Today begins our second annual Women in the World Summit, a three-day gathering of inspirational female leaders from all over the world. Over the course of the week, we'll meet female trailblazers from Africa and the Middle East, Asia and the United States, CEOs and politicians, grassroots activists, women reporting from the frontlines of war zones, former and current secretaries of state, and innumerable others who are doing everything in their power to create change for women around the world.
Today kicks off with a welcome from NEWSWEEK and Daily Beast Editor in Chief Tina Brown, as well as introductions from Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of the World Bank, Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, and longtime friend of the Beast, Diane von Furstenberg. In one of our two male appearances tonight—we love men, too!—New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will give a talk, followed by a reading from Iranian-American actress (and Oscar nominee, for House of Sand and Fog) Shohreh Aghdashloo.Our first panel this evening, moderated by Christiane Amanpour, is called "Firebrands," and features brave women from the Middle East who will discuss their hopes for change in the Arab world (more on that to come). We'll round out the evening with a conversation with Melinda Gates, who will be interviewed by Charlie Rose, and a dinner conversation with former President Bill Clinton.We'll be blogging here live for the duration of the summit—and encourage you to watch the events unfold on our live-streamed video page, which will launch this evening.Also: curious who the women we'll be honoring this week are? Check out our agenda, as well as this fantastic interactive, 150 Women Who Shake the World.