Name: Kingsley Aikins
Degree/Masters: B.A. (1974) Mod Economics and Politics
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I now live and work in Dublin after a career mostly spent overseas with long stints in the UK, Australia and the US and shorter stays in France and Spain. I worked for the Irish Trade Board (now Enterprise Ireland) and IDA Ireland and then, for 21 years I worked for The Ireland Funds and saw, at first hand, the global power and influence of the Irish Diaspora. I now run a consultancy company called Diaspora Matters and help countries, corporations, institutions, regions and cities develop Diaspora strategies. In all of this, the glue is building global networks, something I have had first-hand experience of over many years and something that Irish people tend to be naturally quite good at.
What excites you most about your current job?
The potential to make Ireland the number one country in the world in this space. We are currently one of the top four along with India, Israel and China. With over 215 million people in the world now living in a country other than the one they were born in, the opportunity is obvious. Dozens of countries are trying to figure out how to do this and many look to Ireland because of the innovation, both public and private, now emerging here. If we achieve that number one position the world will beat a path to our door. I am also the founder member of a group called CASE which stands for 'copy and steal everything' and so I encourage and participate in the maximum amount of collaboration and sharing between countries in what is, essentially, a non- competitive industry.
What did you like most about studying in Trinity?
To be suddenly treated as an adult, to have outstanding lecturers like Dermot McAleese, to be tested in tutorials and on College Park and to make lifelong pals were all elements of the Trinity cocktail that I didn't fully appreciate at the time but have come to value with the passing years. To study and play on a stunning campus in the epicentre of one of Europe's great cities was indeed a pleasure and a privilege.
How do you spend your free time?
Work time, home time - one time. The demarcation is blurring. Work time eats into my free time so I am trying to introduce more free time into my work time and it's all about people whether it's family, pals, colleagues or clients.
What is the most useful piece of advice you've ever received?
Pursue excellence - ignore success.
Who would you invite, dead or alive, to your dream dinner party?
Shane, Ed, Dave, Gerry, Gary, Bruce, Trailly, Watson, Darwin, McCullogh, Mike, Priesty, Tom, Norman, Cameron, Andy and Claire (many, but not all, Trinity graduates).