I started my day with this absolutely gripping replay session by an all women panel at the World Economic Forum. The topic , as is with most women led discussions was of change , inclusion and hope – “Creating a shared future in a fractured world.”
The women on this panel are diverse , strong willed leaders who challenge the stereotypes of the world . In case you thought , I am referring to gender stereotyping – No , its beyond that ! I am talking about all sorts of stereotypes – your ideas of a nuclear scientist , your ideas on who can be the promoter of a bank , how you think of artificial intelligence today and and tough decision making .
The panel moderated by Christine Lagarde , the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund starts with the beautiful line by Leonard Cohen ‘There is a crack in everything and that’s how the light gets in‘ . It moves on to first assess the cracks and then tell stories of hope. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway speaks about the challenges of the developed and the developing world . She starts (3:00) with the challenges of a democracy , skills , jobs and sums it up (47:00) about thoughts on taxation and economic flows from the government’s point of view .
I won’t tell you more because it takes away from what they have to say .
If you you are mothering , tutoring or simply inspiring a young adult , make sure you let them sit and watch this video .
What stuck with me , in order of scrolling through (approx timings included)
The part (15:00) where Fabiola Gianotti world renowned particle physicist and first Director-General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) says Science can play its little role in creating a shared future because science is universal and unifying . Universal because it is based on objective facts and not opinions . Unifying because it takes over 17,000 scientists from over 100 countries some of which are in conflict to work together driven by the same passion and curiosity towards a common goal for a shared better future.
When (21:00) Gini Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM Corporation talks about responsible stewardship to bring in new technologies with purpose and transparency guided by a set of data principles.I have heard them before at IBM and we live by them trying to educate before advocating artificial intelligence . However ,the third and last point she made was about the collective obligation to skilling in this era being a shared responsibility for countries and companies . Watch her talk about ‘new collar‘ jobs that IBM is committed to creating.
Sharon Burrow’s ( General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (26:00) )commitment to creating a new social contract in the fractured world – talk of dignity of labour , commitments to children , shared productivity and diversity inclusion. She goes on to talk about transparency and striving to bring about 94% of hidden workforce in the supply chain from out of the shadows . And when she touches upon technology , she does it with a force that makes even Rometty shift a little “Never lose human control of deployment of technology , Never lose human control on data comments, We must in fact retain human mediation to ethics and workforce. We must not lose sight of the human rights enshrined in the UN Declaration and give labour its due dignity ”
Isabelle Kocher, CEO, ENGIE Group (35:00) and her story of surviving and driving change and what it takes to make change . A story of how making tough decisions is as much about designing it, as is accepting it in an organization of scale and impact . But the takeaway here is being fearless and always being guided by ethics that say you cannot be a growing organization in a declining world.
Chetana Sinha Founder and Chair, Mann Deshi Foundation and Mann Deshi Mahila Bank comes in late (38:26) but she holds the audience in rapt attention with her heart warming story of starting Mann Deshi – the bank that has promoters that were once not eligible to open bank accounts so they opened a bank. The Central bank rejected the license application initially because they had thumb impressions of these women promoters in stead of signatures , so they re-applied , this time with the same 17 promoters signing it having gone through literacy classes. Hear this story . I still cannot stop smiling ‘We cannot read and write . But we can count’. She closed her piece with a the pitch seeking investment for the 1 billion micro entrepreneurship fund for women .
Light seeping in .. to the fractured world. One woman at a time !