A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE
October 31–November 4, 2019
ABOUT THE EVENT
Women4Impact is a life-changing event to empower women in the pursuit of peace, democracy, sustainability and equality – four ideals that we strongly believe can be more effectively achieved and maintained with the greater involvement of women.
Held between Thursday, October 31 and Monday, November 4 in Bhutan, the event program consists of 12 learning sessions focused on the role women play in the areas most critical to achieving these ideals. Each day, we will learn from each other, reflect on our roles and connect the dots between our respective passions and projects. The outcome we’ve committed to (for each participant and the group as a whole) is increased clarity – clarity on how we can collaborate to both scale our impact and to extend the reach of women in maintaining peace, spreading democracy, improving sustainability and achieving greater equality at home and abroad.
An Inspiring Destination
where leaders lead selflessly, true happiness takes priority, and sustainable development is law
A Peaceful Transition
unprecedented in world history, from absolute monarchy to constitutional democracy (2008)
The Wisdom Of a Leader
who willingly gave up absolute power in the name of Bhutan’s national vision for “Gross National Happiness”
A Commitment to Higher Standards
of cultural preservation and environmental conservation: Gangkhar Puensum (pictured), the world’s tallest unclimbed mountain, closed to hiking out of respect for local spiritual beliefs
A Smarter Measure of Prosperity
In Gross National Happiness, the four-pillared sustainable development framework that seeks to achieve a harmonious balance between material well-being and the spiritual, emotional and cultural needs of society.
12 Learning sessions
Our Event Ambassadors
Our distinguished group of speakers, sharers and attendees
will be shared soon.
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
YOUR PARTICIPATION EMPOWERS WOMEN
A portion of your package price is a donation which you can self-direct to 1 of 2 institutions that empower women in pursuit of peace, democracy, sustainability & equality
Tara Donor Package
Tara Donors are invited to join Her Royal Highness Sonam Dechan Wangchuck and Ambassador Melanne Verveer for dinner at Mothitang Palace on October 31.
Tara Donors receive a custom tailored Kira or Gho, Bhutan’s traditional dress, and handmade ceremonial boots to wear for the Palace dinner and at the event’s closing dinner, a personally autographed copy of Her Majesty the Queen Mother’s travel memoirs and use of the concierge to assist all travel needs.
Tara Donors make a donation of USD 10,000 per person to empowering women. This donation is already included in the below package prices and is tax deductible in select jurisdictions.
Jamsem & Dorji Package
Jamsem attendees receive custom tailored Kira or Gho, Bhutan’s traditional dress, to wear at the event’s closing dinner, a personally autographed copy of Her Majesty the Queen Mother’s travel memoirs and use of the concierge to assist all travel needs. Jamsem attendees stay at the event hotel and donate 10% of their package price to empowering women. This donation is already included in the below package prices.
Dorji attendees receive custom tailored Kira or Gho, Bhutan’s traditional dress, to wear at the event’s closing dinner, a personally autographed copy of Her Majesty the Queen Mother’s travel memoirs and use of the concierge to assist all travel needs. Jamsem attendees stay nearby the event hotel and donate 5% of their package price to empowering women. This donation is already included in the below package prices.
Extend your Stay
Attendees will visit local change-makers and the most important sites in Bumthang (Exclusive to Tara Donor) or Punakha and nearby communities.
A Personal Concierge to Assist All Your Travel Needs
From booking your packages, flights to arranging your Bhutan visa, our concierge service is available to assist your requests and answer any questions.
The Inspirational Story of Bhutan: An Enlightened Leadership
Bhutan is landlocked by the world’s two most populous countries. This tiny Himalayan nation of 750,000 has managed not only to maintain its sovereignty, but also to obtain a voice on the global stage due, in part, to its unique development philosophy - Gross National Happiness or GNH.
Gross National Happiness: A Decision-Making Lens for Policy, Life & Business
In 1972, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth Dragon King of Bhutan, declared that Gross National Happiness, not Gross National Product, be the principal measurement of His nation’s prosperity. By doing so, Bhutan chose a “multi-dimensional development approach that seeks to achieve a harmonious balance between material well-being and the spiritual, emotional and cultural needs of our society.” This big idea is not all talk. For example, Bhutan’s constitution requires the country to maintain 60% forest cover. Today, it is the world’s only carbon sink, absorbing nearly four times the amount of carbon it produces annually.
As more leaders across the world learn about GNH, including your fellow W4I attendees, they ask: “What are the applications of this holistic development philosophy to my own life, to my family and my business?”
