An international conference in Edinburgh next month (March) is to shine a spotlight on neurodiversity in the workplace.

Also taking centre stage at the global event is Edinburgh-born writer and satirist Rory Bremner describing how his ADHD diagnosis shaped his life and work.

Tickets are still available for the ITAKOM – It Takes All Kinds Of Minds – event on the science and reality of neurodiversity, featuring more than 50 speakers from around the world including experts on neurodiversity in the workplace, neuroscientists, clinicians and comedians.

Held on March 13 and 14, and with SSE Plc. confirmed as headline sponsors, the conference aims to foster a better understanding of all neurodevelopmental conditions and help to create more inclusive schools, workplaces and communities.

HR professionals, practitioners, academics, the care sector and families will all offer insights into how to better understand people’s differences and provide effective support where needed.

A focus on the working environment will be high on the agenda and HR specialists will learn how to cultivate and support a neurodiverse workforce.

Delegates, both in-person and virtual, will hear from a wide range of keynote speakers and Big Talks over the two days on subjects including:

• ADHD and Me: A Big Talk by Rory Bremner on how having ADHD has shaped his life and work

• Neurodiversity and Employment – Where we’ve been and where we’re going: A Big Talk by Dr Nancy Doyle, occupational psychologist and founder of the neurodiversity social enterprise Genius Within, examining reasonable adjustments towards a flourishing and productive neurodiverse workforce

• Legal Framework for Neurodiversity at Work: A workshop by leading Scottish commercial law firm Burness Paullusing case studies to explore ways to support neurodivergent people at work

• The Masks We Wear: Keynote lecture by award-winning author, late-diagnosed autistic woman and international, multi-million best-selling author of Geek Girl, Holly Smale, whose work has been translated into 30 languages

• You’ll Never Achieve Anything: A career perspective from Ciara Lawrence (Big Engagement lead at Mencap). Having built a tremendously successful career, this award-winning disability advocate will investigate the contrast between what she has achieved and what was expected of her, reflecting on what that means for our idea of “high-quality” services and workplaces

Other sessions include:

• Handling It: An inspirational account of creative entrepreneur Charlotte Garnett’s personal experience in driving a unique and successful business designing and specialising in Anti-Anxiety jewellery

• Sleep Routines and Intellectual Disability: The University of Edinburgh’s Dr Lindsay Mizen of the Patrick Wild Centre, a consultant psychiatrist and clinical academic, with a learning disability specialism, showcases cutting-edge research and practice information about sleep routines for people with an intellectual disability.

The conference is organised by Edinburgh charity Salvesen Mindroom Centre whose Chief Executive Officer Alan Thornburrow says the diversity of thought needs to become a key business priority, just as issues like gender equality and mental health have become integrated over the last decade.

And with 15-20% of the population estimated to be neurodivergent, it has never been more important for managers and HR professionals to address their role in how to help create a neuro-affirmative environment.

The workplace is one of the most important places to support neurodiversity and make a tangible difference in the lives of staff facing challenges. Businesses that demonstrate a real commitment to addressing neurodiverse needs have the power to make a hugely positive impact in the world of work.

We’re also delighted to be sponsored by SSE Plc. one of the world’s leading clean energy businesses which is currently recruiting 1,000 additional people a year. Their support will help us towards our target of reaching 1 million workers by 2026 and supporting them with practical tools and advice to effect change in the workplace.”

Rosie MacRae, Head of Inclusion & Diversity at SSE Plc. commented, “We are delighted to be supporting this important conference. We’re currently recruiting 1,000 people a year as we help deliver the transition to a net zero energy system and offering an inclusive workplace that embraces and welcomes diversity for the creativity and innovation it brings is crucial to meeting our objectives and delivering wider benefits to society.”

For more information on ITAKOM and to register for the conference go to