2017 Special Focus: Succeeding and Achieving in Diverse Communities and Organizations

How do governments, organisations, corporations, businesses, communities and individual people respond to a more complex world typified by diversity?

The global dimensions of contemporary life mean that static notions about identity, affiliation, time, place, culture, language and belonging are being reshaped in an increasingly interdependent and often hybridized global community. They are made more complex by the influence of technology, which is mediating our work lives, social and private spheres.

Too often diversity is seen as a problem. Critiques of multiculturalism have positioned diversity as a threat and something to be “managed” in the face of an increasingly dangerous global setting. Entrenched economic stagnation and fears over terrorism, impending climate change, growing inequality and poverty as well as anxiety about notions of identity and affiliation in a more mobile world have shaped the environment in which diversity is considered. Indeed questions about the future dominate the discourse of contemporary life, often depicting a dystopian and pessimistic view about what we can expect. It is clear that many of the old practices of organisations and communities are now inadequate in responding to the dynamic new global environment.

Rather than seeing diversity as negative and atypical, many thinkers are now striving to respond to the needs of their communities and organisations through a prism where diversity is the norm and is seen in positive terms. Alternative viewpoints embracing theoretical and practical approaches are emerging against this backdrop. This conference provides a forum for such approaches. It seeks to explore and document how people are responding to salient questions such as

What might leadership and organisations look like in the future typified by globalization and pluralism?

What organizational alignments and structures will capitalise on the potential of diversity?

  • How do we train and prepare people for these new futures?
  • How can markets respond?
  • What are the new products emerging in a more diversified world?
  • How might poverty, injustice and alienation be overcome?
  • How can new technologies contribute to new forms of community?
  • How is identity and belonging being reconstituted and reshaped?

There is no better place to explore these issues than Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia. Darwin is located on the southern edge of Asia and is Australia’s gateway to this thriving continent. Darwin is in the same time zone as Beijing. It is close to Indonesia, Timor Leste, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Singapore.

The Northern Territory is the home of one of the oldest living cultures on earth with 40% of the population of the Northern Territory being Indigenous Australians. Many people from the Asian region, and across the globe, have made Darwin and the Northern Territory their home. It is a great location to explore concepts around Succeeding and Achieving in Diverse Communities and Organizations.”

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