Diversity of Thought

Is diversity of thought real diversity?

Actually, I think it’s the essence of diversity.

Let’s consider:

❓If two people in a room, of the same race, culture, gender and age, disagree on how to think through a problem, is diversity present in this room?

❓If 10 people in a room, of different races, cultures, genders and generations, all agree on how to think through a problem, is there diversity in that room?

Yes. In both cases we have some sort of diversity.

We have differences represented.

But we don’t seek differences just for the sake of having differences.

❗️We need to know why we value diversity in each particular case, before we set out looking for it, praising those who have it or criticizing those who don’t.

🤫 And “because it’s the right thing to do!” is not the best reason unless we understand why we think so.

For example, we may value diversity:

▪️as exposure to the different perspectives that can arise from different experiences;

▪️for the creativity in innovation or problem-solving sparked by diverse abilities, ideas and points of view;

▪️to become better critical thinkers, avoid echo chambers, challenge our views and practice thinking for ourselves;

▪️as representation of certain social groups in certain places such that the composition of those places reflects the composition of the communities they serve;

▪️as environments where we aren’t afraid to disagree and share our opinions – opinions which do not necessarily correlate to race, culture, gender or a range of social identities!*

⚠️ *Linking differences or similarities in perspectives to social identities can itself be a form of stereotyping!

✨ Ultimately, we want our essence and our thoughts respected regardless of our packaging – our social identities.

And places that promote diversity of thought from everyone are much more attractive to me than those with the prettiest mosaic of diverse packaging, but where not everyone’s thoughts are respected.

❓Do you consider diversity of thought in and of itself, “real” diversity?

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