Our Health & Our Happiness: Becoming Our Best Selves
For centuries, Bhutan’s leaders have recognized the responsibility of the government to support and promote the happiness of its people. This belief was formalized in 1972 as Bhutan’s Fourth King stated “gross national happiness is more important than gross national product” and has become synonymous with the country’s identity.
In this session, we explore the drivers of true happiness, framed by the four pillars of GNH and informed by many years of carefully curated data and insights. More importantly, we will use this as a basis to examine our own lenses toward health and happiness to ask the question” How can we be our best selves?”. What can we learn from this special Himalayan kingdom and their philosophy on health and happiness, as an inflection point into our own lives and how we measure important markers as we journey to become the best self we can be.
The Investment Case for Women: Outsized Returns
Women are the world’s largest developing market today, representing twin the size of India and China combined. By 2028, female consumers will control around $15 trillion of global consumer spending and they represent the single largest investment opportunity in the world today. Research has also shown that when female entrepreneurs succeed, so do their families, because women devote more of the household budget to education, nutrition and health leading to outlived returns on the social bottom line. From an economic and social standpoint, the case for investing in women is stronger than ever now. Yet women still lack access to capital, skill, knowledge and opportunities.
In this session, learn the issues around the emerging but powerful socio-economic trend as we discuss:
What conventions do we need to challenge to build a more equitable world?
Why is it an important time to invest in women and the impact we can expect?
What kind of roles can we play in the economic empowerment of women?
The Characteristics of Great Leaders: Serving Others First
The world’s great leaders inspire us to strive for goals we believe to be unattainable. How do they encourage us to overcome inertia? While each person is unique, certain qualities are common across great leaders. The world’s best demonstrate servant leadership, using the needs of the many as the guideposts on their journey.
In this session, we demystify what makes a great leader. We pierce through the general discussion of leadership and transcendent orators, seeking bedrock in the traits of the leaders we aspire to emulate. With these traits identified, we will explore the amplification of these attributes within your own behaviors, style and comfort zone.
The Rule of Law & Good Governance: The Greatest Enabler
Living in freedom protected by fair, just laws and supported by efficient, pragmatic governance unlocks the full potential of humanity. Concern and anxiety are replaced by confidence and innovation. Energy and passion can be focused on positive endeavors that benefit the whole of society.
In this session, we explore the principles, policies and mechanisms employed by the most respected, productive governments around the globe. We learn how leaders advocated for change, discuss how to carry these important messages back home and begin formulating strategies to support marginalized people in our own communities.
Preserving Culture Wisely: The Key to Diverse & Inclusive Societies
For thousands of years, we humans have toiled for food, water and shelter, communicated our hopes and dreams through song, poem and conversation, and practiced customs to celebrate and pass down our beliefs and values. While geographies, climates, flora and fauna vary tremendously, the core human condition is remarkably consistent. By valuing and preserving cultural diversity we learn from those whose perspectives are different than ours, enabling our own spiritual and emotional growth.
In this session, we discuss the context and conditions that support cultural diversity and a society’s broad appreciation of the differences in belief systems, values and customs that make humanity so interesting.
Conserving our Environment: All Life Depends on It
Our world is deeply interconnected, full of relationships and complexities we are only beginning to understand. As an example, phosphorous in the dust picked up from the Bodélé Depression in Chad naturally fertilizes the Amazon rainforest, the “lungs of the planet”. Unfortunately, the impact of human life on our planet is proving to be just as interconnected, with detrimental and accelerating effects on coral reefs, sea levels, air quality…the list goes on. As humans, we must learn to live within the means provided by mother nature through adoption of sustainable practices rooted in environmental conservation.
In this session, we understand the policies and practices in Bhutan and other parts of the world that promote reverence, care and sustainability for the precious resources our lives depend on. Importantly, we will discuss practical ways for you to be change-makers in your own communities, leading both by example and through high-impact, fact-based advocacy.
Equitable Socio-Economic Development: Prospering Together for Growth
Maximizing the health and vitality of our communities is dependent upon equitable socioeconomic development. Eradicating poverty, promoting human health, advancing education and providing diverse economic opportunities are necessary ingredients for the long-term peace, prosperity and happiness of our societies.
In this session, we explore the philosophies and models employed in successful communities around the world. Learning from experts and through discussion with attendees, you will return home inspired by new ideas and supported by a global network of change-minded leaders.
