Derek’s biggest Diversity and Inclusion wish is that there is no need for it because common sense and decency rule.
Derek believes we implement so many rules that people begin to look for loopholes and they lose their power. Derek argues we should change our approach, starting with pupils at school and stop worrying about what they are learning, instead teach them how to learn. Once they have that skill, they can learn anything that they wish, which will carry them through life. It should not matter who we meet in our lives, we should be able to rely on our listening and communication skills.
Derek believes we need diversity in the widest sense, utilising and taking contributions from a variety of people to help develop creativity and innovation. Bringing together people in this way means we need to expand our vocabulary and be careful of language used.
It can be the case that people do not know how to, or do not want to educate themselves to learn about other cultures or people. Often, they can be worried about asking questions, especially due to the fear of getting it wrong or offending people. For some this fear leads them to avoid these interactions completely, which only exasperates the problem.
Another issue is that language is always evolving and understanding that certain phrases may cause offense to different people. We can change the way we interact with the world and talk; it just takes practice and the desire to learn. Our habits are not hard wired, it just comes down to the effort we are willing to put in. As a traveller and a guest in another country we cannot enforce our culture upon anyone, we need to learn their culture first. It needs to be a meeting of minds. We need to try and be culturally intelligent and not adhere to the stereotypical ‘Brits abroad.’
Councils are going to be regenerating cities and towns using a hybrid model of accommodation and retail post COVID. This pandemic will be the catalyst for more artisan, bespoke shops opening, as with the rise in online shopping, many of our high street stores become redundant. Derek believes that this pandemic has caused us to ask ourselves how different is your different, what is it that sets you apart and where is the value added. At the beginning of the pandemic presenters/speakers pivoted their offerings online and had a captive audience, but as more people started to do this they have needed to come up with new innovative ideas. We need to look at ourselves as not being like anyone else, being able to differentiate ourselves from others and be relatable to our audience. Finding a niche, rather than trying to sell everything to everyone.
Derek’s ‘soup model’ begets a hierarchy. The soup is the culture, an organic culture that just grows. The croutons are us, the people. He believes our worth should be measured by what we know, the trust networks, and our connections. In this model you are rewarded according to your contribution meaning that people would be able to stay where they are happiest without the desperate pressure to advance yourself. This would create globalisation of knowledge and creativity and could be a place that people are happier to live/work in. Derek believes everyone has a role to play within this.
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