“Sparking” International Collaboration

new-sparkle-2-hiWhen we survey our lives retrospectively, we find instances of specific collisions with people that helped to shape us over time.  Marriages, friendships and business opportunities are born, kindled and flow from such fortuitous interactions.  These collisions hold the potential to “spark” great things.

Years ago a friend encouraged me to read The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell because he saw me particularly in Gladwell’s theory that little things can make a big difference.  Social epidemics (fashions, movements, diseases, etc.) reach a tipping point because of three agents of change—namely connectors, mavens and salespeople.

Salespeople are persuaders, and mavens are information specialists.  While I certainly possess elements of both these descriptors, it is the connector that fits squarely in my wheelhouse and is central to the ethos of British Expats in Life Sciences (BELS).  Gladwell’s connectors are community members who know large numbers of people and who habitually make introductions.  A connector is the social equivalent of a computer network hub, because it links up the community and brings it closer together.

BELS is a unique, strategic membership network of British expats and other overseas alumni of UK universities who hold influential leadership positions globally in the health and life sciences. The BELS team is strengthening connections between these expats/overseas alum and the UK health & life science scene by delivering insights, intelligence, introductions and interactions to benefit our Members, their organisations, our sector globally, and UK plc. Think of us a trusted portal and intermediary striving to spark international collaborations.

Just as a camp fire needs that initial kindling and a match to ignite it, BELS looks to inflame the “sparks” that stimulate great partnerships going forward.  Want to get involved? Visit www.BELSconnector.org where you can join BELS if you’re an expats/overseas alum life scientist. And organisations interested in becoming Supporters, please contact me. Everyone needs to get connected and engaged for those “sparks” to fly!

Nigel Gaymond
Executive Chairman
British Expats in Life Sciences