Brain Drain – Brain Gain: Yes we can!

Go Lean Commentary

Wait, what?!
Rather than the subtraction of a “drain”, there is a way to get the addition of a “gain”?
Then bring it on!

This is the change that is being promoted, projected and proposed for Caribbean people and Caribbean communities:

Yes, we can have a Brain Gain.

This simply means we have to do the heavy-lifting to retain our people and invite others to come join us. What a challenge?!

Challenge accepted!

This was the quest of the 2013 book Go Lean … Caribbean, it presented a roadmap for elevating the economic, security and governing engines of the 30 member-states of the Caribbean region. It focuses on the 42 million people in the homeland and the 20 million (plus or minus) in the Diaspora. Perhaps some of that Brain Gain will be those of the Diaspora repatriating, or just simply some empowering immigrants from foreign abodes.

“Make happy those who are near and those who are far will come” – Ancient Chinese proverb.

This is the continuation, entry 2-of-5, of this February Teaching Series from the movement behind the Go Lean book. The topic this month is on Brain Drains; we present the full width-and-breadth of the subject. Other Brain Drain considerations are presented in this series; see the full catalog here:

  1. Brain Drain – Where the Brains Are
  2. Brain Drain – Brain Gain: Yes we can!
  3. Brain Drain – Geeks and Freaks: Ultimate Revenge
  4. Brain Drain – ‘Tiger Moms’ – Is that so bad?
  5. Brain Drain – Live and Let Live – Introducing ‘Localism’

As related in the first entry in this series, even advanced democracy countries, like the United States, have challenges with Brain Drains. As related in the AUDIO-PODCAST below, 60 percent of the US population live in urban-suburban areas, as more and more people abandon the rural areas and seek refuge near cities.

Why do they leave? For the same reasons the Caribbean suffers from such an atrocious Brain Drain rate:

Push” – people leave, to seek refuge elsewhere. Social defects result in narrow-mindedness of attitudes and values towards anyone that looks, talks, thinks or loves differently that those in the community. This includes those identified as LGBT, Disabled, Domestic-abusedMedically-challenged.

Pull”, on the other hand refers to the lure of a more prosperous life elsewhere; many times people are leaving based on a mirage of “greener pastures”, though the “better prospect” may be elusive … especially for the first generation.

While there are more jobs in the Big Cities, the American pastoral lands – fly-over country – have always featured great agricultural opportunities – a popular expression of entrepreneurship. But this is not just an issue of economics. Those who live in the rural areas and small town have always had the privilege of ignoring the locks on their doors – so there is less of a security threat (crime and organized gangs).

So what’s the Push dynamics that threaten the viability of rural citizens, especially young ones:

The cultural differences between Urban Progressives and Rural Conservatives is stark and must be reconciled.

This fact was related in the aforementioned AUDIO-PODCAST; let’s consider that now and see how some rural areas have found success in attracting empowering New Comers:

AUDIO-VIDEO – Reversing the ‘Brain Drain’ in Rural America? –

Posted October 9, 2019 – Rural America has never been only one place, one type of person or one type of job. And new data points to the growing complexity and diversity of those parts of the country. Author and podcast host Sarah Smarsh wrote in The New York Times recently about so-called “brain gain” instead of “brain drain.”

The Christian Science Monitor recently reported a prairie trend of young people, drawn by family ties and affordable entrepreneurship, returning to rural and small-town homes around college graduation. They’re opening restaurants or starting small, unconventional farming operations. One college senior founded a direct-to-consumer beef company in Otoe County, Neb., and sold $52,000 worth of meat in the past nine months.

This return — or refusal to leave — is good news for Americans who will happily remain in cities. The future of rural is intertwined with suburban and urban outcomes by way of food production, natural resources, the economy, political movements and beyond.

What makes for success in some spots? And what’s driving people away from others?

We expand on our previous conversation about how to report on rural America with Smarsh, data journalist Dante Chinni of the American Communities Project at George Washington University and Monica Potts, who moved back home to Clinton, Arkansas, to write about low-income women in her hometown.

Produced by Stacia Brown.


  • Dante Chinni – Director of the American Communities Project at the George Washington University; data journalist for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal; author of “Our Patchwork Nation”.
  • Sarah Smarsh – Journalist; host, “The Homecomers” podcast.
  • Monica Potts – Journalist based in rural Arkansas.

One strategy that is emerging from the mitigation of Brain Drains , and for enabling Brain Gain, is that of localism.

