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Diversity for Sustainability

Diversity for Sustainability | IE Business School

Diversity, equity and inclusion workshop provided a new angle on sustainable practices during IE Sustainability Week.

Kickstarting the second day of the IE Sustainability Week, collaborators came together to create a workshop about diversity, equity and inclusion where speakers shed light on the urgency of reshaping narratives around people of color in order to build a more sustainable future.

The IE Debate Club joined forces with the IE Sustainability Office, Campus Life and the Africa Center to create a space where experts spoke about identity, heritage and duty. The main focus was black African and Afro-descendant people around the world.

“Sustainability is about leaving a better place for future generations,” said, Maximo Plo Seco, Director of Operations for Europe Diversity Atlas and workshop moderator. “In my honest opinion, a world in which we understand each other is already a more sustainable world.”

One of the speakers was IE Business School alumni Akin Akinnola who is the Managing Director at technology company, Diversio. Currently an education fellow at IE, he said he sought to use the platform to provide a voice to those who feel unheard.

“If we start to have these conversations now, then when seismic events happen in the future maybe we can actually see what the value of black inclusion is,” said Akinnola. “Maybe we can see what kind of results are produced if more voices are brought to the table and history is shaped in a way where it benefits all of us.”

Other speakers included Viviane Ogou, youth delegate in the Counsel of Europe for Spain and Antumi Toasijé, faculty lecturer at New York University in Spain.

A key point throughout the talk was the narrative that exists around black culture and heritage. According to Toasijé, this narrative is controlled by those with power over those who are perceived as weak.

“In order to change the situation of people with African descent in the world we must reinforce the African nation,” Toasijé said. “Once you have a powerful, strong, respected, prosperous African nation, then the African descendents will not be mistreated.”

IE Sustainability Week, which ran from Nov. 2nd to Nov. 6th, held numerous activities, including exhibiting art on loan from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum displayed in the IE Tower, a planting workshop at the new in-campus nature hub and the IE Global Clean-Up.

“If we don’t all engage for impact now, the long-term objectives can’t be reached,” said Elisa Hicks, Associate Director of Campus Life at IE University.

“The change at a global level starts with our actions at a local level- and that begins with our mindsets!”

Elisa Hicks, Associate Director of Campus Life at IE University