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Women@Google: Leymah Gbowee in conversation with Megan Smith

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Leymah Gbowee was only 17 when the Second Liberian Civil War erupted. Years of fighting destroyed her country—and her hopes and dreams. As a young mother trapped in a nightmare of domestic abuse, she found the courage to turn her bitterness into action, realizing that it is women who suffer most during conflicts—and that the power of women working together can create an unstoppable force. Working as a social worker and trauma counselor during the war, she organized the Women of Liberian Mass Action for Peace, a multicultural and multi-religious group who prayed for peace, held nonviolent protests including a sex strike, and brought forth a promise from President Charles Taylor to attend peace talks in Ghana. This group was crucial in bringing an end to the civil war in 2003 followed by the election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Liberia, the first African nation with a female president. Leymah is a co-founder and the Executive Director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa, an organization dedicated to training women and advocating peace and security in African governance. The author of Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, Leymah is also the central figure in "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," an award-winning documentary about the visionary women who demanded peace in Liberia. She holds a Master of Arts in Conflict Transformation from the Eastern Mennonite University and is a mother of five and just this week, Leymah was awarded Nobel Peace Prize along with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakul Karman of Yemen. Leymah Gbowee was introduced by Gayathri Rajan Engineering Product Management Director at Google. Megan Smith is VP, New Business Development at Google
Megan Smith, Entrepreneur and VP at Google[x], Cori Lathan, CEO of AnthroTronix, and Yoky Matsuoka, VP of Technology at Nest, discuss how Computer Science, Math, and sports led them to drive innovation in the robotics field.
Meet industry leader Megan Smith as she discusses the heroic engineers that paved the way for women in the technology industry, how visibility for the women within the industry is crucial to supporting diversity, and what solutions we can create together. Megan is an entrepreneur, tech evangelist, engineer, catalyst, and connector. At Google[x], Megan works on a range of projects including co-creating/hosting Solve for X to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and collaboration. For nine years prior she led Google's New Business Development team managing early-stage partnerships, pilot explorations, and technology licensing for Google's global engineering and product teams. She led the acquisitions of Keyhole (Google Earth), Where2Tech (Google Maps), and Picasa, and also led the team transition to add more engineering with Google Crisis Response, Google for Non-Profits, Earth Outreach/Engine, and increased employee engagement. She holds a Bachelors and Masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, where she now serves on the board. She completed her Master's thesis work at the MIT Media Lab.
Megan Smith, Entrepreneur and Vice President of Google[X], sharing insights on need for visibility of technical women as she opens 7 Techmakers and a Microphone at Google IO presented Women Techmakers and Lightning talk by Kathy Kleiman, Founder of the ENIAC Programmers Project, sharing the history of the women pionneers of ENIAC.
Eve Ensler's newest work, I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World, was released in book form by Villard/Random House on February 9. Made up of original monologues about and for girls, the book aims to inspire girls to take agency over their minds, bodies, hearts and curiosities. V-Day has developed a corresponding targeted pilot V-Girls program engaging young women in our "empowerment philanthropy" model, igniting their activism and giving them a voice. I Am an Emotional Creature chronicles the stories inspired by girls around the globe. Girls today often find themselves in a struggle between remaining strong and true to themselves and conforming to society's expectations in an attempt to please. I Am an Emotional Creature is a celebration of the authentic voice inside every girl and an inspiring call to action for girls everywhere to speak up, follow their dreams, and become the women they were always meant to be. Among the girls Ensler creates are an American who struggles with peer pressure in a suburban high school; an anorexic blogging as she eats less and less; a Masai girl from Kenya unwilling to endure female genital mutilation; a Bulgarian sex slave, no more than fifteen, a Chinese factory worker making Barbies; an Iranian student who is tricked into a nose job; a pregnant girl trying to decide if she should keep her baby. It is through these varying voices and experiences that V-Day hopes to nurture the future activists of the world. I Am an Emotional Creature will be a vehicle to empower girls and inspire activism. In 2010, readings of the book will be staged in twenty pilot locations, where teen girls will engage in the creative process, accompanied by a specially written curriculum addressing the issues in the book. Through the V-Girls Program and I Am an Emotional Creature, we can come to understand the universality of girls everywhere: their resiliency, their wildness, their pain, their fears, their secrets, and their triumphs. I Am an Emotional Creature is a call, a reckoning, an education, an act of empowerment for girls, and an illumination for parents and for us all. I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls will be a vehicle to empower girls and inspire activism. Through the newly created V-Girls program, young girls can participate in the V-Day movement. The goal of V-Girls will be to engage young women in our empowerment philanthropy model, giving them a platform to ignite their activism. V-Day believes that girls are the future of our movement. Women are the primary resource of our planet. It is imperative to educate and nurture future activists so we can see our vision of a world free from violence against women and girls come true. About V-Day - V-Day is a global activist movement shattering taboos, raising millions and transforming communities to end violence against women and girls. Annually, activists stage thousands of benefit productions of Founder/playwright Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues and other works. Working at the intersection of art, social action and politics, V-Day empowers grassroots activists to become leaders, turning pain to power. To date, the V-Day movement has raised over $70 million, crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns, launched the Karama program in the Middle East, reopened shelters, and funded over 11,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic Of Congo, Egypt, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Pakistan and South Dakota. V-Day was named one of Worth magazine's "100 Best Charities" in 2001 and Marie Claire's Top Ten Charities in 2006. The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.
Author Megan Prelinger presents her book Another Science Fiction, a gorgeous collection of artwork from the aerospace industry during the space-race era of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Matthew Taylor catches Lord Smith after his first lecture as Chair of the Environment Agency and asks if the small proportion of government bailouts that is being spent on environment related initiatives is a big issue.