Seven iL2L delegates from six nations were invited to give the youth report on the findings at the annual Womens’ Forum in France. This year’s program’s theme was competition, cooperation, and creativity. Delegates looked at open digital innovation and the role women uniquely play in this arena. The program also examined the digital effect on Europe and what the future holds. The following Gen Y report comes to you from the Womens Forum:
A new initiative was introduced at the 9th edition of the Global Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society in Deauville, France: For the first time, young women—some as young as 17 years old—were allowed to participate in the conference, which is a prestigious and exclusive event attended by the most prominent, successful, and influential leaders from around the globe. Founders, Chief Executives, politicians, board members, philanthropists, investors… and amongst them: The seven of us, young women from six different countries around the world.
We—the young women from China, Russia, Germany, USA, Brazil, South Africa and France—were given the ultimate opportunity to not only meet and network with our role models, but to learn from them, and through their inspirational experiences—are able to then cultivate and achieve our own ambitious goals. Of all the incredibly well accomplished, successful, strong, and powerful women we met, one stood out in particular: Véronique Morali.
Madame Morali, the President of the Global Women’s Forum, had invited us young women—in our role as bloggers for the Women’s Forum—to sit down with her towards the end of the conference and engage in an open dialogue, presenting questions about her life and the Forum, which is the global and renounced platform she is heading. During the engagement, we came to a quick conclusion that we were speaking to somebody who has achieved greatness. Because she started out as one of the first women to work at the state tax inspectorate in 1986, after completing her studies in d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, I’ESCP and I’ENA—we were very curious about every little secret and insight she would share with us. As we are the young women that she once was, finding out about her route to success would not only shape us as emerging young leaders and potential rising talents, but will groom our fellow young women back in each of our countries of residence, when we share our experiences of the forum with them upon our return.
Initially, it was very confusing for us to hear about Madame Veronique Morali’s background: How can one person possibly have done so many things? Founded several companies, such as Terrafemina and TF-Co, and is the CEO of Webedia, the founder of NGO’s, such as Force Femmes, and the Paris Chapter of Women Corporate Directors. She is also the president of Fimalac Development, the Vice-Chairman of Fitch Group, a Board member of Fimalac, Publicis Group, Cie Financiere Edmond de Rothschild, an Administrator of Coca Cola, amongst a number of other prominent roles on her biography. At the same time, she is the president of the Women’s Forum—bringing together thousands of incredible women and providing them with a great network, information, and inspiration in different nations year after year. Upcoming forums will be held in Myanmar and Brazil.
We young women—though we are energetic, enthusiastic, and full of life—deemed her profound accomplishments influential and surprisingly unbelievable. Therefore, in order to be the best we can be, we used the little time we had with her, to find out some of the keys to her remarkable success.
With the number of participants at the conference, one would only imagine how Veronique presents adequate sessions to all participating delegates, to ensure that attendees, attain knowledge that will be useful and fruitful beyond the forum. Veronique explained how they cater to the interests of women from diverse backgrounds and interests by further adding: “Women from around the world need to find the right balance, to ensure that they choose things which are relevant to them. Therefore, we try to cover all interests’ on/by and about women.”
Veronique spoke profoundly about women rights and the ability to make a great difference through the facilitation of dialogues between women (and men) to seek solutions to challenges we all face. “Women have a lot of things to offer and teach, all women are trying to exist and play a role in their expressions of life.” She continued to add: “Women help by offering ideas and unique changes in critical situations. We cannot talk about solidarity if we exclude women.”
Inviting different delegations to the Women’s Forum each year has opened doors of intercultural diversity and cross-cultural interaction in order to deliver a greater vision. This year the Forum invited the “Russian delegation, although other nations were also invited to the prestigious event. One of the sessions presented, was “What it means to be a Russian woman today” which was, obviously, enjoyed by our young Ilive2lead Russian Global Ambassador, Julia Beliak.
Veronique describe how the forum was founded initially for women, but now has a growing number of men, who are a part of the prestigious event (where the focus on “women” should not be taken away, but fully expanded by men’s presence. She explained the initiation of a youth delegation, an initiative of the Women’s Forum called “Rising Talents” sponsored by Cartier. Rising talents brings together exceptional young women, aged 27 to 39 years old, who are recognized by the women’s forum and offer all the participants the opportunity to hear from tomorrow’s leaders. The initiative was a delight to all of us, young women, and by making contributions in our societies and countries, we certainly look forward to being one of the growing members of the “Rising Talents” of the forum in future.
To us, young women, and ilive2lead Global Ambassadors, Veronique impressed us as a woman of great integrity, defined dignity, and most importantly, a person of solidarity and compassion for women of all ages!
iLive2Lead is a youth leadership-training program based in Washington, D.C., that conducts training in various nations in each region of the world. iL2L brings the most exceptional young leaders together for International Leadership Summits and works with them to develop social initiatives which they lead back in their home nations, thus creating global examples of social responsibility and a ripple effect of impact worldwide.