Creating Social Value Blog / Social Innovation

Empowering Emerging Female Leaders

Each year I look forward to the day that 100 young women from Women2Women International (W2W) arrive on campus to cultivate the tools, relationships, and opportunities required to be leaders in their home communities. W2W is a program created by Empower Peace, an organization designed to bridge the cultural and communication divides between young people worldwide. President Healey brought this opportunity to The Lewis Institute when she first came to Babson, as she immediately saw the alignment between our organizations’ missions and Babson’s ability to connect with this program specifically.

Since 2006, W2W has brought together hundreds of emerging young women leaders (ages 15-19) from around the globe to engage in intensive, action-oriented leadership training and connect to an international network of influential women leaders. Now on our third year as a key partner in this 10-day, U.S.-based program, Babson’s role has been to immerse these global leaders in our Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® methodology and to expose them to the ways they can turn their own ideas and desires into action. The Lewis Institute has been delighted to partner with some amazing faculty, the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership, and Undergraduate Admissions to create a fun, engaging day that leaves the girls wanting more. And, as the W2W women have noted, we have created a day-long session that’s completely led by Babson women!

But this is about so much more than just a “feel good” day. Since 2013, our partnership with Empower Peace has led to great opportunities for Babson to showcase its methodology, thought leadership, and influence around the world. This November, a team from Babson will join Empower Peace and the State Department to bring W2W to Belgium for a 5-day intensive session. Babson’s ET&A methodology will be the core foundation of that program which is specifically designed to activate young women from different religions and break down silos.

But, perhaps the part of this that I’m most proud of is that one of the young women from our 2014 class from Kosovo will be a Global Scholar at Babson for the class of 2019. This young woman’s life was truly transformed by her day at Babson last summer, and now the entire Babson community will benefit from her contributions when she arrives on campus in the fall.

At The Lewis Institute, we believe that desire, relationships, and integrated actions create a world where everyone’s needs are better met. Nothing exemplifies this guiding belief more than what this program has been able to bring to Babson and the world.