You log on to LinkedIn, except it isn’t the LinkedIn you’re used to. Your network is composed entirely of women from around the world sharing their stories, supporting each other and starting businesses.
Now open your eyes.
It’s not a fantasy, especially if you check out the very real social network called World Pulse started by Jensine (pronounced Yen-See-Nah) Larsen.
Larsen started World Pulse in 2003 in an effort to move toward global gender equality through the use of technology. Today the social network has 64,000 members from 190 countries, and it’s still growing.
Its website proclaims that “we are on the verge of the greatest acceleration of women’s empowerment in history due to the connective power of digital communication.”
Larsen will be the keynote speaker at Womentum’s Women in Leadership Summit, which will be held Friday at the Center for the Arts. Larsen will deliver her keynote address at 9:30 a.m. and will sit for a question-and-answer session afterward.
Beyond Larsen’s keynote address, Womentum has organized four workshops with well-qualified presenters for those who opt to participate in the entire conference.
Womentum’s executive director, Samantha Eddy, emphasized that men are also invited and encouraged to attend the summit. There will be a workshop focused on developing a conversation between men and women.
Though the conference is not an entirely female-oriented event, Womentum is a local nonprofit dedicated to “empowering and connecting women and leaders within their community,” Eddy said.
This year is the third annual Women in Leadership Summit. For 10 years before that, Womentum organized a luncheon with a keynote speaker. In 2017 the organization decided to expand the event to a full-day summit.
This year there’s an option to purchase a $25 ticket for Larsen’s address only. Full-day general admissions tickets cost $100, and Eddy said they have a good chance of selling out, so it’s important to purchase them in advance.
The four workshops are “Connected by Technology,” “Connected with Your Inner Self,” “Connected between Genders” and “Connected to Creativity.” Attendees will be able to participate in two workshops of their choosing. All of this connectivity encapsulates the goal of this event.
“The theme of this year’s conference is the power of connection and many of the different ways that rings true for people,” Eddy said. “I think that the most important thing I would hope that attendees would take from it is a feeling of belonging, kinship and mutual support that fosters their own personal and professional development.”
In the same vein as Larsen’s social network, the conference strives to connect attendees and foster a smaller but equally important local network.
Eddy hopes many people will attend, even if Larsen’s keynote address is the only thing they can stay for. The coffee reception before last year’s keynote was “one of the most exciting things,” she said, “because last year there were 250 women who are engaged in their community, engaged in their business and themselves all sharing the space in this one room.
“And I had never experienced anything of that magnitude.” ￼