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All Places > Women's Geospatial Forum > Blog > Author: AStanko-esristaff

Innovation blooms from a diverse field of ideas. Moving forward and upward requires opening our minds to concepts beyond what they would imagine on their own.


There is no better way to start a brainstorming session than to allow space for every crazy, creative way of looking at the topic, to give everyone a chance to voice their view.  


A brainstorming success story took place here at Esri in early 2017 when a group of Subject Matter Experts were tasked with building a strategy for tackling the opioid epidemic. This is a monstrous problem in America that is plaguing communities indiscriminately. No one person nor one idea can solve such a complex tragedy.

It required pouring over articles, reading, and researching to come to a place to understand the depth and reach of this epidemic. This problem affects the health of individuals and communities, which required Health and Human Services experts to be called in. Additionally, Public Safety experts were involved to understand the challenges faced by law enforcement and first responders. Because our communities are impacted by this epidemic, experts from State and Local Government were also needed to input their knowledge of how governments and community members play a role in curbing the problem.


By inviting all these experts from diverse backgrounds to the table, we were able to build out a strategy for municipalities to address a growing epidemic in our society. Many organizations are now Fighting against the Opioid Epidemic with these tools.


This is an example of how diversity can bring synergies and the best ideas together to solve complex problems.


Northern Kentucky Health Department Tackles the Opioid Epidemic


Welcoming differences challenges us to grow.


We come to work every day, to contribute our diverse expertise to our organization. We come from different families and have different backgrounds. Our ancestors trickled down their stories, and their experiences to us. What each of us holds within us is unique, and every single one of us brings something of value to the table. Encouraging individuals to bring their unique perspective and approach to contribute to the whole instills a sense of belonging. It opens up the opportunity for greater collaboration and innovation, with every interaction and conversation.


Embracing others individuality and differences in perspective allows our organization to fully leverage and benefit from the unique contribution of every person. You never know who may have the next interesting idea, a catalyst success.


Around the world, June is a time to celebrate diversity in the LGBTQ community.  This year is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, which sparked the LGBT Liberation Movement.

Taking Pride | 150 Years of LGBT History



How everyone can celebrate diversity daily

  1. Be a good listener
  2. Be open-minded
  3. Seek to understand before being understood
  4. Treat all people with dignity and respect
  5. Allow space for every voice to be heard


Applying these diversity practices to work and life may lead to new successes.