Men4Women: Accelerating Movement on A Two-Way Street
There isn’t a better time for men to make a mark in history as now. From "He for She” to #meToo, the call for gender equality has evolved into a powerful social movement with more force than ever before, as women around the world demand real and tangible change in both attitudes and opportunities for the advancement of women. Men are called upon to play an equally important role today, in empowering and to benefit from the wider sea of change that is creating a more equitable and sustainable world for generations to come.
Join this session to understand:
What are the key drivers in this social movement and how have they evolved?
The importance of the role men place in the social movement.
Demystify the controversy and movements taking place around the gender equality.
Connect with like-minded individuals for an invigorating session on how to navigate and participate in this social revolution.
Women4Bhutan: Our Brains on 3 Projects of Purpose
As we will have learned in the previous days, Bhutan is full of extraordinary women who are making a positive impact on their country and its people.
In this session, we will be joined by several women entrepreneurs whose businesses and NGOs are solving complex problems and improving the quality of life for average Bhutanese. In breakout sessions, they will present their projects and a key challenge. With interactive discussion, we will use the group’s collective brainpower to shortlist opportunities to overcome obstacles, accelerate growth and scale impact.
The Wrap: Collective Action for 2020
What experiences have brought us closer together in the 4 ideals of peace, democracy, sustainability and equality? What insights have we gained in achieving greater clarity in the roles we play to empower and encourage women in creating a better world?
In this closing session, we revisit the learnings and reflect on the past 4 days, not to say goodbye but to take the first step toward of journey of being awakened and empowered women through the experiences, friendships and insights we gained so far. Deep dive with us as we share the heartening stories, conversations we heard and new ideas that spark the actions toward a more sustainable and equitable world.
Her Royal Highness
President, Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law ( JSW Law)
Her Royal Highness Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck, of the Kingdom of Bhutan, serves as President of the Bhutan National Legal Institute, the Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law, and the Bar Council of Bhutan. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Tarayana Foundation, which works to provide opportunities for life improvement to rural communities throughout the country.
Her Highness earns Her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Stanford University and her Masters in Law from Harvard Law School.
Ambassador Melanne Verveer
Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace & Security (GIWPS)
Ambassador Melanne Verveer served as the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, a position to which she was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009. She coordinated foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic, and social advancement of women, and she developed the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.
Ambassador Verveer currently serves as the head of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security in Washington, DC. She also serves as the Special Representative on Gender Issues for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairmanship.
Jeni Klugman is the managing director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security and a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government’s Women in Public Policy Program at Harvard University. She recently became VicHealth’s second leading thinker, together with Professor Iris Bohnet, under an initiative that aims to make behavioral insights practical and accessible for Victorian government, industry and not-for-profit organizations. Previous positions include Director of Gender and Development at the World Bank, and director and lead author of three global Human Development Reports published by the UNDP. Jeni sits on several boards and panels, including for the World Economic Forum and the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities.
She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Australian National University, and postgraduate degrees in both Law and Development Economics from the University of Oxford where she was a Rhodes Scholar.
Dr. Julia Kim
Dr. Julia Kim is a researcher and global health and sustainable development specialist who has worked extensively in Africa, and Asia with NGOs, academia and UN agencies (UNDP and UNICEF). She is currently a Senior Program Advisor at the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Centre in Bhutan which, in collaboration with international partners (such as the Presencing Institute, the Global Leadership Academy GIZ/BMZ, Schumacher College, and the Mind and Life Institute), aims to bring the principles and practices of Bhutan’s unique development philosophy into action in the spheres of business, education, government, and civil society.
Julia has come to view “development” – whether of countries, institutions or individuals – as a dynamic process which requires balanced attention to both outer/material growth and inner/consciousness development. With the GNH Centre and partners, she co-designs and facilitates leadership development & institutional change programs at the cross-section of New Economics, wellbeing, and sustainable development. These initiatives (such as the Global Wellbeing and GNH Lab, the Right Livelihood Program, and the GNH Masterclass ) deliberately combine intellectual understanding (“Head”) with compassion and mindfulness-based practices (“Heart”) for transformative action (“Hand”) towards a happier and more sustainable world.
Julia graduated from Cornell University (B.A.) and the University of Manitoba (M.D.), and is a Specialist in Internal Medicine & Community-Oriented Primary Care (Tufts University School of Medicine) as well as Public Health in Developing Countries (MSc. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine).
