‘Diversish’ campaign launches at Davos to challenge businesses excluding disability from diversity commitments

25 January 2019
  • “If disability is not on your agenda, neither is diversity” – states the campaign
  • Campaign highlights problematic diversity and inclusion practices
  • Prominent public figures including Paralympic basketball champion Ade Adepitan, and actress Sam Renke, call on delegates of the World Economic Forum Annual Summit to act on disability inclusion
A new campaign that holds global business leaders accountable for disability inclusion in their businesses launched today at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit in Davos.


To mark the first time disability has been discussed on the main stage at the World Economic Forum with the support of global business leaders, Diversish launched at Davos today – see below:



‘Diversish’ is a satirical look at businesses that call themselves diverse, but overlook, ignore or postpone anything to do with disability. It calls for business leaders to stop being diversish and commit to action on disability inclusion.


Additional films were simultaneously launched on YouTube highlighting problematic diversity and inclusion practices that The Valuable 500 aims to end.


The campaign coincides with the launch today of The Valuable 500, which seeks to tackle the trend for businesses to claim they are diverse but exclude disability from their definition of diversity.


Announced by #valuable founder Caroline Casey at today’s press conference “The Case for Disability Inclusion”, The Valuable 500 will challenge 500 global businesses to commit to putting disability on their board agendas in 2019.


Founder of #valuable, Caroline Casey, commented: “I urge businesses to join The Valuable 500 movement and stop being diversish. It’s no longer good enough for companies to say ‘disability doesn’t fit with our brand’ or ‘it’s a good idea to explore next year’. Businesses cannot be truly inclusive if disability is continuingly ignored on leadership agendas.”


“The time has come to make disability part of all board agendas. Unless we do that, none of us can truthfully say we’re addressing diversity. We’re just being diversish and that’s simply not enough." – states Sir Richard Branson.


“We’ve all become far too used to picking and choosing. But this can’t be how business approaches diversity. When we omit disability, we’re just being diversish. And that’s a label none of us should be proud of." – says Paul Polman.


“There’s something far worse than being mistreated and that’s being ignored. Diversity is more than race, religion, age, gender, and sexuality. It’s about disability, too. Diversish agendas must end." – asserts Janet Riccio.


The call for business leaders to put disability on their board agendas was supported by key figures in the disabled community.


Video messages from Paralympic basketball champion Ade Adepitan, TV-presenter Adam Pearson, actress Sam Renke, activist Will Pike and others, addressing the delegates of the World Economic Forum Annual Summit directly, were also released on social media.


Global partners


The Valuable 500 is delighted to announce the first six global businesses to sign up and become members: Unilever, Microsoft, Barclays, Fujitsu, Cinepolis and Accenture.


In addition, The Valuable 500 is also working with a range of experts who will lend their skills and expertise to get the business community to tackle disability exclusion around the world. These regional experts include the ILO GBDN, The Marketing Society, Business Disability Forum, EY, Ruh Global, AXSChat and Purple Space.


#valuable, the organisation behind the launch of The Valuable 500, is supported by a number of high-profile businesses and business leaders, including strategic partners Omnicom and Virgin Media, and leaders including Sir Richard Branson, Paul Polman, Janet Riccio, and EY Chairman & CEO Mark Weinberger.


These companies and leaders are taking a number of steps to support disability inclusion and equality throughout their businesses.


Among other highlights of the Forum’s disability inclusion agenda, Caroline Casey and Paul Polman will be joined by Bloomberg Chairman Peter T Grauer; Procter & Gamble Group President, North America, Carolyn Tastad; Accenture CEO North America Julie Sweet; and Tech Mahindra Managing Director and CEO Chander Prakash Gurnani, at an interactive panel entitled ‘The Business Case for Disability Inclusion’.




For interviews and further information, please contact:


Eloise Keightley, Seven Hills

Telephone: +44 207 199 2218

Email: eloise.keightley@wearesevenhills.com


Marianne Waite, The Valuable 500 Campaign Director 

Email: marianne@thevaluable500.com


Vicky Allard, Director of Communications, AMV BBDO

Telephone: +44 7769 937062

Email: allardv@amvbbdo.com


About Diversish


Diversish was developed by leading UK advertising agency AMV BBDO, which is part of Omnicom. Films were directed by award-winning commercial director, James Rouse, Outsider.




Creative Agency: AMV BBDO

Creative team: Polina Zabrodskaya and Michael Jones

Creative Directors: Rich McGrann and Andy Clough

Executive Creative Director: Alex Grieve.

