Programme Highlights for Wednesday 11 November

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Inspiration and Recognition on the Agenda at today’s digital Reykjavík Global Forum 2020

Reykjavík, 11 November – What kind of diverse and intergenerational leadership do we need to build back better? At this week’s ongoing Reykjavík Global Forum, more than 900 women leaders from corporate and civil society sectors worldwide have shown that all are potential champions, engaged and determined members of a community that’s ready to transform the traditional view of leadership and to advocate for change.

The third and final day of this year’s Forum will outline the vital features of this new, emerging leadership, woven from insights and solutions shared throughout the event. Major topics on the table include improving the quality of care for women, digital societies and innovation, and the movement toward Generation Equality. Right before the closing of the Forum, hundreds of Conversationists will celebrate women political trailblazers and innovators urging us to ‘Power, Together’ in the Awards ceremony.

Distinguished speakers at the three-day digital event include Hillary Clinton (U.S. Secretary of State, 2009-2013), Michelle Bachelet (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and President of Chile, 2006-2010 and 2014-2018), José Manuel Barroso(Chairman of Goldman Sachs International, President European Commission, 2004-2014), Julia Gillard (Prime Minister of Australia, 2010-2013, and Chair, Global Institute for Women’s Leadership), Denis Mugweke (Medical Director and Founder, Panzi Hospital, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2018), Erna Solberg(Prime Minister of Norway), and Tao Zhang (Deputy Managing Director, IMF). The third day will feature panel sessions, interviews, and individual talks on crucial issues facing societies worldwide.

In a virtual ceremony, the 2020 Women Political Leaders Trailblazer Awards will be presented to eight women Presidents and Prime Ministers to recognise their outstanding achievements. Also, the Forum’s Power, Together Award will be given to Nancy G. Brinker, Founder of the Susan G. Komen and Promise Fund of Florida, for making the ‘Pink Ribbon’ the global icon for breast cancer awareness.

Following opening remarks by Forum Chair Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir and WPL Founder and President Silvana Koch-Mehrin, a panel will convene on improving quality healthcare for women. Entitled It’s not in Her Head: Taking Control and improving Quality of Care for Women’, this conversation will examine the socioeconomic burden of severe chronic diseases worldwide, highlighting disparities between men and women. Former professional tennis playerCaroline Wozniacki will share insights into her own journey with UCB Chief Medical Officer Iris Lowe-Friedrichand Minister of Justice of Japan Y?ko Kamikawa.

The panel Fast Forward to Now will consider the changes imposed by COVID-19 on society, increasing our reliance on remote communications, online consumption, and work from home. The opportunities and personal and societal transformations wrought by a sudden rush to online living will be discussed by distinguished panellists, followed by an interview withKersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia, on how digital societies may well be an ally in advancing equality.

In cooperation with the United Nations’ Women’s Leaders for Generation Equality campaign, another panel entitled ‘Women Leaders for Generation Equality’will discuss and highlight the importance of diverse and intergenerational leadership. Also at this panel, the Forum will present the Women’s World Atlas, a body of graphic information powered by McKinsey & Company which serves to clearly illustrate progress (or lack thereof) toward achieving parity between women and men in leadership, across a variety of sectors. This valuable resource will permit findings to be widely used and distributed, tracking changes in equality over time.

Other sessions include a Fireside Chat betweenJulia Gillard & Michelle Bachelet, an update from last year’s discussion on the role of journalism in creating more equal societies by Maria Ressa, and an interview with Guðlaugur Thór Thórdarson (Iceland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation) by Francesca Donner of The New York Times on the topic Why We Should All Be Feminists’.

To gain access to the Forum, journalists can register here:

Interviews are possible. Please contact the press team at to specify your interest.

Notes to editors:
Co-hosted by Women Political Leaders (WPL) and the Government and Parliament of Iceland and launched in 2018 under the heading of ‘Power, Together’, the Reykjavík Global Forum – Women Leaders convenes women and men leaders from all sectors (including politics, business, civil society, academia, the arts, and media) to share ideas and solutions on how to further advance society and promote and positively develop the number of women in leadership positions.