To become the best possible version of yourself
by exploring and developing your interests, your talents and your
innate genius and
by using and coordinating the 'perfect storm' of resources at your
as part of a world-wide community of kindred spirits.
What is DiVersity?
DiVersity consists of an organisation and a programme to help you
reach that goal. As a member of DiVersity you spend the time you choose,
either at home, elsewhere in your home country, or abroad, building
a Dossier, with the same rhythm of terms and holidays, but totally
under your control.
During your time as a member of DiVersity - which could be anything
from six months to three years - you build a Dossier. At the end of
the time, you do not have a degree in the existing meaning of the
word. You have a Dossier.
The Dossier contains whatever
you have chosen to put into it. Nothing is excluded and nothing is
compulsory. It could consist of an in-depth study of a single subject
(to way beyond current degree level) or it could contain a hundred
different elements - with or without a theme. You can import into
the Dossier elements previously worked on or acquired. For more details,
Your Dossier does not have
to satisfy anyone except yourself. At the end of your time as a DiVersant
your Dossier could be used as a credential to join a group or organisation,
but it is more likely to have helped you to find a life activity,
or a series of life activities, that satisfies you. The elusive overlap
between what you like doing and are good at, and what people will
exchange resources for.
Not for everybody
It is clear that if you wish to become a doctor or an engineer, for
example, DiVersity is not for you - although it could fill a gap or
sabbatical year. Other contra-indicated groups are listed below.
There is no upper or lower limit for starting DiVersity; school leaving
age may have an effect. Home-schooling as it is practised in some
countries may be an option to allow you to get started.
There is none; no exams required, no required grades, or minimum passes
in English or Maths.
When can you start?
Anytime. Agree to the Charter, sign on online and you are a DiVersant.
You can also do a Gap Dossier to see if it is for you. Or a Sabbatical
Dossier - halt your current course for a year (if that is permitted).
Unintended but welcome
1. The existence of DiVersity as an option will have a 'reachback'
effect. This will reduce the importance you give years before - or
now - to class positions and averages, continuous assessment and examination
results, and the opinions of future referees. The associated fear
disappears. You can devote more time to enjoyable, stimulating, important
things and less to unimportant things such as homework.
2. Many people have found anything like a gap year frowned upon (and
in some countries academically penalised). DiVersity will make repectable
- even desirable - both the activity and the individual.
3. Also, although DiVersity is not completely free, there is absolutely
no need to incur debt, either for tuition or accommodation.
What are the costs?
Signing on £25: you get: membership card and number, joining
pack, levels of membership, storage options.
Background reading: Instead
$4.99 or $11 = the only Course book (but as part of the Assertiveness
Training module we recommend When-I
Say-No-I Feel-Guilty) and the 7 intelligences proposed by Gardner.
Annual subscription TBA
Annual subscription to Workaway
Travelling - to get to swaphosts (hitchhiking, blabla cars, Ddrivers)
Online course fees, DiVersity gatherings, subscriptions or donations
Accommodation - ad hoc, emergency (Locationing nearest Dhost)
Revenue: Many will take jobs as they do now during vacations,
but competition for them will be spread out, and your core subjects
will help you in selection of activity and working conditions.
Where will DiVersity
A lot could take place in the existing family home, but for most young
people a change of scene may be indicated. (Note that HomePlay and
the reachback of DiVersity may well have changed the dynamics of many
families to make this less vital!)
A fundamental aspect of
DiVersity is travel, both domestic and foreign, and foreign language
acquisition using the DiVersity method. On the Workaway model, you
will stay with a Dswap (a family whose own children are members of
DiVersity) or topic-related family exchanging your skills, energy,
and work for your keep while you are there. The rest of your time
will be spent as you wish. (see Charter)
There will be DiVersity
social events in different locations - possibly taking advantage of
existing long vacs at universities.
There will be topic-based physical gatherings regularly and ad hoc
taking advantage of low cost accommodation.
(Advantage will be taken of countries with sympathetic regulations.)
There will be regular online group events including 'Midwich' reports
where one member shares insights or experience gained with all or
some of the other members.
I've never heard of
Neither had I - which is why I am founding it.
Who's the Founder?
Anthony Withers is the principal of the language school English and
Foreign Languages for Executives Ltd (906501) which is the company
behind DiVersity. The registered office is in Reigate, UK and the
head office is in Pau, France.
The Founder's Dossier consists, among other things, of teaching -
riding, Scottish reeling, yoga and meditation, and languages, working
with computers, writing software, and running a small business. DiVersity
is a good fit.
What is this 'perfect
storm' of facilitators?
Apart from the internet itself which permits productive interactive
activity wherever there is a signal, you have (in no particular order):
Workaway, Wwoofing, FaceBook, proximity apps, Google maps, Whatsapp
(for groups), Skout, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, MOOC, Khan Academy,
Youtube, Wikipedia, Skype, Airbnb, Uber, low-cost airlines, and so
What's the plan?
First, a sanity check. Does it make sense? Does it do what is outlined?
How many people are interested? And how seriously?
So second, please join the facebook group or follow on Twitter - but
not both or the numbers will be misleading.
Thirdly, buy the DiVersity ebook or paperback to fund the operation
Below a certain number we will wish you God Speed! and suggest you
put the scheme into operation for yourself.
Above a certain number and we can develop DiVersity as an international
network of kindred spirits.
if this doesn't catch on? You're still a winner.
join us online to hear what's going on, and think about kick-starting
not a career, but your life!
Your Dossier could be like a journal, a scrapbook, a filing-cabinet
or anything you can imagine. It is likely to contain video, audio
and text files, or software, or graphics, or holograms of 3-D objects
you have created, or musical scores, or certificates of achievment,
or evidence of a skill, or... And the OR... is limited only by your
Neither is DiVersity for: anyone needing sustained access to specialised
equipment (chemists, vets, actors), facilities (stage and lighting,
operating theatres, legal libraries, cabinet making, workshops); people
who want a sustained academic atmosphere for a particular specialism;
people who want networking access to an elite or future elite group
(Grandes Ecoles, Oxbridge); people who actually want to work for institutions
(schools) or organisations that currently require a conventional degree
(but note that this may change).
You if you do not want to sign the Charter
seven intelligences proposed by Gardner are linguistic, logical-mathematical,
spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal and intrapersonal.
Linguistic intelligence enables individuals to read, write and speak
well. Logical-mathematical intelligence encompasses logical thinking
(as might be used in chess or deductive reasoning, for example) as
well as mathematical and scientific problem-solving. Spatial intelligence
makes its appearance when an individual navigates an unfamiliar set
of streets, or when an architect visualizes her plans for a building.
Musical intelligence generates the set of skills that allow musicians
to play a tune by ear, or to execute a phrase with sensitivity and
grace. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is necessary for problem-solving
that requires the individual to use his or her physical body, as would
be necessary for performing a complex surgical procedure, executing
a series of dance steps or catching a fly ball. Interpersonal intelligence
drives social skills and things like empathy and intuition about what
motivates other people-a type of understanding that is necessary for
salespersons, teachers and clergy, for example. Intrapersonal intelligence
involves a similar set of abilities, but these are turned toward the
self; individuals who have high intrapersonal intelligence have an
accurate self-understanding, and can use this to their advantage in
problem-solving. Gardner asserts that logical-mathematical and linguistic
intelligences are overemphasized in traditional models of human intelligence,
but that this is a cultural artifact; in different life circumstances,
different intelligences would gain higher priority ( Gardner, 1993).