2017 Annual Summit – Session Highlights

The magic of the Summit is as much about the attendees as it is about the outstanding speakers we bring onstage. While we cannot recreate the magic that happened in the room, we’re delighted to share highlights from each session in this post alongside the art created during the Summit by Peter Durand.

Thursday, September 7, 2017 | Summit Pre Event: Film Preview & Conversation

Film for Social Change: Fighting the Backlog

Speakers: Mariska Hargitay (Emmy & Golden Globe Winning Actress and Founder & President, Joyful Heart Foundation), Kym Worthy (Wayne County Prosecutor), Maile Zambuto (CEO, Joyful Heart Foundation), Sukey Novogratz (Board Member, Joyful Heart Foundation) 

Moderator: Pat Mitchell (Curator, TEDWomen)

We kicked off the sixth Annual Summit with a preview of the film, I AM Evidence – a documentary film produced by Mariska Hargitay that highlights the reasons behind the alarming United States national rape kit backlog – followed by a discussion on what this film will mean to survivors across the U.S as they continue to seek healing and justice.01-Mariska Hargitay_I Am Evidence (1)

Friday, September 8, 2017 | Summit Day One

Welcome & Nice to Meet You!

Speaker: Lisa Witter (Summit Facilitator and Executive Chairman & Co-Founder, Apolitical)

Lisa Witter opened the first day of the Annual Summit by inviting each person to identify and share his or her community archetype followed by a polling question: how do you FEEL about the state of the world??

00 Welcome

Power of Our Community

Speaker: Courtney Harvey (Executive Director, Women Moving Millions)

Courtney Harvey officially welcomed Summit attendees and shared the story behind the inspiration of this year’s theme, The Power of Community.


02 The Power of Our Community
Challenging the Boundaries: Building Intersectional Movements

Speakers: Ai-jen Poo (Director, National Domestic Workers’ Alliance & Board of Directors, Ford Foundation), Kimberly Peeler-Allen (Founder, Higher Heights) & Leah Hunt-Hendrix (Member, WMM & Founder, Solidaire)Moderator: Kavita N. Ramdas (Strategy Advisor, MADRE & Principal, KNR Sisters)

In this session, we explored the power of moving together and discussed the challenges that arise from building intersectional movements to achieve greater gender, racial, economic, political and social justice.


03 Challenging Boundaries


Our Brains on Race & Gender 

Speaker: Alexis McGill Johnson (Executive Director, Perception Institute)Through showcasing recent studies in social psychology and neuroscience, Alexis McGill Johnson dove deep into the concepts around bias, and how we can override and disrupt commonly held assumptions about race and gender that limit us.


04 Our Brains on Race and Gender

Embodied Leadership: Advancing Women’s Rights On & Off the Field

Speakers: Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir (Athletic Director, Pleasant View School, Motivational Speaker & Basketball Trainer), Julie Foudy (Two-time Olympian Gold Medalist & Former US Women’s Socer Team Captain) & Liz Wolfson (Founder, Girls Athletic Leadership School)Moderator: Minky Worden (Director of Global Initiatives, Human Rights Watch)

As we know, women face major barriers to participation in sports globally. These barriers reflect the status and role of women in different societies. This discussion examined the powerful role sports play to develop strong female leaders, build resilient communities, and advance women’s rights around the world.


05 Embodied Leadership


Climate Change: It’s Every Woman’s Issue

Speakers: Rachel Kyte (Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sustainability for All) & Vien Truong (CEO, Dream Corps)Rachel Kyte and Vien Truong shared powerful stories of the very real risks women face from climate change, why natural disasters are more likely to threaten women than men, and how access to sustainable energy is essential to the liberation of women and girls.


06 Climate Change

Universal Access to Contraceptives

Speakers: Dr. Pauline Muchina (Director of Healthy Families, Healthy Planet, United Methodist Church) & Ugochi Daniels (Chief Humanitarian Response, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA))Moderator: Seema Jalan Ignacio (Executive Director, Universal Access Project & Policy, United Nations Foundation)

In this conversation Seema Jalan Ignacio, Dr. Pauline Muchina and Ugochi Daniels shared the challenges that they have individually faced from advocating for women’s reproductive rights. They also explored how access to contraceptives can have a transformative effect on women, their families, and the economic development of communities.

07 Universal Access to Contraceptives

Exploding the Binary

Speaker: Dr. Caroline Heldman (Associate Professor of Politics, Occidental College)Through a critical analysis of how we construct “masculinity” and “femininity”, Dr. Heldman unpacked the differences between sex, gender and sexuality to better understand how they are distinct and how they interact to shape common notions of “gender”.


08 Exploding the Binary


Friday, September 8, 2017 | ALL IN FOR HER 10-Year Anniversary Celebration


From Campaign to Community & Beyond: Celebrating 10-Years of Women Moving Millions

Speakers: Helen LaKelly Hunt (Co-Founder, WMM), Jacki Zehner (Co-Founder, WMM) & Jessica Houssian (Founding Executive Director & Senior Advisor, WMM)In this talk, we heard from two of WMM’s Co-Founders, Helen LaKelly Hunt and Jacki Zehner, along with Founding Executive Director, Jessica Houssian who shared the unprecedented journey of how Women Moving Millions moved from campaign to community and highlights from 10 years of big + bold giving.



Fireside Chat: Being Bold in Community

Speakers: Diane von Furstenberg (Founder & Co-Chairman, DVF Studio) & Lisa Witter (Executive Chairman & Co-Founder, Apolitical)In this conversation with Lisa Witter, Diane von Furstenberg shared her story on how she has always been bold, not only in philanthropy, but in the way she leverages her business and personal platform to amplify others.



Saturday, September 9, 2017 | Summit Day Two


Civil Conversations: Speaking Together Differently in Order to Live Together Differently

Speakers: Krista Tippett (Peabody Award-winning Broadcaster & NYT Best-Selling Author) & Dr. Stacy Smith (Associate Professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism)In this discussion, Krista Tippett and Dr. Stacy Smith spoke about how to create more intention around the connection between inner self and outer presence in the world – who we want to be and who we will be to each other.



Finance: Feminism’s New Frontier

Speakers: Suzanne Biegel (Founder, Catalyst At Large), Elizabeth Carlock Phillips (Board of Directors, WMM & Executive Director, Phillips Foundation) & Abigail Noble (CEO, TheImpact)Moderator: Jacki Zehner (Co-Founder, WMM)

How do we have social as well as financial impact? In this session, we learned how to align our investment capital with a vision for gender equality.