January 23, 2007

Bulk view

Meeting the European Chamber of Commerce

When Dae Unisa mentioned the meeting that the Brain Gain Network was going to have with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, I asked her if she could sneak me into it. I like BGN. I don't regularly pass by their site, but I think the idea is terrific: help stem or even reverse the brain drain phenomenon by reaching out to Filipinos abroad. Besides, I love meeting people who care about these things, too, and if I could pick up a few best practices for a soon-to-be expat...

I went with Dae Unisa and Emerson Tan, both of Narra VC. The meeting was the second in a series of planning meetings for BGN's possible rebranding. I originally intended to just observe, but I couldn't help step into the meeting, building agreement by restating what people were saying. ECCP thought there was a lot of potential in expanding the scope of BGN from technology entrepreneurship to five key industries:

  • Animation
  • Design process delivery (engineering, architecture)
  • Retirement
  • Medical services
  • Information technology

By asking questions and rephrasing what people were saying, I learned more about what they wanted to do, and added a few suggestions on how those ideas might be implemented. The decisions still have to be made by Narra VC, which runs BGN, but I think there are a few ideas there that are definitely worth exploring.

One thing is to ask the expats I meet about what they would need in order to consider referring business back to the Philippines, and in order to consider returning to the Philippines. The other is to find a way to make it easier for people who are visiting the Philippines for a vacation (like I did this December) to share their knowledge with local people. That would be great, and it would also strengthen people's ties with the Philippines.

I can't work on BGN right now (busy with my thesis), but I can give them a couple of ideas to try out. Who knows? Maybe something will work, and then I'll get better at coming up with ideas... =)

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Life in a parallel universe

My dad taught me how to parallel park today. Or at least he tried to; I still need constant instruction while parking, as I haven't quite gotten the feel of the size of the car yet. It's a very useful skill, though.

I spent half the time in third gear today. This is an improvement. =)

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