‘Everyone can take an action personally to change the world. If everyone takes on the smallest of things, we will create the biggest change’
The brilliant Women of the Future Summit 2018 brought together delegates from across the UK and all over the world for a day of insight and inspiration on the power of trust. At first instance, you may only regard trust as a personal quality. However, as the Summit highlighted, it is far more wide-reaching in scope and meaning than we may initially imagine. We’re all aware that technology is an emerging and increasingly prominent influence in our every day lives (in a broad spectrum of ways), and this change underpinned this year’s Summit by looking at how technology is impacting the way we trust others, and how we lead. The speakers highlighted that the notion of trust is changing. The central cause of this is due to the fact that we are living in a world where the pace of change is accelerating. Ash Alexander-Cooper, ex special-forces and professional athlete, highlighted that those that are successful, both as individuals and as leaders, are the ones that adopt the change and embrace it. One way to do this is through collaboration. We should be encouraged to work together – because the collection of brains is the power and key to unlocking the answers to emerging change. By broadening our network, trusting others and working with them, we can share ideas and problems, and together we can reach a solution to our problems. Equally, we have to accept
that mistakes are going to be made. We’re going to fail and that’s fine, but we need to fail fast and fail well, and keep learning from those mistakes. You will be in a position of strength by collaborating with others, running your ideas past them and developing new solutions together.
Another key point from the Summit was how we deal with ‘fake news’. In truth, our success, both at school and work, is grounded in having relevant, up to date and accurate information. Elizabeth Linder, Executive Director of Beautiful Destinations, suggested that we should aim to get our information from as close to the primary source as possible. In this way, we will know which sources to trust and will become more aware of our surroundings and become more salient to identifying fake news.
Another discussion at this year’s Summit was resilience. Every day we face Any challenges or setbacks. Whilst they are a disappointment, we still go on. We strive to be better and we do indeed get better. But it’s that initial set back, and our response and actions thereafter that are key to us constantly developing our resilience. Dr Tara Swart, a neuroscientist and medic, offered some of her best insights as to how we might as individuals look to develop positive habits to better ourselves. One of those was building our confidence, which is a conscious process that involves us dedicating time to think back to our previous successes. Draw attention to these, remember them and focus on those Ames when you endured change – remind yourself that you did it then and you can do it again. It’s mind over matter. Also, think of a woman who you admire and has done something that you want to achieve. She’s done it, and so can you. Finally, we need positive affirmations in our lives. Remove those negatives and replace them with positive reinforcement to maintain
the notion in our minds that we are more than capable, and we can overcome the challenges we may face and be better for it afterwards.
One of the brilliant things about this year’s Summit was the diversity in speakers that presented on stage. Whilst trust was the focal point, the breadth of speakers covered ground ranging from the importance of kindness to top tips for leading a team with analogies of personal experience serving in the armed forces. It was the diversity of speakers that aided the overall success of the Summit, and it is diversity that aids the overall success of teams and individuals. Alongside ways to build on trust and resilience, one of the things that the Summit reinforced for me was the beauty beneath our diversity. We should champion and trust our differences, and promote them, because individually we all bring a range of different skill sets, which when put together, yield success.
Priyanka Patel, Student
Priyanka has become involved in the WOF initiatives while studying at Wimbledon High School, one of the schools involved in our WOF Ambassadors Programme. In July 2018, Priyanka Patel was put forward by Women of the Future to represent the UK at the Women2Women conference in Boston.