We had a phone call from The Institute of Arts and Ideas (IAI) recently and we have to admit, they were not a body we would have intuitively linked with our strategic efforts here in PwC on diversity. However, reading their brand statement ‘realising the potential of the 21st century intellectual landscape’ gave us pause for thought; as part of our diversity strategy is undoubtedly about realising the potential of our PwC intellectual and talent landscape.
So it turns out, some of their team are avid readers of our Gender Agenda blog (which is always nice to hear) and they wanted to bring our attention to their upcoming How the Light Gets In festival, which it turns out it is the world's largest philosophy and music festival, and appears to have a wonderfully eclectic programme of thought-provoking debates, music, and comedy.
As diversity practitioners we keep ourselves informed of current research, legislation, best practice and dialogue on all things diversity.
This festival made us think we need to start thinking in more broad and diverse terms as to how we keep abreast of developments in such areas beyond our usual sources. So when Zoe Willox Dunant of the IAI encouraged us to look at the programme for How the Light Gets In festival because she thought some of it may be of interest to us, we couldn’t have agreed more.
The programme includes a number of relevant philosophy sessions: The World after Men, Revolutionary Women, More than Equal, After Feminism, United in Difference. And one that particularly piqued our interest entitled Thinking Differently.
This Thinking Differently debate brings together a diverse mix of experts including Scottish feminist linguist Deborah Cameron, feminist psychologist Carol Gilligan and Cambridge philosopher Simon Blackburn as they embark upon a quest for new ways of thinking.
A rather enticing session description is outlined……which already has us thinking.
Encouraging new ways of thinking is part of our role. We aim to get leadership, management, the whole talent population of our organisations to think in new and different ways, including thinking about diversity itself differently. To understand that diversity is a business issue with a clear business case, and harness the creativity and innovation of our workforce.
The importance of language and thinking differently was at the crux of Dennis Nally’s recent PwC CEO Insight’s blog entitled Stop talking about diversity. Dennis shares why he believes that discussing diversity implicitly at the global level (as opposed to explicitly) will sustain momentum in the face of uncertain markets and help tap into talent.
One thing is for sure: just thinking about ‘thinking differently’ in itself is a positive step. Be that through broadening the scope of our subject matter sources on diversity, or through evoking new ways of thinking about diversity in our leaders and peers.
We can’t wait to see how these fascinating philosophy sessions take form at How the Light Gets In festival, which runs from 23 May-2 June.
For those who can’t attend, the IAI will make the philosophy sessions available on line at http://iai.tv/ - we’ll be sure to let you know when, so that we can all tune in.