Globalization, Movement of Intellectual Capital and Innovation – The Russian Case

November 15, 2018

One of the least discussed aspects of globalization is the movement of highly trained and talented international scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to U.S. innovation centers like Silicon Valley and Boston. An unintended byproduct of the U.S. Immigration Reform Act of 1965, large numbers of talented and ambitious South Asians, Taiwanese and Israelis, among others, were attracted to move to these innovation centers. Later, in the chaos of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian and other ex-Soviet scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs joined the global movement of intellectual talent to the U.S. The terms of global competition to attract and retain human intellectual capital are changing and as they do, there are important insights from the Russian Case into the global movement of human capital and the relationship of this movement to technology innovation. Based on in-depth interviews with 157 Russian-speaking immigrants in the tech sectors of Silicon Valley and Boston/Cambridge, the authors of Hammer and Silicon – The Soviet Diaspora in the U.S. Innovation Economy examined the role of U.S. and Soviet, then Russian government immigration policy and the experience of immigration for the real people who comprise human intellectual capital, as will be discussed and summarized in this presentation.


As a business consultant and analyst, Daniel Satinsky has been a first-hand participant and observer of Soviet institutional collapse, Russian institutional revival and the brief integration of Russian and U.S. innovation sectors in the years from 1988 - 2014. The author of a number of publications on these topics, his most recent work is as a co-author with Northeastern University Professors Sheila Puffer and Daniel McCarthy of Hammer and Silicon – The Soviet Diaspora in the U.S. Innovation Economy – Immigration, Innovation, Institutions, Imprinting, and Identity.

About the Pacific Region Forum

The David Lam Centre draws on academic, business, and government resources, to provide opportunities at Pacific Region Forum events for reporting, analyzing, discussing and debating strategies for articulating relationships within and between businesses and their environments in North America and East and Southeast Asia.

Themes related to potential intercultural continuities and divergences are explored with a view to advancing the consonance and compatibility between corporate and social relationships and cultural values across the Pacific and within North America. This Forum is organized by Professor Rosalie L. Tung, Ming and Stella Wong Professor, International Business at SFU Beedie School of Business.


Thursday, November 15, 2018


SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, Vancouver, 1600 Canfor Policy Room

  • SFU David Lam Centre