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Training & Exchanges
2019 Changing Faces Women's Leadership Seminar 2019 Changing Faces Women's Leadership Seminar
Jul 07, 2019 - Jul 20, 2019

Women as Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Destinations: Oʻahu and Maui

During the 2019 Changing Faces Women's Leadership Seminar, participants engaged in a series of training exercises and workshops focused on leadership and entrepreneurship. Specific training exercises were tailored to the incoming cohort of women and covered such topics as: learning from your past; strength finding; team building and creative thinking; unconscious bias and networking; active listening; and building confidence. These exercises blended academic theory, classroom instruction, and educational games/activities and many, like Drolma Gadou of China, appreciated the reflective nature of the leadership exercises, “Dr. Susan Madsen’s leadership activities helped me to discover my own strengths, embrace, and build upon them.” Tina Sablan of Saipan echoed this sentiment writing, “The leadership training was one of the most valuable parts of the seminar for me. I gained much deeper insight into my own strengths as a leader, my particular style of leadership, and the strengths and styles of others.” In addition, the participating women benefited from eight entrepreneurial workshops and several women noted that they were helpful in moving forward either their Action Plans or their businesses.

The women also looked at diverse examples of entrepreneurship, including visiting Pacific Biodiesel Technologies to explore its role as a leader in Hawaii’s environmental sustainability. Site visits were selected based on the women’s pre-arrival questionnaires and the types of businesses represented by the 2019 women. Emma Newland of Fiji wrote, “I found the site visits most valuable. Seeing successful women lead modern, inclusive, and thoughtful businesses and projects on the island was inspiring. Their examples offered so many ideas for my own business and island community. I also appreciated the broader placement of their work within their cultural contexts.” Similarly, Norhani Pacasum of the Philippines wrote that the community site visits “made us realize the potential of our own communities and the possibilities for role modeling leadership.”

Skills training and consultative sessions furthermore helped each participant elucidate and refine an Action Plan. As many action plans seek to scale up business or social entrepreneurial success and impact, the importance of the action plan exercises and the skills they impart can be significant and many of the 2019 women considered those exercises a highlight. Maricar Jaruda of the Philippines wrote, “For me the Action Plan was the heart of the seminar. Our way of paying forward all the things we learned here to the community which we belong.” Some of the women specifically noted that the group and individual advising sessions were helpful in moving them forward in the action planning process. Others noted that the structure and immediacy of the action planning process was useful. Fiona Ey of Samoa wrote, “Bookending the Action Plan papers and presentations was a very useful tool to evaluate my progress. The Action Plans also helped focus the outcomes of each session into a practical project to encourage implementation of our learned skills. They were also a useful tool for us to engage one another.” 

As the Changing Faces Seminar seeks to foster personal and professional relationships built upon on a shared desire to generate jobs and strengthen communities throughout the Asia Pacific region and the US, the 2019 Seminar also provided participants with exposure to more than 255 distinct contacts in two cities in the form of trainers, speakers, mentors, mentees, and #galswithLEI attendees. In particular, a Host Mentor Program individually matched local women of Hawaii with the 2019 Changing Faces women. Keiko Chida of Japan highlighted the importance of both the knowledge transfer and role modeling aspect of the host mentor program writing, “My host mentor was so inspiring and connected me to other local resource persons who offered ideas and shared best practices concerning palliative care awareness. I never expected to have an opportunity to meet someone in my field.” Vietnamese entrepreneur Ha Thu Nguyen likewise wrote, “It was great to be connected to a likeminded professional to share ideas and contacts. I intend to keep in touch with my mentor to continue exchanging knowledge and supporting one another.” The 2019 Seminar additionally connected 36 private and public school girls with our Changing Faces Women to broaden the girls’ knowledge of the Asia Pacific region, encourage them to consider entrepreneurship, and build confidence in pursuing their aspirations. Samoan Taua Kose wrote, “I enjoyed sharing with and learning from the students. It was a highlight.”

