Sir Richard Branson and Made By Dyslexia Celebrate ‘Dyslexic Thinking'

The FCB Inferno-led work involves both Dictionary.com and Linkedin

By Creative Salon

Sir Richard Branson and charity Made By Dyslexia have joined forces in the launch of the campaign #DyslexicThinking, which has enlisted major organisations to recognise “Dyslexic Thinking” as a celebrated term and valuable workplace skillset against an outdated narrative.

#DyslexicThinking is a movement spearheaded by the global charity Made by Dyslexia on the eve of its fifth birthday with creative production led by FCB Inferno.

In their aim to help the world better understand and value dyslexia, Made By Dyslexia have popularised the term Dyslexic Thinking through their bold campaigns, free resources, and groundbreaking research.

From today, LinkedIn members can add “Dyslexic Thinking” as a skill on their LinkedIn Profile. As part of the campaign, Sir Richard Branson lists Dyslexic Thinking as a skill on his profile and today called others with Dyslexia to join him.

He said: “I’m thrilled LinkedIn has added Dyslexic Thinking to their recognised skills list.  It’s significant because it recognises this unique way of thinking as a positive trait. Dyslexic thinking is a skill that can give you the edge at work: you’re likely to have strong problem-solving skills, a great imagination, and creative, big-picture thinking. I’m proud to be a dyslexic thinker and redefining Dyslexia as a skill gave me the freedom to pursue my dreams without barriers.”

Further progress comes from Dictionary.com, who are in the process of adding “Dyslexic Thinking” as an official term. John Kelly, senior director of Editorial says: “As evidenced by its addition as an official new skill on LinkedIn, the term Dyslexic Thinking—while long used within the dyslexia community—is fast spreading in the wider world. As it spreads, Dyslexic Thinking is giving powerful expression to how dyslexia, historically understood only in terms of deficits, can afford distinct, empowering, and transformative advantages. This shift in understanding is part of a broader trend in society in which we all are reevaluating — often in long-overdue ways — how we talk about cognitive diversity and the many people who are neurodiverse.”

The charity’s 2018 report, produced in partnership with EY Global, showed that Dyslexic Thinking skills exactly matched the skills needed for the future (as defined by the World Economic Forum), while the Value of Dyslexia report in 2019 showed that the skills that dyslexics found challenging were in decline.

Now their latest report, The Dyslexic Dynamic report produced with ManpowerGroup Talent Solutions tells us that that future is closer than we think — the pandemic has sped up the process of automation and Dyslexic Thinking is vital for the workplace of today. 

Founder of Made By Dyslexia, Kate Griggs, who is dyslexic herself, says, “Our research has demonstrated that Dyslexic Thinking skills such as creativity, problem-solving, and leadership are vital to the 21st-century workplace, when we reach a 50/50 work split between machines and humans, as predicted for 2025 – the skills humans will need are Dyslexic Thinking skills. The world’s largest professional careers platform, LinkedIn, has recognised this. That’s why it has offered its 810+ million members the chance to add Dyslexic Thinking to their profile. This is a monumental milestone for dyslexics everywhere.” 

She added, “LinkedIn and Dictionary.com’s recognition of Dyslexic Thinking will have huge impact on the way in which dyslexic individuals view their own unique way of thinking, and the value this brings to the world of work.”

Nicole Leverich, vice president of Communications at LinkedIn, added: “I’m proud to be dyslexic and a part of this movement to redefine what it means. By adding ‘Dyslexic Thinking’ as a skill on LinkedIn, we can help recognize the creative, problem-solving and communication skills people with dyslexia bring to their work."

Intelligence, cyber and security agency, GCHQ, already actively recruits dyslexic thinkers — who are four times more likely to land a place on their apprentice scheme than neurotypical minds. Companies like Facebook and EY Global value the in-demand skills dyslexics bring.

Four in five successful dyslexics attribute their success to Dyslexic Thinking. In line with this, the #DyslexicThinking campaign sees other high-profile individuals coming together to share their pride in being ‘Made By Dyslexia.’ A brand-new video that features actors Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, space scientist and science educator Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Nick Jones, founder of the Soho House group, launched today to help celebrate the changes. They are urging LinkedIn users across the world to add the skill onto their own profiles and share the ways in which Dyslexic Thinking has shaped their success.

This is an incredible step forward, but there’s still lots to do. Focus continues to push further change around the dyslexia conversation as a whole, and encouraging everyone to celebrate the differences that make us all so unique.

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