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22 October, 2010

W.I.N. In A Pomegranate World

By Paige Donner
Kristin Engvig, W.I.N. Conference Founder
"Nobody is a nobody," this is one of the nuggets of advice that Kristin Engvig imparted to her guests and attendees at the recent W.I.N., Women's International Networking, conference that took place in Paris the first week of October.
A conference already in its 13th year, Founder Kristin Engvig, a resident of Switzerland, has built her success upon the foundational principles such as compassion, caring, commitment and the ability to listen to one another, regardless of gender.
"We have the responsibility to really listen to each other. And when we're listened to, we become more responsible," said Engvig, during a recent interview. "I have discovered that when we are listened to, we become more careful of what we say. It's also a matter of creating an environment we feel safe in, where people feel OK to be themselves.  To be listened to is an incredibly empowering experience," shared Engvig.

W.I.N. Conference Founder, Center, and Team.
This environment of caring and sharing of global and authentic, is precisely what speakers and participants experienced at W.I.N. over the course of three days this October in Paris.
To help center and focus the 800 attendees, the morning plenary sessions began with piano recitals such as a musical selection from Chopin. The music set the tone for both calm serenity and focused attentiveness. And then the speakers let forth...
Women Are A Global Massive Business Opportunity
Speaker Avivah Wittenberg used an anecdote that resonated with all attendees: She asked how many guests carried a handbag or a purse? Every female hand in the audience went up. She then asked How many women drive cars? Approximately 90% of hands went up. She then asked, How many women drive a car that is designed with a space specifically to store a handbag? Not one hand was raised.
"We are not a minority. We are not a diversity. We are a huge, massive global business opportunity," she said. The current global purchasing power of women is $1.3 trillion, a figure that is more than India and China combined.
WWW = Web, Women, Weather
Conference speakers were asked to address the attendees on the three W's of the 21st century: Web, women and weather, otherwise known as tenchnology, women and climate change.
Roberta Coceo of Microsoft, Italy pointed out that there is a proven correlation between women's participation in the economy and workforce and a country's GDP. There is also a proven positive correlation between childbearing and countries where women are significantly engaged in the workforce.

Listening is Key to W.I.N.
Women And Climate Change
Royal Dutch Shell's V.P.  of Strategy, Dick Benschop noted that what keeps executives up at night is the need to attract and retain top talent, regardless of gender.  He noted that at shell, "diversity" means all the ways they are different, whether that's age, gender or ethnicity.
On renewables, he said, "If there's going to be an energy revolution, it should start on the demand side because on the supply side it will take more time to build or re-build the infrastructure. History has shown us that it takes about 30 years for new energy sources to become even 1% of the world's energy source."
The Gulf Oil Tragedy is a nightmare he brought up in his speech stating that the industry has a "moral obligation" to learn from it. In order to do this, "We need to attract the best minds and talent. We will continue to attract the best and most innovative women and men."

A Pomegranate World
Engvig, mother of a 9-year-old who herself lived 12 years in Italy before settling in Switzerland, noted that there is something "Really Big" happening  with women right now. There is a focus on the well-being of women. "As we listen behind the headlines and statistics about depressed, overworked and stressed women in the West or poor women in Africa, we know, deep in our hearts, that there is a human being, a unique individual behind each story, with hopes, dreams and destinies."
There are also issues that are endemic to women globally as well as regional issues such as water and hygiene in developing countries or maternity leave in N. America, or gender gaps in the workforce in Europe. For example, the World Economic Forum recently rated Italy number 72 in terms of gender gap.

Many of the conference attendees and speakers spoke of the shift from a pyramid world, where structures are top-down and hierarchical, to a pomegranate world, where the landscape is diversified, dispersed, organic.  The pomegranate landscape, coupled with this massive arrival of women into economic roles, has never been seen before in the history of the world. Reflecting on this, I think I'll take a(nother) piece of wisdom from Engvig, "Expect magic to happen!"

Greening Beauty

15 October, 2010

10:10 Parisian Love

Originally posted on by Cian O'Donovan
10:10 France's Yann Arthus-Bertrand with mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë
10:10 France's Yann Arthus-Bertrand with mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë
The 10:10:10 celebrations received a massive boost yesterday when the city of Paris said a hearty "bonjour" to the 10:10 campaign. The pace at 10:10 HQ ahead of our Global Day Of Doing has been truly breathless - and we're just getting started. 
It's hard to think of a better start to 10:10:10 than the Parisian mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, signing a 10:10 pledge committing the entire French capital to dramatically cut its CO2 emissions.
GreenBlogNetwork Editorial:  [OK, we know it's from the SuperBowl but some Parisian Lovin' is always good...View Parisian Love Below]
<br /><b>Google Parisian Love - SuperBowl 2010</b><br /><i>envoyé par Communiketing. - Vidéos des dernières découvertes scientifiques.</i>
But how is Paris going to achieve its 10%? Well:
  • The city will renovate 4,500 housing units per year to dramatically cut emissions.
  • The "city halls" of each of the 20 arrondissements  will be given a full energy saving refurb. 
  • The fleet of municipal vehicles will be optimized and streamlined.
  • Deep geothermal wells will be dug in the north-east of the city powering 12,000 homes. 
But hey, don't take my word for it. Get over to 10:10 France's site and read all about it. Hop over to for full details.

