Great Substance at Naseba’s 19th Edition in Dubai
(Global WIL Economic Forum)

On 25th October, 2017, the 19th Edition of Naseba, presented – Global WIL Economic Forum in Dubai. Endorsed by the UAE Ministry of Economy, the Global WIL Economic Forum aimed to promote cultural and ethnic diversity by bringing global male and female leaders under one roof, who are, or, could be game changers, future builders, and story tellers.  It was a two-day-event, the theme was ‘The Butterfly Effect – From Intent to Impact.’


Hundreds of business leaders, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, artists, NGO representatives exchanged ideas for strengthening our communities through gender equality.  Prominent Emirati speakers also took to the stage.  Her Excellency – Noura Al Kaabi in her keynote address said, "The question of whether to empower women to progress is no longer a matter of debate.  It is simply the right thing to do socially and economically, it is the norm." Wow! Solid words of pearls. 


I had the pleasure of attending Day-2 conference, thank you! Sophie Le Ray… indebted to your whole team. 


In her keynote address, my daughter, Vibha Bakshi, the award-winning director and producer of Daughters of Mother India shared her views on how her small film has become a movement.  She said, “When your intent is right, when your emotions are right, the universe makes things happen.  It is very important as a film-maker to make responsible films.  Films that unite people, films that give hope, because the fight for women’s safety and equality is a fight we can’t afford to lose.  Therefore, when the intent is right, the impact will follow.”  Daughters of Mother India is now part of the curriculum in 200 schools; it has been translated into several Indian regional languages, and has received international recognition from different corners of the globe.


The session on: Importance of POP Culture in redefining Gender Stereotypes, supporting equality by film-maker and producer – Anurag Kashyap, was very interesting.  He is recipient of the Ordres des Arts et des Lettres.  Pop Culture is a serious business… it certainly has the potential to influence our values.  Moderator was Lina Mata, Senior Channel Manager MBC, 2, 4, Max & Variety.  Petrine D' Rozario, CEO, Drishyam Films and Tonye Cole, CEO, Sahara Group contributed very purposefully from their own experiences.


During my brief inter-action with billionaire-philanthropist  Tonye Cole, I could tell that while the man runs his vast businesses through his mind, his heart dictates him to make sure that the efforts of his earnings benefit the needy.  Hailing from Nigeria, Tony Cole founded the Sahara Group which has expanded from a single entity to a group consisting of ten companies across the energy value chain.  The Sahara Group’s presence is in 8 countries, it employs 3,200 people – posting an annual profit of more than US$ 12 billion.  Tonye Cole was humble to the core and there was inspirational essence in the philanthropic approach he is having.


I got to learn: since inception in 2002, Naseba is touching upon important aspects of our modern society.  At WIL Economic Forum, it was an opportunity to see the outstanding contribution by female entrepreneurship, leadership.  This is how by their own examples – business leaders, policy-makers, film-makers explored diversity on all levels at this conference. 


Philanthropy, education, culture bring togetherness amongst us.  Among other social causes, giving a strong voice to women will truly create much better societies around the world.  We must all try to do this – collectively or individually.  It is not easy, but not difficult, either.


Naseba just did it!

Geeta Chhabra


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