The 21st century will be remembered as the century of Diasporas and international Networks!

The 21st century will be remembered as the century of Diasporas and international Networks!

The Armenian TimesBy Jonathan Spangenberg


Our Diaspora communities are afraid of assimilation. The structures of most of our organizations and associations are mostly centralized organs of semi function. Our brains seem to be dogmatic with concepts of the past! Our methodology of work is far from today?s reality. Fear, confusion and mistrust for something new have paralyzed our growth! Inter-community communication has turned into processes of mistrust towards issues of nearly total irrelevance. Besides all these details, seemingly and collectively we still have not understood that actually Diasporas and Networks of such unimaginable potential have the best cards in the world of the 21st century.


The first injection against assimilation is understanding the true networking power of a Diaspora. The second injection is understanding the people in this natural network. The third injection is simply the openness and readiness for some radical changes to occur within our minds, structures and institutions. The forth injection is the gradual development of a platform of modern visionary elements of logistics, communication, management and involvement. We will achieve all this as time, qualitative and quantitative potential, determination, and the picture of tomorrow?s world is running on our side.


Today?s world is already a network of borderless dimensions. Networks of mostly interest oriented mediums of influence for nearly any issue of relevance. A functioning network brings change if it knows when and how to act for the present and the future. Timing and teamwork are the key words to survive as a collective in the era of networks. Once a group of people, organisation, institution or any kind of structure misses the understanding of these simple yet clear facts of modern networking power, it actually means missing the train which comes only once.


Our older generation often asks ?where is the new generation?? ?We hardly see any at community events or community centres?? Well, my answer to the older generation would simply be look once at ?facebook?, ?myspace?, ?linkedin? or any other platform of communication and social or professional networking. The new generation has already started to find its ways of communicating, discussing, getting organised and working in realities of the present. Unfortunately, our organizations and institutions on the face of it have not understood the power of such international networks and platforms. Virtual platforms, networks, and communities which are just the beginning in all what will come in the century of networks. They have still not understood that our Diaspora structures actually have the best natural basis for easily adopting or creating such mediums. Apparently they distance themselves from understanding the deeper philosophy of the actual change. They stick to dogmas of times long since past and shift into a trance of romantic wishes whose methods to achieve are unrealistic simply because they don?t mach up with the present. The structural dogmas bring with it conflicts of childish mentality. All this is happening at the beginning of an era which has just started. Let us not become the first victims of this new era rather become a live example for the world and humanity itself.


In order to highlight the power of our already naturally existing Diaspora network I want to integrate a unique and real life story of a friend into this piece of writing. Imagine a young Armenian physicist (eye doctor) who during the Lebanese civil war grew up in a small Armenian town known as Anjar. In the 90s he studied first in Armenia and after his graduation got the chance to further professionalize himself at a German university. After his studies in Germany he became part of an EU medical research project whose team was composed of young international specialists. The team included two Chinese doctors besides the many other nationalities as well. Eventually, the research team had to travel a lot for various kinds of conferences held in cities like Paris, London, Geneva, Miami, Toronto and so on. The team used to travel together all the time. And as my Armenian friend had relatives or Armenian friends in all the cities and places the conferences would take place, it was very natural that at each airport he was warmly greeted and welcomed by them. We all know what an Armenian welcome at an airport means. After the team experienced this several times one of the Chinese colleges of my friend asked him a question. ?How many Armenians are there in this world?? The answer was ?It seems we are more than the Chinese, yet know that those who welcome me at the airport are just the people of one original town.?


I am sure many of you have similar stories of such experiences of the power of natural Diaspora networks. Please share them with us as it is important for our collective understanding and memory.

Once we develop this understanding we clearly will be ready to develop concepts of modern networking based on elements of existing natural networks. In this light I wish to slightly refer to our newly developing network, the Armenian Times.


The Armenian Times has started to build up a first example of target oriented networking in the field of thought, expression and media. The surprises to come in this domain, namely the development of an Armenian media network will be just the beginning in the concept of creating the basics of a multi-dimensional network of Armenians. We have just started as logistics counts for us just as people?s involvement counts in the process of building up this network. The combination will bring with it the experience of a collective achievement and the first steps of success on which further elements will be built. Our network will grow just as any modern network grows. It will give power back to the people as it is people whom a network should serve.


Our Diaspora and the Armenian reality as a whole will and has to turn into a modern network which is professional, resourceful and knowledge oriented. It must include a social, cultural and educational dimension. Moreover, an international media, economic and political oriented dimension of the network is highly essential for our future. Once we enter the process of achieving this we will be on our best way to become productive again. Productive in all kinds of issues giving thus a new touch to our rich heritage which would give accordingly space for a renaissance or ?Veradzenunt?.


Our communication, cooperation and networking in virtual systems and real life will bring us closer together than ever before.


Source: “Armenian Times”, 03 November 2007, 8th issue (Article link).