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Public Dialogue

Innovations in Poverty Reduction and Economic Development

Dialogue Purpose

This dialogue is part of an ongoing public engagement series that examines the unique role of the diaspora resident in Vancouver who are committed financially and personally to development activities in the global south. Diaspora-driven development efforts have a powerful impact in the global south that reverberates here in Metro Vancouver. While often informal or grassroots, these initiatives demonstrate the benefits and unique strengths of the diaspora – cultural awareness of communities of origin and residence, fluency working in dual cultures, awareness of local issues and concerns (trans-local), and long-term personal commitment to projects and communities.

This dialogue foregrounds the innovative ways diaspora-driven initiatives are contributing to poverty reduction and economic development.

Presentations & audio recordings

Welcome, Setting the Stage for Dialogue on Diaspora in Development Moderator: Margaret Gallagher, CBC Radio
Welcome James Busumtwi-Sam, Associate Professor of Political Science, Simon Fraser University
Welcome Joanna Ashworth & Shaheen Nanji, Project Co-Directors, Simon Fraser University
Dialogue: What brings you here?
Session 1: Responding to Basic Needs through Grassroots Mobilizations Moderator: Margaret Gallagher, CBC Radio
Kaye Kerlande, Hearts Hands Minds for Haiti
Grassroots Community Development in Sri Lanka Sumana Wijeratna, VanLanka Community Foundation
Housing in the Philippines Lorie Corcuera, Enspire Foundation
Dialogue: Sharing Experiences of Diaspora in Development; What is the unique position of the diaspora to engage in innovative poverty reduction initiatives? Respondent: June Francis, Associate Professor, Faculty of Business Administration, Simon Fraser University
Session 2: Business as Economic Development Moderator: Margaret Gallagher, CBC Radio
Investing in Small Business in Northern Uganda Miriam Megwalu
Connecting Across Sectors and Networks in Latin America Antonio Arreaga
Dialogue: What are the potential benefits of diaspora business ventures in the economic well-being of Canada and communities in the Global South?  
Session 3: Final Reflections: Tapping the Potential: Learning from the Diaspora Respondent: Alexander Dawson, Associate Professor, Department of History and Director, Latin American Studies, Simon Fraser University
Closing Remarks  

Dialogue Photos Courtesy of Greg Ehlers - Simon Fraser University © 2011