Last weekend, more than 1000 thought leaders came together to discuss the Economy and Society from a female perspective. Unlike the Davos Global Forum, in Deauville powerful women are in the majority at the fifth international Women's Forum for the Economy and Society. Its motto is:
"Think again, think ahead! It is time for action, change and hope".
There were many international speakers unveiling their ideas on politics, entrepreneurship, economics; a lot of the time about the effects of the financial crisis, but also on the chances and opportunities that it brings. Among the speakers - 17 Rising Talents of 2009 - was Founder of Smarta, Shaa Wasmund.
Some conclusions from the forum were:
Women are Hit Hard by the Financial Crisis
It may be that women-led hedge funds have performed better in the financial crisis than hedge funds run by men - as was one of the conclusions of a Report launched at the Women's Forum - and yet women and girls in poor countries have been hit the hardest by the implosion of banks thousands of miles away.
The developed world has received far more funding to combat the crisis, in comparison to that received by the worlds poorest countries. As a result, women now need similarly large-scale solutions, including access to capital and to larger markets, to combat the crisis.
"The ground has shifted beneath the feet of our business models and social and economic policies”, explains Founder and CEO Aude Zieseniss de Thuin. "The Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society views moments of rupture like this as an opportunity to advance new ideas, technologies and even paradigms for society and the economy. With their male counterparts, women have a key role to play in the process of creating a more resilient future," the Founder of the Women’s Forum said.
Empowering Women makes Financial Sense
Discussed at great length, was the idea that empowering women economically is not just a matter of fairness, but of financial sense.
Misty Gibbs examines the differences between being an entrepreneur and a business owner, sharing with The NextWomen the reasons why it is crucial to know which category you fit into, and how this can help your business.
Business angel investing is changing. Once it was largely a solo activity, undertaken below the radar. Now angels are increasingly joining together in manager-led angel groups to invest together. New research from the University of Glasgow’s Adam Smith Business School takes an in-depth look at angel investing in the light of these changes.
World Leaders unite today in Davos for the World Economic Forum, a five day conference in which the most pressing issues facing the world are discussed. This year it is entitled "Shaping the Post-Crisis World." Business leaders, executives, politicians, intellectuals and journalists are expected to talk about the economic crisis and how to get through it, but they also due to cover topics such as environmental damage, corruption, energy or health. Themes can be found here.
Attendees in the forum have historically been primarily men, but this changed when Aude Zieseniss de Thuin founded the "Davos" Women's Forum for the Economy & Society in 2005 to promote a women’s vision on the economic and social issues of the world.
This year, these are the women that will be at Davos:
September 9, 2014—Diversion Books published Innovating Women, a collection of candid, first-hand accounts of women in technology.
Prior to ProFounder, The NextWomen Female Internet Hero Jessica cofounded and served as CMO of Kiva, the world's first peer-to-peer microlending platform. Since its launch in 2005, Kiva has facilitated over $200M in loans, connecting lenders and entrepreneurs in 209 countries. Jessica is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a 2011 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and serves as an active board member on several organizations including Opportunity International, the International Museum of Women, and Allowance for Good. Currently a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, Jessica has also taught Global Entrepreneurship at the Marshall School of Business at USC. You can find Jessica on Twitter @jessicajackley
Lana Larder was lucky enough to speak to author, actress, photographer, former television talk show hostess and former wife of Pierre Trudeau, the 15th Prime Minister of Canada.
Margaret Trudeau has garnered more publicity than any woman in Canadian history. She now shares her personal life story in her memoir, Changing My Mind, and is a trailblazer and leader for mental health.
“I first met Pierre at a lagoon at the end of a holiday". Margaret remembers what he said, “If I ever marry she’s the one.” At 22 years old, in 1971, Margaret Trudeau became the youngest First Lady and wife of former 15th Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau. Politics are again in Margaret’s life as her son, Justin Trudeau is the current Leader for the Liberal Party in Canada.
Markus Wilson, Co-Founder of London based video production company Phink TV talks to The Next Women about launching your brand through video.
The NextWomen Social Entrepreneurship Theme
In India, there is no shortage of talented female social entrepreneurs. Women like Ela Bhatt, who in 1972 founded SEWA, the world’s first and largest trade union for undocumented women workers, as well as Women’s World Banking in 1979 - have been inspiring and leading women for generations.
Hina Shah, founder of The International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development (ICECD), has worked for over 25 years on scaling micro, small, and medium size businesses across 21 states of India.