The flow of professional talent, both permanent and temporary, is a prevalent aspect of globalization. High-skilled talent moves across national borders in search of better academic, professional, and social opportunities. But the concept of talent flow is not narrowly confined to the physical relocation of talented individuals. In the era of the knowledge economy, mobile talent contributes to the creation and diffusion of knowledge, and one cannot disregard the social capital value of talent that incorporates the connections between cultures and the potential for transnational collaboration.
The migration of high-skilled professionals is not a zero-sum game in which the host country receives a net inflow of human capital from the home country. A phenomenon commonly referred to as "brain drain" for the home country and "brain gain" for the host country can in fact offer opportunities for brain circulation or brain linkage—that is, home-host interactions that create a win-win, positive-sum situation for both sides. When high-skilled migrant talent stays engaged with the home country, both home and host countries gain from the productive capacity embodied in the ties and networks linking many individuals and organization.
Transnational social capital and ties spanning geographic and cultural distance remain vital to today's global market economy, even more so in a time of political tensions at home and abroad. Speakers Gi-Wook Shin and Dexter Simpson will discuss the positive gains of global talent flows and how migrant talent can create mutually beneficial ties—or "brain linkages"—between the United States and their home countries, even during the times of heightened political tension and rising anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States.