Huffpost Women
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Arianna Huffington Headshot
Donna Karan Headshot
Sarah Brown Headshot

WIE 2011: Connecting With the Next Generation of Women Leaders

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

Arianna Huffington writes:

Last year, Sarah Brown, Donna Karan, and I co-hosted the inaugural WIE Symposium (Women: Inspiration & Enterprise). It was a remarkable event, bringing together inspiring women leaders, activists, entertainers, and entrepreneurs from across the globe -- all gathering to share our ideas, our experiences, and our desire to help make life better for women around the world.

We heard the stories told by young attendees from Africa and Asia who were passionately committed to living out their dreams while championing the rights of all women. These are the next generation of women leaders on whom our future depends.

This year's event -- taking place in New York September 18 and 19 -- promises to be even better, with an amazing lineup of speakers, honorees, and participants. Mika Brzezinski, Rosario Dawson, Iman, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Serena Williams are just a few of those scheduled to take part (for details, click here).

Timed to coincide with the gathering of world leaders for the UN General Assembly, the two-day conference will explore the question of what it means to be a woman today, in a world filled with crises. The focus of the first day is on "Enterprise" and will feature workshops and master classes on all aspects of women navigating the business world. I'll be co-hosting with Steve Strauss, managing director of the Center for Economic Transformation for New York City's Economic Development Corporation.

Day 2, which I'm co-hosting with Sarah and Donna, will center on "Inspiration," and include speeches and discussions on subjects as varied as the future of female education, modern marriage, the "green revolution," and the role race continues to play around the world. Sarah will also offer a progress report on the White Ribbon Alliance and its goal of reducing the number of women who die needlessly during their pregnancy by 75 percent before 2015 (currently 1,000 pregnant women and girls die every day somewhere in the world).

Sarah Brown writes:

The WIE Symposium is an opportunity for women from around the world, with many different backgrounds, to share their stories and be inspired by each other's wisdom and courage. I'm thrilled that once again WIE will help build bridges with our sisters in developing countries, giving voice to the girls and women at the heart of advancing progress for their families, communities and nations. When women join forces to support and encourage each other, none of our goals are impossible or out of reach. This is a message we hope to carry beyond the WIE Symposium and maintain throughout the entire year, throughout the world. Women are catalysts for change.

Donna Karan writes:

What makes WIE unique is that this event considers the modern woman. We don't make assumptions that to be female means being one thing or the other: married to a man, a professional, a parent. A woman can be all these things, or many permutations of this. A woman can be strong and powerful and still be interested in beauty and fashion; she can be feminine, a caretaker, and still be as captivated by the world around her and motivated to inspire change or be aggressive in business. WIE is for that woman, who, in this modern age, is all of us.


Arianna concludes:

I'm very excited that, along with exploring how women can be more enterprising and inspiring, WIE 2011 is also looking at ways women can redefine success and happiness. As part of this effort, this year's event includes a "wellness weekend" -- two days of yoga, meditation, and general unplugging and recharging to ensure that when the discussion, speeches, and workshops begin, the participants will be refreshed and ready to join the fight to empower women and take on the world.

Last year's symposium was itself an act of entrepreneurship, powered by the vision of its founders, Dee Poku and June Sarpong, and the enthusiasm of its participants. This year, WIE takes the next step in its evolution...

We invite you to join us. "Together WIE can change the world."

Ticket sales and more information: www.wiesymposium.org