did not compete for those jobs, but actually engaged in entrepreneurship and built farms and built more productive farms and generated exports. But the point is that the government had no clue about any of that in hindsight. For instance, if the government would have known their diaspora, what they do, where they are, what they're capable of doing, they could have prepared much more in terms of policy. Now, in this specific case, in hindsight, support for returnees who want to start businesses would have been very meaningful. There were a lot of returnees that needed grants, that needed financial support, that were able to transfer technology, but did not have the full scope of means that that was needed for for for for these ventures. And I think that's one example about why countries should at least invest in monitoring their diaspora, where they are, what they do, what the sentiment is, what they're even what their economic-political aspirations are so that they have some predictability of what the future may bring from this population that's away, but not really away. Now, the second thing that's really important in terms of the policy is you have to try to engage them. So if you're that far and you can free up some bandwidth for diaspora policy, you should try to engage them. There is no one model that fits all. A lot of experimentation is needed. So a few years ago, we liaised with the diaspora organizations and the Albanian government for diaspora organizations from the Albanian diaspora and into government. And for instance, we found out that there was great interest for a Diaspora summit and we ended up helping organize that summit. And it's now kind of a tradition that happens every two, two years. When we asked the Colombian diaspora, we gave them a list of potential government policies that the government could implement. And the diaspora summit was nowhere to be found. No one had an interest in it. So in Colombia, we have a very different set of policy recommendations. They have very different interests. In Sri Lanka, for instance, there were many there were a lot of evidence seeing that Sri Lanka is not ripe for the kind of diaspora engagement that we think like Colombia is ready for or India is ready for. And there we took a very different approach. Sri Lanka was at that time reviewing their immigration law that was largely outdated. And we tried to push a small step which was allowing for permanent residency of overseas Sri Lankans who had to renounce their Sri Lankan citizenship when they obtained a different one. Just to give you an example, I come from North Macedonia. I used to live in Germany. When I obtained my German citizenship, I had to renounce the Macedonian one. Otherwise, I could not have obtained my German citizenship. There are a lot of people like that that I have lost. Like I have all sorts of controls when I go back home where it's true my family is because I just lost all the rights as a citizen. And one thing that governments can do where governments that are not ready for a more comprehensive diaspora strategy is to at least make it easier for their people abroad to come in and enjoy the same rights as those people that that's never left. A couple of more things, I think global networks of impactful entrepreneurs, professionals, and others, are a pretty good start. And one reason why I think this and this is something that we're putting forward in Colombia is our top recommendation is that when you have a country that has a lot of constraints to business activity and entrepreneurship, this kind of network can actually help domestic entrepreneurs circumvent these obstacles. To give you an example, there might be venture capitalists in the network and there is no venture capital in Colombia whatsoever. So this kind of network can actually match venture capital with domestic entrepreneurs without them having to go to Silicon Valley. Or it can match them with suppliers, with buyers, with mentorship and the like. Another thing that we found, and this is specifically from the Columbia study, is that there is a causal relationship between traveling back home. Even one additional trip back home can spur meaningful engagement. So if a government could, you know, incentivize travel to home, they can actually nudge people towards more engagement. Another thing is public recognition. Publicly recognizing diaspora members that have achieved things goes a long way back home. So one example is recognizing entrepreneurs that have made it in a foreign country. And we had at least one case in Colombia when such public recognition led the entrepreneur to grow there, their network. And now they're having they have already they're running a company that has already made one hundred thousand job placements and in at least one business accelerator with over 50 companies. So just by the fact that you're giving your diaspora public recognition, you can expand their network at home and by expanding their network at home, a lot of good things can happen to these entrepreneurs. And another effect that this has is that all of a sudden you have completely different types of personalities that become the role model of your youth. So now these entrepreneurs are the heroes. And these are and these are the kinds of heroes that the youth wants to be, not the entrenched successful persons that are, for instance, in Colombia. So let me. Stop with that thought and give the floor over to Ricardo. [00:49:32][624.4]

Ricardo Hausmann: [00:49:33] Thank you. Thank you very much. Someone asked me a question from the audience about what happens to Ethiopians that have lost their nationality because they took some of the nationality. And you address the question very, very clearly that at least it's impossible to give them dual citizenship if it's not in the Constitution or whatever. You can still give them permanent residency. So so you make them as close as possible and you're trying to reduce this as much as possible. Nikita, you were eager to continue your own policy implications for your analysis. From your perspective, what other things would you put in the policy and the policy when you think that? [00:50:30][56.7]

