“Everything we need to reach our potential is in this room, right now!” exclaims our host as a crowded auditorium stands up and cheers. We are two of over 700 women (and several men) gathered to celebrate SheEO’s Global Summit which took place at the Liberty Grand in Toronto March 9 and 10. SheEO founder, Vicki Saunders, kicks off the event with a few big political names:
- Isabelle Hudson, Ambassador of Canada to France & Monaco;
- The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade;
- Our very own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
They all have been invited to listen to the amazing and also frustrating stories that woman have had to endure in the business and finance sector with regards to gender inequality and discrimination. This is why this year’s theme for the summit is Reorganize.World – “We are not here to win. We are here to transform.”
SheEO is a global community of radically generous women supporting women-led Ventures working on the World’s To Do List, to wipe out poverty, fight inequality, tackle climate change and transform our world for the better. Every year, SheEO finds 500 women (called Activators) in each country, who contribute $1100 in CAN, US, NZ and AU, and £850 in the UK, each as an Act of Radical Generosity. In each country, the money is pooled together and loaned out at zero percent interest to five women-led Ventures selected by that country’s Activators. All Ventures are revenue generating with export potential and are creating a better world through their business model or their product and service. The loans are paid back over five years and then loaned out again, creating a perpetual fund which we will pass on to our daughters, nieces and granddaughters. SheEO is a very important cause to L’Institut Idée as our president and co-founder Penelope Fridman is a founding and current Activator and has known Vicki from the very beginning. In fact, it was an SMP for Vicki that helped lead to the creation of SheEO!
So, what does this mean for Humanise? Well, there are some interesting learnings from the summit that we can leverage as a Collective in order to truly make a difference in the world:
The concept of “not being here to win”, but in fact here to transform
We need to look beyond short term “wins” and look at the long-term systemic change we can create as a Collective.
What major paradigm shifts can we develop in this ever-changing business world?
We need to redesign and create new ecosystems that support our Collective’s vision and mandate.
Let’s stop using old and outdated business models. How can we create an entirely new one, a collective one?
Ask & give
It’s a humbling act, asking for something and then giving something. It is almost in direct opposition to what the business world teaches us. This was the final act at the summit where women asked for help and strangers in the audience generously responded.
In this troubling time of COVID-19, how can we band together as a Collective to ask and give to each other – and our clients – in this time of need?
Tackling the world’s to do list
By 2030 the United Nation wants to tackle the world’s economic, social and environmental issues. These 17 Sustainable Development Goals which can sometimes be positioned as “over there” are issues that are also in our own backyard. Many global organizations are using these objectives to combat climate change and eradicate poverty.
How can we as a collective use these filters to pick the projects we want to tackle and choose the clients we want to work with?
In the end, it is our decision on how we want to leave our legacy in the world. Let’s look at how our collective can reorganize the world we want to live in.