With the vision of encouraging innovation through co-learning experiences, Toru Chhaya allows people to come together and share ideas to grow collectively and individually. The focus on integrating new ideas into a fast-changing world has inspired them to create the forum “Boithok”, where people from various professional and educational backgrounds come together to exchange ideas and to share knowledge through cohesive discussions that are coordinated by distinguished industry leaders.
One such discussion took place on the eving of April 18, 2018, at the Toru office in Banani, led by Lutfey Siddiqi, a visiting professor-in-practice and Governor at the London School of Economics and an Adjunct Professor at the Risk Management Institute, National University of Singapore. He is also a member of the Global Agenda Council (Financing) at the World Economic Forum and a former board member of CFA Singapore.
The event, hosted by Toru, consisted of an audience that included people who are bankers, musicians, students, retailers and an array of inquisitive minds, present there to learn about the importance of diversity and the fallacies of bias in the corporate environment, which as a whole, affects not only the structure of a company, but the economy it tends to be a part of.
The discussion started off with Lutfey Siddiqi talking about what we think conflict is and if there is something such as “constructive conflict”. He went on to explain how we need rules and how we need to follow them sincerely, or else we will continue to have “destructive conflicts”. “This leads to the difference between what is good and what is bad risk management,” says Lutfey Siddiqi.
He went on to share his own experiences that affected the way he perceived the people around him and how he perceived the corporate culture. “I went to a Catholic school in Abu Dhabi for many years, after which I moved to South Africa, during a time of political unrest. Later on, I moved to UK to study in the University of New England and eventually arrived in Singapore where I worked for 11 years. So, throughout my life I have felt like I was a part of the minority wherever I went. But it didn’t obstruct my learning. Instead, when I went on to work in a corporate setting, my experiences helped me think more about diversity.”
He spoke of how important it is to proactively seek out diversity or else we won’t achieve cognitive diversity, which is more important than surface level diversity. Then he gave the audience a few tools that could be used to provide a chance for everyone to have more inclusive discussions during problem solving predicaments.
After a brief yet informative Q & A session, Star Youth had the chance to sit with Lutfey Siddiqi and ask him about his take on the corporate culture in Bangladesh. “I think it is important to have more sessions like these, as it will help people from different backgrounds in the work field to come together and learn from each other. There is a lot that corporate companies can learn from start-ups and vice-versa and for that, we need more open discussions.”
The programme, whose Radio Partner was Dhaka FM 90.4, ended with refreshments and a photo session, while people mingled and shared their experiences with one another; a successful end to a much needed discussion.