Ciara Kenny

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens living overseas,

Global Diaspora Forum begins in Dublin

Two-day conference to explore influence of diasporas of all nationalities on their home countries

Tue, May 14, 2013, 07:00


Ciara Kenny

The potential influence diasporas of all nationalities have on their home countries and how it can be cultivated will be explored at a two-day conference in Dublin and Washington beginning today.

The third annual Global Diaspora Forum, an initiative of former US secretary of state Hilary Clinton, is being held outside the US for the first time this year.

The European strand of the conference, which will be addressed by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore this afternoon, has been organised by the Irish International Diaspora Centre Trust, which is working to deliver an Irish diaspora centre in Dun Laoghaire in Dublin.

Mr Gilmore discussed the idea of hosting the forum in Dublin with Ms Clinton while she was here on a visit last December.

The aim of the event, Ms Clinton said, is to “bring people together to look for ways to cooperate, persue common interests” and “launch new projects”.

The issues of voting rights for emigrants, the benefits of diaspora networks, emerging trends in diaspora engagement and technological advances which help to connect communities will all be explored.

Speakers over the two days will include The Economist business editor Robert Guest, co-founder of the US-based Migration Policy Institute Kathleen Newland, director of Global Alumni Relations Sean Brown and Irish Council of State member Sally Mulready.

There will be a live link-up between the forums in Dublin and Washington, where US secretary of state John Kerry is the guest speaker.

The full conference programme is available here.

For more on the forum, and diaspora related articles from the newspaper in recent days, see Simon Carswell on What Irish America could teach the world about putting the diaspora to work, Ciara Kenny on how Irish emigrants have headstart in socially networked world, co-chair of the Global Diaspora Forum Kingsley Aikins on how the Global Diaspora Forum can help drive State’s recovery, and Mark Hennessy on how the Global Diaspora Forum in Dublin looks at creating opportunities at home and abroad .