Global Lithuanian Awards was taken as an opportunity to attract attention to the importance of professional diaspora again. The strong belief in the potential of Global Lithuania inspired it to look around, copy or steal and then apply a smart strategy of diaspora involvement and coordination of national drive of diaspora with local needs. The guest of honor of the Global Lithuanian Awards Kingsley Aikins, expert of diaspora involvement strategies and large-scale networking, is also known as a founding member of an organization called CASE (Copy and Steal Everything) and over the years has listened to what countries do to tap into so called (by him) diaspora capital.
Kingsley Aikins stresses that now, in the age of unlimited travelling and dynamic communication, all countries have diaspora capital, defined as the integrity of people, knowledge and finance. It could be converted into sincere enthusiasm and compassion, into active programs and policies and projects in the country of origin. The success of this conversion lies in the ability to match mutual needs: not just what the diaspora can do for the native country, but also, what the native country can do for the diaspora. What is here that discourage more active cooperation, and what can or should be done to change it?
In 2002, India turned to its diaspora with exactly these questions. Their recommendations turned into actions by the Indian government, which resulted in OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) at this moment held by nearly one million people around the world, and the Indian business network TIE, one of the biggest and most successful business networks in the world. This was enough to reassure global Indians and encourage them to invest their expertise, networks and finances.
GLL has been very active in the dialogue with diaspora in regard to the creation of favorable environment for the diaspora capital – people, knowledge and finance, as defined by Kingsley Aikins – to feel at home. GLL shall have this in focus for 2014 and years to come.