What happens in a room full of neurodiverse people?

Written by Guy Walsh

Wednesday 2nd November 2022

Since last year, when I had the realisation that I have ADHD, I have been looking to network with more neurodiverse freelancers and business owners. I created LinkedIn and Facebook groups specifically for this purpose, and I’m keeping my eyes open for events specifically for neurodiverse entrepreneurs.

The Future is ND

My first port of call was to follow Genius Within on LinkedIn – an organisation that exists to support and champion neurodiverse voices.

One of the first posts that they shared was from The Future is ND. This is an organisation set up by Lucy Hobbs to champion and empower neurodiverse voices in the creative a tech industries. The post was promoting an upcoming event in London called ND Leaders 02.

That event took place last night (1st November 2022) and the full gallery of images that I created can be found at this link.

The first thing that struck me was OMG CATS! The pictures below were taken outside of the building so I immediately felt at home! For those that don’t know – I offer a bespoke cat photography service.


The next thing that excited me was the event space. A very modern, trendy event area in the offices of Wunderman Thompson. The decor spoke my language and the room was spacious and comfortable.

People started to arrive and the conversation started to flow, but the next thing that struck me was the power of a space designed by neurodivergent people. We were able to openly be ourselves, without judgement – there was no masking needed.


The first of the speakers was Dan, a self-employed branding professional from Northamptonshire. A common theme throughout the night was the struggles of growing up, not fitting in, and having to find your own path. The audience were visibly touched by many of the stories – and unsurprisingly I found that I related to lots of them.

Of course, there were poignant and funny moments too – and each of the speakers brought their own message of hope. Next up was Samantha Hiew of ADHD Girls.

In the same spirit of openness and generosity that existed at the event, I feel I should mention that at this point I had become so hyperfocused on my photography that I didn’t take in much of the story being told. Samantha does have a YouTube channel though – so why not go and check that out?


Something I noticed that I feel showed the impact of the event was the number of people that were taking photographs of the slides on display. It was clear that a lot of valuable and relatable information had been provided in the talks, and there was time for questions at the end of each presentation too.

After a break for a bit of mingling/networking, Tash Rosehill spoke about the work she has done within her company to increase health coverage to include mental health. Again, a combination of hyperfocus and mental fatigue meant that I didn’t take in too much of this presentation.

The final speaker for the night was Kim Lawrie, who provided probably the most poignant moment of the night when she reminded us of the effects of shame on a person’s self-esteem and self-identity. There was a tangible shift in the atmosphere as people connected with her message. I let out a little tear. It was such a powerful moment that I went to thank Kim afterwards. The impact of shame will be translated into an activity in my Acting Skills for Life courses, and in doing so I hope it will help even more people.

Networking & Close

Finally. Lucy closed the night, although the networking continued until the venue closed and many people went to the pub afterwards.

My thoughts

This was a thoroughly enjoyable evening on so many levels. Hearing so many relatable stories was equally reassuring and heartbreaking. Being in a non-judgemental environment was liberating, and made me wonder what the world would be like if it were designed by neurodiverse people.

I left with the motivation to do something. Whenever I hear stories of suffering, it always reinvigorates my desire to help ensure others don’t have to go through that same suffering in the future. So many of the stories I heard were preventable with nothing more than empathy and understanding.

My ADHD brain is already working on something. If you’re midlands-based and would like to collaborate, please get in touch.

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