Rachel Gisselquist gives TEDx talk on rethinking the diversity debate

UNU-WIDER Research Fellow Rachel Gisselquist recently spoke at TEDxOtaniemi 2017, a locally organized event held in Finland on the theme of constructing kindness. Her talk, now available on YouTube, addresses the political polarization surrounding ethnic diversity – and how we can find common ground to move forward.

In doing so, Gisselquist draws on the growing body of research that, against the conventional wisdom in economics and political science that diversity has a negative effect on public services, suggests evidence of a diversity dividend. For example, using data from Zambia, she and colleagues have found a positive relationship between ethnic diversity, and health and education levels. 

She goes on in her talk to discuss the need to recognize diversity’s challenges but also that these challenges can be managed. Gisselquist further underlines that instead of diversity itself being the central problem, it is inequality and, in particular, inequality as it intersects with diversity to affect vulnerable groups.