About WDLS from Beatrice Achaleke (Organiser and WDLS-EU Conference Manager) and Douglas Freeman (Founder WDLS) As the founder of World Diversity Leadership Summit, I thought it may be a good idea to explain to potential participants what the conference means for defining the next phase of diversity- both in 2004 and in 2009.
I. WDLS Prague- December 2004 In December 2004, What's Next for "Diversity" was embedded in the notion of the megatrend of globalization. At a time when Google had not yet been born, the globalization of ideas, information technology, capital markets and mobile talent reflected the growing concept of a new way in which multinational organizations functioned- and diversity unbeknownst to the thoughtleaders at such key idea factories like the World Economic Forum had missed a primary business driver. The concept of diversity was at the core of the multinational business platform. The World Diversity Leadership Summit's role in 2004 was to question the anathema and dogma of diversity, and raise both the intellectual content and dialogue to a greater level of introspection, cogitation and reason, to realize compelling insights about diversity's new Global reality.
II. The Context of WDLS 2009 Flash forward to 2009 and the world has been faced with a new breed of radical and disruptive change- a breed of change that antiquated models of "change management" could not and had not anticipated within a community, country, regional nor global environment. Our entire capital markets system on a global scale was on the brink of catastrophe, with international leaders in the shadowy gallows of national and continental monetary institutions (such as the Federal Reserve Bank, Central European Bank and the International Monetary Fund), rising to the global stage to perform acts of courage in the heart of crisis to stabilize the world's monetary and banking systems. Usually such arcane activities do not even so much as mildly touch day to day humanity, but this change has long term human impact- egregious and fast paced loss of jobs, rapid destruction of societal and personal wealth, loss of basic shelter and a series of personal unknowns that will only be answered over time. And as I write, the Twitter revolution is no longer at the heart of a Sillicon Valley venture capitalist's fantasy, but is driving a global revolution in democratic and societal transparency, as bold courageous individuals in Iran stand up for basic human and civil rights.
III. WDLS-EU 2010 WDLS-EU is focusing on regional and global strategies aiming at integrating diversity and inclusion to combat poverty and social exclusion in the "EU year of the eradication of poverty and social exclusion 2010". Managing an ever aging population and a growing number of ethnic minorities is no doubt one of fhe greatest challenges of the European Union, its institutions and business in the 21. century. What strategies and tools are CEOs, management and the European Union envisaging at regional and global level to ensure equal opportunities through recruiting, managing and retaining diverse talents by 2020?