For some, the 2019 Changing Faces Seminar provided an opportunity to learn new skills and gain practical knowledge applicable to growing their business/organization and strengthening their community. Emma Newland captured this sentiment best writing, “I came to the seminar wearing two hats – as a business startup and a science advisor moving to a more senior position. I gained more insight, knowledge, and, subsequently, belief in my own ability and direction than I was expecting. The experience has been transformational and inspiring both personally and professionally.” For others, the interaction with one another was tremendously enriching. Shihoko Fujiwara of Japan wrote, “For me the most valuable part of the seminar was the community of women changemakers that I spent time with for two weeks and with whom I shared amazing experiences. While we all come from the Asia Pacific region, the region and its people are so diverse. I did not expect to learn about issues like maternity leave in Saipan or social entrepreneurship in Samoa.” Radha Durbha of India also wrote, “The greatest learning came from my fellow participants. I could see the similarities in our struggle to overcome biases and took away so much from their experiences.” New Zealander Olie Body shared this sentiment, “I deeply appreciate the lifelong friendships and networks I’ve made with the other women and the opportunities to share our struggles of being women in a globally patriarchal system.”

Congratulations to the 2019 Changing Faces women:

  • Olie BODY, Managing Director & Founder, Wa Collective, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Keiko CHIDA, Executive Director & Co-Founder, End-of-Life Care Association of Japan, Tokyo, Japan
  • Tippi COGEN, Executive Director & Founder, Thrive Global of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Radha Mohan DURBHA, Director & Co-Founder, Kereses Consulting India Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore, India
  • Fiona EY, Partner, Clarke Ey Koria Lawyers and Chair, Apia International Schools, Apia, Samoa
  • Shihoko FUJIWARA, Founder, Lighthouse: Center for Human Trafficking Victims, Tokyo, Japan
  • Drolma GADOU, Business Capacity Improvement Manager, SMD, Creative Associates Int’l, Chengdu, China
  • Krista GOON, Co-owner, Redbox Studio, Penang, Malaysia
  • Jaruza JAYACHANDRAN, CEO & Co-founder, ezBooking, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
  • Maricar A. JARUDA, Production Manager, Vjandep Bakeshop, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
  • Taua Janet KOSE, Nofotane Woman Star Earner, Samoa Victim Support Group, Apia, Samoa
  • Emma NEWLAND, Founder, Lalai and Sprout, Suva, Fiji
  • Ha Thu NGUYEN, CEO & Co-founder, SLK Company Ltd., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Norhani PACASUM, CEO, Ziya Inc., Manila, Philippines
  • Christina SABLAN, Representative, 21st Northern Marianas Legislature, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
  • Adi Mariana WAQA, Founder, Vunilagi Book Club, Suva, Fiji

Women as Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Destinations: Oʻahu and Maui

During the 2019 Changing Faces Women's Leadership Seminar, participants engaged in a series of training exercises and workshops focused on leadership and entrepreneurship. Specific training exercises were tailored to the incoming cohort of women and covered such topics as: learning from your past; strength finding; team building and creative thinking; unconscious bias and networking; active listening; and building confidence. These exercises blended academic theory, classroom instruction, and educational games/activities and many, like Drolma Gadou of China, appreciated the reflective nature of the leadership exercises, “Dr. Susan Madsen’s leadership activities helped me to discover my own strengths, embrace, and build upon them.” Tina Sablan of Saipan echoed this sentiment writing, “The leadership training was one of the most valuable parts of the seminar for me. I gained much deeper insight into my own strengths as a leader, my particular style of leadership, and the strengths and styles of others.” In addition, the participating women benefited from eight entrepreneurial workshops and several women noted that they were helpful in moving forward either their Action Plans or their businesses.

The women also looked at diverse examples of entrepreneurship, including visiting Pacific Biodiesel Technologies to explore its role as a leader in Hawaii’s environmental sustainability. Site visits were selected based on the women’s pre-arrival questionnaires and the types of businesses represented by the 2019 women. Emma Newland of Fiji wrote, “I found the site visits most valuable. Seeing successful women lead modern, inclusive, and thoughtful businesses and projects on the island was inspiring. Their examples offered so many ideas for my own business and island community. I also appreciated the broader placement of their work within their cultural contexts.” Similarly, Norhani Pacasum of the Philippines wrote that the community site visits “made us realize the potential of our own communities and the possibilities for role modeling leadership.”

Skills training and consultative sessions furthermore helped each participant elucidate and refine an Action Plan. As many action plans seek to scale up business or social entrepreneurial success and impact, the importance of the action plan exercises and the skills they impart can be significant and many of the 2019 women considered those exercises a highlight. Maricar Jaruda of the Philippines wrote, “For me the Action Plan was the heart of the seminar. Our way of paying forward all the things we learned here to the community which we belong.” Some of the women specifically noted that the group and individual advising sessions were helpful in moving them forward in the action planning process. Others noted that the structure and immediacy of the action planning process was useful. Fiona Ey of Samoa wrote, “Bookending the Action Plan papers and presentations was a very useful tool to evaluate my progress. The Action Plans also helped focus the outcomes of each session into a practical project to encourage implementation of our learned skills. They were also a useful tool for us to engage one another.” 

