The global ‘diaspora’ or expat community consists of people who have lived overseas, gained knowledge and understanding throughout their time as a global citizen, and have then brought that knowledge back upon their return. With our increasingly interconnected world, there are more diasporas and expatriates than ever. So how can we leverage this greater interconnectedness for better global collaboration?
According to a report published by PwC and Advance titled ‘Out of sight, out of mind? Australia’s diaspora as a pathway to innovation’, there are approximately 1 million Australian diaspora, with an additional 2.5 million non-Australian born alumni of Australian universities living overseas. The report suggests that this is an untapped resource for greater innovation and collaboration.
The report also shows that 86% of CEO’s say that collaboration is a very important skill. However, only 7.7% of Australian businesses are collaborating with international firms when creating new products and services. As an estimated $23.5 billion AUD is projected to be made over the next 10 years if the level of collaboration begins to match the top five OECD nations, it’s clear that more needs to be done to encourage ideas exchange throughout the world.
Global collaboration can challenge global problems
It’s rare that complex global problems are solved with the capacity of a single sector, collaboration is the key to greater outcomes. Meeting public policy with powerful innovative capabilities from diverse businesses, universities and other institutions is crucial. Here’s an example:
The Global Innovation Exchange
Part of the Global Innovation Exchange (GIE), the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) is the informal platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration. The Alliance was established in 2015 and brings together organisations including UNICEF, the Global Innovation Fund, the UNDP, USAID and more. These groups have come together to drive the mission to achieve greater innovation for better sustainability in the future.
According to the 2018 Global Innovation Index report, projections indicate that by 2040 the world will require up to 30% more energy than it needs today.
Conventional solutions that we currently use will no longer be sustainable. Enter innovation. According to the report, innovation will play a key role in meeting the increasing energy demand.
As an example of how programs like GIE may be able to provide solutions to this, the platform currently has over 900 (and counting) projects focussed solely on the environment. Sharing these ideas through GIE could become an integral part of funding initiatives that can create more environmentally sustainable societies.
“It’s through collaboration we accelerate innovation and leapfrog”
– OFX’s CEO Skander Malcolm
How businesses can create collaboration
While the project above contributes to greater innovation and ideas exchange on a global scale, there’s a lot businesses can do to drive this change as well. By including a diverse team of people to collaborate and build new products, greater resolution to customer pain points and needs can be met with innovative ideas.
Propel – an Advance Innovation Program
Advance is a global community of Australians with connections to over 110 countries. Supported by OFX, Advance aims to provide networking, ideas and support to empower people to develop their potential.
Propel, an Advance Innovation Program, invited Australian entrepreneurs through a fast-tracked process of developing their company or start-up project. Qualifying start-ups were sent to participate in a 3-day workshop in LA, an innovation tour of Silicon Valley, and a 5-day US tour.
The great part of this initiative was that after taking on board this knowledge, it was then brought back to Australia for a tour to share with other Australian-based entrepreneurs. This also provided the opportunity to meet with potential investors who would further strengthen those ties and encourage global collaboration.
As put by OFX’s CEO Skander Malcolm, “it’s through collaboration we accelerate innovation and leapfrog, and it’s in our best interest to establish more meaningful links with the external world.” We’re becoming better connected every year. and it’s important that we open the gateway for better communication in the future through global collaboration.
Where The World’s Moving
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