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EVENTS & TRAININGS
War in Ukraine: What's next? Conversation with Dr. Rosa Balfour
On 24 February, we all woke up to images of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Despite weeks of warning, much of the world was caught by surprise. To help you make sense of the unfolding crisis, we’d like to invite you to join a WIIS Brussels Conversation with Dr. Rosa Balfour, Director of Carnegie Europe. This conversation will take place on Wednesday, 2 March 2022 starting at 20:00. The event will be held digitally, and a Zoom access link will be made available upon registration.
Rosa’s fields of expertise include European politics, institutions, and foreign and security policy. Her current research focuses on the relationship between domestic politics and Europe’s global role. She has researched and published widely for academia, think tanks, and the international press on issues relating to European politics and international relations. She has a few other hats, including her membership in the WIIS Brussels Steering Committee.
Prior to joining Carnegie Europe, Rosa was a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She was also director of the Europe in the World program at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, and has worked as a researcher in Rome and London.
There is no better person to help us understand what’s happening: how do Russia’s actions threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty and its future, what are the consequences for European security and the post-Cold War international order, and how can a community like WIIS Brussels bear its commitment to the field of peace, security and defense.
Sign up now by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that this event is for members only. If you’re not a member yet, join our community and become a new member of WIIS Brussels. Once you’ve signed up, you will receive a zoom link to join the event. Please do not share this link with others.
Online Workshop: Prepare to be Powerful!
We’re excited to invite you to an interactive workshop ‘Prepare to be Powerful!’ with Dion Johnson on Wednesday, February 23 from 18:30-20:00.
The pandemic, Brexit and global racial tensions have changed the game and pressure and new demands are high. In this interactive talk, Dion will share three powerful keys to unlock a whole new dimension of influence and impact for women leading their people forward to a new normal in challenging times like these, without the need to sacrifice their health, energy, ethics, enthusiasm or self-esteem. Come expecting stories, strategies and a good dose of Straight-talk to help you step into your authentic power and influence.
About the trainer
Dion Johnson, also known as the Womanologist, is an ex-midwife and Director in public services. She is a multi-award-winning Women's champion with the re-powerment of women at the heart of her work. She works as Master Coach, Strategic Ally and Trusted Advisor to some of the most influential women across sectors and industries. Her clients are Chief executives, Directors and Heads across sectors because when these women truly thrive (not just act like they are thriving) so do boards, organisations, industries and ultimately our world.
Dion was born with a pronounced facial disfigurement Her story of ‘unmasking’ is a powerful metaphor that is now captivating and inspiring leaders across the globe to “Show Up, Speak Up and Shake Things the hell Up”, authentically, within their sphere of influence too. She’s passionate about and uniquely skilled to help women rise above professional challenges and #BeMoreInfluential in their roles and her new book ‘Influential Woman: A fresh approach to tackling inequality and leading change at work’ receives positive reviews from readers around the globe.
To find out more visit: http://thewomanologist.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/dion-johnson-the-womanologist-123756a/
Sign up now by emailing us at email@example.com. Please note that this event is for members only and spaces are limited. If you’re not a member yet, join our community and become a new member of WIIS Brussels. Once you’ve signed up, you will receive a Zoom link to join the event. Please do not share this link with others.
WIIS Brussels Moms Power Hour
We were excited to hold our monthly ‘WIIS Moms Power Hour’ on Friday, 3 December. The objective of this monthly networking event is to create a welcoming space for (future) WIIS Moms to connect, to be inspired, and to lift each other up. The Power Hour offers a supportive space for conversations that matter. The event is guided by inspirational input and facilitated by Daria Nashat. The theme of this week's Power Hour was an end of the year reflection.
The informal ‘WIIS Moms Power Hour’ is a drop-in event and no RSVP is required. Our guiding principles are:
we are fully present for and with each other (please join us with your video on)
we bring our whole experience; we speak and listen from the heart
we practice gratitude, (self-)compassion, and non-judgment
we respect that was is being said in this circle stays in this circle.
About the facilitator
Daria Nashat is the co-founder of ‘Women in Politics’, speaker and trainer on inclusive leadership, new narratives, and selfcare. She is a mother with a vision, a community builder and a circle process facilitator. Daria is a certified Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) trainer, co-founder of the Women’s Sanctuary Circle and has a background in peacebuilding, refugee return and post-conflict development. Since 2020, she is a WIIS Brussels Steering Committee member. For more information visit: www.darianashat.com
Online Workshop: The power of personal style
We were excited to organise the interactive workshop ‘The power of personal style’ with image consultant Tammy Parish on Tuesday, November 23rd from 12:30-14:00.
You don’t have to wear a grey suit to fit in or get ahead! The key is to stand out while fitting in. Dress and grooming are excellent ways to achieve this. Increase your visibility and showcase your authentic self for professional success, without saying a word. By using the elements of style, you can boost your self-esteem and powerfully communicate your message.
