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Dear Friends,

Thank you for joining Women Moving Millions at The Annual Summit: "The Power of Innovation". As you may have guessed, September is always a really special time for our community. This year, we decided to take The Summit to San Francisco for the first time and explore the theme of innovation in philanthropy. 

What can we say about our time together? In short, it was incredible.  The 2016 Annual Summit was a powerful, magical, momentous three days, and we cannot possibly begin to describe our gratitude for having been able to spend it with some of the most committed and passionate leaders in the women's movement.
 
As Courtney Harvey, our Executive Director, shared in her remarks, “philanthropy is the story of uncertainty, of coming to terms with the risk involved in not knowing what comes next. It is the investment in new stories.” It was clear in the grand ballroom of The St. Regis that for our community, for our organization, and for you, the time is now to give big + be bold for women and girls. Because we know that the world so desperately needs new stories. It is the reason why we came together in San Francisco - why we continue to give our time, treasure and talent for the advancement of women and girls. So thank you again for bringing your thoughtfulness, courage, and creativity to Women Moving Millions.
 

And although we'd like to summarize the last weekend for you in a short email, we know that we can't. So, for those who were able to join us, we hope that we were able to capture the magic of our time at The St. Regis in a way that feels special and true. And for those who missed our gathering this year, we hope the words below illustrate what we believe to be one of the most defining moments for our community, this team, and this movement. Enjoy.

Warmly,
Women Moving Millions

P.S. Want to see more photos from The Annual Summit? Click here.
This year we kicked-off The Annual Summit with a celebration of big + bold philanthropy with a gender-lens. Jacki Zehner (Chief Engagement Officer of Women Moving Millions) opened up our program with a warm welcome and framing of what it means to be ALL IN FOR HER. Speakers also included Tiffany Shlain, (Emmy-Nominated Filmmaker & Founder of The Webby Awards), who shared her work to rethink the past, present and future of women in power. We also heard from Rosie Rios (Former Treasurer of the United States of America) in conversation with Lisa Witter (Summit Facilitator, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Apolitical) about Rosie’s work to bring women to the face of U.S. currency and her efforts to “re-right” history in the American education system and highlight women in classrooms across the country. Rosie also shared her personal story of growing up with a single-mother who raised her and her eight siblings and how her early life experiences inspired her to act big and boldly on behalf of women and girls.
 
Our Opening Night Celebration also included our “New Member Welcome Ceremony” where Ann Lovell (Board President of Women Moving Millions), Carol Andreae & Elizabeth Sheehan (Board of Directors, Women Moving Millions) welcomed 10 new individuals (who have given or pledged $1MM or more to the advancement of women and girls) to our community.  
 
We were also thrilled to welcome The San Francisco Girls Chorus to our stage to close the evening with a truly groundbreaking performance against the backdrop of images of women and girls who work tirelessly to defend justice and gender equality around the world.
This year, Women Moving Millions was honored to welcome Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen (Founder of the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation) to The Annual Summit as our keynote speaker. In her remarks, Laura set out a call to action to embrace innovation and challenge in philanthropy, “to see every day as an inflection point for doing our philanthropic work better tomorrow” and to “not take no for an answer when the well-being of others are at stake”. For Laura, that means democratizing philanthropy, making it inclusive and to educate philanthropists freely and globally. What does it mean for you?
 
We were also thrilled to invite Pam Scott (Member of Women Moving Millions) to our stage to highlight the power of human centered design as a framework and tool for elevating our work in social impact. Her advice to demystifying HCD? Understand, Define, Create & Ideate, Implement and of course, LEARN.
 
Our Friday Summit also featured a panel on Innovation + Entrepreneurship with Zubaida Bai (Founder of ayzh), Cheryl Dorsey (President of Echoing Green), Leila Janah (CEO of Sama) as our speakers and Elizabeth Gore (Entrepreneur-in-Resident at Dell) as our moderator. Together, they shared what it takes to innovate (experiment with models, seek hybrids, explore supply chains, etc.) and what it takes to succeed (align investor expectations, connect through stories, move from “bootstrapping” to equity or impact investing, and more).
 
We then invited Barrie Landry (Member of Women Moving Millions), Caryl Stern (President & CEO of U.S. Fund for UNICEF), Kuoth Wiel (Actor, Activist, Co-Founder of the NyaEden Foundation & Former Refugee) and Jessica Houssian (Chief Philanthropy Officer of Women Moving Millions) to share their personal stories and experiences working to address the global refugee crisis (over 65 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes) and the role that innovation can play to empower women and girls in times of conflict. We were also lucky to have Shared Studios bring us live to Erbil, Iraq to meet Tafra, a school teacher, Myrna and Rind, two ten year old girls, to hear their stories of life in Harsham Refugee Camp. At the close of the session, Kuoth shared an inspiring message of encouragement to Tafra, Myrna & Rind: “There is hope. I want you to see that I am proof that there is hope.”
 
