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 Download:  Report(PDF) |  Report(RTF) |  Poster |  Brochure     

Welcome to The Diversity Conference 2003

This highly acclaimed conference was held in Hawai'i from 13-16 February 2003.

Over two hundred delegates from Australia, New Zealand, USA, India, Taiwan, Israel, Germany, South Africa and the United Kingdom gathered together for an intensive four-day talk fest.

The conference involved nine main plenary sessions interspersed with almost 130 parallel sessions covering a remarkable range of specific topics joined together by the conference themes.

For further information on the conference sessions and the outcomes of this event the following material is available for download:
- Final conference program detailing all plenary and parallel sessions. |  Program(pdf) |  Program(doc) | 
- Post conference report, written by RMIT’s Globalism Institute.  | Report(PDF) |  Report(RTF) | 
- Images of the event (will be available shortly)

Fully refereed conference papers are available in the Diversity Conference online bookstore

Diversity Conference 2004

The location and themes for the 2004 conference event will be announced on this website shortly. To receive monthly updates on next year’s event subscribe to the Diversity Conference Newsletter by clicking the Newsletter link at the top of this page.



- - Diversity Conference 2003 - ARCHIVE - introductory information - -

   To be held in Hawai'i from 13-16 February 2003, the conference will address a range of critically important themes relating to the cultural diversity in a globalising world. Main speakers will include some of the world’s leading thinkers and in the areas of diversity studies, as well as numerous paper and workshop presentations by researchers and practitioners.
   This is a conference for any person with an interest in, and concern for, issues of diversity: academics, researchers, public administrators and policy makers, community leaders and community workers, diversity managers in the private and public sectors, and workplace trainers and organisational change agents. All are encouraged to register and attend this significant and timely conference. A range of travel, tour and accommodation options is also available.
   Participants are also welcome to submit presentation proposals, either as 30 minute papers or 60 minute workshop sessions. Presentations submitted for publication will be fully refereed and published in print and electronic formats. For those unable to attend the conference in person, virtual registrations are available, which provide access to the online edition of the conference proceedings. Virtual participants can also submit papers for refereeing and publication.
   If you would like to know more about this conference, bookmark the Diversity Conference site and return for further information—this site is regularly updated. You might also wish to subscribe to the Diversity Conference Newsletter. For any other inquiries, please contact us.



Background: The Diversity Conference

This conference examines the concept of diversity as a positive aspect of a global world and globalised society. Diversity is in many ways not only reflective of our present world order but normatively preferable to its alternatives: racism, discrimination and inequity. In fact, in many instances it may be appropriate to 'promote' diversity as a mode of social existence. The conference will seek to explore the full range of what diversity means and explore modes of diversity in real life situations of living together in community.


Hawai'i is, of course, an excellent place to address precisely such issues. It is one of the most globalised and diverse societies on earth.


The conference looks at the realities of diversity today, critically as well as optimistically and strategically. The conference will be a place for speaking about diversity, and in ways which range from the 'big picture' and the theoretical, to the very practical and everyday realities of diversity in organisations, communities and civic life.


Within organisations, 'diversity management' has emerged as a field of endeavour to negotiate human resource and customer relationship issues arising from differences of gender, ethnicity/race, sexual orientation and disability (to name some of the most concerning aspects of diversity). To what extent, however, do these remain marginal managerial concerns? Could or should diversity become a 'mainstream' issue for the whole organisation?

In the realm of civic life, local and national communities daily negotiate the diversity resulting from immigration, refugee movement, settlement and indigenous claims to prior ownership and sovereignty. And at the same time, communities increasingly recognise and negotiate a plethora of other intersecting and sometimes contrary diversities. At the local level this may create a kind of civic pluralism, a new way of living in community. And nationally, governments sit uneasily between increasingly demanding local diversities and the cultural and political forces of globalisation.


Hosted by the Globalism Institute, at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia and the Globalization Research Center at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa, this conference will provide a forum to explore the dimensions of diversity—an umbrella term for what are arguably the most important and contentious issues since the end of the Cold War.


Conference Co-ordinating Committee

  • Prof. Paul James, The Globalism Institute, RMIT University
  • Prof. Barry Gills, Director, Globalization Research Center, University of Hawai'i
  • Dr James White, Associate Director, Globalization Research Center, University of Hawai'i
  • Prof. Mary Kalantzis, Dean, Education, Language and Community Services, RMIT
  • Dr Bill Cope, Centre for Workplace Communication and Culture
  • Peter Phipps, The Globalism Institute, RMIT University
  • Prof. Armareswar Galla, University of Canberra
  • Prof. Jock Collins, Faculty of Business, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Prof. Andrew Jakubowicz, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney



Who Should Attend

  • Academics and educational administrators in the fields of diversity management, globalisation, nationalism, ethnic studies, indigenous studies, gender studies, disability studies, gay and lesbian studies.
  • Research students.
  • Public administrators and policy makers.
  • Private and public sector leaders: diversity management, equal employment opportunity, human resource development.
  • Workplace trainers and change agents.
  • Customer relationship managers.



About the Conference Sponsors

    Common Ground Conferences

    Established in 1998, the Globalization Research Center (GRC) is located at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa in Honolulu. The goal of the GRC is to identify and analyse the social, political, economic, and cultural transformations that characterise globalisation, with particular attention to their impact on Asia and the Pacific.


    Common Ground Conferences

    The Globalism Institute is the public face of a university-wide research strength in globalisation and cultural diversity at RMIT University, Melbourne. At a time of acute sensitivity to questions of social dislocation, economic inequity and political upheaval, the Globalism Institute is committed to rethinking the relationship between the global and the local.

Conference Organisers

Common Ground Conferences