Simon Fanshawe OBE: The Power of Difference

  • diverse crowd of people in the street

Simon Fanshawe's recent book, 'The Power of Difference: where the complexities of diversity and inclusion meet practical solutions' (Kogan Page 2021) explains "why it's our differences, and how we combine them, that create true diversity and generate innovation, fresh thinking and, ultimately, success. The book explores how to confront bias, question assumptions and avoid generalisations and illustrates why diversity should be part of an overall business strategy, not separate from it. It shows how we must create spaces that are safe for disagreement, not from disagreement, in order for innovation and diversity to flourish"

This interactive workshop will explore these ideas, providing opportunity for reflection on how we create truly inclusive environments for staff and students in higher education


The Power of Difference

An interactive exploration of how human difference lies at the heart of a University, of intellectual discovery and of our ability to create spaces that are safe for disagreement, not from it. 

"Difference is what lies at the heart of diversity and inclusion – if we were all the same, we wouldn’t need to talk about it! Diversity and inclusion ('D&I', as it’s now miserably reduced to an acronym) in organisations is about our ability to collaborate. Not to agree, not to follow rules imposed, but to enable each of us to bring what we can at our best to the joint enterprise of achieving our goals and serving those we are in business for. We will explore what works in diversity and also what has gone badly wrong. How we have professionalised D&I in the wrong way, how irony upon irony diversity is in danger of becoming a tool of conformity, how we have weaponised offence rather than learning from each other, how we need to create spaces that are safe for disagreement not from it. And how Universities - by falling into all those traps - are heading towards a crisis in the exchange of ideas that undermines their very core purpose"

"Looking forward to disagreeing well with each other!"


  • The Power of Difference Workshop
  • Date: Tuesday 1 November 2022
  • Time: 5:30–7:00pm
  • Venue: Orange Room, Think Tank
  • Drinks Reception: 6:30pm
  • Limited spaces

The Eleanor Glanville Institute does not endorse the personal views of any speaker or contributor to its events

Simon Fanshawe OBE

Simon is a broadcaster, author and practising expert on diversity. He is the co-founder of Diversity by Design where he works with public, private and third sector companies to bring about meaningful change in the diversity of their talent and true inclusiveness of their culture. Diversity by Design is currently working with clients that include: 12 NHS Trusts over the last year, Sheffield, Cardiff, Exeter, Manchester, Nottingham, and Newcastle Universities; Amey, the Civil Service, Chubb, College of Policing, Co-op Food, Costa, Coventry Council, East Sussex Fire & Rescue, GCHQ, Leeds Building Society, NSPCC, Skipton Building Society, The Army, Thomson Reuters, Toyota. His latest book “The Power of Difference – where the complexities of diversity and inclusion meet practical solutions” was published in December 2021 (in the UK and the US) by Kogan Page.
He is currently on the Board of Powerful Women and is Chairman of Hexagon Housing Association. He was Chairman of Sussex University 2007-13, a non-exec director of Housing & Care 21, a Governor of the Museum of London and on the Board of Brighton Dome & Festival.  He was a co-founder of Stonewall and of the Kaleidoscope Trust.
He was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to Higher Education and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Sussex for his work on diversity and human rights. He lives in Brighton with his husband. They have neither children nor dog.