E-MIGRACJA project. The Polish Technological Diaspora

A wrist watch by Patek Phillipe. A space rover Lunar Roving Vehicle. Apple and Commodore computers. YouTube, the largest video platform. These are the procucts recognized worldwide. Hardly anyone knows that these were Polish emigrant or the individuals with the Polish roots who made their contribution to the success. Poles, who presently emigrate are well-qualified persons featuring entrepreneurial skills, work for IT global leading companies, are owners of start-ups and innovators. It seems to be an interesting and growing professional group, that had never been thoroughly surveyed. What are their professions, where do they live, what are their connections with Poland?

In order to find answers to these questions, the Emigration Museum in Gdynia and PLUGin Polish Innovation Diaspora Foundation launched a research project named E-MIGRACJA – Polska Diaspora Technologiczna.

The technological progress resulted in changes in the innovation profile. In the past, the economy was driven by engineers and scientists; today, these are entrepreneurs, programmers, designers, persons holding interdisciplinary competences, employees of the knowledge-based economy. Contemporary Polish emigrants, educated and ambitious, work worldwide, hold executive and managerial posts, and many of them have been employed in the new-tech related industry, are owners of businesses or start-ups. For years, Polish students have been achieving top positions in the finals of the prestigious programming contests. An internal differentiation and ever-developing community of the Polish professionals, hired in innovative sectors of the economy has not been subject to a system analysis by far. The research project.

E-MIGRACJA – the Polish Technological Diaspora, who has been initiated by the Emigration Museum in Gdynia is the first comprehensive research of this type. The project’s partner is London based PLUGin Foundation, associating the representatives of the Polish technological diaspora.

This research is addressed to the persons hired in the high tech sector. The representatives of the Polish technological diaspora are programmers, innovators, start-up owners, game developers and founders as well as individuals connected with a widely recognized digital culture. We are also fond of persons, who work in the techonological environment as lawyers, businesspeople, lobbyists-says Sebastian Tyrakowski, Deuputy Director of the Emigration Museum in Gdynia. – Our goal is to learn who the representatives of the Polish technological diaspora really are: what their professions are, what they specialize in, where they live,. We are deeply interested in the profile of their emigration, whether it is permanent or temporary, what reasons stood behind the decision about going to work abroad, what their future plans are and if they are related to Poland – highlights Sebastian Tyrakowski.

The objective of this project is to identify, examine and describe the Polish “technological diaspora” spread worldwide, with a particular focus on the US, UK and Germany. The survey is dedicated to persons hired abroad in innovative sectors of the economy, including: Poles, who emigrated, persons holding Polish roots and an interesting and still growing group of

transmigrants and nomads as well as employees, who push their global careers, yet they have not taken a decision on leaving the country for good. This research will be split into two stages.

We have prepared a questionnaire covering over 30 questions on various emigration experience. The questionnaire is availabel at www.e-migracja.eu. We intend to reach to the largest possible number ofthe representatives of the Polish technological diaspora, working in different parts of the world. Basing upon the snowball model, we would like to collece as much quantity data as possible – declares Rafał Raczyński, Ph.D., Chief Research Officer in the Emigration Museum – The second step, planned for 2019, provides for complementary quality research to be carried out using IDI methodology. We believe that the output to be gained from the survey and an interest in the project, will become an opportunity to establish relations and develop a successful cooperation with the representatives of the Polish technological diaspora. We would like to show an example of achievers, participating in cutting edge initiatives and being showcase of Poland – underlines Rafał Raczyński, Ph. D..

E-MIGRACJA project. The Polish Technological Diaspora was publicly presented for the first time on June 20 over the conference Polish Tech Day w Londynie. Theproject aims at reaching to the broad range of recipients, that could be completed through conferences, meetings and debates. We take pride in achievements of the Polish emigrants- these are not only individuals, who are successful in their career, but also active representatives of local communities in the cities, where they work. An example of such an initiatives is PLUGin, established in London, a foundation organizing Polish entrepreneurs, a project’s partner.

The project has been financed with the funds of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, from the Culture Promotion Fund


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