The Women Economic Forum (WEF) has been hosted globally for 34 times, this time in Ljubljana, Slovenia for the very first time. During 6 and 8 February 2020 Grand Hotel Union was occupied by women (and men), striving to enable women of various professions and countries to broaden business opportunities and enhance personal influence through networking.
Fifteen eager members of the Slovenian organizing committee, led by Saša Božič, coordinator and organizer of WEF Slovenia 2020, worked tirelessly for nine months to bring WEF to the city of Ljubljana. According to Saša Božič, WEF is so important because it is a platform for debate and creating connections, without stigmatizing. Through communicating good practice cases at the forum, the hope of successful female collaboration is consolidated. The entire purpose of WEF is to foster conversations, community, connections, and collaborations among women worldwide. Their ecosystem of exchange and sisterhood ignites and inspires greater enterprise and leadership, propelling women’s economic empowerment and influence in all walks of life.
The forum officially began with a dinner reception at the Ljubljana City Hall on Thursday, 6th February 2020, where participants were cordially welcomed by Mr. Zoran Janković, Mayor of Ljubljana. During the next two days, the conference continued in an interactive atmosphere, with open-hearted community spirit. A special guest and speaker at the WEF in Ljubljana was WEF Global Chairperson and Founder Dr. Harbeen Arora, who is also the Founder President of Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Founder Chancellor of three Indian Universities and the founder of the Ayurvedic cosmetics and nutritional supplement brand Bioayurveda, based on traditional Indian medicine. She believes that women don’t trust each other enough and due to scarcity of top jobs see each other as competition instead of advocates. Stemming from this belief the theme of the three-day event was “Power of the Pack; Women trustfully supporting Women”.
More than 150 speakers from 30 different countries held presentations and workshops on the featured topic, channelling the power of collaboration and reversing the stereotype that women don’t support each other. Over 200 local and foreign visitors participated in the forum, where they were inspired by some of the world’s and Slovenia’s most successful entrepreneurs, authors, thought leaders and celebrities.
Among the speakers were US Ambassador Lydia Blanchard, British Ambassador Sophie Honey and Turkish Ambassador Esen Altug, who participated in a panel discussion on making space for intuition and emotional intelligence. Director of Siemens Slovenija Medeja Lončar, adviser to the Slovenian president Vlasta Nusdorfer, Nana Sumrada Slavnič, the general counsel at Outfit 7, and Melanie Seier Larsen, managing director at The Boston Consulting Group also shared their experience and knowledge on the topics of networking, leading and being a female CEO.
WEF is a global movement and their inspiring events take place all over the world. Following Ljubljana, the next forums will occur spaced one to two months apart in Cairo, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Lima, Costa Rica and Buenos Aires, just to name a few.