On November 17, 2015, Branksome Hall Asia students were invited to participate in an event organized by the U.S. Embassy and the Korea Entrepreneurship Foundation to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in Seoul.
Countries and communities around the world celebrate GEW by bringing together innovators, trailblazers and experts in entrepreneurship to share and discuss their knowledge, success stories and latest entrepreneurship trends and policies.
GEW Women 2015 was celebrated at this event by a special afternoon session dedicated to young women who were challenged to break through gender stereotypes and achieve their dreams.
Anne Hoglund, ambassador of Sweden gave a congratulatory address to the participants. Professor Ji-ae Sohn (Former CNN Seoul Bureau Chief, former CEO of Arirang), Ms. Grace Choi (Policy advisor at the U.S. Secretary’s Office on Global Women’s issues), Dr. Ogan Gurel (Senior advisor for innovation, Campus D) Mr. Robert Ogburn (Public Affairs, U.S. Embassy) led mentorship sessions with students emphasizing that women can catalyze positive change in their lives and communities. They pointed out that the scale of the challenges we face in the world today and the accelerating speed of innovation is demanding a new approach to leadership which is different from the autocratic and efficient model on which the modern economy is founded. They encouraged young women participants to be transformational leaders, embracing failures, nurturing resilience and fostering grit. It was also pointed out that engaging men as allies is of importance to women’s advancement. Further, they were provoked to challenge conventional wisdom, generate ideas and open their minds to uncomfortable solutions. The overall message for students was that the human spirit has an enormous capacity for meeting challenges and one way to achieve dreams of greatness is to “reach higher than you think you can” regardless of your gender.