BPW Malmö is finally inaugurated and we can get to work preparing our open house kick off on 3 March in Malmö. The newly elected board is as follows: Heidi Forbes Öste (President), Eva Carlsvi, Sara Bergman, Anna Arwidsom, Hanne Birk. Thanks so much to Tuulikki Juusela (BPW International Past President) and Solveig Staffas (BPW Sweden President) for providing a foundation of knowledge and providing words of wisdom for us to carry forward. And special thanks to Örlings PricewaterhouseCoopers for hosting the meeting in their new offices. Congratulations were sent from BPW International headquarters from the Liz Benham (President) and Gabriella Canonica (1st VP) as well as Irene Natividad President of Global Summit for Women.
Our partnerships with International women’s organisations and networks as well as NGOs make it clear that Africa is open for business. I have been speaking directly with women entrepreneurs and professionals that are doing amazing things and are looking for new markets both inside and outside of Africa. Their optimism and energy is astounding. Take a new perspective, look for new opportunities. 2BalanceU will provide them a platform with a level playing field for bringing their visions to fruition.
Africa is not alone. Women around the world are creating businesses and helping existing businesses flourish in a changing global marketplace. Supplying the tools the need without wasting their time and pulling them in yet another direction is a good start. Thanks to great organisations like BPW-International and FCEM and of course one cannot forget the phenomenal efforts by UNHCR and other NGOs change is happening. But there is more we can do and it begins with knowledge sharing and building a collective intelligence; a giant searchable library with a librarian that knows our needs. We can make this happen.
We are currently working with some new developers and I am excited to see the application of new tools that enable us to aggregate the information that we need without having to go to so many sources. We are applying the K.I.S.S. theory to everything we do. Most of all we are finding ways to deliver what people need and are actively looking for based on behavioral tracking rather than requiring the filling in of yet again more forms and registrations. It is delight to work with such talented and engaged developers.
UNHCR’s efforts recognised and presented by Affleck and Jagger. It is encouraging to see people using their talents and celebrity for a good cause. With more efforts like this we can no longer be ignorant or silent. Thank you to Claudia Gonzalez-Gisinger for applying her talents in PR to the efforts of UNHCR and helping the world understand both the need and the opportunities. A beautiful representation of the benefits of knowledge sharing.
This year for Christmas we gave each other peace. Television, Computers and Blackberries were forbidden for the holiday period. Once something is taken away, we realise how reliant we have become on it. The biggest lesson was not one of panic from disconnect from the world, but peace at reconnect with my family and self. We laughed, we skied, we built Legos, did puzzles, “solved the problems of the world” (or at least talked about them together face to face), we walked and we talked about our hopes and dreams (and listened un-distracted). It was bliss, peaceful and much needed.
Of course, now we are back at work and the in-box is full, the bills are piled high, the day is too short and the wheel still spins. I apologise to anyone that might have taken my silence as a personal shut-out. It was time to re-charge the batteries and allow the flame to kindle so that I may be full of fire and passion to achieve my goals for 2009. Time for reflection is critical for making educated and careful decisions. I am glad to have taken it. But that said, I am glad to be back. I have brought myself back to my personal balance. Now I am ready to roll.