Nikita Taniparti: [00:50:30] That's a great point and these are really great questions and it makes me think about how do you frame the problem? Right. Are we just talking about engagement for engagement? Not really often. There can be different purposes or end goals for diaspora to engage in the home country. So in the case of conflict-driven migrants, maybe you do need to focus on tapping into the potential identity that is not yet leverage because they are still not feeling that sense of connection. And so a lot of research shows that you can create galvanizing symbols or rituals that unite the diaspora within itself in the host country and creates a tie back to the whole country. I'm from India and I don't just identify with being Indian. I also identify with my state or with the cuisine or with my grandparents' village. So there are multiple layers of this. And I think when you when you ask what does that mean in terms of policy or what is the policy goal? Is it to increase capital flows and create vehicles and mechanisms for the flow of money to be easier? Or is your policy goal to create a long-term sort of perpetual mechanism for people to travel back and forth and eventually lead to the return migration and set up entrepreneurial activities, returning second and third generation opportunities in the form of education and professions? So I think I would backtrack a little bit when I ask when someone asks about what does this mean for policy in terms of what is the government trying to do and then go from there in terms of dissecting it that way. [00:52:07][96.1]

Ricardo Hausmann: [00:52:08] Thank you, Nikita. Daniela, do you want to come in on the policy questions? [00:52:14][6.2]

Daniela Muhaj: [00:52:15] Yes. Thank you so much, Ricardo. And I'd like to follow up on what Nikita was discussing in terms of the objective matters, but also because we have just been arguing that the diasporas are very rich. They're heterogeneous, they have different capacities. They have different intentions. They have different histories. They have different journeys. And that has to be reflected in the times, in the types of initiatives, the types of channels and platforms that you create for Diaspora's to engage. One very interesting thing that we found was that there was a lot of interest for remote engagement or through short-term visits, which Ljubica said are very important because they exposed the diaspora to the country and how the home country is developing. So that also changes their perception around these issues that Ana touched on with sentiment, but they also start seeing new opportunities. So exposure is important, but also the engagement doesn't have to be one size fits all. So, for instance, Ljubica mentioned that in Albania we have a diaspora summit that's annual. There is one session that's dedicated to the youth and that's not enough. So we could have youth diaspora summit of the smaller to like internship opportunities, both like winter and summer, scholarship opportunities, mentorships. So you increase the flow of ideas, information, but also the movement of people. And then you have a sectoral lens as well. So if you're looking for, let's say, IT professionals and more experienced diaspora members, they're going to have different know how they will know different technologies, they will have different capacities, and how much time they can invest, depending on where they are, what sector they are in. So there might be a need and there is a need for a more sector-centered approach when you're engaging the professional diaspora and then when you're thinking along the lines of like home country, the whole country itself is not one package. Nikita very interestingly mentioned that she feels that that to a specific place within her home country. And the same is true we found for the Albanian diaspora like they might not feel strongly about. Contributing to something in Tirana, but they might want to start something in their home country being professionally starting a business or something along those lines, so it's important to keep the tools and the channels for engagement, do the capacity and the needs of the diaspora itself. [00:54:47][152.0]

Ricardo Hausmann: [00:54:52] Thank you very much. Erm, there's an interesting question in the chat from Ricardo, and it's something that maybe we haven't directly tackled, which is erm the role, the role of cultural organizations of these diasporas. For example, he refers to the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese diasporas in Venezuela when they were migrating into Venezuela, lacked the important cultural institutions in Venezuela. By the way, they are also important now the host of the Venezuelan diaspora. So so not just your diaspora abroad, but other diasporas in your own home country. And that is an interesting question. But on the issue of cultural elements of the diaspora, for example, the Armenians or the Jews or the Greeks have a church and they have language and they have other elements that maybe parents want to transmit to their children and so on. And they have a reason to organize in the whole structure. And other aspects may not have those elements, as I say, in how important to have these issues being in our research debate. And let me ask broadly to just let you know who wants to tackle this. [00:56:35][103.7]

