‘Why is normality the gold standard, when the “norm” hasn’t worked for a while? Isn’t it time for new models of leadership, and new role models? Isn’t it more exciting to be non-standard, to be covered in glitter, and to embrace a phenomenal spectrum of colours and possibilities?’

Kai Syng tan, Neurodiversity and CreaTIVITY

Read my interview on neurodiversity and creativity with Jane Clark at Beshara magazine, which discusses my art-psychiatry commission #MagicCarpet as the first artist in residence at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, the genesis of the 350-member global Neurodiversity In/and Creative Research Network (also @NeuroDiversity Safe Space), and the importance of looking out of classroom windows (+ the need for new classrooms).


Clark, Jane. 2022. ‘Neurodiversity and Creativity: Catalysing Change through Artful Agitation: A Conversation with Artist and Researcher Dr Kai Syng Tan’. Beshara Magazine. 13 May 2022. https://besharamagazine.org/uncategorized/neurodiversity-and-creativity-kai-syng-tan/


Leonardo Da Vinci (with dyslexia and ADHD) as neurodiversity poster boy/human aside, a more decolonised and queered gallery will feature Chin Hwee TAN (the dyslexic WEF Young Global Leader and first non-white Asia-Pacific CEO of Trafigura who sits on multiple non-profit boards), Simone Biles (the extra-ordinary Olympian with ADHD), Marvel Harris (trans autistic award-winning artist) and my 85-year old school-dropout father who couldn’t/cannot count, amongst others. For un-cropped versions of the artworks in the post, see www.kaisyngtan.com/artful


Like it is with most performances, CPD, keynote lectures and other public engagement events, the publication led to increase in the membership of the Neurodiversity In/and Creative Research Network and followers on social media platforms, as well as an email inbox with more than the usual number from strangers sharing their moving stories and words of gratitude, which I often do not have the capacity to respond to, and the contents of which I will not divulge. Feedback from the Beshara magazine website includes:

Brilliant. I’m one of six children and 5 of them have dyslexia and [dyspraxia]. They are all left handed also. I’m the [odd] one out!

Elizabeth Devlin – Dugmore on May 16, 2022 at 2:33 pm

I am so called normal but never see myself normal at the same time. It is amazing the work you do. I hope this work gets a lot of exposure as far and wide as possible.

Elza on May 22, 2022 at 3:27 pm

Thank you so much for this. My young daughter is autistic. This is exactly the world that I want to be able to give her.

Linnaea Boone Wilson on May 22, 2022 at 10:32 pm


According to descriptions on its website, Beshara magazine is an independent, non-profit publication published by the Beshara Trust, a UK-based educational charity founded in 1971. According to its founding documents, ‘The object for which the Trust is established is the advancement of education in the consideration of the basic unity of all religions, in particular by the provision of courses to provide an understanding of the relationship of humanity to the universe, the earth, the environment and society, to Reality and to God.’ ‘Beshara’ is Aramaic for ‘good news’. This ‘indicates the very positive and valuable effect that any movement towards a more inclusive and harmonious perspective represents’. Beshara Magazine ‘provides a platform for intelligent and thought-provoking material embodying a unifying perspective. Its concern is not with one particular field of activity, but with unitative ideas and initiatives as they arise in many different areas of contemporary thought – for example, within the spiritual traditions, the sciences, the arts, economics and finance, as well as in our developing understanding of the environment and the fundamentals of well-being’. Jane Clark is a dyslexia tutor at University of Oxford, and had first heard me as keynote speaker for 150 dyslexia specialists at the National Conference: The Association of Dyslexia Specialists in Higher Education (ADSHE) 20th Anniversary Celebration Event 2021