4 years New Diaspora: we’re gonna need a bigger boat

ND launch-morning snow

“Snowy and sunny day in Amsterdam. Perfect place, perfect time… Let’s do this!”
(my Facebook status in the morning of Wednesday 13/3/13)

New Diaspora started its journey exactly four years ago, on March 13, 2013. After months of painstaking preparation, οn the day of its launch it was meant as three things in one: a) a web documentary series, b) a collection of open letters, interviews and other articles, c) an online community with the ability to become an active global network.

The main reason I decided to create a platform dedicated to the new Greek diaspora was the fact almost no one was talking about it at that time. Thousands of people were abandoning a country in crisis silently, and being one of them I thought we deserved to have a voice and a reference point, so we could share experiences, opinions and ideas. So we could tell our own part of the story. The world needed to know this is a real issue, and not just a series of isolated incidents of workforce mobility.

As the outgoing Greek migration flow was intensifying, it became evident that recording the full scale of such a phenomenon and taking action to empower and connect Greek ‘neomigrants’ all over the world was a noble yet formidable task. As Sheriff Brody in Jaws would put it, “we’re gonna need a bigger boat”. That’s exactly what we tried to achieve in these last four years, succeeding only to a certain extent.

ND stats 2017-Mar

In June 2014, New Diaspora became a certified Foundation (Stichting) under Dutch law. A few months later, I left Amsterdam and returned to my hometown, Athens, hoping that I would be able to find grants, sponsorships and business partners for a Greek-related project more easily. Unfortunately, due to political indecisiveness and the dire effects of a never-ending recession, no state, institutional or EU funds have been secured so far for the project, while commercial sponsors who would otherwise be tempted to reach our international target audience also seem to be hesitant. As a result, the New Diaspora Foundation struggles to keep going, fuelled solely by the passion of a few scattered volunteers and occasional content contributors. Without proper financial support, we can only do a small fraction of what we intend to do. That’s the reason you haven’t seen any new mini documentaries for quite some time now, and also why our content flow has decreased a bit instead of increasing. Posting everything both in Greek and English doesn’t help either, no matter how important it is to address an international audience.

Meanwhile, the almost half a million Greeks who have moved abroad since the beginning of the crisis have become a sort of a ‘borderless nation’, adding up to millions of Greeks who originated from previous migration waves. Once more, the valuable human resources of our country are drained, and this time most of the people who have moved abroad are educated and multilingual. Reversing this unprecedented ‘brain drain’ would take years, providing there is adequate restructuring of the Greek economy, which -for the time being- seems unable to offer serious incentives for its expatriate citizens to return en masse.

So, what do we plan to do from now on? Our aim is to carry on documenting a migration wave as it happens, as well as to reinforce bonds among new diaspora Greeks. We’d like to affiliate with numerous online communities all over the world, partner with other relevant initiatives, expand to offline activities, film more web documentaries, tell more compelling stories, redesign our somewhat obsolete and dysfunctional website, and provide all the necessary tools for anyone who wishes to discover Greek professionals abroad and tap on their experience and potential from a distance. Now, more than ever, is the time for us to be the story and also be the change we all dream of. Together.

Ideally, we would like to secure as much as €100K per year, but we don’t seriously expect to raise that kind of money by donations only. Even the few Euros you can spend will help us hire journalists, translators, developers, researchers, marketing experts, and so on, as well as to cover expenses such as web hosting.

More importantly, your donations will be used to fund a variety of activities, including:

  • Original research on Greek ‘neomigrants’ (demographics, economic footprint, incentives for their return, etc)

  • Database of Greek businesses and professionals abroad (facilitating the need for international networking and mutual support)

  • Greek Expat Survival Guide (online app with useful information regarding employment, housing, insurance, etc. in popular destination countries)

  • Commercial, cultural and academic events abroad (relevant to the Greek diaspora and in collaboration with Greek and international institutions, local communities and sponsors)

  • Upgrade of New Diaspora online platform (new content sections, communication between members, global agenda, mobile responsiveness, etc.)

  • Community management (social media, research & development, local associates fees, press)

  • Mini documentary web series (10 episodes/year, focusing on personal stories and achievements of Greek ‘neomigrants’)

  • New Diaspora content (interviews, reports, op-eds, monthly columns, gallery, talks, webinars, podcasts, editing and translation costs, etc.)

  • Work Groups (exchange of know-how on various sectors, peer reviewed proposals, humanitarian initiatives, voting rights)

Donating to New Diaspora Foundation is easy. All you need to do is click on the “donate” button on the right and pay any sum you wish by PayPal or credit card. Alternatively, you can transfer money directly to our bank account:

Stichting New Diaspora
IBAN: NL70ABNA0418044953
BIC: ABNANL2A

In addition to funding our work, you can always contact us and volunteer to become members of our international team. Apart from business partners and experts in various fields, we are always looking for local liaisons, who can also collaborate with us as correspondents.

Thank you so much for embracing and supporting this effort!

Nikolaos 2013 Vondelpark MNikolaos Stampoulopoulos

New Diaspora Founder & Creative Director

 

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