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Past Programming Woman on Stage

Informing and Inspiring Women Leaders

Thought-provoking insights

from experts both on and off the stage

Our two annual conferences feature leading authorities speaking on topics essential to global leaders in a changing world.  Conference attendees are women from around the world who are the world’s leading architects, advocates, catalysts, of change. They are re-drawing the map for how we’ll live, work, produce, and maintain healthy communities in the coming years.


World-Class Speakers and Topics

Have included

AI Revolution

Nuala O’Connor

  • Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel, Digital Citizenship, Walmart

The How and Why of Happiness

Dr. Lara Aknin

  • Co-Editor of the World Happiness Report and Distinguished Professor, Simon Fraser University

Brain Health

Dr. Kate Zhong

  • Director of Innovation, Department of Brain Health, School of Integrated Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Global Security

Ambassador Piritta Asunmaa

  • Finnish Head of Mission to NATO

The Global Economy

Dr. Elaine Buckberg

  • Chief Economist, General Motors


Mikaela Loach

  • Climate justice advocate and author

Space Exploration

Dr. María Teresa Ruiz

  • Astronomy Professor, Universidad de Chile and Director, Center for Astrophysics and Associated Technologies

The Built Environment

Martha Thorne

  • Dean of the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid, Spain, and Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize


Rosabeth Moss Kanter

  • Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Conferences Over 50 Years

70 Conferences Held

47 Host Forums

35,000+ Attendees

Previous Conference Highlights

Detroit — the birthplace of Motown — was the perfect venue to explore solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. More than 700 leaders from 22 countries gathered to reflect on how creativity and culture shape our economy and our world, tackling topics such as artificial intelligence, the transformation of transportation and how our environment shapes our brains and bodies. Click here to see photos and video from Detroit.

THEME: Thinking Differently

We discussed topics of critical concern to global leaders at the 2023 Cornerstone Conference, Thinking Differently, in Helsinki. Finland is consistently ranked in the top 5 best countries for women and has been ranked as the happiest nation on earth for 6 consecutive years. It’s a pacesetter in technology. It is a leader in design and sustainability and is a strategically important nation in the shifting geopolitical landscape of Europe. Experts shared their insights on these topics and more with over 550 members from around the globe.

THEME: Beating the Odds: The Search for New Solutions

This long-awaited return to IWF’s in-person World Leadership Conference and Gala was an excellent opportunity to discuss setting priorities and finding solutions to some of the most critical challenges of our time as attendees experienced the magic of IWF. The City’s leadership in renewable energy and water conservation, the research underway on the importance of behavioral and cognitive health, and the examples of success in innovation in a transitional time, provided an excellent context for cutting-edge conversations about these and other issues facing global leaders today.

THEME: Discovery Through Earth, Seas & Skies

We convened to provide an opportunity to explore the most important issues to you as global decision-makers. Chile was a perfect venue for these renewed conversations. From deserts in the north to volcanoes in the south, it is a country celebrated for its exceptionally diverse and beautiful landscapes. However, Chile is about much more than natural beauty. It is about creativity, exploration, and transformation. Chile is pushing forward global conversations on how countries are governed, how the built environment becomes increasingly more sustainable, and how existing technology can be used to accelerate decarbonization.