About the trainer
Tammy Parrish is an image consultant who teaches women practical tools to use their physical appearance to boost their confidence and professional success. Her career started 25 years ago in the fashion industry in New York City, then migrated to NGOs, where she was a fundraiser for many nonprofit organisations for almost 20 years. In 2019 she started The Clothing Compass to empower women through personal style. Tammy is an American-Dutch citizen living in Amsterdam. You can link with her https://www.linkedin.com/in/tammy-parrish/ on Linkedin or her website https://www.clothingcompass.com/
Women and the Climate Crisis: COP26 and Beyond
WIIS Brussels was delighted to host the online event "Women and the Climate Crisis: COP26 and Beyond", in collaboration with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), as part of its Young Transatlantic Network of Future Leaders series. It was held on Monday, 22 November from 2 to 3 pm.
Climate change is one of the greatest global challenges of the twenty-first century. Yet, its impacts vary by gender. Women are increasingly viewed as more vulnerable, mainly as they represent the majority of the world’s poor and are proportionally more dependent on threatened resources. Differential roles and responsibilities and less access to land, credit, decisionmaking structures, training, and technology also curtail their capacity to adapt to climate actions.
Any meaningful international effort to address climate change needs to include women in decisionmaking structures, policy formulation, and implementation. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has acknowledged the differentiated impact and recognized the importance of gender balance in climate delegations and gender considerations in climate actions. However, COP26 continues to demonstrate a stark contrast between the young women leading the protests and those who run global talks. There remains a clear gap in gender, generation, and perception of the summit's achievements.
We explored the COP26 conference, what was discussed, what was decided upon, what was left out, and how we move forward with a focus on gender issues.
Monica Sanders, Managing Director, Environmental Justice Program, Georgetown University
Elizabeth Smith, Research Assistant, Climate Change and Risk Programme, SIPRI
Antoinette Vermilye, Co-Founder, She Changes Climate
Annika Vollmer, Moderator, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Online Workshop: How to build emotional firewalls and minimise the pain of the new cyber war on women
Online spaces are being systematically weaponised to exclude women leaders and to undermine the role of women in public life. Attacks on women using hateful language, rumours and gendered stereotypes combine personal attacks with political motivations, making online spaces dangerous places for women to speak out. Left unchecked, this phenomenon of gendered disinformation, spread by state and non-state actors, poses a serious threat to women’s equal participation in the digital age.
During this training session, Nadja El Fertasi provided practical emotional intelligence strategies to build emotional firewalls to help you minimize the pain of unethical online behaviour. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a set of emotional and social skills that influences how we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information effectively and in a meaningful way. Emotional Intelligence is proven to be a key indicator of human performance and development. People higher in EI communicate effectively, form strong relationships, and create powerful coping strategies.
About the trainer
Nadja is a senior strategic advisor and crisis management exercise specialist in the field of cyber security. She leverages her expertise and know-how in crisis management, strategic stakeholder engagement, and emotional intelligence to provide a holistic approach to addressing the human factor of cybersecurity. Nadja has worked for nearly two decades at NATO, the world’s largest crisis management organization. To learn more about Nadja and her work to minimize the pain of cyber crime, please visit https://www.thrivewitheq.com.
Consultation on Women & Security: Part II - Session II
Earlier this year, WIIS Brussels conducted a series of consultations on the evolving concept of security. Together, we explored what ‘security’ means to us personally, how this concept changed over time, and what role community plays in shaping a secure environment for us.
We’re now taking this process to the next level and are hosting another round of consultations. We intend to move a little deeper, working towards an even more profound exchange on what security means to us all. Diversity of thought is very important to us, which is why in this round, we’d like to also involve non-WIIS Brussels members.
For this virtual conversation on Wednesday 22 September, members were invited to bring along a friend. We were keen on hearing about and learning from different perspectives, and believe that involving non-members is important to come to a more inclusive understanding of what security means to women today.
Online Workshop: Unexamined and Unnamed: Coloniality in Culture and Everyday Practice
We were excited to host the interactive workshop Unexamined and Unnamed: Coloniality in Culture and Everyday Practice on Monday, September 13 from 18:30-20:00.
A centuries-long world-making exercise formed the global habits, categories, assumptions, and judgements that we are socialised into, at work and at home. So this session is not a 'training' and could never be. It will be a guided space where we collectively interrogate unnamed conventions that reproduce racialised and gendered binaries and hierarchies within our everyday work. Focusing on the underlying logics will give us the understanding - and therefore the choice - to be proactive in disrupting these, which is crucial to begin to plot out new futures and alternative trajectories.
About the trainer
Terri Beswick is a British-Jamaican strategist, analyst and facilitator running iklektik, a consultancy practice that's designed to cultivate new - explicitly decolonial and feminist - ways of knowing, ways of being and ways of doing within civic and political organisations.
