UF Keynote and Parallel Session Descriptions

Day One of UF

Keynote Address 1

Winning ‘Hearts and Minds’ on Migration through Diaspora Engagement: A New Dimension for Diplomatic and Development Cooperation

This keynote presentation by a leading academic or practitioner in the field of diplomacy, international development, and diaspora engagement will position the rise of diaspora engagement within an increasingly complex and volatile landscape of international relations. The keynote will unpack how diaspora engagement can serve as a new form of policy practice to contribute to diplomatic and development cooperation. It will also outline some key frameworks and skills required to achieve the diplomatic and development cooperation promise of diaspora engagement.

Parallel Consultation Sessions  

  1. From Policy to Practice: Successful Models in the Role of Government in Diaspora Engagement.

Context: Diaspora engagement is non-competitive in that a diaspora that wants to help one country is unlikely to want to help another country. This non-competitive nature means our models of diaspora engagement can be shared much more extensively than we currently do so. This is a missed opportunity for diplomatic and development cooperation.

Response: This session will provide a space for different government representatives from around the world to showcase effective policies, programmes, or partnerships that they have developed in relation to diaspora engagement. Specific areas of action showcased will include consular services, cultural heritage, language preservation, policy development, and others engagement terrains identified by panellists. It will provide a collaborative exchange of best practices and lessons learnt in how to effectively design and deliver impactful diaspora engagement, specifically in relation to the role of government. The ideas and insights shared in the session will be collated into a Diaspora Engagement Action Sheet which will be circulated to all participants in the rapporteur sessions and in the conference report.

  1. Digitalizing Diaspora: From A.I. to Networks of A&I.

Context: Much like the world around us, the diaspora engagement sector is operating in a world driven by a ferocious pace of change. The way governments and their diasporas interact in the networked age is now rewired and this will lay the seed for more innovation in how they connect and co-create. This puts pressure on governments to ensure that our diaspora engagement is fit-for-purpose and future-proofed.

Response: This session will consist of leadership across sectors exploring the ongoing innovation that is determining diaspora engagement in the digital age. It will explore how emergent tools and technologies are reshaping how governments can meaningfully engage their diasporas. The session will focus on how digital technologies in areas such as A.I., EdTech, FinTech, health, and others are providing new engagement pathways for governments, the private sector, civil society actors, and others to engage diaspora communities. It will also showcase how digital tools are creating new ways to access networks of affluence and influence across diaspora communities.

  1. Diaspora Data: Building Scale in Communications, Networking, and Outreach for Diaspora Engagement

Context: Despite diaspora engagement witnessing an age of innovation, some of the fundamental questions of the sector remain difficult for governments to answer. For example, questions such as defining the diaspora, where are they, what are they doing, and how to network with diasporas remain central to effective engagement of diasporas for many governments.

Response: This session will bring together leading experts working across issues of data collection, processing, and application within diaspora engagement. It will explore how traditional methodologies for such engagements are still important but are also coming under increasing transformation due to new communication and outreach tools driven by innovation in areas such as big data. It will discuss emergent data collection tools and explore how governments can best build scalable process to access and apply robust data on its diaspora. Furthermore, it will explore the soft skills of effective diplomatic engagement of the diaspora as an enabler of such scale.

Keynote Address 2

Kosovo’s Diaspora Engagement Model: From Service to Engagement

This keynote address is a showcase address by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora (MFAD), Republic of Kosovo that will present the approach of the MFAD to diaspora engagement. It will unpack the flagship commitments and initiatives built to date and planned within the new National Strategy on Diaspora Engagement 2023 – 2033 (NSDE 2023 – 2033). The keynote is an opportunity to project the leadership of the Republic of Kosovo as a regional and global exemplar within diaspora engagement to lay the foundations and rationale for the country to incubate a long-term process of exchange on diaspora engagement for diplomatic and developmental cooperation.

Parallel Consultation Sessions 

  1. Diaspora & the Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus: Generating Impact across Climate, Humanitarianism, Security, and Youth.

Context: The positive impacts of diasporas across the Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus (HDPN) are felt in some of the pressing issues of our time. However, we often fail to fully tell the story of such impact and it goes unnoticed. This has had a tangible impact in not deterring falsehoods informing political and public consciousness on migration. Becoming better at understanding and sharing the impacts of diasporas across the HDPN can play an important role in winning the narrative battle on migration.

Response: This session will blend cross-sectoral leadership to develop a thematic analysis of the role of diaspora engagement in key areas of the HDPN to showcase how diasporas are meaningful connectors of commonality in issues of genuine global significance. It will identify key successes in engaging diasporas in addressing issues such as climate induced migration and climate change. Effective examples of diaspora engagement in areas such as peacebuilding, humanitarianism, and youth empowerment will be explored in the context of how they can provide new capitals to drive development action across the HDPN and to shape a more positive outlook on migration.

  1. Diaspora & Talent: A New Frontier for a Borderless Knowledge Economy.

Context: It has been argued that the global war for talent is over because talent has won. In an age of mobility where talent can be sourced and utilized anywhere in the world, diaspora talent has many fascinating applications to help advance human, social, and economic competitiveness for countries. Yet, we have not fully realized this opportunity despite the opportunity to engage critical non-governmental partners in this age of talent mobility.

Response: This session embraces the reality of talent mobility by bringing policy, industry, and research leaders together to explore how creative policy-based partnerships on mobility can be better served by diaspora engagement. It will also showcase successful models in networking and mobilizing diaspora talent to contribute to diplomatic and development cooperation. It will also identify the key challenges to overcome in effectively networking and mobilizing diaspora talent. Furthermore, it will examine the increasing importance of the private sector and other actors in diaspora engagement within the age of talent mobility.

  1. Diaspora & Economic Transformation: Delivering Through and Beyond Remittances.

Context: Due to their size and consistency, remittances have been at the heart of the economic discussion in diaspora engagement over the past decades. However, emerging analyses acknowledge that remittances are only one part of the diaspora finance puzzle. Important actions are waiting to be designed to push the diaspora finance landscape into more diverse economic impacts which, in turn, can drive sustainable economic diversification.

Response: In this session, leading experts will explore how to mobilize remittances more effectively whilst also showcasing effective practices and processes to attract other forms of diaspora economic capital for economic transformation. This will include instruments focused on diaspora investment, export promotion, diaspora marketing, diaspora philanthropy, and other areas of engagement to drive economic development both through and beyond remittances. It will also explore the rising significance of diaspora economic capital for local development as the significance of diaspora connectivity to a sense of place continues to increase.

Day 2 of UF

Interactive Discussion on The Future of UF

This discussion is designed to be a collation of key findings from day one of the UF to help set out priority action areas for the immediate outcomes and future iterations of the UF. The discussion will be facilitated by the Master of Ceremonies and a representative of the MFAD to ensure that a targeted list of immediate outcomes and priority exchange topics are identified for future UF. This will ensure that the future of the UF is designed in direct response to the aims and interests of participants within the UF.

This will result in the Guiding Roadmap for the Future of UF.

UF Legacy Announcements

This session will consist of announcements of local collaborations between MFAD and international cooperation partners to support implementation of the NSDE 2023 – 2033. Furthermore, an announcement can be made of the launch of a technical level peer-to-peer network across participating governments of the UF on diaspora engagement to advance diplomatic cooperation on the topic because of the UF. This can also serve as the distributary mechanism for all UF follow-up processes, including the UF report.

Closing Address of UF

This is a space for short closing remarks provided by the MFAD to thank all participants and partners as well as to close with an inspiring call to action for the future of diaspora engagement through the UF with strong leadership from MFAD.