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G7 Women's Forum, Toronto, 2018


Bridging the gap: A call for inclusive progress

The G7 is a uniquely influential coalition for decision-making and policy alignment among the world’s leading economies. It has a powerful influence on the shape and direction of global solutions, whether through the policy frameworks it chooses to apply, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or through the specific issues it chooses to address, like the end of malaria and tuberculosis. Thus, the G7’s leaders know they need to listen to diverse voices in order to make their deliberations as inclusive as possible.  

With disruption and division dominating headlines, the bloc has never been more important. The issues at stake on their agenda – inclusive growth, jobs for the future, women’s empowerment, climate change and security – require urgent action to engage for impact and break out of outdated patterns and mindsets that stymie progress. We believe that women can provide the innovative views, perspectives and daring leadership that are needed to bridge humanity’s challenges and return the world’s economies to the path of stability, security and inclusive human progress.  

G7 Women’s Forum Canada will gather 1,000 leaders from the G7 countries, North America and beyond to reflect and react to the topics on the G7’s agenda. Grounded in potential solutions and actions, G7 Women’s Forum Canada will offer a distinct view of how to bridge the gaps in an increasingly divided world – between developed and emerging economies, between the private and public sectors, between men and women, between the included and the excluded. It will challenge the G7 not just to take on the issue of gender equality but to unlock the transformative potential of women’s leadership with the goal of having an impact on decision-makers. Will the G7 dare to listen?

The G7 Women’s Forum Canada will take place 10-11 May 2018 in Toronto, one of the most diverse cities in the world. Policymakers, business executives and representatives from diverse sectors will have discussions and explore best practices and proposals to create impact. The goal is to express a clear vision and gender-based analysis of issues in four central pillars:

1. A new mandate for business: Fostering inclusive growth

Recent global frameworks, like the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, provide a common understanding of the issues facing our world, and what needs to be overcome to address equity and inclusion. The private sector, which is increasingly taking a stance on social and environmental issues, will assume much of the work needed to accomplish these goals. In doing so, it takes on the traditional role of the public sector and balances social responsibility with overstepping its mandate. This pillar will explore the role of business in creating an inclusive society and the levers the private sector can deploy to accelerate progress. 

2. Women for women: Driving economic empowerment globally

Women’s economic empowerment relies on more than the efforts of an individual to make their life better; women of the world’s leading economies must challenge themselves to ask what role they have in driving gender equality beyond G7 countries.  In doing so, they’ll need to confront and address different cultural and religious traditions and find ways of connecting women – and men -- toward a shared vision of inclusion. This pillar explores the barriers to and opportunities for women’s leadership on women’s issues, from social media to finance and from fintech start-ups and entrepreneurship to sexual violence in conflict.

3. Common cause: Building resilience in a climate-stressed world

The planet is the ultimate inclusive stakeholder: As the climate changes, all of humanity will be affected. As the G7 countries explore ways to transition to low carbon economies – through both the public and private sectors – their actions may not be enough to curb the effects of climate change on the world’s poor and smallest carbon emitters. At the same time, the world’s growing middle class, which is crucial to economic growth and stability, seeks to replicate a resource-rich and carbon-intensive lifestyle.  From high-level global discussions to on-the-ground action in climate-stressed economies, women are positioned to drive the world’s response to climate change and its impacts on food security, oceans, air quality and more. Continued economic progress calls for increasing capacity in energy provision, infrastructure, sustainable tourism and urban planning. A reaffirmation of our commitment to climate action – as illustrated by the Women’s Forum climate manifesto – will be needed to ensure that women lead on and are equitably represented in climate and environmental action.

 4. New frontiers: Shaping lives and livelihoods through technology

Technology is reshaping our world at a rapid pace. The ways we shop, communicate, travel and work are being disrupted, with views on the future ranging from optimistic to dystopian. The future of work is especially prone to extreme views, often exacerbated by politicians and media offering binary visions of the impact of technology. While a more nuanced vision is probably likely, society – led largely by the private sector – must anticipate and account for how changes to livelihoods will affect not just how we work but how we live. This pillar will explore how business can shape the future of work and collaborate with policymakers to build inclusive societies while mitigating technology’s potential to amplify societal and economic divides that lead to instability and conflict.        

In these four areas and beyond — and throughout the year — the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society brings a distinctly female perspective to addressing the issues affecting all of humanity and engaging for impact toward solutions.

**OPEN to ALL GWL COMMUNITY**

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For more details visit: http://www.womens-forum.com/meetings/canada-2018

Earlier Event: April 29
Milken Annual Global Conference, 2018
Later Event: September 12
Women's Forum, Singapore, 2018