1. The discussion paper is well written with clearly articulated ideas. However, because it is not concise it may discourage some individuals to follow through and make the effort necessary to fully appreciate the presented concepts.
2. The idea of Anchor projects is well explained and the “Datev” project is an excellent example to explain the concept of transformative projects that have a vision and community impact far beyond the project.
3. Some of the other concepts are not as clear, such as Platforms of Cooperation, Impact Investment etc. (examples of existing or envisioned projects may help).
4. The vison for the future is well articulated but the concept of Global Network Nation needs more discussion to be convincing as a realistic future. Arguments need to be developed that can convincingly demonstrate that the divide between various Diaspora communities can be bridged.
5. The diversity of the Diaspora is examined, however, the very significant development in the last 25 years is that two distinct Diaspora communities have developed in Europe vs. US and Canada. These two distinct communities are significantly different in nature and are experiencing difficulties to integrate to form a single community and become a cohesive and effective Diaspora Force.
The first of these two communities was formed by Armenians emigrating from the Middle East while the second group includes Armenians settling in the West from Armenia in the last couple of decades. My experience in North America is that the two Diaspora communities formed by these two distinct groups have difficulties in integrating.
Examining the differences and formulating solutions to the problem of the “two solitudes” may be an essential factor in mobilizing the Diaspora in the West to the common cause of securing Armenia’s future which is the main subject of “At the Crossroads”.
6. The arguments presented to prefer the adoption of the Hub state model over the “capsule” or “peripheral state” model are well developed and convincing. The example of United World College Dilijan is a very good example that explains the concept.
7. The paper emphasizes the importance of economic and social well-being as two important aspects for a secure future. This is a valid argument that should not overshadow the importance of Armenia correctly reading the trends and developments in our neighborhood and aligning our diplomatic efforts to intelligently execute a strategic political orientation within the competing East – West geopolitical interests that are determined to change the realities (and borders) in our region.
8. Are we to consider Islamised Armenians within the borders of Turkey another component of a Diaspora that may play a role in the future security of our country?
9. Last but not least, in our quest to educate and enlighten our population, the advancement of human rights, women’s rights, promoting gender equality, LGBT rights etc. are significant issues that need to be addressed.
We must recognize that a significant portion of our population is neither adequately represented nor participating in the efforts of advancing our goals. When designing projects, inclusiveness of gender must always be under consideration. As a small nation we must promote and insure the participation of all members of our society.
In conclusion, please allow me to congratulate you and your team for preparing this thought-provoking discussion paper, which to my knowledge is a first in its kind, it is a very good honest discussion of the serious challenges facing our nation and an excellent attempting to formulate a way forward.
I wish you success, your success will be our collective success.