After meeting each other in Berlin at the 2018 Global Solutions Summit, Eduarda Zoghbi from Brazil and Nancy Hoque from the USA, were inspired to continue working together. “We brainstormed, and we wanted to do an initiative where we could share different voices of women from around the world focused on change and action, as we were inspired by our Summer School experience as Young Global Changers,” says Nancy.
Promoting women’s experiences and stories
Together, they founded The Pursuit – Global Women for Change, a platform for dialogue among women from around the world focused on sharing experiences and stories of women change makers through a cultural and gender lens. After talking to them about this initiative, Eduarda explains “the podcast interview format was settled after we heard inspiring life stories from Young Global Changers at the Global Solutions Summit 2018 and felt compelled to invite them to share their insights as young experts who had actually experienced in their countries what the G20 task forces discuss.”
Women became the target audience and guest speakers so they could promote the experiences and stories of those who would ordinarily not be heard in G20 high-level events. Too often, “we understand infrastructure and challenges based on our own countries and experiences,” according to Eduarda. That is precisely why it becomes important to “hear from women about the challenges they are facing in their countries and as experts in their specific fields.”
Both strongly believe that it is significant to promote the voices of women who may otherwise be hidden and unknown. The potential for women to make a positive contribution to the global economy is staggering and greater participation, equality and inclusion should be widely promoted. Indeed, a recent Argentina representative at the 2018 Summit claimed “if women participated in the economy in the same way as men, there would be a 26% growth in global GDP by 2025.”
The podcast topics are related to issues discussed by the G20 countries each year at their annual Summits and in their specific G20 taskforces. However, Eduarda cautions that “there is not enough transparency in the G20 process.” What is being discussed in these taskforces and how proposals will ultimately be implemented by the G20 countries remains unclear.
Balancing work and studies
Balancing full time work and studies, with family life and voluntary work, while building up The Pursuit, which includes identifying speakers, recording podcasts and promoting them, is not straightforward and takes time.
Eduarda says, “all of us involved have so many things to do and projects on our plate!” Currently, Eduarda is pursuing an MPA in energy and environment at Columbia University while working for the UN Sustainable Energy for All, at the Institute of Latin American Studies, and participating in two other projects: the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative Youth Challenge Team and the G20 Energy Policy Tracker. Nancy currently works for Adobe and supports their go-to-market strategy and sales operations while also raising two young boys. She was recently announced as a 2020 Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 40 under 40 honouree. Both were selected to represent the 2020 Global Solutions Summit as Young Global Changers Ambassadors.
To date, five podcasts have been produced and with each one the number of listeners is growing. The topics so far have included: Impacts of Trade Policy on Women, Youth Empowerment in the Climate Crisis, The Future of Work and Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia, Women Issues and Gender Equity and Technology as a tool for gender and health equity during COVID-19.
Inspired by the people they interact with, and their stories, both Eduarda and Nancy plan to keep producing podcasts for The Pursuit and, as Nancy says, “continue expanding our team.” They agree that “it’s important to expand the diversity of voices represented, spanning across sectors, countries, and experiences. Entrepreneurs, political advisors, social advocates, and more. Our collective dialogue makes us more effective”.
Both have found that working on a podcast creates many opportunities to develop new (technical) skills.
“For example,” says Eduarda, “I taught myself podcast editing and Nancy was more involved in putting together the discussion guides and deciding how they were going to relate to the G20 taskforce topics with the women we invited and coming up with good questions to ask. It’s a team effort to put the podcasts together!”
It has been just over a year since The Pursuit was founded. A lot has already been achieved with a website and social media pages having been created and much work going on behind the scenes. While they consider it a positive start, both – Eduarda and Nancy – plan on continuing to grow the platform further. Therefor, they plan is to produce a new podcast every month.
Engaging the Young Global Changers network
It is doubtful The Pursuit would have been established had it not been for Eduarda and Nancy meeting each other at the 2018 Global Solutions Summit.
Almost all their podcast episodes have featured female Young Global Changers, as Nancy and Eduarda wish to tap into the network offered by Global Solutions Initiative to share these women’s projects and ideas so they can hopefully be replicated worldwide. Linda Du (from the United Kingdom) and Swati Dhawan (from India), were the first two Young Global Changers from the 2018 class to feature in a podcast while Sweetie Anang (from Ghana) from the 2019 class participated in the most recent podcast.
The alumni network, they believe, can continue to be a useful network for engaging and inspiring women from around the world and more widely promoting their stories, experiences, achievements and, just as importantly, the challenges they have faced.
Other female Young Global Changers interested in being featured on a future podcast can reach out to Eduarda and Nancy through their website.
Written by Ken Fullerton, YGC 2017.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Global Solutions Initiative.
Eduarda, Young Global Changers Ambassador and 2018 Young Global Changer, is a political scientist and current MPA Candidate at Columbia University and co-founder of “The Pursuit, Global Women for Change”. She works for the Center on Global Energy Policy supporting the Women in Energy program and at the Institute of Latin American Studies to develop grant proposals towards gender equity.
Ken, a 2017 Young Global Changer, currently works as a management consultant for ARTD Consultants – one of Australia’s leading public policy consulting firms – where he helps government agencies and non-profit organisations make evidence-informed decisions and track and evaluate outcomes in order to continuously improve their performance.