Doni Aldine on the power of cultural diversity

The media needs to do more to reach out to culturally fluid people and help give them a sense of belonging. This was the message from Doni Aldine, CEO of Culturs Global Multicultural Lifestyle Media and Founder of Culturs Magazine, during a fascinating presentation at the FIPP World Media Congress, looking at the huge growth of those who have a foot in two or more cultural worlds, including multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, often mixed raced, and geographically mobile people.

Drawing from university research and lived experiences, Aldine delved into the concept of the “prototype citizen of the future” and how embracing their unique perspectives can unlock new opportunities for audience engagement and business growth.

“Centuries-old institutions have a hard time changing with the tide. Well, this new tide is coming faster than most people realise,” she said. “The research that is done around the world on this population is that it is growing at an exponential pace. So, what’s needed for the media is market understanding and to embrace the change that’s coming.”

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More than 238 million culturally fluid people live around the globe, representing a buying power of $1 trillion. Multicultural people make up 47% of the US gross domestic product.

“By 2045, people of colour in the United States will be the majority. I think you can see some of the effects of that,” said Aldine. “I think you can see the old guard getting scared that the numbers of the supposed minority population are changing. And what does that mean for them? Well, if we had a little more understanding, it’s not going to mean anything negative. However, the understanding currently isn’t there. Media can make a difference with that.”

Aldine stressed that there is more than race when it comes to the equation. “When people hear diversity, often they say race, which is a problem. It’s really about culture. The cultural inbetween are people of culture. It’s not people of colour but includes people of colour.

“This is a very large niche population, a very nuanced population and each sub-segment of this population has its own characteristic that we have to pay attention to. Everyone deserves to feel they are seen. Everyone wants to be seen and heard. 21st-century cultural diversity specifically speaks to – do you feel part of a nation?”

Aldine implored the media industry to embrace the culturally fluid community. “The media can help us live in full colour – why live in black and white when you can live in full colour,” she said.

“So, embrace that cultural inbetween and create impact. The media can be open – question and truly listen to your audience. Are you just listening to respond or are you being open and letting the message be absorbed into your person? We help our communities by making sure everyone in our community feels like they have a place.”


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