Headlines for Tuesday:

  1. Life in a parallel universe (71 words)
  2. Meeting the European Chamber of Commerce (370 words)



1. Life in a parallel universe: 18:58

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. =)

Random Emacs symbol: w3m-file-directory-p - Function: Emulate the `file-directory-p' function for the remote file FILE.

2. Meeting the European Chamber of Commerce: 19:17

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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