Localism describes a range of political philosophies which prioritize the local. Generally, localism supports local production and consumption of goods, local control of government, and promotion of local history, local culture and local identity. – Source: Wikipedia

This localism is clearly gleaned from the foregoing PODCAST; it provides a model for other rural communities to emulate and for the Caribbean as well. The featured local communities began to realize that they had to be tolerant of visitors, strangers and foreigners. So localism in this case brought a certain amount of pragmatism:

The town must survive – “we must put aside our differences and work together”.

Ditto for the Caribbean region and 30 member-states. This is why the movement behind the Go Lean book has always championed the need to reform and transform community values. See how this has been addressed in many previous Go Lean commentaries – consider this sample: Refuse to Lose – Remediating ‘Columbus Day’ & Reforming History Unequal Justice: Reforming Sheriffs with ‘soft’ Tyrannicide Reforming LGBT Policies – “Can’t we all just get along” Reforming Bad Ethos on Home Violence Reforming Our Governance: The Kind of Society We Want Reforming Our Governance: Stepping Up in an Emergency Reforming Reinsurance to Reform Disaster Response Rwanda’s Catholics Apologize for Genocide and Seeks to Reform What’s Holding Back Jamaica’s Reforms

The opening theme in this commentary related the need to do the “heavy-lifting to retain our people and invite others to come join us”. This means being more willing to embrace empowering immigrants. Wow! This means overcoming the natural tendency to be xenophobic and expressing some disdain for strangers. But “the world is flat”, so to compete in this world will mean overcoming any dogma and orthodoxy. So rather than strangers, the advocacy is to think of outsiders as potential trading partners and new friends.

Can we consider this? Can we consider this … in regards to immigration and our view of new immigrants?

Yes, we can must … if we want to survive. Immigration policy has been a “lightning rod” issue in many communities. The American example is duplicitous: their President wants to “build a wall” to keep immigrants out, while the country’s economists tabulate the positive effects of immigration on their economy. Consider the lessons-learned in the Appendix VIDEO below.

Also consider how the Go Lean movement addressed the need to invite Empowering Immigrants in a previous commentary. This Case Study is presented regarding the once rural town of Huntsville, Alabama. They got over their reticence and disdain towards Germans – after World War II – and invited the Rocket Scientist Wernher von Braun, and his team of other German engineers, scientists and technologists. The end result was the fostering of an advanced Scientific Climate for building rockets for NASA for the space expeditions in the 1960’s … and continuing until today. See a summary of that Case Study and related references here:

Much of America’s leadership in the Space Race during the Cold War years of 1950 to 1991 was due to the contributions of one empowering immigrant: Rocket Scientist Wernher von Braun; see … more details …below.

Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun (March 23, 1912 – June 16, 1977) was a German and later American aerospace engineer and space architect. He was one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Germany and the United States and is considered one of the “Fathers of Rocket Science”. He was also a member of the Nazi party and the Schutzstaffel (SS), and was suspected of perpetrating war crimes during World War II.

In his twenties and early thirties, Braun was already the central figure in the Nazis’ rocket development program, responsible for the design and realization of the V-2 rocket during World War II. After the war, he and selected members of his rocket team were taken to the United States as part of the secret Operation Paperclip. Braun worked on the United States Army’s intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) program before his group was assimilated by NASA. Under NASA, he served as director of the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center and as the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle, the super-booster that propelled the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon.[1] According to one NASA source, he is “without doubt, the greatest rocket scientist in history”.[2] In 1975 he received the National Medal of Science.

In 1950, at the start of the Korean War, von Braun and his team were transferred to Huntsville, Alabama, his home for the next 20 years. Between 1952 and 1956,[63] von Braun led the Army’s rocket development team at Redstone Arsenal, resulting in the Redstone rocket, which was used for the first live nuclear ballistic missile tests conducted by the United States. He personally witnessed this historic launch and detonation.[64] Work on the Redstone led to development of the first high-precision inertial guidance system on the Redstone rocket.[65]

NASA was established by law on July 29, 1958. One day later, the 50th Redstone rocket was successfully launched from Johnston Atoll in the south Pacific as part of Operation Hardtack I. Two years later, NASA opened the Marshall Space Flight Center at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, and the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) development team led by von Braun was transferred to NASA.

Source: Retrieved February 26, 2020 from:

Huntsville, Alabama
The city is nicknamed “The Rocket City” for its close association with U.S. space missions.[41] On January 31, 1958, ABMA placed America’s first satellite, Explorer 1, into orbit using a Jupiter-C launch vehicle, a descendant of the Redstone. This brought national attention to Redstone Arsenal and Huntsville, with widespread recognition of this being a major center for high technology.

