Watermark’s Lead On Conference for Women

hillary (1)Watermark’s Lead On Conference for Women, keynote speaker – Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and The Wright Place TV Show was there.

Watermark’s Lead On Conference for Women occurred February 24, 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. Watermark is a community of executive women in the San Francisco Bay Area, whose mission is to increase the representation of women at executive levels to drive innovation, human development and economic growth.

The Wright Place TV Show was there to capture the powerful remarks of Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and others. The video footage of her speech will be fully aired on the new season of the WPTV. By sharing these choice nuggets of inspiration and wisdom from the experience, the hope is to leave you with the “winning” energy her presentation transmitted.

At the First Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said gender equality is “not just a nice thing to do. Where women are included you are more likely to have democracy.” Clinton went on to say that equality for women is necessary to ensure a country’s economic and political stability, she said, according to live tweeted accounts of her speech.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is widely considered to be a front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination despite having yet to declare a bid in the race. Her keynote address focused on the professional development and leadership of women. Clinton said she could “literally count on one hand the number of women who have come [to Silicon Valley] and turned their dreams into billion dollar businesses,” but that “we cannot afford to leave all that talent on the sidelines.”

“We’re going backwards in a field that is supposed to be all about moving forward,” Clinton said, citing the fact that women now receive only 18 percent of computer science degrees, whereas in the 1980s women took home 38 percent of those degrees. “Our economy seems to be operating like it’s 1955.”

Gender equality in pay, education and leadership figured prominently in Clinton’s speech. She said that women need to take the lead and help other women, but that doesn’t necessarily mean doing something big and dramatic. “You don’t have to run for office… but if you do, more power to you,” the former Secretary of State, said.
Following the speech, Kara Swisher, co-executive editor of the tech website Re/code, sat down with Clinton for an interview. Swisher quickly got to the question on minds all around the world: Will Clinton run for president? “I am talking to a lot of people,” Clinton said. “There are a lot of things I would love to see our country do.” But as for why she has yet to declare, Clinton said she hasn’t finished checking things off her list. “All in good time,” she said.

During the interview, Clinton talked about the progress she would like to see on issues like equal pay and family leave and revisited the topic of women in tech, likening the industry to  “a Wild West environment.” When asked whether having a female president would make a difference, she said women taking seats in the Senate over the last several decades has already had an impact.

When Swisher asked, if you could wave a wand, “what one thing would you change in this country?” “Our mindsets. Our political bunkers. We’ve come so far on race, sexism and homophobia. Nobody wants to associate with someone who doesn’t agree with them politically. They [are forced to] listen to different media. You cannot run a great country like that.”
Ina Fried, live-blogging the event for the online magazine Re/code, summed up Clinton’s speech as focusing on women in tech rather than addressing policy topics like security or net neutrality. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left the stage with the confident and vibrant charismatic smile that is her signature. The First Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women showered her contribution with loud praise.

Candy Chang’s Public Art Projects are changing communities everywhere!

LeadOn:Watermark's Silicon Valley Conference For Women

Great innovators are seldom born, they often emerge from the pain and ashes of great personal losses. Candy Chang’s Public Art Projects are changing communities everywhere and she says it all began after losing someone she loved, and instead of living in her deep depression, she choose to create an interactive wall on an abandoned house in her neighborhood. The wall provided an anonymous place to help restore perspective and share intimately with neighbors her feelings while remaining an introvert.

This resonated with others and became the “Before I Die project,” which took form when she stenciled the words “Before I die I want to _______.” on a chalkboard wall on an abandoned house in New Orleans. Overnight it became a place for people to pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in public space. There are now 525 Before I Die walls in over 35 languages and over 70 countries.

Candy Chang revisited the chalkboard idea in Fairbanks, Alaska, erecting one outside a high-rise that’s stood empty for a decade. This time locals were prompted to share their memories of what the building had been, and their hopes for what it might become: a gym, a skating rink, an Indian restaurant. After all, says Chang, “the residents who patronize local businesses should have a say in what new businesses open.”
Candy Chang is also the co-founder of a website that allows people to share their suggestions about improving the public spaces in their cities with others who have similar goals. This new digital tool provides residents with the resources needed to enact the changes they’ve suggested and even brings some of projects directly to the attention of policy makers.

Combining urban planning, street art, and graphic design, Candy Chang transforms simple objects like stickers, stencils, and chalkboards into powerful tools that spark conversations in public spaces around the world. In her talks, she poses new strategies for civic life and inspires you to think differently about how you approach your own work.

Through personal stories from her childhood to the present, Candy Chang illustrates how seemingly disparate experiences in countries from Kazakhstan to South Africa to Finland have come together to incite new perspectives and form a coherent philosophy. Carefully crafted for each audience and cultivated from her own evolving questions, Chang’s provocative and intimate talks explore the power of personal introspection in public space and what we can learn from our collective wisdom.

The “Before I Die” book, which includes photographs of lots of walls from around the world, personal stories and visual insights into our aspirations for urban living, was published in November 2013 and has been featured on CNN, TED, and AP News. Candy Chang was also a Keynote speaker at the 2015 Watermark Lead On Conference for Women.

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