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March 30th, 2017 : The Royal Geographical Society, London

Lord Chris Holmes MBE

Lord Holmes of Richmond and Great Britain's most successful Paralympic Swimmer

Time: 13:30 - 14:30

Trust in different people

Chris is one of Britain's greatest Paralympians, amassing nine gold, five silver and two bronze medals across four Games, including a record haul of six golds at Barcelona in 1992.

In 2013 Chris entered the House of Lords as Lord Holmes of Richmond and in 2015 was appointed as a Diversity Adviser to the civil service. He is also a non-executive Director at Channel 4.

Prior to this Chris was Director of Paralympic Integration at the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG. He played vital role in ensuring consistent delivery across the Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2012. From 2013-2017, Chris was non-executive director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Chris's breadth of experience, from Captain of the GB swimming team to Director of the Paralympics and now adviser to the civil service, brings an incredible range of expertise to the project of identifying, nurturing and developing talent.

After retiring from competitive swimming Chris worked as a freelance journalist and broadcaster at sporting events across the world, before qualifying and working as a commercial lawyer specialising in employment and pensions. He undertakes regular speaking engagements for corporate, sporting and community based organisations.

Session Overview

Trust in different people

Become diverse or die. It’s time to take an inclusive approach for innovation.

A commitment to welcoming and supporting diversity is the major requirement for successful outcomes. It allows us to pull together a wide range of skills, experiences and ideas to become innovative and creative in solving problems.

Whilst tolerating difference is not always easy it's essential because it opens the door to opportunities and increases the chance for success. Lord Chris Holmes will give some fascinating examples as he discusses why we need to be much more tolerant of people who are different in order to build trust, leverage diversity and promote equality.

As Lord Chris Holmes says, "It’s not easy but it is essential."

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