Different, Not Less!

Boy holding a globe

Autism Advantage Luncheon Bangalore, Specialisterne Foundation.

By Aprajita Pandey, HR Consultant ME & India

On the 26th September 2019, Brunel Foundation officially launched its partnership with the Specialisterne foundation surrounding common principle – “INTENTION & COMPASSION”.

The Specialisterne Foundation (whose founder Thorkil Sonne aims to create one million jobs for people with autism around the world) organized its first Autism Advantage Luncheon in Bangalore, India on 19 November 2019 in collaboration with SAP Labs Bangalore, Enable India and UN GC India. Brunel Middle East & India colleagues attended the event where people were able to come together and collaborate on changing the attitude surrounding autism and the workplace.

About 15 multinationals, parent support groups, and experts gathered at the SAP Labs headquarters in Bangalore for a day-long session. The day was aimed at bringing stakeholders together to look at ways to promote inclusion, not just in the workplace but in all aspects of life. It also aimed at generating awareness towards the inclusion of people with developmental disorders, a group where most corporates tend to still be wary to hire. The focus here is not just workplace inclusion but building a human rights perspective in partnership with all stakeholders, not just the perception of employers alone. The attempt is to create a community model around autism in the workplace that are replicable in different cities across the globe.

We were awestruck when we discovered Nikhil, the person who led the event as host is on the autism spectrum himself.  He highlighted the kind of quality, error-free software testing tasks that people on the autism spectrum currently employed at SAP Labs deliver. Some individuals on the spectrum have traits that will enable a variety of companies to make better products and conduct better business. Any organisation can benefit from ‘different’ perspectives and talents

There were many moments of educational surprise about autism in the workplace. It was an experience to display the potential of the neuro-diverse spectrum. Confidence, creativity, sense of purpose, natural art of detecting flaws in visual patterns and many more qualities change the game and rewires conventional thinking about brains (and business!).

The luncheon broadened our horizon and underpinned the common principle perfectly: “INTENTION & COMPASSION”.


Don’t judge talent by its cover!