How to Celebrate International Women's Day 2012
What's the Big Idea?
Happy International Women's Day! This is the first of many events throughout the month which focus on celebrating the historic achievements of women around the world, while highlighting the injustices of women's continued socio-economic inequality.
This morning, Big Think attended a breakfast held by Women's World Banking -- the only microfinance organization dedicated exclusively and explicitly to women -- in honor of the day. Over 200 women came from around the world to talk about widespread economic disparities and the importance of gaining financial independence. The conversation was moderated by Pat Mitchell of The Paley Center for Media, with a panel comprised of Melinda Wolfe from Bloomberg; Julia Chu, Head of Philanthropy at Credit Suisse, and Michael Useem of the Wharton School of Business.
Watch our recent interview with WWB CEO Mary Ellen Iskendarian:
What's the Significance?
In the discussion that followed, Chu discussed the importance of "patient capital," which means shifting emphasis from investing in individuals to investing in the communities that support them. It's easy to relate to the story of a single woman, she noted, but sometimes we miss the invisible network of people in the background who are supporting that individual -- the infrastructure that helps her fight for her place at the table.
Of course, there's still the question of why it has taken so long for women to achieve actual political and economic power. Tokenism is not enough. "Critical mass representation is the lever for change in gender parity," said Wolfe.
When we asked Iskendarian the most important lesson she'd learned about empowerment, she expressed the same sentiment. "I sort of regret having missed so many years of my life not knowing... just how absolutely central the role of women is to financial stability, to household stability. If kids are going to get to school and stay in school and have food to eat while they’re there and remain healthy while they’re there, it’s because the women are going to make that happen."
What Can You Do?
Click here to view the first segment of our interview with Mary Ellen Iskendarian, released on November 10, 2011, in which she discusses the potential for change.
Read more about Women's World Banking here.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.
- Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
- Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
- Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.