Using Diversity and Inclusion as a Source for Humanitarian Innovation
September 25, 2019
The scale and nature of the social issues humanitarians seek to address is ever-changing, making the ability to innovate a necessary core competence. Developing new ideas, including new ways of engaging with and relating to the people we aim to help, is critical to humanitarians’ ability to adapt and respond. And in today’s world, sustaining and supporting these new ways of working requires that we build an organizational culture that prioritizes diversity and inclusion—indeed, a culture that looks to diversity and inclusion as a new frontier for effective innovation.
A more-diverse workforce brings with it more diversity of thought. And diversity of thought—the cognitive diversity that benefits from different experiences and perspectives—leads to more creativity and innovation. Yet it’s not enough to build a diverse workforce. Organizations need to consider what it means to harness diverse talent, and how to create an organizational environment that truly welcomes and embraces workforce diversity. This means examining not only primary dimensions of diversity such as gender or race, but also beliefs, education, socioeconomic background, and other dimensions that shape and form people’s frames of reference. It means building a working environment that encourages people to bring their entire selves to the workplace.
Read more: on website ssir.org (EN)