'Not so different? Diverse societies, common challenges'

An international conference examining new questions for diverse societies

Thursday 18th November 2010, 11am to 5.00 pm followed by a drinks reception
Lakeside Conference Centre Aston University

A one-day international conference launched InterLanD (Aston Centre for Interdisciplinary Research into Language and Diversity).

In times of crisis, financial, ecological or social, the question of diversity can be regarded as a distraction. Are we really so different? And if so, are those differences more important than what we share? Can diversity help us to imagine more creative solutions to the challenges that we face?

The conference bought together thinkers from Sociology, Linguistics, Business and Management Studies and Policy Studies to consider the challenges that face all of us and what thinking about diversity can add to our understanding.

Speakers included:
  • Michael Keith (director of COMPAS, Oxford University),
  • Rob Berkeley (director of the Runnymede Trust),
  • Mairtin Mac An Ghaill,
  • Asif Afridi (deputy director of BRAP)
  • Regina Eckert (Centre of Creative Leadership)
  • Suki Ali (London School of Economics & Political Science)

Session themes were:

 -      language, region and identity

-       who are you calling ‘poor’? Urban identities and entitlement

-       gender and leadership talk

-       developing inter-cultural strategies in organisations

-       cultural industries and diverse communities


  • Inter-Cultural strategies for organisation and regeneration - Prof Helen Higson & Dr Kai Liu

  • Language and region - Dr Urszula Clark, Dr Esther Asprey & Brian Dakin

Gender and leadership - Dr Judith Baxter & Dr Surin Kaur

Plenary Sessions

  1. Making the most of diversity – what next for organisations?

  • Regina Eckert

  • Asif Afridi

  • Mairtin Mac An Ghaill

  2.   Things in common, but not all the same – politics and entitlement in diverse societies
  • Michael Keith

  • Suki Ali

  • Rob Berkeley

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research