On March 16th, 2013, I was honoured to speak at TEDxstanleypark at Robson Square – University of British Columbia downtown campus in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. The title of my speech was Diversity – Evolution of the Unthinkable.
The object of my speech was to be thought provoking which I believe it achieved after the great feedback from the attendees and viewers from fourteen countries during a live webcast.
My speech began by giving a glimpse of my upbringing in a mill town called Prince George, B.C. where racism and ethnic intolerance was rampant in the 1970’s. I can still vividly recall as a 12 year old sitting at a bus stop and getting spat at by an adult, and other adults pretended nothing happened.
The focus of the speech was on how far we have come as a society and we still have a long way to go. Racism and intolerance is an attitude that has been created over centuries in all cultures and in some ways it has been integrated into our economies, laws and social structure. But I truly believe we are moving forward when it comes to “integration” in many parts of the world where the minorities are being embraced by the majority.
From a business perspective we need to keep in mind that the business climate is evolving and China, India, Brazil and Russia will have a greater say in the world’s economy. And western businesses must adapt and embrace diversity if they want to thrive and prosper in the 21st century.
To create cultural harmony in a diverse society we must have cultural diversity education early in schools as well as make diversity training mandatory in the workspace. And new immigrants need to be encouraged by all levels of governments and community leaders assimilate into the mainstream society.
A believe the time has come for us to change behavior and reshape our world.
The TEDX video should be out in a couple of months.