I´ve just arrived from London and cannot help write about my impressions and experience. Gathering people from diverse backgrounds, culture and habits from different parts of the world is already challenging, but to be able to reunite women towards common goals, beyond the ones established by UN initiative Sustainable Development Goals is even more. Indeed, 47 countries represented and a wide range of subjects covered about women and their role in the current dynamic and versatile planet.
Although, and as a difference from other WEF events, we addressed challenges from a business and professional perspective in which an individualist perspective dominated the stage. Is it so that, professional visibility, connections, personal fulfillment, and material enrichment played a key role during the event. The result was easy to get: a business event within a woman’s perspective, which is totally valuable but its also different for what we expect from WEF in spirit and philosophy. Is it true, it was a Women Empowerment event but not from the principles of togetherness, solidarity, and strength through union. Instead, all those principles were replaced by connections, networking and professional opportunities. My last WEF event was in Tomar, Portugal (March 2019, please see my article* “Women Economic Forum or better said, Women Enlightened Forum”) and the parallel is unavoidable: an “enlightened” forum and a “business” forum.
For different reasons, it works as a precedent for future events, especially about Mission Million 2022, our flagship, in the ambitious aim to gather 1 million women around the world towards knowledge, information sharing, solidarity and support one to each other in their daily challenges. I am an enthusiastic Ambassador for this Mission and was puzzled to see that each time I approached someone in the event, they were not aware of our “real” mission and do not seem much interested. This United Nations clarion call was not as important as their call towards business goals and particularly subjective intention to relate to one or other participants.
We must take seriously this new WEF experience in the sense that there is a true need for a women business space, although we need to manage to deliver without undermining the principles that have been leading the Forum in the past editions: capacity to join expertise, information within goodwill and the great resource of storytelling for building a platform towards women empowerment at all levels, including the emotional and spiritual in the long term.
Our short-term Mission: 1 million women around the world by 2022. Connecting, yes, but not for gaining professional benefits towards personal direct benefit, even if most of the events are about this goal, the Women Economic Forum represents a holistic approach and works through a kaleidoscope of perspectives, putting into action a philosophy of ALL together. Empowerment from union, solidarity, respect and togetherness by listening, debating and complementing each other.
Our long term goal:a platform to appeal in times of crisis. It is not all about connections, but ALL women connected towards gender equality. That is the reason why the short-termism of business opportunities may clash with the long-term goal of balanced relations beyond interests.
TRUST that the Forum will deliver the necessary tools to feel empowered and gain inner strength, EXCHANGE with an open mind and heart, ACCEPT that is a Forum based on diversity and multi-cultural approach and finally SILENCE, the best asset in the right timing.
Women resilience is also about Women Economic Forum particularly approach towards resilience to keep its principles and values beyond time, place or personal ambitions.