Can you name two things that are so diverse and, yet so similar?
When “discussing” a certain theme, there is a difference between hearing something on tv, reading an article, having a conversation at home or chatting on social media, or actually having a discussion in a public settings with a group of strangers.
Our view on other people develop in the course in our life, and it is mostly based on the environment we grow in and the experiences we accumulated. Because we make certain decisions about certain types of people, we surround ourselves with like-minded people, that strengthen our more or less consolidated view of the world.
We love to challenge people’s view of the world, by making people from different walks of lives interact together during our #BRAINCANDIES LIVE SESSIONs. We enjoyed this particularly during our session number 18, since the theme of the evening was “So Diverse so similar”.
“Diversity” means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. We hope that our participants felt this climate of openness and mutual respect, regardless of our background.
Our host of the evening was Aiman who walked all our participants through the evening by combining some playful wedoexperiences (this is the name we give to the activities that we carry during the evening) with some more mindful ones, while using his personality to make sure people get activated, jump on stage, while feeling good about it (a thing that typically is reached by the middle part of the session, once the “ice” is broken completely and the initial awkwardness is gone). What was new about this SESSION was the “wedomovement” that encouraged our audience to move and sit close to someone new after every talk, and our new “surprise speaker” recruitment strategy, where people were invited on stage to answer some questions in front of everybody to demystify the feared “public speaking anxiety ”
To make the energy in the room move even more, we let our speakers be introduced by random member in the audience that are selected through a bingo machine. Once they are called on stage, they read an “extravagant” piece of text that introduces the programmed speakers of the evening.
Stern was the first speaker of the evening. With his #BRAICANDIES, Stern addressed the loneliness and its consequences that international students experience on campus when they are new in the city. He is developing an app, called Compass, that help international students and local students connect with each others, leaving cultural background as a secondary aspect, since the connection is made based on common interest and passion. We wish all the best to Stern with his project!
The second speaker was Tim, a 30 years old HR consultant, who, with his personal story, let the audience understand his new life choices, that were inspired by the person he is currently in a relationship with. A very valuable contribution that encourage us all to look at the world through someone else’s glasses.
Our third inspiring speaker was Ritika, a young Dutch-Indian woman, who made an engaging talk on the meaning of having a mixed background and the mixed feeling of belonging that having a mixed backgroud bring to people. Ritika shared her personal stories of racism and human kindness and reminded us that we are the ones who make the choice or looking at others in a way or in another.
The fourth speakers was Amit, an Indian lawyer married to a Dutch woman, who shared his views on why we create stereotypes, sharing anecdotes and encouraging us to look at the own thing in our culture that other people can see as “usual”.
The last programmed speaker of the evening was Muhammad, a Syrian young man who, after sharing his passion for cooking with the people he met in his new “”home” and finding how appreciated was the food from his home country, started his own catering business and organizes events where he bring local people and new neighbours together.
As usual, we also had a surprise speaker, Yama from Afghanistan, who shared his passion for diversity and his commitment to help people come together to solve the important challenges that our world is facing. Yama also shared his present project for empowering young people through their passion, which is, in Yama’s case, Boxing.
It was an amazing session, people were happy and we really learned a lot about each other, and about the theme of the evening.
Till the next one!