Embracing Diversity of Opinion

After a short week of recovering from the National Obesity Summit, I very much enjoyed the many passionate and provocative comments to yesterday’s tongue-in-cheek post – I am grateful for all responses and there’s nothing like passion and discourse to keep things interesting.

As far as diversity of opinions is concerned, there was certainly no shortage of that at the Summit. Whether this was in the ‘building trust’ workshop where participants vehemently and decidedly agreed to completely disagree (I recall the odd shouting match or two), to the full-day workshop of the Québec Charter for a Healthy and Diverse Body Image, that featured speakers like Gail McVey, one of Canada’s leading researchers on the negative impact of unhealthy size obsession on body image and eating behaviours, which certainly provided a very different view of the obesity problem and possible solutions to Summit attendees.

It is also the only obesity conference that I have ever been to, where the booths of the Public Health Agency of Canada and Québec’s Coalition Poids were right besides booths displaying the latest in bariatric surgical technology.

But if that is not enough evidence of diversity, I strongly recommend reading this TweetReach Report, which summarizes the almost 500 tweets that reached almost 80,000 people for a total of 350,000 impressions.

This is what I call fostering diversity and dialogue.

I am with Edward de Bono on this one: “Argument is meant to reveal the truth, not to create it.”

Or, as a management pundit once told me – if two members on your team completely agree on everything, it’s time to fire one of them!

Edmonton, Alberta