By Noreen Bowden | March 20, 2009
A group of high-level Irish representatives should be gathered to reach out to the Irish diaspora to assist in economic development, says an Irish-American founder of the San Francisco-based Irish Technology Leadership Group.
Tom McEnery, a former mayor of San Jose, is quoted in the Sunday Business Post as saying,
It is now time to assemble the best and most significant Irish representatives – like President McAleese, key government and Enterprise Ireland people, U2, Seamus Heaney and the Abbey players as well as certain chief executives – to help Ireland in these tough times.
If these representatves reached out to successful second- and third-generation Irish around the world, then a rich vein of relationships that could achieve real results would be initiated.
McEnry said that the focus of Irish outreach efforts needs to shift from the traditional centres of Irish-American power:
Politicians need to make more visits to Silicon Valley, where there are 700,000 technology workers – and less to Washington, New York and Chicago.
Silicon Valley is successsful because of the Californian government’s investment in universities, the development of a proper transport network via public-private partnerships, and the availability of capital to support enterprise ventures.
Ireland has good universities, but it hasn’t achieved the others to the extent that is needed, and that is where the focus needs to be now. Ireland has come a long way in the last 20 years, and everything that can be done now to sustain that must be done.
Sunday Business Post: Irish diaspora must be tapped for support