Terri’s work is informed by a black feminist positioning. Her practice is informed by a grounding in the humanities and social sciences: political anthropology, semiology, cognitive linguistics, organisational design, the politics of peace and security, and intergovernmental policymaking.
Terri has worked across the stakeholder divide with civil society organisations and networks, think-tanks, and public institutions on human security, social justice, pluralism, and foreign policy for over 13 years as an analyst, advocate, advisor, policy researcher and facilitator.
WIIS Brussels and WIIS UK event - NATO, China and the Indo-Pacific: what role - if any - for the Alliance?
On Wednesday 16 June we held a virtual conversation on NATO's China and Indo-Pacific strategies, followed by a social event in which the members of WIIS Brussels, WIIS UK and other participants met, discussed, and exchanged ideas!
The rise of China and Sino-American competition are the defining geopolitical features of our times and will feature on the agenda of the upcoming NATO Summit on 14 June. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recently noted that the Alliance needs to take into account that "China is coming closer to us—in the Arctic, in Africa, investing heavily in our infrastructure in Europe, in cyberspace." A growing number of NATO Allies also see the Indo-Pacific as a key region for the future of global trade and security and are becoming more active in tackling regional challenges. The Alliance also has important allies in the Indo-Pacific and is looking to deepen its partnerships with like-minded democracies in the region. At the same time, NATO continues to face challenges closer to home, with a deterioration of the situation on the Alliance’s Eastern Flank.
With Ms Gwendoline Vamos (Senior Officer, Asia-Pacific, Global Partnerships, NATO), Ms Veerle Nouwens (Senior Research Fellow, International Security, RUSI) and Dr Garima Mohan (Fellow, Asia Programme, German Marshall Fund), we discussed what role - if any - NATO can and should play vis a vis the China challenge and with Indo-Pacific partners. What specific role for NATO in the multi-fora transatlantic dialogue on China? What interests does NATO have in the Indo-Pacific, if any? What do Allies and regional partners want from NATO in this instance?
We debated whether and how the Alliance should be more involved and the impact it can have - and how to balance a more global role with NATO’s traditional areas of responsibility in the Euro-Atlantic.
This event was moderated by Ms Alice Billon-Galland (Research Fellow, Chatham House) from the WIIS UK Leadership Team, and Ms Elena Saenz Feehan (Programme Manager, Friends of Europe) from the WIIS Brussels Steering Committee.
The panel discussion and Q&A was followed by a social in breakout rooms, so that the members of WIIS Brussels, WIIS UK, and other participants can meet and get to know each other.
Online Workshop: Speak with Impact!
We were happy to host the interactive workshop ‘Speak with Impact!’ on Monday, June 7 from 12:30-14:00.
Connecting with others to get your message across online is challenging for many of us. In this workshop, Sylvie Verleye offered tips and tricks how to connect with your audience live but - given the current situation - especially online. Most of Sylvie’s coachees use her tips in meeting situations when they need to communicate with colleagues, management, or customers – but also for speaking in front of big audiences or webinars.
About the trainer
Sylvie Verleye created the Simply Talking method and has coached thousands of people for their pitch, TEDTalk, conference, meeting or sales talk. She uses her 19 years experience in presenting but also her seven-year experience as a TV news anchor. For every live television performance, she was struck by her skyrocket high heartbeat. But she learned how to deal with these nerves and loves to share these insights with you so that you show confidence on and off stage.
Conversation with Maryem van den Heuvel
Maryem van den Heuvel was the Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the European Council Charles Michel, and started recently her new job as Director General for External Relations at the Council. As senior member of the Dutch diplomatic service, she served as the Netherlands Ambassador to Belgium and was Managing Director for the America’s at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Being born in Tunisia and raised in the Netherlands triggered her interest in an international career, which by the way she combines with being a mother of five.
We appreciated the opportunity to get to know her both personally and professionally, hearing about her life story, her career and her current job.
Online Workshop: Why you need to start building your personal brand NOW!
We were happy to host the interactive workshop ‘Why you need to start building your personal brand NOW!’ on May 4 from 19:00-21:00.
The 2-hour hands-on workshop covered:
Why an effective Personal Branding strategy is so important
How to create a successful strategy that fits your personality and goals
Most common mistakes you should not make
Focus points for your own strategy
After the workshop, participants understood why having a Personal Branding Strategy that fits YOU is so important. This workshop helped them implement an effective strategy to make the right connections, create new possibilities, open doors or get the job they really want.
About the trainer
Yustine Alvares runs multiple businesses and has worked for more than 14 years in Asia, Europe and South America. Her company Dark Blue International focuses on marketing, personal & business branding, design and (international) growth, whilst her other company PRPHC is a private member club that organizes high-end experiences and events around the world. Yustine is the community builder and founder of Asia Signature, a Facebook group and Instagram account she recently started to celebrate women, their roots and inspire them to become the best version of themselves. As a public speaker, panelist, workshop leader, and moderator she speaks on (female) entrepreneurship, personal/business branding, women empowerment, equality & inclusion.