Kesang Chuki Dorjee
The Award winning documentary maker and a strong advocate of women and children’s rights, Ms. Kesang Chuki Dorjee, took on the task of implementing a project to nurture adolescent girls as future leaders. She made “La Aum Lyonchhen” (Yes, Madam Prime Minister), an initiative to document the new developments in gender empowerment. She has produced an educational resource book titled “Bhutan’s First Elected Women Leaders” and a documentary called “Bhutan Women Forward”.
She is currently one of the eminent members of the National Council, an honour bestowed by His Majesty the King for all the work she has undertaken in promoting the participation of women in elected offices and in inspiring the next generation.
Chime Wangdi is the Secretary General of Tarayana Foundation, one of Kingdom’s oldest Civil Service Organization providing opportunities to the most vulnerable communities of Bhutan. Prior to it, she was Head of Policy and Planning Division in the Ministry of Agriculture, the Royal Government of Bhutan. She had also been a core working-committee member of the Foundation from the day Tarayana was established.
Chime has dedicated herself to the cause of poverty alleviation in Bhutan for the last 18 years in various capacities including that of Programme Coordinator for the Integrated Horticulture Development Programme, seeking out interventions that bring in cash income as well as improved household nutrition.
Tandin Wangmo is the Executive Director of RENEW (Respect Educate Nurture Empower Women), Bhutan. Prior to joining RENEW, in 2015, Ms. Wangmo consulted with Bhutan’s Institute of Management Studies on numerous social issues – including those related to gender, youth, program design and leadership training. In the political sector, Ms. Wangmo served as the Spokesperson and Director of Media & Knowledge Center for the People’s Democratic Party of Bhutan. Ms. Wangmo was the Deputy Executive Director of the Gross National Happiness Center (GNHC) from 2012-2013.
As many of the members of the RENEW team, Ms. Wangmo is a scholar and educator and began her career as a teacher with the Ministry of Education from 1997-2002. Ms. Wangmo holds a Masters in Educational Studies from the University of Newcastle, Australia and a Bachelor’s in Education from Samtse College of Education, Bhutan.
Kristen is the Head of Research at Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law, Bhutan. She had conducted Bhutan’s first Legal Needs Assessment, and she is now developing JSW Law’s interdisciplinary Research Centre. The Centre will serve students, faculty, and visiting researchers as they build and contribute to a vibrant research culture at JSW Law. Kristen’s professional background includes applied research and project development primarily in the context of human security and issues pertaining to both gender and ageing in humanitarian and development settings.
Kristen holds a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Oakland University (both USA). She currently lives in Thimphu, Bhutan with her husband, two young boys and one very large dog.
We start with ourselves: a look inward at the foundations of happiness, health and well-being. We examine truly great leaders — past and present, young and old — to demystify the shared characteristics of the world’s most thoughtful change-makers.
During this intimate, invitation-only gathering of global change-makers, we will learn from our respective successes and ‘failures’, reflect on opportunities to improve our approaches, and connect the dots between our initiatives for logical collaboration.
With the aid of great conservation, meaningful collaboration and open exchange with other women leaders of this world — we find answers to the question: “What role can women play to advance the ideals of peace, democracy, sustainability and equality in Bhutan, at home and abroad, today and for our next generation?”
JSW LAW SCHOLARSHIPS
Targeting $250,000 to fund 25 scholarships for Bhutanese women to attend JSW Law School’s 5-year program.
Upon graduation at JSW Law, these women will take their place as leaders in the judiciary, in government service, in private practice and in civil societies advancing human rights, environment conservation and cultural preservation at a national and a global level.
Jigme Singye Wangchuck (JSW) Law is the first and only law school in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Led by its Honorable President, Her Royal Highness Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck, its mission is to provide legal education drawn from across Bhutan and around the world, facilitate research in related fields, while promoting cultural enrichment and traditional values that are uniquely Bhutanese.
For more information, visit www.jswlaw.bt
*Your donation is tax-deductible for US tax residents and legal entities.
Empowering Women in International Security & Economy
Targeting $140,000 for GIWPS research to inform policy and boost women’s participation in international security and sustainable development.
By advancing the understanding of women’s role in peace and security, through research, convening and partnerships, this can help in the expansion of opportunities in the society and economy to empower all women and girls by 2030, as envisaged by the Sustainable Development Agenda.
Headed by former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer, Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace & Security (GIWPS) engages in rigorous research, hosts global convenings, advances strategic partnerships, and nurtures the next generation of leaders. The institute focuses on the important role women play to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world.
For more information, visit giwps.georgetown.edu
*Your donation is tax-deductible for US, UK & Spain tax residents and legal entities.