How to inspire 300 successful business women – a review

Global Female Leaders - Review

We are proud to look back to an extraordinary event and picked a few highlights to share with you.

Close to 300 leaders, shakers and change makers were able to exchange and network around a variety of essential topics and challenges organised around four core pillars:

  • New World Order & Global Economic Outlook
  • Transformational Technologies & Ethics
  • Corporate Leadership & Responsible Finance
  • Climate Challenges, Energy Solutions & The Future of Mobility

A fantastic lineup of 60+ impressive expert speakers brimming with inspiring ideas and motivation delivered insightful and energising talks allowing the audience to glean new insights relevant to their organisations as well as their professional and personal lives.

What I really enjoy are the valuable insights of successful businesswomen. Businesswoman from all over the world with different backgrounds: from the political area, from universities, schools and divers businesses – a great variety of people. Also an ambitious agenda – presentations, panel discussions, think tanks and spotlight session – with many experts on stage. Everybody openly shares her expertise and perspective.

The difference between the Global Female Leaders and other women conferences is the business focus. The impact of successful women executives and their business initiatives/results, is special. There also has been a great development of this event over the years, coming from the traditional woman topics to a real business executive forum – with inspiring networking opportunities beyond the own business area.” – Astrid Borgmann, former Swarowski

Astrid Borgmann
Roya Mahboob

The emotional story of Roya Mahboob, CEO, Digital Citizen Fund, Afghanistan/USA, heralded the beginning of the 5th annual Global Female Leaders summit and showed that access to education and knowledge is not self-evident for women. Marika Lulay, CEO, GFT Technologies SE, welcomed the international participants, in one of Germany’s most exclusive locations, the China Club Berlin.

Staying true to the summit’s nature being an economic forum, Lori Heinel of the State Street Global Advisors kicked-off Monday morning with a keynote on the global economic outlook, a well-timed topic to set the tone for the two days. While she painted the current global market situation, she also shared insights on the future pointing out the secular uncertainties such as the fiscal shifts, the geopolitics and the rise of intangible economy as new catalysts to observe. Lori Heinel’s keynote dovetailed nicely into the Executive Panel Discussion on multilateralism and global trade. It was a wide ranging and very interesting discussion that explored everything from the current transatlantic relationships and capitalist system to the rising populist profile in western political conversation and what female leaders can do to influence the trending global politico-economic development. Dr Constanze Stelzenmueller’s straight forward message marked the discussion as she shared that with the Trump administration we are no longer fighting about the means but about the ends.

Lori Heinel
Dr Constanze Stelzenmueller
Darya Yegorina

Monday afternoon was dedicated to the rapid pace and the transformational power of technology most notably artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality and blockchain. Darya Yegorina’s stimulating insights on the evolving education technology (EdTech) was very well-received. In particular, Darya (CEO of CleverBooks) shed the light on how AR and VR in classroom can enhance teaching and learning and what skills are to be honed today for the future. It was also very exciting to hear the different ideas from Silicon Valley Robotics’ MD Andra Keay and arago’s chief Chris Boos about the importance of overcoming the barriers to digital literary and what we could do to fix the biased technology.

Emotional was also the end of the first congress day, when some of the participants at the Gala Dinner spontaneously turned the space between tables and chairs into a dance floor. Sung-Joo Kim (Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of the Sungjoo Group and Chairperson of MCM Holding AG) has not only delighted the top-class audience with a thrilling interview and her charismatic character, she also made the first move and animated the participants to dance. To conclude, we are looking back at a very successful event.

Sung-Joo Kim
Maidie Arkutu
Rasha Oudeh
Christian Ulbrich

After a terrific and memorable night, we started Tuesday with inspirational and invigorating leadership talks. Unilever Francophone Africa’s VP Maidie Arkutu was particularly motivating as she shared her work and personal experience about how resilient and authentic leaders, bringing their true selves to work every day, foster innovation and enhance performance. Jordan entrepreneur and Cedem’s CEO Rasha Oudeh crowned it all with a personal and emotional story of her pathways to leadership where she stressed on the crucial role of the right mindset. Global CEO of JLL Christian Ulbrich also advocated fiercely for sustainability as a business opportunity not a constraint bringing to the audience a multitude of real life examples from JLL’s business practice.

It’s interesting to have a lot of different woman from all over the world to talk to. I’m impressed by the different insights into their work and branches.

I am particularly inspired by this young woman from Jordan. She gave me advice for my own work and she is an example for a young successful entrepreneur.         Viola Klein, Saxonia Holding

Viola Klein
Executive Panel Discussion
H.E. Anne-Marie Descôtes

We moved on to the afternoon with a diverse and highly skilled panelists discussion about “Energy Solutions, Mobility of the Future and the Reversal of Climate Change”. The panel covered a wide array of topics from renewable only countries, zero emission engines, to mobility as a hot area of investment to also examples of smart cities in China. Then we returned to the European and world stage of international politics when HE Anne-Marie Descôtes, the ambassador of France to Germany underlined the growing importance of a concerted and coordinated European strategy to e. g. the refugee and migration crisis but also to answer new transatlantic realities.

Devi Kolli of AISolve and Xenia von Hohenlohe rounded off the afternoon with the two spotlight sessions. Devi impressed the audience with her story of how her AI based simulation tool training medical doctors can save lives in the emergency treatment of trauma patients. Less dramatic but equally inspiring was Xenia’s presentation on how to promote ecological thinking in the tourism industry by making sustainability sexy calling it “The 50 shades of green”.

Xenia Hohenlohe
Fearless Girl

Besides numerous successful women, the “fearless girl” attended this year’s summit thanks to our partner State Street Global Advisors. With a fearless look in her eyes and hands on hips, she stood one year in New York’s Wall Street opposing the bull. She is a symbol for more women in executive positions. Studies have long proven that gender diversity positively affects corporate success. Mixed teams are more successful because they can resort to different kinds of experiences and perspectives. Addressing this, we have for the first time conducted a study together with KPMG, the Global Female Leaders Outlook, and were stunned by the response – 700 participants out of which more than 600 came from an international background! On site the results have been published for the first time at a media conference under the adequate title “The digital age – the womens era”: What a positive sign for the future!

Global Female Leaders presenting so many fields of specialty – it’s just wonderful, and this time we have a particular topic of leadership. I get great inspiration of leadership in the digital world. A world  that has changed very rapidly and personally I think it’s really necessary as a leader to be here year after year.” – Marcia de Wachter, National Bank of Belgium

Marcia de Wachter

We would like to extend a big thank you to the esteemed speakers, sponsors and partners that helped shape this must attend event as it has become for so many.

Plans for next year’s expanded conference are already under way. We are eager to hear your thoughts and suggestions and to also welcome you as part of the GFL network.

Here’s the LINK to our gallery.

Global Female Leaders 2017: Official Whitepaper

The Global Female Leaders 2017 summit took place from 7th to 9th May 2017 at The Ritz-Carlton in Berlin. Our dear partner Accenture provided us with an in-depth White Paper, that you can now download for free!

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