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08 October, 2010

Africa Rising

The new mood in Africa is positive," - Bono

Africa Rising is the contemporary African Art exhibit that opened in Paris on October 6th, the last day of Paris Fashion week.  It is the love-child of Ali Hewson and husband Bono who have directed the world's focus towards the living conditions of the peoples of Africa for decades. This time, they want the focus to be on all the positive things happening on the continent.

Joining Ali and Bono in their efforts this year is the French Luxury Brand LVMH. Louis Vuitton, a company recognized for its support of the arts and its Core Values program, collaborated with designer Ali Hewson to manufacture a signature bag, the Edun bag, named after her line of designer clothing. It is the first time LV  has manufactured anything 100% in Africa, in this instance, Kenya.
Founder of Edun, Ali Hewson stated that it's great to be partnered with a luxury worldwide recognized brand such as Louis Vuitton, because "you are stronger as a team."
That a contemporary art exhibit dominated the social scene of Paris Fashion Week is both fitting and triumphant. It probably helped the cause just a little bit that rockstars such as Angelique Kidjo and - of course - Bono, took the stage to perform for the select crowd in support of the cause.

Alexandra Richards, daughter of Keith, provided DJ tunes. But the real stars of the show were the contemporary artists and their artwork.

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07 October, 2010

Dita Von Teese Closet Environmentalist Ignites Paris Fashion Week

Dita Wowed during Paris Fashion Week, stealing the show confessed designers and paparazzi alike.  She's a self-described "closet environmentalist," often preferring vintage over new.  Maybe that's why she sat front row at Elie Saab's collection shown in the Tuileries on Wednesday?  Ahh...that nostalgia for 70's ultra-feminine fashion...
Pictured Below: Dita Von Teese front-row at Elie Saab SS11, October 6, Paris Fashion Week.

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06 October, 2010

Elie Saab's Delight In The 70's

Elie Saab's Paris Spring Summer '11 collection shown today in the Jardin des Tuileries is what the designer is calling his "70's Delight." The line of soft neutrals is a color palette the designer was inspired to draw on from his boyhood memories of glamorous women from the 70s. "I remember women wearing these colors. They are colors more refined, light, powdery." Nude, sable, salmon, silver, stone gray, slate - this is the palette of Saab's Spring Summer collection this year.

Saab's Spring Summer show today floated you onto a boat moored in St. Tropez Bay where nude-backed women glide along yacht decks delicately draped and exposed in flowing, wispy trains of long salmon-colored georgette dresses and whispering silver chiffon tunics.

"I wanted to work with a different style of woman for this collection; A woman who works at home, a woman who vacations on a yacht, a woman who attends evening soirees. I didn't want to use too many muses this time," confided Saab after the show.

Accessories made a big debut on the Elie Saab Paris fashion runway today. Navel-reaching gold chains dangling heavy pendants decorated the occasional plunging neckline. Gold cuffs worn on both wrists provided just the accent for the sable, salmon and smoky white one-piece jumpsuits, shorts suits and floor-length gowns. 
"Accessories are a big development for the house," commented Saab. "We emphasized our accessories this year in the line for that reason." Salmon-suede clutch trimmed with metal and a jewel of a bag covered in crystals, also textured with tone-on-tone stone gray leather interlacing could be seen being coveted by the catwalking and stunning models with free-flowing coiffed hair.
When asked which celebrities would wear his creations best this year, he responded, "Any who like the line." Dita Von Teese, a self-described "closet environmentalist" sat in the front row. The line for this season is ultra-feminine and looks like it would feel delightful to wear and to walk in. The ultra-petite and feminine Von Teese could easily strap on a pair of the chunky-heeled suede matching sandals and sway down the length of a yacht and into an all-night soiree.
The collection's colors evoke the exuberance of Bahia. The designs evoke the Rockstar era of 70s St. Tropez Jagger excess.  Music for the show was by Michel Gaubert who played Rolling Stone's "Emotional Rescue" and such 70s era classics. Hair by Orlando Pita and team; Makeup by Tom Pecheux and team using MAC Pro.