Our next speaker, Geena Rocero (Model, Producer & Trans Rights Advocate), then took the stage to share her story as a transgender woman of color and highlight her work to develop an intersectional and inclusive dialogue about the trans experience. That means, “when we talk about women’s equality… we need to talk across the spectrum of identity, policy, history, media, and culture.”­­
 
Geena’s session was followed by our panel on Innovation + Story featuring Jess Tomlin (Executive Director of The MATCH International Women’s Fund), Sherrie Westin (Executive Vice President of Global Impact & Philanthropy at the Sesame Workshop), Kamal Sinclair (Director of the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Labs Program) and Cara Mertes (Director of the JustFilms Initiative at the Ford Foundation) who moderated the conversation. In this session, our panelists shared their work in activating storytelling in the form of codes, algorithms and puppets to transfer knowledge, shape attitudes and create a new future for women and girls around the world.
 
Finally, our last session introduced Sonita Alizadeh, 19 year old Afghan Rapper & Activist to the Women Moving Millions community in a breathtaking performance about her life and struggle to defy tradition and eradicate child-marriage.  In an interview with Mona Sinha (Vice President of the Board of Women Moving Millions), Sonita also shared a few inspirational parting words about changing her destiny: “I had a vision for my life, and my dreams helped me to be loud and to be brave.”­­­ We heard Sonita loud and clear. 
On the last day of The Summit, Women Moving Millions welcomed back Ann Lovell (Board President of Women Moving Millions), Mona Sinha (Vice President of the Board of Women Moving Millions) and Lauren Embrey (Board Secretary of Women Moving Millions) to share an update on our organization. The top two things you need to know about? The Launch of our new Gender Lens Philanthropy Curriculum and our work to test the Feasibility of a $1 Billion Campaign for Women & Girls. To learn more about the Curriculum, click here. To learn more about the Campaign, click here.

We also invited Dr. Gail Dines (Founder, Culture Reframed), back to the Summit stage this year to share a brief update about her collaboration with the Women Moving Millions Anti-Pornography Circle and the power of our programs to accelerate our partners. And finally, Jacki Zehner (Chief Engagement Officer of Women Moving Millions) shared her story of Women Moving Millions and asked our community and audience to support our organization’s work in catalyzing unprecedented resources for the advancement of women and girls. To all those who generously share their time, treasure and talent with Women Moving Millions, we thank you.
 
After the Community Update, we headed into a day of workshops. This year, we focused our workshops on the pillars of our new Philanthropic Leadership Curriculum:
  • Pillar One: Philanthropic Strategies
    Lead by Lisa Witter on “Government, Policymakers & You: Partnership Essentials. In this workshop, Lisa moderated a panel featuring Betsy McKinney & Diane Powell (Members of Women Moving Millions) and Jessica Houssian (Chief Philanthropy Officer of Women Moving Millions) on their experiences engaging with local, federal and international governments. 
  • Pillar Two: Voice & Influence
    Lead by Tuti Scott (President of Imagine Philanthropy) on “Developing Our Personal Brand & Understanding Influence. In her session, Tuti worked with participants to discover and hone their personal strengths and weaknesses and apply that knowledge to elevating their brand and influence.
  • Pillar Three: Financial Engagement
    Lead by Deborah Jackson (Member of Women Moving Millions & CEO of Plum Alley Investments) on “Being Angels”. In this workshop, Deborah spoke about the need for women to invest in female social entrepreneurs and helped participants better understand how to evaluate private companies for social impact. 
  • Pillar Four: Self-Care & Awareness
    Lead by Shannon Peloquin (Associate Partner of McKinsey & Company) on “Looking Within: Mastering Challenging Conversations”. In this session, Shannon worked with participants to unpack personal barriers to leadership and shared tips and practical exercises to help each person approach their next challenging conversation boldly and confidently as their best self. 
With the close of our Skills Building Workshops, we headed into our Closing Ceremony in which guests were invited to stand up and speak one word that encapsulated their time at The Summit. Warmth and positive energy flowed throughout the room as everyone stood up to say words like, “Bold”, “Community”, “Voice”, “Power” and “Change”.
Lisa then read a few notes from our Vision Tree. The Vision Tree was placed in the lobby of the Summit for guests to write down a “vision” they had for the world. At the end of our Ceremony, participants were invited to take a vision from the tree as a keepsake of their time at The Summit. One vision we saw written was for “A world in which every girl, woman, boy and man has equal access to quality healthcare and education”. Another was for “Women and men to step up and support women and girls through giving big and acting bold, with passion and service.” After The Summit, we feel more strongly than ever that these visions are not only possible, but will be achieved through the innovation and commitment of each and everyone one of you, our members, our partners, our friends.
 
Thank you for reading and thank you for joining us for the 2016 Annual Summit: "The Power of Innovation"!
Peter Durand (Artist, Graphic Facilitator & Founder of Alphachimp) used the power of visual storytelling to capture each of the sessions at The Summit. The rest of his work for Women Moving Millions can be found here along with more photos from our gathering.
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