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… =)

Random Emacs symbol: ibuffer-directory-abbrev-alist – Variable: An alist of file name abbreviations like `directory-abbrev-alist’.

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