I was very excited to attend the Global Diversity Leadership Exchange forum at the United Nations. It was an extraordinary opportunity gathering global thought leaders to “bring forward breakthrough ideas, solutions and collaboration for business growth, common good, and global prosperity.” It was an honor to be invited by Amir Dossal, Founder and Chairman of the Global Partnerships forum.
The first session focused on “Technology, Women, and People with Different Abilities,” which discussed ways in which technology is breaking barriers for women and people with disabilities. Dean Garfield, President and CEO of the Industry Technology Industry with companies like Google and Facebook to harness the technology that is transforming communities. He spoke of how 3D printers are now dramatically decreasing the cost of artificial limbs, GPS and speed-dial technology to help stop domestic violence. Geraldine Moriba, VP of Diversity and Inclusion at CNN Worldwide, talked about breakthroughs like wheelchairs that can now climb stairs. Felita Harris, SVP of Global Sales at Donna Karan, discussed how dressing can be a form of empowerment for women in the workplace and how you can choose an avatar to better match your body type when shopping at certain online retailers. Amir Dossal highlighted the need to address disability across all programs in the U.N.
Dr. Janina Urussowa, Founder & CEO of Bezgraniz Moscow, is on a mission to reframe the concept of beauty when it comes to disability. She is now partnering with fashion schools and designers to create clothing that realistically fits the needs of those with different abilities and celebrates it. She even launched a show highlighting models of different abilities at Moscow’s Fashion Week.
During the afternoon I met Bradley Smith, host of NASDAQ’s #Social Bell, who led an inspiring afternoon session on Millenials making global impact.
Among the Millenial panelists, Britnie Faith Turner proved to be a real game-changer. When she got started in the real-estate business, she was living out of her car. She went on to found the Aerial Development Group, a residential and commercial real estate development company that revitalizes urban neighborhoods through renovation and infill, including building orphanages in Africa. With its social venture business model, the company donates a percentage of its profits to improve lives locally and globally.
Last but most certainly not least, I met MaryAnne Howland, Founder and CEO of the Global Diversity Exchange. We couldn’t have asked for a more warm, insightful, and overall outstanding host of this community and the days events. Looking forward to more ongoing collaboration!