On 25 February 2020, The Balkan Forum, with with financial support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, organized in Berlin, the first inter-diaspora roundtable, which brought together academics, professors, civil society leaders, doctors, engineers, and journalists from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia who reside in European Union countries, the United States, and beyond. Participants engaged in a positive and constructive discussion, jointly exploring ways to strengthen dialogue, connection, and cooperation among Balkan diaspora communities as drivers of democratic and socio-economic development in the region. Participants committed to launching a process that reduces barriers to collective action; nurturing a multidimensional network, co-created across generations and sectors; holding itself accountable to people in the region; and continuously broadening the network to ensure inclusion and fresh thinking and imagination. Key conclusions of the discussion include a range of actionable ideas such as, undertaking joint research; convening similar, structured meetings in the future; utilizing The Balkan Forum as a platform to establish an online diaspora resource, and to facilitate experience exchange and cooperation; creating working groups comprised of young generations studying outside the Balkans to engage policymakers, academics, and other stakeholders in order to empower the next generation of leadership and turning brain drain into brain gain by creating channels for the transfer of intellectual remittances back to the region among others.
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