The Dialogue Inclusion Studio

Inclusion of people with disability is in the heart of the DSE core values. In addition, today’s world is going through a process of embracing diversity & inclusion. Large part of these initiatives is actively promoted through national and multinational companies and organizations.

DSE team members at Nova business school during Dialogue Inclusion Studio
participants during the Dialogue Inclusion Studio

Several job inclusion global initiatives are on place. According to Deloitte, despite of the palpable increasing perception of D&I as a competitive advantage, D&I training is not yet helping organizations to transform their culture into a truly inclusive and diverse workplaces. Awareness emerging from training is not enough. No results are yet tangible. The change needs to impact deeply in the organizational systems. Starting from top leaders, all team members must walk the talk.

One job inclusion initiative which resonates with DSE is the Valuable 500. It is lead by Caroline Casey, a DSE dear close fellow. The Valuable 500 is an initiative introduced in the Davos World Economic Forum couple of years ago. It is the global movement putting disability on the business leadership agenda. They seek for 500 national and multinational, private sector corporations to be the tipping-point for change and to unlock the business, social and economic value of people living with disabilities across the world.

Inspired by Caroline’s movement and putting together the transformative power of the Dialogue exhibitions and workshops, DSE has started the design of the Dialogue Inclusion Studio as a hands-on program to be offered to those companies engaged with transforming their culture into an inclusive and diverse organizational system.

The focus of the Dialogue Inclusion Studio is on the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce. It is a holistic approach to prepare corporate representatives to improve the employability of people with disabilities. It pursues a blended approach. Personal experiences with authentic encounters in a transformative and experimental environment are complimented by skill development with high applicability. But all learning is useless unless it’s not applied. Hence, the last part of Dialogue Studio targets the implementation through action planning sessions and follow ups.

A first version of the Dialogue Inclusion Studio was implemented last November 7th and 8th 2019 at Nova School of Business and Economics in Lisbon as part of their inclusion forum. We conducted 4 workshop sessions with the support of a team of Dialogue in the Dark and change management experts.

The workshops were short 3.5 hours sessions with reflections on personal biases, a Dialogue in the Dark experience focused on inclusion and a final debriefing to generate learning. 80 persons from diverse fields attended and the feedback was mostly positive.

However, this is only the first step of the Dialogue Inclusion Studio. The program is conceived as a seminar or executive master class which may start from a short awareness experiential workshop until 4 or 5 days of an immersive program aimed to change the organizational culture.

The goal for 2020 at DSE is to consolidate the Dialogue Inclusion Studio in order to be shared with our Dialogue partners and be able to accompany those corporates and organizations which are engaged with D&I and really want to walk the talk.

So, at DSE 2020 is the year for diversity and inclusion!