Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson, is widely known to be an ambassador for dyslexia. In his latest blog post, the billionaire goes as far as to credit his success to his disability. “My dyslexia has shaped Virgin right from the very beginning and imagination has been the key to many of our successes,” the billionaire writes.
Branson emphasizes the gift of imagination that dyslexics possess, a unique skill that he credits for his global Virgin empire. His recent venture, Virgin Galactic, plans to provide orbital human spaceflights. He also mentions other famous dyslexics and their achievements, such as Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford. In an earlier blog post, the 69-year-old shared how he doesn’t see the condition as a disability, rather an “exceptionability”.
From bullying to physical abuse, Branson faced constant struggles during his schooling years due to his disability, which he only discovered in his twenties. In an attempt to reframe dyslexia as a positive influence, years later the high-school dropout co-founded a charity called, “Made By Dyslexia”. The charity believes policymakers and schools need to bolster their efforts to better identify dyslexics early on, and consider introducing more supportive ways of teaching dyslexic students, to help cultivate this untapped talent.
According to an EY report, dyslexics have exactly the skills needed for the future workplace. Branson echoes this sentiment, claiming that people diagnosed with the condition are likely to have “the skills of the future”. Creativity, complex problem solving and cognitive flexibility were all recognized as primary strengths of dyslexic individuals. These skills will become increasingly valuable as all sectors of industry embrace new technology in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Developed with the support of Made By Dyslexia, the report is the first research project of its kind and was carried out solely by a team of dyslexic individuals at EY.
Branson will be supporting the community and exploring the power of imagination at Made By Dyslexia’s Summit on Monday 14th October in London.