As the Changing Faces Seminar seeks to foster personal and professional relationships built upon on a shared desire to generate jobs and strengthen communities throughout the Asia Pacific region and the US, the 2019 Seminar also provided participants with exposure to more than 255 distinct contacts in two cities in the form of trainers, speakers, mentors, mentees, and #galswithLEI attendees. In particular, a Host Mentor Program individually matched local women of Hawaii with the 2019 Changing Faces women. Keiko Chida of Japan highlighted the importance of both the knowledge transfer and role modeling aspect of the host mentor program writing, “My host mentor was so inspiring and connected me to other local resource persons who offered ideas and shared best practices concerning palliative care awareness. I never expected to have an opportunity to meet someone in my field.” Vietnamese entrepreneur Ha Thu Nguyen likewise wrote, “It was great to be connected to a likeminded professional to share ideas and contacts. I intend to keep in touch with my mentor to continue exchanging knowledge and supporting one another.” The 2019 Seminar additionally connected 36 private and public school girls with our Changing Faces Women to broaden the girls’ knowledge of the Asia Pacific region, encourage them to consider entrepreneurship, and build confidence in pursuing their aspirations. Samoan Taua Kose wrote, “I enjoyed sharing with and learning from the students. It was a highlight.”

For some, the 2019 Changing Faces Seminar provided an opportunity to learn new skills and gain practical knowledge applicable to growing their business/organization and strengthening their community. Emma Newland captured this sentiment best writing, “I came to the seminar wearing two hats – as a business startup and a science advisor moving to a more senior position. I gained more insight, knowledge, and, subsequently, belief in my own ability and direction than I was expecting. The experience has been transformational and inspiring both personally and professionally.” For others, the interaction with one another was tremendously enriching. Shihoko Fujiwara of Japan wrote, “For me the most valuable part of the seminar was the community of women changemakers that I spent time with for two weeks and with whom I shared amazing experiences. While we all come from the Asia Pacific region, the region and its people are so diverse. I did not expect to learn about issues like maternity leave in Saipan or social entrepreneurship in Samoa.” Radha Durbha of India also wrote, “The greatest learning came from my fellow participants. I could see the similarities in our struggle to overcome biases and took away so much from their experiences.” New Zealander Olie Body shared this sentiment, “I deeply appreciate the lifelong friendships and networks I’ve made with the other women and the opportunities to share our struggles of being women in a globally patriarchal system.”

Congratulations to the 2019 Changing Faces women:

  • Olie BODY, Managing Director & Founder, Wa Collective, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Keiko CHIDA, Executive Director & Co-Founder, End-of-Life Care Association of Japan, Tokyo, Japan
  • Tippi COGEN, Executive Director & Founder, Thrive Global of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Radha Mohan DURBHA, Director & Co-Founder, Kereses Consulting India Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore, India
  • Fiona EY, Partner, Clarke Ey Koria Lawyers and Chair, Apia International Schools, Apia, Samoa
  • Shihoko FUJIWARA, Founder, Lighthouse: Center for Human Trafficking Victims, Tokyo, Japan
  • Drolma GADOU, Business Capacity Improvement Manager, SMD, Creative Associates Int’l, Chengdu, China
  • Krista GOON, Co-owner, Redbox Studio, Penang, Malaysia
  • Jaruza JAYACHANDRAN, CEO & Co-founder, ezBooking, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
  • Maricar A. JARUDA, Production Manager, Vjandep Bakeshop, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
  • Taua Janet KOSE, Nofotane Woman Star Earner, Samoa Victim Support Group, Apia, Samoa
  • Emma NEWLAND, Founder, Lalai and Sprout, Suva, Fiji
  • Ha Thu NGUYEN, CEO & Co-founder, SLK Company Ltd., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Norhani PACASUM, CEO, Ziya Inc., Manila, Philippines
  • Christina SABLAN, Representative, 21st Northern Marianas Legislature, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
  • Adi Mariana WAQA, Founder, Vunilagi Book Club, Suva, Fiji