The second annual World Woman Summit, set for October 11 and 12, at the Clinton Presidential Center, will be held in an expanded format to inspire and empower women.
Last year’s summit was a one-day conference on economic development for women.
“We just wanted to see, in general, the interest and how people would respond to an international conference in the heart of America and because our speakers came from 10 different countries,” says Rupa Dash, CEO of the World Woman Foundation, the organization responsible for the summit. “The response was phenomenal so we decided that since there was tremendous interest to expand the conference to two full days of educational programming which focuses on women driving the future.”
World Woman Summit 2018 will feature speakers from 10 countries, including, of course, speakers as well as organizers from Arkansas, including Gina Radke, CEO of Galley Support Innovation; Lori L. Burrows, vice president and general counsel for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp.; and Melissa Thoma of Thoma Thoma.
“Our speakers will talk about really big, bold ideas,” she says. “If they can do it, you can do it.”
Dash, who has a business working with independent filmmakers’ investments and tax incentive work based in Los Angeles, lives part-time in Arkansas because her husband, Upendra Kar, is an assistant research professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
“We want to communicate in a really meaningful way and really position Arkansas as one of the key states in the United States for starting a business because of my own personal experience here. Sometimes we get really excited about the East and West Coast doing things and of course the East and West Coast are available but we can’t ignore the fact that a state like Arkansas provides some enormous incentives to start new businesses,” says Dash. “The state has been moving forward with programs like Forward Arkansas, Innovate Arkansas, which truly talks to the direction the state is trying to provision and move forward.”
Conference programming will focus on six different pillars on futurism – entrepreneurship, technology, finance, health, education and sustainability.
“The conversation is geared toward how different the future will really look like, how women will contribute to the future, how women will really define the future of money,” says Dash. “We will be talking about things like entrepreneurship and childcare innovation.”
Conference attendees will also learn more about a global mentorship program for single mothers that grew out of last year’s summit.
“We estimate that 40 percent of Arkansas women are single mothers and they are struggling to have a better life and that’s why we designed this global mentorship program for single mothers so that they have economic stability and so that they are ultimately going to make an economic for the state,” Dash explains. “But we also realized the fact that even though you’re giving them this powerful tool so that they can have it all on their desktop, only 4 percent will complete their education now which is why I tapped into my personal network of mentors to bring them to the conversation.”
Last year’s summit sold out two months in advance. Tickets for the 2018 summit are still available through the website: http://www.worldwomanfoundation.com/summit2018/.