Silence is not ok and while words are a start, they are not of themselves enough. Inequality in its many forms is deep rooted in our societies and our history and it’s going to take more than words to make the changes that human justice demands.
So, let’s all imagine for a moment a world where commercial innovation and inspiration come from every corner, regardless of race, gender or creed. A world where innovators work together, across boundaries, forming friendships, establishing mutual respect, generating ideas for how we can form sustainable trading relationships and practices that benefit everyone.
What a nice dream, you may say, as you look instead at the fractious, adversarial, unbalanced world around us – a world of blame, hostility and numbing inequality, where governments regularly threaten or use force against their own people.
But this is no dream! This was our reality this week. It was the reality of the IACCM Leaders of the “Virtual” Future program, where twelve diverse teams from around the globe competed to share their vision of work and commerce in an increasingly virtual world. These 50 young people, selected for their potential, truly do represent a strong beacon of hope. Seventy per cent were female. They came from 16 different countries, representing different industries and functional expertise. Many of them were able to participate only because this year, the program had to be run in a virtual form.
This is the diversity and inclusion that we are so proud of, this is the diversity and inclusion that makes IACCM what it is. These individuals are the epitome of how diversity brings strength. Compelling messages, challenging ideas, practical solutions, generated by people who had never met each other and most likely never will physically meet. Yet through all of their differences they built consensus, they developed a shared view and they flourished because of their diversity.
As this example shows - words are a start, but actions are more powerful. How wonderful it is to see the power of inclusion!