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Women Leaders Global Forum

Women leaders from around the world are gathering in Reykjavik, Iceland this week to discuss a range of issues including tech, finance and leadership. Conversations will happen throughout the day on Tuesday, November 27, and Wednesday, November 28. 

How will technology disruptions impact industry and workers across the globe? What are the skills governments and companies should equip citizens with to succeed in decades to come? Hear insights from prominent women leading government, multinational corporations and media from more than two dozen countries.

Streaming Schedule: Tuesday, November 27 

Welcome - Opening Remarks

4:30 a.m. ET - 4:50 a.m. ET

  • Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland
  • Silvana Koch-Mehrin, President of Women Political Leaders 
  • Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Speaker of Althingi, the Parliament of Iceland
  • Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland

The Digital Age: The Women's Era

4:50 a.m. ET - 5:20 a.m. ET

The digital revolution is the single biggest driver of change in the world today. The well-being of societies is tied and linked on how governance frameworks optimize the benefits. Technology opportunities, characterized by artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and mobile robotics, influence economy, environment and society in general. How can women leaders can drive this revolution? What is needed to make the digital age the women's era?

  • Sarah Adwoa Safo, Minister of State for Procurement, Deputy Majority Leader in Ghana's Parliament
  • Ana Birchall, Vice Prime Minister Strategic Partnerships' Implementation of Romania
  • Chaired by: Donna Leinwand Leger, Principal DC Media Strategies LLC, Managing Editor of USA Today (former)

Bitcoin, Blockchain, Buzz: Economic and Financial Outlook

5:20 a.m. ET - 5:50 a.m. ET

Buzzwords like blockchain, crypto, disruption dominate the discussions on the digital transformation of economy and finance. What is the real impact of new forms of work and the changing landscape of ownership? What are the implications of reduced transaction costs and facilitated accountability? This conversation aims at shedding light on how stakeholders can maximize the potential of the digital economy as a driver of innovation and inclusive growth. And: can global actors successfully and collaboratively work with national leaders to bridge the digital divide between developing and developed countries?

  • Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta
  • Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD
  • Ann Cairns, Vice Chairman at Mastercard
  • Kevin Lu, Partner, Chairman of Asia and a Member of the Global Executive Board at Partners Group
  • Chaired by: Roseann Lake, Cuba correspondent at The Economist

Ideas to Advance the World With

5:50 a.m. ET - 6:10 a.m. ET

  • José Manuel Barroso, Non-Executive Chairman Goldman Sachs International, President of the EU Commission (2004 - 2014), Co-Chair of WLGF, Member of WPL Advisory Board
  • Jewel Howard Taylor, Vice-President, President of the Senate of the Republic of Liberia and Member of the WPL Executive Board
  • Chaired by: Silvana Koch-Mehrin, President of Women Political Leaders

Re-skilling, Up-skilling

10:15 a.m. ET - 10:45 a.m. ET

The labor market is changing faster than ever before, changing the way we hire, educate and promote talent. This represents an enormous opportunity to eliminate traditional blockages in the workplace. The 21st century skills demand a different kind of approach to identifying talent. Embracing adaptability and resilience implies the need for life-long learning. Is today's education in sync with today's and future needs? How do companies, how does society and how do governments steer the process?

  • Jacqueline Hunt, Member of the Board of Management at Allianz, and Chairman at Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America
  • Deborah Disanzo, General Manager, IBM Watson Health
  • Kwiri Yang, Founder and CEO of LifeGyde
  • Chaired by: Tasneem Brogger, Managing Editor, Nordics, Bloomberg News

Reykjavik Index for Leadership

10:45 a.m. ET - 11:15 a.m. ET

The Reykjavik Index measures how people feel about women in power. As well as measuring the perceived legitimacy of male and female leadership in politics and professions, it also provides a measure of how men and women differ in their views and the extent to which gender is a non-issue when debating the suitability of individuals for positions of power. We launch the Reykjavik Index for Leadership, powered by Kantar, in 2018 with a focus on the G7 nations with the addition of Brazil,India and Kenya.

  • Michelle Harrison, Global CEO for Kantar Public & the WPP Government Practice
  • Hiltrud Werner, Head, Integrity and Legal Affairs at Volkswagen
  • Saadia Zahidi, Head, Centre for the New Economy and Society, Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum, Co-Chair of WLGF
  • Chaired by: Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, Chair of the WPL Executive Board

The Power of Kindness

11:15 a.m. ET - 11:20 a.m. ET  

  • Sandra Uwiringiyimana, Co-Founder of the Jimbere Fund

Women: Changemakers in the Digital Revolution

11:20 a.m. ET - 11:50 a.m. ET

Women are change-makers: where women thrive, societies, businesses and economies thrive. This conversation will explore how women are taking advantage of the changes brought by the digital revolution? How women shape the digital revolution and change society from within?

  • Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA
  • Chioma Agwuegbo, Founder of TechHerNG
  • Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary General at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • Lucila Crexell, Member of the Parliament of Argentina
  • Chaired by: Marina Lalovic, Journalist at RAI Radio 3

Q&A with a Kiwi Trailblazer

11:50 a.m. ET - 11.55 a.m. ET

  • Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand (video)
  • Silvana Koch-Mehrin, President of Women Political Leaders

Streaming Schedule: Wednesday, November 28 

Lead Like a Girl

4:30 a.m. ET - 5 a.m. ET

Leadership today is dominated by men – 93% of Head of States and 95% of CEOs. It's time for change. It's time for girls and women to lead the world with brains and hearts.The mandate is clear. The time to act is now. For change to happen, we need to connect today's leaders to the next generation of leaders. The case for more women in positions of leadership needs to be more loudly heard. Join this session for inspirational guidance from leaders in politics and business on how to drive this change. Young leaders of tomorrow will also share what it means to lead in today's digital world, and more importantly how to Lead Like A Girl.

  • Michele Parmelee, Global Chief Talent Officer at Deloitte
  • Nurhayati Ali Assegaf, Member of Parliament, Chairwoman of the Committee for Inter Parliamentary Cooperation of the House of Representatives of Indonesia, Women Political Leaders Executive Board Member
  • Domani Dore, Minister for Sports, Municipal Councillor of Guinea (2014-2016)
  • Lauren Shum, #Girl2Leader Delegate
  • Ryoko Ernst-Hites, #Girl2Leader Delegate
  • Meghan Pearce, #Girl2Leader Delegate
  • Chaired by: Silvana Koch-Mehrin, President and Founder of the Women Political Leaders Global Forum

Truth, Trust, Trolls

5 a.m. ET - 5:30 a.m. ET

Technology presents great opportunities for the advancement of truth and trust, the flourishing of the democratic dialogue and civic engagement. There are profound examples of people improving their lives and welfare through technology platforms. At the same time, it can be used for harmful purposes, either intentionally or unintentionally. How can truth reign when misinformation and hate speech can spread within seconds? How can people have trust without authentication? What is the role of media, private and public sectors? In a globalized world where information technologies have allowed us to be more interconnected than ever, is that connection real? Is there a future where technology can recreate the "town square"? A conversation about the interrelation between truth, trust and technology in the 21st century.

  • Christy Tanner, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of CBS News Digital
  • Amy Weaver, President and Member of the Executive Committee, Salesforce
  • Chaired by: Tanit Koch, Editor-in-Chief of the print edition of BILD (2016 -2018)

Technology and the Politics of War

5:30 a.m. ET - 6:00 a.m. ET

Technology defines and governs warfare, it is the instrumentality of warfare. Intelligent things, both networked and teamed with human war-fighters, are and will increasingly be a ubiquitous presence on the future battlefield. AI will be fighting cyber adversaries. The dynamics of costs, possibilities and vulnerabilities of using force are changing. Laws and rules of warfare continue to blur, borders and sovereignty matter less in the digital space. It has become harder to distinguish the winners from the losers. What does this new disorder mean for leaders, for societies?

  • Clare Hutchinson, Special Representative for Women Peace and Security, NATO 
  • Bineta Diop, Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security at the African Union Commission
  • Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International
  • Chaired by: Matthew Swift, Co-Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Concordia

The Power of Resilience

6:00 a.m. ET - 6:05 a.m. ET

  • Safak Pavey, Senior Advisor, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Member of the Parliament of Turkey (2011-2017)

The Power of Beauty

9:35 a.m. ET - 9:40 a.m. ET

  • Felicia Knaul, First Lady and Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami

Women's World Atlas

9:40 a.m. ET - 10:10 a.m. ET

More than half of the world's population is female. So where in the world exists parity in distribution of political and business power? In which countries are women and men at par? The Women's World Atlas shows exactly this, in cooperation with CAPACENT and with appreciation for the contribution by Oxford Analytica.

  • Donatille Mukabalisa, President of the Chamber of Deputies of Rwanda
  • Sophie Wilmès, Minister of Budget of Belgium
  • Pearly Chen, Chief of Staff to CEO & Chair of HTC
  • Chaired by: Silvana Koch-Mehrin, President of Women Political Leaders

Power, Together Awards

10:10 a.m. ET - 10:40 a.m. ET 

The power to advance society - to change and move things in a positive way - comes from using our power together. This is especially true when change is needed to increase the number and power of women leaders. Together women can make the changes necessary; together women can create societies of better diversity; together women can make sure the future holds as many opportunities for girls and women as for boys and men. 

POWER, TOGETHER is the key and in recognizing that, the Women Leaders Global Forum awards every year in Reykjavík, outstanding initiatives where people join forces for great change.  

This year's recipients are: 

  • The International Olympic Committee

- Marisol Casado, President of the International Triathlon Union and Member of the IOC

  • #MeToo

- Tarana Burke, Founder of the MeToo movement (video message)

- W.O.M.E.N. Women of Multicultural Ethnicity Network in Iceland

  • The African Women Leaders Network

- Jewel Howard Taylor, Vice-President, President of the Senate of the Republic of Liberia and Member of the WPL Executive Board

- Donatille Mukabalisa, President of the Chamber of Deputies of Rwanda

- Bineta Diop, African Union's Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security & Founder of Femmes Africa Solidarité

- Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda

- Zainab Bangura, Former Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict