Innovation evolves when different cultures matches, Samuel P. Huntington would say “clashes”. London is famous for its Artists, Designers and Musicians setting trends for many mass products. In 2001 I had the chance to work and live there for 1 month. My assumption for those creative mind sets can be explained due to the fact that many different cultures met and creating new ideas. (see London Demography)
Silicon Valley where about 50% Ph.D and Master Degrees are awarded to foreign nationalities is well known for its technical innovations. And there are indicators the increasing of ethnic diversity (see page 21). US with it’s history being a British colony and a country of refugees during the world wars created over the years innovative niches. Combining governmental effort (education, financial support and space to share ideas) is in my opinion the foundation to create growing businesses, improving education and allowing inter-cultural exchange.
I studied in a very small village called Furtwangen (Germany). About 9’000 inhabitants and among those 2’000 students from different German regions and countries. The university’s foreign student exchange program is quite interesting. More than 100 partner universities in the word spread over 5 continents. Furtwangen is known for being innovative, the university are the first who has created new study programs like Media Informatics or OnlineMedia.
Taking those observations in to account, I would like to see Vietnam’s effort to allow people of different cultures to work, study and visiting the country in a simpler way. I don’t mean to give a free ticket to whatever you want, but in a reasonable way. Don’t force companies to submit forms to convince and explain why to hire a foreign employee. Why does the government to know this? A foreign employee will create more expenses than a local one. The company has its reason to do it. Sure, you would argue, Vietnam has to give local employees the job. This is a short term solution. The process of multi-cultural collaboration, education and mixture would slow down.
It is hard to find a way to balance your cultural heritage and foreign cultural influences. Foreigners, please stop complaining about Vietnamese. And also Vietnamese stop complaining about your own folks. Vietnam managed 1000 years of China, 100 year of France and the next decades is the challenge to manage yourself.