Nikita Taniparti: [00:56:37] I can go first, just briefly, I think it's a very interesting question, because, for example, in refugee camps in Southeast Asia, there's a lot of discussion of the tension between cultural evolution and how food systems change over time with migration out of a particular place. That tension, along with the fact that you're losing out on these traditions and how do you safeguard something that does give you a sense of identity. So now there's a push by the United Nations to adopt refugee camps so that food systems are more easily retained and preserved among the youth in refugee camps. And obviously, that's a very different context from a different type of diaspora. But those sorts of small steps in terms of the infrastructure around the place are also very helpful. And I think that cultural capital is a very important element in engaging the diaspora, [00:57:32][54.4]

Ricardo Hausmann: [00:57:34] interesting a number of the questions involving the chat have to do with gastronomy and something that in the literature is also known as the nostalgic market that the people in the whole country want tastes and the flavors and the traditions and the food styles of of of the home country. Has that become a source of business development or a source of cultural involvement? [00:58:06][32.1]

Daniela Muhaj: [00:58:11] There are actually that's a very interesting point, and there are multiple examples of stuff like how gastronomy is evolving among diaspora communities living in different communities, especially in the United States. There's multiple before when I came to the US 10 years ago, it was hard to find Albanian food outside of the home. So you had to cook it yourself. Now, in places like New York and New Jersey, but also Boston, you have these Albanian bakeries popping up. You have Albanian restaurants with authentic food. And this is me making a little bit what is what has happened in the country like I said, return migration after the global financial crisis. So we've that some migrants who used to work in restaurants in Italy and Greece or had some experience in culinary in the culinary sector, starting agritourism businesses in Albania. And they started this new culture of slow food where they were celebrating the traditions of the country and they were catering to Albanians at home and there was a demand for it. So you saw a little bit of that movement that's emerging now in the Albanian diaspora community abroad. And very briefly on the culture point that you mentioned earlier, Ricardo, one interesting part of our study was that we did have a section called The Sense of us. So how do people identify as Albanians or as Colombians? And there are two aspects of that. The first is like, what do you think makes you Albanian or Colombian? And here a lot of the aspects of culture comes like language, history, tradition and the like. But the other aspect and this is something we ask for is what do you think makes somebody else Albanian or Colombian? And here we saw things like having the other person speak the same language or having parents from the same country is very important. And those degrees of affinity or distance are pronounced along generations. So like the first generation has a much stronger sense of attachment, and that serves as a glue both among diaspora members abroad in the host country, but an attachment with the home country as well. And once you move to the second generation, you see that link fading a little bit and that plays into engagement. [01:00:31][140.0]

Ricardo Hausmann: [01:00:33] Thank you. Thank you very much. We're past our bedtime, sort of past our informal time to close. Before I see some final remarks, let me see if any of the panelists want to have a final word. [01:00:49][16.4]

Ljubica Nedelkoska: [01:00:51] May I just say that if Katya makes sure that we get the chat and if we have people's addresses, maybe we can reply to their questions directly? There are more questions than we can handle today. Yeah. [01:01:07][15.5]

Ricardo Hausmann: [01:01:08] Definitely so in a let me just say this, this has been a very interesting discussion. I'm very proud of all the panelists' very insightful comments. I think this is a very important dimension of how our society is integrated into the world. A society integrates into the world through its own members that are living in other places, and that that constitutes a very, very important dimension of the internationalization of a country, of the embeddedness of the country in the world. And so diasporas have a really, really important role to play in this process. I like to say that there are of the countries I used to travel to before the pandemic and that I hope to get back to as many as I get my second vaccine in a is a, you know, a spectacular gastronomic destination in Albania. And that spectacular gastronomic destination is there not only because there was a history of cooking in Albania, but also because there was a history of Albanians going abroad, learning other cooking techniques and so on in Western Europe and elsewhere, and getting back home and doing a fusion between the Albanian traditions and the new techniques that they learned and creating something that is new. And they think that they post-pandemic. We might see a gastronomic summit in Tirana sometime soon. And I'm sure that that's just one example of the things that end up happening when, when. And, you know, the relationship between a country and its diaspora is put on a healthy path. So without any further ado, let's take note of all the questions in the chat, and let me thank all the participants for your interest. Thank you very much. [01:01:08][0.0]