Last year, five female leaders representative of each Edelman region attended the International Women’s Forum World Leadership Conference in Miami, Florida. Under the theme The World Redefined, a wide range of speakers from around the world shared their ideas for disrupting, improving and reimagining our future.

Here is our by-the-numbers breakdown of the conference:

4 Highlights

Rochelle Courtenay, founder of Share The Dignity, shared an inspiring thought: “Think about what you can do in your country.” Courtenay leads this Australian foundation, which aims to bring education and dignity to the homeless by providing them with sanitary items. Her initiative now has global reach and has infiltrated schools and various communities across the world.

Melissa Medina, President of eMerge Americas, participated in a panel discussing women in tech. eMerge Americas is the premier technology event connecting Latin America, North America and Europe. It is a unique convening of global enterprises, leading startups and government leaders focused on innovative digital solutions transforming industries.

Susanne M. Torriente, Chief Resilient Officer (CRO) and Assistant City Manager for the City of Miami Beach, spoke about how Greater Miami and the Beaches are addressing rising ocean levels. Unified sea level rise projections help cities and counties think about their infrastructure and how to make it manageable.

The IWF Leadership Foundation Hall of Fame Awards Gala was the final celebration of the IWF Conference. The Miami edition could not end without an everyone-on-their-feet, Gloria Estefan-worthy conga line! Inspiring speeches, award-giving and more dancing filled the night.

3 Favorite Speakers

Gloria Allred, founding partner of the law firm Allred, Maroko & Goldberg, founder of the Women’s Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund. Allred reiterated that women are now more empowered than ever before. We are equalizing the power structure politically, economically and socially through our active role in business, sports, government and society. As a community, we now feel more comfortable speaking up and defending our rights, and that is in part due to female leaders who have inspired us to fight and stand for what we believe in. Allred is an advocate for victims, especially women and minorities, whose rights have been violated.

Janice Wang, CEO of Alvanon and fashion disruptor extraordinaire. Mixing her own industry vision with rigorous data intelligence, Wang is reshaping the fashion world by helping brands through her full-service technical fit and supply chain consultancy business. She’s improving industry standards by going beyond traditional mannequins and instead, implementing insight, consultation services and hands-on technical training for workers, driving growth and sales for her clients.

Nancy Hughes, founder of StoveTeam International, taught us that when women of all cultures work together, extraordinary things will happen. Through her work in founding the StoveTeam International group, she has been able to provide 70,000 clean and safe-burning stoves to families in Central America, impacting the lives of more than 1 million women and children, and saving over 1 billion pounds of carbon a year.

2 Top Behind-the-Scenes Tours

The New World Symphony was established in Miami in 1987 with the aim of driving community engagement, celebrating diversity and helping young musicians. IWF delegates attended a behind the scenes experience at the innovative compound and heard from the president, staff, fellows and trustee on their efforts.

Miami is racing against time to protect the city from the harmful impacts of sea-level rising and due to its geographic location, the city faces major water-control challenges. Miami Beach lies at the forefront of cities responding to the impacts of sea level rise and its Resilience Project is one to keep a close eye on.

1 Positive Outlook for the Future

The IWF World Leadership Conference showcased inspiring stories and vivid examples of how dedication, purpose and selflessness truly make a difference in our communities. We were reminded that championing and communicating our ideas to the world empowers us to all have an equal chance to aim for greater heights. However, the fact that we still feel the need to have an all-female panel of experts shows how far we still have to go and reminds us that we still need to assert our place in the world.

Andrea Giraldo, Account Supervisor, Miami.
Bianca Farinacci, Account Director, Brand, Montreal.
Leya Teo, Director, Beijing.
Myriam Panighini, Vice President, Milan.

Christina Morillo