Developing an Inclusive Mindset: The Power of Connection and Difference

Developing an Inclusive Mindset: The Power of Connection and Difference

GCSP Inclusive Security Policy Brief Series

By Fleur Heyworth, Laylo Merali and Stephen Harsley

Centuries of globalisation and cross-border flows of people, goods, information, and technology have built multiple layers of connection among us. They have transformed the way we live and shaped many of the security risks we face, ranging from viruses and cyberattacks to environmental disasters.

Tensions have emerged stemming from differences – e.g. different needs, values and identities – among communities and nations. Finding social, political, and economic solutions that integrate and include difference and diversity can be challenging. Firstly, the most vulnerable and marginalised are often the most affected by risks, and the least likely to hold power and influence decision-making. Secondly, we are hard-wired to categorise, compare and identify ourselves in groups, and instincts drive us to protect ourselves from threats from ‘others’.

Discover more about Gender and Inclusive Security at the GCSP.

Ms Fleur Heyworth leads the GCSP's executive education, dialogue and policy analysis on gender and inclusive security.  Working closely with the GCSP's Leadership Alliance, she designs and facilitates courses on leadership for women, and for male and female leaders to create more inclusive working environments.  She also delivers modules on gender and inclusive security to the multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural participants on GCSP's core courses, incorporating the frameworks of the Women Peace and Security Agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Ms Laylo Merali, Prior to joining GCSP as a Fellow, Laylo Merali’s career focused on humanitarian assistance and international development, most recently in Tajikistan with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Laylo’s work with AKDN included research, analysis, monitoring and evaluation, and project support for disaster risk reduction, migration, refuge, and post-conflict and post-disaster recovery activities. 

Mr Stephen Harsley is a Junior Programme Officer for the gender and inclusive security topic.