Understanding Diversity

It’s genuinely refreshing to hear a world leader speaking out positively and constructively on Diversity as Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada did at Davos last week: „Diversity is the engine of invention. It generates creativity that enriches the world.“

And perhaps this will help create a drive towards a genuine understanding of Diversity, enabling us to lay aside the popular albeit nonsensical Diversity narrative that in fact hinders progress towards or more inclusive and integrated world, notwithstanding that much of it is well-intentioned.

Diversity is the existence of difference and variety.

It is … a fact, a natural characteristic of life that reflects nature.

There is nothing special about Diversity, although it is of course special. Without Diversity, systems die.

Diversity is an attribute, and as such, neither ‚positive‘ nor ’negative‘. It is!

It is not a ‚problem‘ to be solved.
Perceiving and treating Diversity as a problem is a problem, a BIG Problem, because it is seeking a ’solution‘ to something for which there is no solution or even answer. Diversity is!

Diversity does not need to be managed. It is nature.
Nature does not need ‚managing‘ – it knows precisely what it is doing.
It has been adapting itself, without human management for millions of years.
We humans are part of nature, not above it.

Diversity is not gender. Gender is one aspect of human diversity.
Diversity is not age. Age is one aspect of human diversity.
Diversity is not sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is one aspect of human diversity.
Diversity is not physical ability. Physical ability is one aspect of human diversity.
Diversity is not ethnicity. Ethnicity, in the limited extent to which it can be defined, is one element of natural diversity.
Diversity is not belief. All belief systems are purely … beliefs; constructed by humans. They are not natural. They are not an element of natural diversity.
Diversity is not nationality. Nationality, like countries is purely a concept, a construct. It is not an element of natural diversity.

Yet within society as well as within organisations, Diversity is often defined as one or more of the above.
By doing so, we create a problem for ourselves – a problem of limited perspective.

So perhaps we could ask a different Question …

Diversity Question

When we find the answers appropriate to our social space (e.g. workplace, local community) we might make some real progress towards enriching the world.

We could start with a values-oriented dialogue.