On July 1, 1960, 4,670 civilian employees, associated buildings and equipment, and 1,840 acres (7.4 km2) of land, transferred from ABMA to form NASA‘s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Wernher von Braun was MSFC’s initial director. On September 8, President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicated the MSFC.[42]

During the 1960s, the major mission of MSFC was in developing the Saturn boosters used by NASA in the Apollo Lunar Landing Program. For this, MSFC greatly increased its employees, and many new companies joined the Huntsville industrial community. The Cummings Research Park was developed just north of Redstone Arsenal to partially accommodate this industrial growth, and has now became the second-largest research park of this type in America.

Huntsville’s economy was nearly crippled and growth almost came to a standstill in the 1970s following the closure of the Apollo program. However, the emergence of the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, and a wide variety of advanced research in space sciences led to a resurgence in NASA-related activities that has continued into the 21st century. In addition, new Army organizations have emerged at Redstone Arsenal, particularly in the ever-expanding field of missile defense.[43]

Now in the 2000s, Huntsville has the second-largest technology and research park in the nation,[44] and ranks among the top 25 most educated cities in the nation.[45][46][47] It is considered in the top of the nation’s high-tech hotspots,[48][49] and one of the best Southern cities for defense jobs,[50] It is the number one United States location for engineers most satisfied with the recognition they receive,[51] with high average salary and low median gross rent.[52]

Source: Wikipedia retrieved February 26, 2020 from:,_Alabama#Missile_development

Go to Huntsville! Go visit! Tour and Engage!

This is the 5 L’s at work: Look, Listen, Learn, Lend-a-hand, then Lead!

This goal is among the missions and motivations of the Go Lean book, as related on Page 46:

Invite empowering immigrants to help us move our society and our economy to destinations where we have never been before.

We must reboot the 3 vital societal engines (economics, security, governance) by employing best practices in labor strategies. The Go Lean book provides 370 pages of details on how to spur such a reboot. First, it identified that new community ethos (attitudes and values) have to be adopted; then we must execute new strategies, tactics and implementations to elevate the societal engines. In fact, there is an actual advocacy for this purpose in the book; see here for some of the specific plans, excerpts and headlines from Page 174, entitled:

10 Ways to Foster Empowering Immigration

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market Confederation Treaty: Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU)
This treaty allows for the unification of the region into one market, thereby creating a single economy of 30 member-states, 42 million people and a GDP of over $800 Billion. The Single Market structure allows for the controlled movement of labor from state to state, and the opportunity to correct actuarial imbalances. The CU is a re-boot of the economic engines, the same way indentured servitude rebooted the labor pool in 19th century Guyana. The skills needed for today’s global economy may not be plentiful in the Caribbean and thus the need to invite empowering immigrants. In general, this group of immigrants should give more than they take; they should not be looking for jobs, rather they should create jobs.
2 DFI Time, Talent, Treasuries

The CU will incentivize/promote direct foreign investments (DFI). The CU protections minimize the risk of failure, while extending greater reward because of the dynamics of this market. Members of the One Percent look for enterprising opportunities. The CU will therefore invite this Special Interest Group to immigrate to the region, along with their assets.

3 SGE Labor Rules
4 STEM Immigrants

The same as there is now priority for educational ventures for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, there is also the need for professionals (practitioners and teachers) in these fields. The CU will incentivize these immigrants.

5 Retirees and Tax Refugee – Long Term Tourists
6 Artistic Immigrants
7 Carnies – Event Staff
8 Refugees
9 Movie Making
10 Virtual Employees

Brain Gain, instead of Brain Drain – Yes, we can …

That opening quotation, originally published in a previous blog-commentary, is so apropos that it should be encored here:

“Make happy those who are near and those who are far will come”.

That previous blog-commentary identified tourists-visitors and repatriates (Re-patriots) as the target audience to “come from afar”. Now we are also applying this mantra to Empowering Immigrants.

Let’s get started and convert our atrocious Brain Drain to a Brain Gain. This is how we make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xix. Whereas our legacy in recent times is one of societal abandonment, it is imperative that incentives and encouragement be put in place to first dissuade the human flight, and then entice and welcome the return of our Diaspora back to our shores. This repatriation should be effected with the appropriate guards so as not to imperil the lives and securities of the repatriated citizens or the communities they inhabit. The right of repatriation is to be extended to any natural born citizens despite any previous naturalization to foreign sovereignties.

xxi. Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history..

xxiv.  Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix VIDEO – How does immigration impact the economy? | CNBC Explains – https://youtu.b e/f0dVfDiSrFo

CNBC International
Posted Dec 21, 2018 – It’s an incredibly complicated topic, with political disagreement about how immigration affects a nation’s economy. CNBC’s Uptin Saiidi explains the data behind the debate.
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