A Bookgroup Mastermind

One of the hottest topics for 2021 is diversity and inclusion in higher education. The disruption to education caused by COVID19  is magnifying the achievement gap of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and campuses have been shaken by the response to Black Lives Matter. While millions of written words a year are published on diversity and inclusion progress remains slow and you are drowning in blog posts, research reports, and books. There is no shortage of good practice. Conferences and workshops help share ideas and progress. 

But sometimes, what you might need is a deeper conversation, more reflection, and time to digest collected wisdom. In previous book Masterminds, we’ve read one book at a time. For 2021 you can join us on an adventurous challenge of tackling two books: similar, but different. 

Yes sign me up


Who is the Mastermind for?

If you enjoy reading, then you might find it’s enough to simply finish the book, pop it back on the shelf, and self-reflect. But maybe you’d enjoy time with other like-minded people to explore the ideas and enrich your knowledge further still. And, extend your network at the same time. The imperative is that as many people as possible can connect with diversity and inclusion in higher education.

If, like many, your bookshelf is filled with enticing titles or gifts and you just never get round to deep digestion of the contents then having space to share your journey and explore the text in more detail may be what you need.

Perhaps you’re full-time as a diversity and inclusion lead, sit on an Athena SWAN committee or Juno panel, or even a faculty leader who needs to stay on top of research. A book mastermind is not about judging what people know or don’t. It’s a safe space to read, learn, listen.

The area of equality, diversity, and inclusion is expanding so fast there’s always something we can ALL learn. 

Yes I'm in

Your accountability partner

This Bookgroup Mastermind is your accountability partner. Helping you make yourself read, discuss and digest the material. But the best value comes from exploring how you can apply it within your institution. 

We’ve chosen two books for Spring-Summer 2021 :

laursen and Austin and Stewart and Valian


These fit into the Katalytik Manifesto for inclusive engineering and our foundation on excellence.

The Mastermind will explore how colleges and universities can live up to their ideals of diversity, and why inclusivity and excellence go hand in hand. The Laursen – Austin book presents three case studies from the NSF advance programme and will balance the literature-heavy Stewart-Valian book. 

Yes sign me up


What kind of questions will it answer on diversity and inclusion in higher education? 

  • How can I make sure my vision, theory, and practical knowledge are up to date?
  • Intersectionality and inclusion: what is best practice for 2021?
  • What works? and What doesn’t work?

Creating a Culturemaker Community for Higher Education

When you join the Mastermind you will be joining a community committed to advancing the good practice and programmes that are building a culture of inclusion in our educational establishments. Over the summer we’ll break both books down into chunks, hold facilitated online discussions, and a workbook to help you reflect and prepare for the next session. The Mastermind has a framework of five sessions and an end of the Mastermind Workshop.

Just think, by the end of the summer you’ll have read two interesting books and will start the next academic year with a fresh set of ideas.

What is my time commitment?

Participation in the book mastermind will give you in-depth insights into diversity and inclusion in higher education. The authors of the books we have chosen are thought leaders with huge experience. Virginia Valian coined the phrase unconscious bias in her 1998 book, Why so slow?

  • Typically a ‘business book’ would take 10 hours to read. We’ve chosen 2 books. (20 hours)
  • Five (minimum) online sessions: May June July August September (75 – 90 minutes each) NOTE: there has been a supply issue in the UK with the book and so our start date will be delayed.
  • Wrap party and workshop in October (3 hours optional)
  • Preparation for each session of reading and worksheet (30 minutes)

How do I join the Mastermind?

Simply add to your cart and buy a paper or digital version (see the links above) or borrow the books from your library. We’ll be in touch with your registration details, the start date, and your workbook. Mastermind membership is £107

Join here

What do I get?

  • Joining instructions with the study programme 
  • Workbook (pdf) with breakdowns of both books and key points and space for note-taking (value £45)
  • An online Microsoft Teams chat dedicated to the group
  • 5 (minimum) online facilitated sessions (between 75 minutes and 120 minutes each – recorded) (value £150 per session)
  • End of mastermind  workshop for sharing good practice from your own institution (value £99)
  • 30% discount off the Laursen – Austin book. A code and instructions for use will be in your confirmation email.