The 11th annual Women's Forum Global Meeting was a historical moment, with the representation of 76 countries, 1300 delegates, 280 speakers, 612 organizations, more than 60 partner organizations, 90 sessions, and an unprecedented percentage of men (around 20%)!
The 2015 Women’s Forum Global Meeting welcomed honored guest Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, newly elected president of Mauritius and the first woman to hold that position, and Laurence Tubiana, Special Representative to the French government on the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP-21), for a discussion during the opening dinner on Wednesday 14th October, inspiring the 1300 Global Meeting participants into finding innovative solutions for the global issues of today.
The Women’s Forum Global Meeting then closed on an emotional note, with a standing ovation in support of the women and all the people in Tunisia who have campaigned successfully for peace, tolerance and openness. Wided Bouchamaoui, who became a co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, was scheduled to deliver her first international address at the Women’s Forum Global Meeting in Deauville, but she was delayed in Paris and wound up addressing the packed plenary hall by telephone instead.
“Everybody is standing up to cheer and applaud Tunisia and your courage,” Jacqueline Franjou, the Women’s Forum’s CEO, told Ms. Bouchamaoui. Speaking on behalf of the quartet of civil society groups who received the Nobel Prize for their “decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia", Ms. Bouchamaoui said: “We had the courage to do whatever it takes to save our country and to have free and democratic elections, so there is absolutely no act of terrorism that scares us.”
Among the featured speakers at the 2015 Women’s Forum Global Meeting: American-Iranian engineer Anousheh Ansari, co-founder and chair of Prodea Systems, the first self-funded woman to fly to the International Space Station and the first Muslim woman in space.
And also Eric Cador, Senior Vice President and President EMEA, Lenovo, Andrea Menezes, CEO, Standard Bank Brazil; Anthony Gooch, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, OECD; Jean-Paul Paloméros, General, former Chief of the French Air Force and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation.
The dates of three important Women’s Forum events were announced for 2016: Women’s Forum Dubai, 23-24 February in Dubai, UAE; Women’s Forum Mexico, 27-28 April in Mexico City, Mexico; and the Women’s Forum Global Meeting in Deauville 30 November-2nd December 2016. And also as announced in plenary a Women’s Forum in Tunisia in September 2016. Private talks were held to discuss opportunities for bringing a Women’s Forum meeting to South Africa and Mauritius are other top candidates to host major Women’s Forum events.The three-day Global Meeting Women’s Forum hosted two delegations; a Tunisian Delegation as well as a second Special Delegation from Singapore, joining the leading figures – women and men – from the 76 countries, coming together to debate around the theme “Energizing the world!”. The Discovery – the dedicated meeting place and workspace unique to the Women’s Forum – featured “Hubs” (Creativity, Arts, High Tech, Health, Governance and Social Impact) serving as content relays and following the three thematic pillars of the general program: Addressing vital needs, Crafting the future, and Creative fires. Five historic Women’s Forum initiatives were also an integral part of the Global Meeting this year: CEO Champions, Rising Talents, Women in Media, Women for Change and the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards.