Text on the left hand side reads "Dr Ruth De Souza, Diversity in the innovation ecosystem, 6:00pm, May 22nd" with a photo of a woman on the right

One week to go and we are very excited to announce that Dr Ruth De Souza will be joining us at our workshop Diversity in the Innovation Ecosystem. We’ve been working with Ruth to support a leading community health organisation in co-designing their strategic vision for cultural safety.

Ruth has a passionate interest in disentangling racism from health and social care. She advocates for replacing the idea of ‘diversity’ with ‘cultural safety’, an ethical framework developed by Indigenous Māori nurses from Aotearoa New Zealand.

For an intro to Ruth’s work and thinking, we recommend this piece written for the Australian College of Nursing. She outlines how ‘diversity’ has become a feel-good term of celebration, rather than a tool for truly holding our organisations to account.

She discusses how our current use of ‘diversity’ still places whiteness at the centre - with everyone else being framed in terms of their difference from whiteness. It’s not enough to have nurses from a variety of backgrounds – “representation in the workforce doesn’t mean that the people who are culturally different have a voice in the corridors of power.”

Read the full piece for a breakdown of the other ways in which ‘diversity’ fails us.

Ruth is an independent consultant, and also works as Academic Convenor of the Data, Systems and Society Research Network (DSSRN) and Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Informatics and Population Health Informatics (HaBIC) at the University of Melbourne. Ruth has an extensive background as a nurse, educator and researcher, as well as holding a number of community and governance roles.

Ruth blogs at ruthdesouza.com and tweets as @desouzarn. This event is part of Melbourne Knowledge Week, 20–26 May 2019, proudly presented by the City of Melbourne. Paper Giant is hosting this event in partnership with Committee for Melbourne.