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Global Leaders With "Ideas Remaking the World" Converge in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 18, 2012) - The International Women's Forum (IWF), dedicated to connecting the world's most preeminent women to advance leadership across careers, cultures and continents, will host its 2012 World Leadership Conference at the Fairmont Hotel San Francisco, October 24-26. Known as a global hotbed for innovation and multicultural hub, the Bay Area is the perfect venue for the conference themed "Ideas Remaking the World in a New Age of Discovery."

Attracting influential attendees from more than 40 nations, the conference will explore the future of politics, technology, science, healthcare and more. Program and speaker highlights featuring pioneers across diverse industries include:

  • Radical Openness: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

    • Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, the world's 5th most popular website, Internet entrepreneur, and leading tech futurist.

    • Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children, whose viral "KONY 2012" video about a brutal Central African warlord sparked international attention.

  • The New Boom: Female Founders Rising

    • Leah Busque, Founder & CEO, TaskRabbit, an online and mobile marketplace that helps people live smarter by outsourcing errands and tasks.

    • Mariam Naficy, Founder & CEO, Minted, a venture-backed social commerce company, crowd-sourcing graphic designs and content from a global design community.

  • The Abolition of Hierarchy in a Radically Open World

    • Wendy McElroy, Research Fellow, the Independent Institute, contributing editor to Ideas on Liberty, The New Libertarian, Free Inquiry, and Liberty magazines, a Libertarian theoretician, Individualist Anarchist and "The ifeminist" weekly columnist for FoxNews.com.

    • Mehrizia Labidi, dubbed the "highest ranking female political figure in the Arab world," is Deputy Speaker of the Tunisian Legislative Assembly where her nation's new constitution is being drafted.

  • A Nexus of Ideas: the World's Cities

    • Saskia Sassen, Professor at Columbia University and author of The Global City, the classic statement of how cities matter in a global economy.

    • Ellen Dunham-Jones, Professor of architecture and urban design, Georgia Institute of Technology and author of Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs, featured in a Time Magazine cover story.

  • Citizen Scientists: Changing Prospects...Saving Lives

    • Hugh Y. Rienhoff, MD, San Francisco-based, DIY biologist, founder of two bio-tech companies, cracked the code on his daughter's condition -- a mutation and rare genetic miscue causing her muscle mass deficiency -- from his attic lab.

    • Kay Aull, one of DIYbio's brightest stars, built a tiny, full-fledged, synthetic biology lab in her bedroom closet after graduating from MIT, where she hacked into the genome of ordinary intestinal bacteria to genetically modify them.

  • A Future Built on Great Ideas...Taking us to Next

    • Robin Chase, CEO & Founder, Buzzcar -- a peer-to-peer car sharing service and Founder and former CEO of ZipCar, and founder GoLoco.org. Her ideas have impacted transportation, climate change and wireless networks.

    • David de Rothschild, Founder of Sculpt the Future Foundation and youngest heir to the British banking family, digital/social media entrepreneur, adventurer, ecologist and environmentalist, who has completed several books, a Sundance TV series and National Geographic documentary, and is working for a more sustainable future that unlocks human potential.

On the evening of October 26, the conference culminates in the International Hall of Fame Awards Gala, presented by Mistress of Ceremonies Shahira Amin, Egypt's storied journalist, CNN's Inside Africa.

This year's Hall of Fame honorees are the following trailblazing women:

  • Nawal El Moutawakel, first Olympic Gold Medalist from Morocco and the first woman Gold Medalist from all of Africa.

  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the first woman Speaker of the House and first woman in American history to lead a major political party in Congress. Pelosi has represented San Francisco in the Congress for 25 years.

  • Patricia Summitt, the all-time, top-winning coach in NCAA basketball history of either a men's or women's team in any division.

About International Women's Forum
The International Women's Forum advances leadership across careers, cultures, and continents by connecting the world's most preeminent women of significant and diverse achievement. The IWF brings together an unprecedented global membership to exchange ideas, to learn and inspire, and to promote better leadership for a changing world. IWF is a membership organization comprised of more than 5,000 women leaders from 24 nations on five continents. For more information on IWF, please visit www.iwforum.org.