RIT’s Expressions of Diversity Conference Opens April 28; Public is Invited

Author Frans Johansson to deliver keynote address: Diversity Drives Innovation

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RIT is well known as a nexus of innovation. I look forward to sharing the principles of The Medici Effect, showing how diverse fields, cultures and backgrounds can drive innovation to new levels.

—Frans Johansson

Frans Johansson, entrepreneur, thought-leader and author of a bestselling business book, The Medici Effect, will discuss what happens when different cultures collide and ignite an explosion of extraordinary new ideas and discoveries.

Johansson will share his trailblazing ideas as keynote speaker for Diversity Day 2008 at Rochester Institute of Technology on Monday, April 28. Sponsored by RIT’s Board of Trustees, the event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at RIT’s Gordon Field House and Activities Center. The event is open to the RIT and Greater Rochester communities.

The seminar is also the kick-off for RIT’s seventh annual Expressions of Diversity Conference. sponsored by the President’s Commission on Pluralism and Inclusion. A weeklong series of innovative workshop opportunities and guest speakers will be on tap from April 28 through May 2.

“Diversity and innovation are closely tied,” says Alfreda Brown, interim chief diversity officer at RIT. “As Johansson says, diversity drives innovation, and we believe RIT can find its place as an innovation university by embracing diversity as a driver for new ideas, relationships, education and research, to name only a few aspects.

“We believe that through understanding and a willingness to talk about our differences, we can find ways to move forward collectively.”

Expressions of Diversity week culminates in the debut of the Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival, which will be held on Saturday, May 3. For a complete listing of Expressions events and scheduled speakers, visit http://diversity.rit.edu/events.html

MEDIA NOTE: Alfreda Brown, interim chief diversity officer at RIT, Thomas Warfield, chairperson to the President’s Commission on Pluralism and Inclusion at RIT, and Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Effect, are available for interviews. Contact Marcia Morphy at (585) 475-4951 or mpmuns@rit.edu.