Just last week, Blooming Founder's very own CEO spoke at as part of a panel that engaged thought leaders across industry sectors to discuss how disruptive innovation is necessary for the next stage of growth-- from development, tech, to entrepreneurship. The event was presented by UN Women, 92Y's 7 Days of Genius and Global Allithia.
Everyone is a genius.
With the right tools and the right education, anyone can be anything.
Even in the darkest areas, a light can shine bright.
Nisaa Jetha, CEO & Founder at Global Allithia, Diplomatic Consultant and Global Strategist
Nisaa Jetha is a Diplomatic Consultant and Senior Global Strategist. She has worked with private sector companies, start-ups/social enterprises, non-profits, UN-IGOs and governments. She has been invited to attend high-level public diplomacy plenaries at the United Nations and has curated her own platforms with international governments present within UK Parliament and been engaged inside The Parliament of Canada as a speech writer and policy analyst.
Lawrence Bloom, Ranked as World's 24th most Compassionate Global Leader
Lawrence Bloom was recently voted by SALT, a leading sustainability magazine, as the 24th most Compassionate Global Leader. This followed on an award from the Humanitarian Innovation Forum at the UN for Conscious Leadership. He sat on the Executive Committee of the Intercontinental Hotel Group from where he managed their worldwide real estate holdings. Whilst there he created an environmental manual for hotels, which is now operational in 5.5 million hotel rooms. He was the first Chair of the Global Agenda Council for Urban Management for the World Economic Forum at Davos. He currently is Secretary General of Be Earth Foundation a UN Inter Governmental Organisation and a Partner in Dakia Capital, both organisation are created with the objective of enabling developing countries to achieve their Sustainable Development Goals.
Nathaniel Peat, Co-Founder & CEO of GenNex
Nathaniel Peat is a social entrepreneur who founded The Safety Box, and GenNEx Energies. In 2010 Peat represented Great Britain as a youth delegate for the G20 Toronto Young Entrepreneurs Summit. He is a regular commentator for Television and Radio around youth and education. He is the first double award winner for the Enterprising Young Brits Awards and has been featured on the UK based BBC Three reality TV show "The Last Millionaire" where he was the winner of the third episode in Cairo. In January 2011 Peat was listed into the under 40's section of The Powerlist 2011.
Madeline R. Young, Compliance and Corporate Integrity at Ernst & Young
Madeline R. Young is the Manager in Compliance and Corporate Integrity in the Fraud Investigation and Disputes Services at Ernst & Young. With a professional background in International Relations and Extractive Industries in Africa, she focuses on natural resource conflict resolution, improving governance, and anti-corruption initiatives that have the power to enable women to better participate in sustainable social, political and economic development globally.
Lu Li, Founder at Blooming Founders, UK Ambassador for Women's Entrepreneurship Day
Lu Li is the Founder of Blooming Founders, a platform that supports female founders with the overall ambit of furthering female representation in the start-up sector. Lu has worked with over 2000 enterprising women and has created one of the largest UK social business networks for women in the startup ecosystem. She is also the UK Ambassador for Women's Entrepreneurship Day. She has worked with industry leaders such McKinsey and Procter & Gamble.
What is Genius?
Anyone can be a genius. All it takes is a little bit of daring, curiosity and determination. It takes seeing something, and then wanting to change the way that thing is done. It's doing something new, something different. It's challenging the status quo. It's encouraging hotels to source from their community instead of waste fuel flying in ingredients that would taste better if they were grown naturally anyway. It's teaching girls in rural areas about the Internet, about the world they live in and the wonders they can produce with their own two hands. It's reaching out to small business owners who face a plethora of challenges and letting them know that they're not alone. It's being ready to jump and trusting that your wings will work.
Across the globe, every day, genius is born. Ideas are generated, shared, cultivated until they grow into something big. Until they grow into something like Apple or Facebook or Google.
Who knows where the next genius is?
Women and Innovation
What is the best way to encourage women to be innovative, to take risks, to be an entrepreneur? Empower them and let them see what they can accomplish when they are told "You can do it." GenNex has been inspiring girls of all ages to take up tools, and to create. 14 year old girls have created a generator that runs on urine. Elementary aged girls are learning about computers, and becoming more engaged in technology.
Sometimes it takes a little extra influence and a small push in order to open up opportunities for women empowerment. Lawrence used his influence in the leisure business to encourage hotel companies in Haiti to locally source their poultry, the fruits, the vegetables, the milk etc. The advantages of this would be organic, fresh ingredients, and also a boost to the local economy. The local bank also agreed to fund women to be part of that supply chain. What is more, the hotel chains would make an excursion out of this - they would take hotel guests out to see the farms, the gardens, the places where their food was being grown and prepared.
Through all of this, there is one key theme.
In order to have these opportunities, it seems as if women need an external force to help them get their foot in the door. Which leads to the next section:
The Challenges Ahead
Even now, there aren't enough women in positions of power. Madeline raised many questions, such as "Why aren't women being promoted to these positions?" In many parts of the globe, women are told they are lesser than men, that they can't do the same things men can simply because of their gender.
There is still a long way to go when it comes to empowering women. An old Chinese proverb states: The best time to plant a tree was 20 year ago. The next best time is now.
Now is the time we have to encourage and cultivate the genius within all of us.