Our Values: Living Diversity

We actively learn from different ways of life and opinions represented in our multicultural environment. We act inclusively, respecting and actively encouraging the contribution of every individual.

It’s not enough to only know the AIESEC values - values are made to be lived. In this series of articles, we’ll be exploring the six AIESEC values and how we as an organisation and you as an individual can live these values on a daily basis.  

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What does it mean to be Living Diversity?

Think about the last ‘heated discussion’ (read: argument) you had.

Low-key rage.

Low-key rage.

Did you:

  1. spend most of the time thinking about how stupid the other argument was?
  2. try to understand the other person’s perspective and opinion first?

A lot of the time, we might be guilty of the first.

Do you listen to reply, or listen to understand?

Do you listen to reply, or listen to understand?

Obviously, we might feel strongly about our own ideas because it's been shaped by our own experiences.

But one of the most unique things about AIESEC is how similar and yet different we are.

We’re all here for the same purpose (#PnF), but we might have:

  1. different perspectives of what the best way to reach out to more clients or young people
  2. different perspectives of what makes a "good" leader
  3. different perspectives of "nice accommodation"
  4. different perspectives of how to solve a problem
  5. different ways of saying what we mean
  6. and more...
Sometimes different is not good or bad. It's just different.

Sometimes different is not good or bad. It's just different.

Being in an international organisation with many different backgrounds, cultures and experiences means that there will naturally be very different opinions and responses to the same situation.

That's both the beauty and challenge of our environment.

But instead of hating on each other for having a different perspective, it's much more productive to focus on the shared goals and instead discover how we can capitalise off each other's differences to find the solution together.

As the Dalai Lama says, "When you talk, you are only repeating what you know. But when you listen, you may learn something new."

In that sense, Living Diversity on a daily level can very simply be the art of embracing differences and truly understanding why other people think or feel differently to us, even if we don’t always agree with their opinion.

Because after all, we're here to help develop global leaders for a better world. In ourselves and through the experiences we create. 

“Diversity is the art of thinking independently together”

The world is not some perfect bubble where everyone gets along. There are differences and challenges - but how we handle those differences is what defines how we can focus on the common goal and move forward towards creating a better world together.

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So on a more tangible level, what are the things we could be doing to encourage or appreciate the diversity in:

  • our own lives
  • with our exchange participants
  • with the teams we are in
  • with our enablers, clients and customers
  • in our own personal relationships in life?

Share your stories of Living Diversity below!