Design: Simon Dilks

Agency producer: Darapen Vongsa-Nga

Strategist: Margaux Revol

Account team: Katy Talikowska, Sonia Karia, Sophie Clarke, Abbi Brown

Business Affairs: Maxine Thompson


Production company: OUTSIDER

Director: James Rouse

Production Company Producer: Benji Howell

Editor: Bill Smedley at Work

Post Production: Electric Theatre Collective

Colourist: Luke Morrison at Electric Theatre Collective

Sound: Anthony Moore & James Utting at Factory


Applying for Membership of The Valuable 500


To apply to be a Valuable 500 business, please visit thevaluable500.com


Membership of The Valuable 500 includes:

·         Unlimited access to our executive disability performance resource hub

·         Membership to a community of like-minded business peer leaders, committed to raising their game on disability

·         The platform and opportunity to raise your profile as an early adopter helping to shape this vital emerging economic and societal agenda.


By becoming a member of The Valuable 500, you agree to:

·         COMMIT: Table disability on your board agenda from 2019

·         ACT: Make ONE firm commitment to action in 2019

·         AMPLIFY: Share your commitment to The Valuable 500 internally and externally


Additional information:


About disability


Research by EY commissioned by #valuable has found disability is still woefully absent from the majority of board level discussions globally - with the majority (56%) of global senior executives rarely or never discussing disability on their leadership agendas.


Today, over one billion people across the world live with some form of disability - 15% of the global population, or 1 in 7 people - but their value is routinely ignored by business, equivalent to disregarding a potential market the size of US, Brazil, Indonesia and Pakistan combined.


The current global employment rate for disabled people is half that of non-disabled people, a gap that has widened since 2010. According to the World Health Organisation, up to half of businesses in OECD countries choose to pay fines rather than meet quotas on disability.


Along with their friends, families and communities, the one billion disabled people worldwide also hold a disposable annual income of $8 trillion a year, equating to an opportunity that business cannot afford to ignore. Of those one billion, 80% of disabilities are acquired later life, and our ageing global population means the prevalence of disability is on the rise.


#valuable is a catalyst for an inclusion revolution that exists to position disability equally on the global business leadership agenda. It is spearheaded by award-winning activist, social entrepreneur and Binc founder Caroline Casey, who is registered blind.



About #valuable


Launched by Binc, #valuable is a campaign working to ensure businesses globally recognise the value of the one billion people around the world living with a disability. We believe that building a global society that recognises the value of the 1 billion people living with a disability starts with business. We’re on a mission to make sure businesses across the world recognise the value of the one billion people living with a disability. 


Binc was founded by social entrepreneur and activist Caroline Casey in 2015, with a mission to ignite a historic global movement for a new age of business inclusion. Binc is capitalising on Caroline Casey’s 18-year track record of success engaging over 450 organisations and working with 500,000 business leaders. Binc fundamentally believes that inclusive business creates inclusive societies and is initiating a new approach to business that genuinely includes the 1 billion people living in the world with a disability. Binc is the founding team behind valuable, an ambitious global campaign to put inclusivity on top of the business agenda around the world in 2019. Binc is using a tried and tested formula that has worked in the past for gender, race and LGBTto leverage the exponential rise of The Diversity and Inclusion Agenda.


About Virgin Media


Virgin Media offers four multi award-winning services across the UK and Ireland: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline.


Its dedicated, ultrafast network delivers the fastest widely-available broadband speeds to homes and businesses and it’s expanding this through its Project Lightning programme, which could extend its network to up to 17 million premises.


Its interactive Virgin TV service brings live TV, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games to customers through a set-top box, as well as on-the-go through tablets and smartphones.


Virgin Mobile launched the world’s first virtual mobile network and offers fantastic value and innovative services with 4G connectivity. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK and Ireland.


Through Virgin Media Business it supports entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering the fastest widely available broadband speeds and tailor-made services.


Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company. Liberty Global connects 21 million customers through operations in 10 countries across Europe subscribing to 45 million TV, broadband internet and telephony services. It also serves 6 million mobile subscribers and offers WiFi service through 12 million access points across its footprint.


About Omnicom Group
Omnicom Group (www.omnicomgroup.com) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company.  Omnicom's branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries. 

Key Omnicom Group agencies which contributed to the campaign are:

AMV BBDO, RAPP, Interbrand, Porter Novelli, Ketchum and Manning Gottlieb


Definition of disability:


#valuable uses the definition provided by the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with disabilities, which defines a person living with a disability as ‘those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.’


1 http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/chapter8.pdf


3 http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/chapter8.pdf

4 Return on Disability, 2016

5 Scope and Landman, Enabling Work – https://www.scope.org.uk/Scope/media/Images/Publication%20Directory/Landman_Report.PDF?ext=.pdf


Disability and the Sustainable Development Goals

The need to advance disability inclusion around the globe is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Disability or ‘persons with disabilities’ are specifically referenced 11 times in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with a further six references to ‘persons in vulnerable situations’. Principally with reference to: promoting inclusive economic growth that allows disabled people to fully access the job market and guaranteeing equal and accessible education through the creation of inclusive environments.