March 2019


In light of the terrible tragedy that occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand recently and other troubling events around the globe, I have been reflecting on the current state of affairs in terms of Diversity and Culture at this juncture in our world. One concern is the global trend of the high level of displacement of people. The UNHCR states that ‘we are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unparalleled 68.5 million people around the world have been forced from their homes. Among them are nearly 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. There are also an estimated 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.’ (Source: UNHCR June 2018) These figures are only likely to increase.

The second concern is that the world has become more globalised through technology as well as migration. We are now interacting with people from various cultures at unprecedented levels. This higher level of interaction has led to a number of tensions and issues arising. These include conflict, a lack of understanding between cultures, a sense of loss, insecurity and change to traditional structures. Again, these issues are likely to increase.

The concerns above highlight the importance of Cultural Intelligence and why the ability to interact effectively with other cultures is essential to overcoming problems and tensions that culture clashes can precipitate. It is essential to provide education on cultural differences as well as to role model inclusion.

When John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote the masterpiece ‘Imagine’ it was envisioned to be a positive prayer – one in which if you could imagine it, then it could become a reality.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you

I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

(Source: Lennon and Ono 1971)

The song contends that global harmony is within our reach, but only if we reject the mechanisms of social control that restrict human potential. While it may seem a utopian idea, it does answer the question of how we can actually reduce the level conflict in the world. As the saying goes ‘Old doors won’t lead to new paths’.



This month I share my thoughts on collaboration and some of the challenges and questions around this topic in a competitive environment in my Podcast 'To collaborate or not?'. Click here to listen


Book Recommendation:


Breaking the Mould: Taking a hammer to sexism in Sport, Angela Pippos

Through personal tales from a lifetime in sport, as well as interviews with pioneering athletes and administrators, journalist Angela Pippos provides a fascinating insight into the seismic shift occurring in sports. The author confronts the great divide in coverage and remuneration in women’s and men’s sport and the attitudes in Australia that have marginalised sportswomen. Breaking the Mould is a timely, entertaining and compelling reminder of why we must level the playing field.

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