By Joanna Peña-Bickley & Alex Sinclair

I want to thank WNorth for their hospitality and dancing ovation to my closing keynote last week. Many have asked for the transcripts to my speech The Female Industrialist. Back by popular demand here is the audio, presentation and transcript.

We are on brink of moment that only happens once in a century. That moment is when science, nature, and human ingenuity come together to drive a new framing for society. That moment when Henry Ford put wheels on a combustion engine and ignited mobility with a spark that set the course for an entire economic ecosystem, that produced roads, cities, suburbs, jobs, manufacturing — industry itself. That moment when Alexander Graham Bell picked up the telephone receiver and unleashed a new future for communication. And the moment when John D. Rockefeller converted crude into the oil and powered an entire energy industry.

At the same time, the Suffragettes were chaining themselves to railings for the vote as women struggled for equal rights, unable to participate in economic opportunities, unseen in history, that literally built empires.

Now, as we step into the nascent stages of the Third Industrial Revolution, we have a seat at the table. We also have an important choice: to stand back and let this moment pass, or choose to take action and get down to the business of becoming this century’s great industrialists.

Every industrial revolution is fueled by three factors:
1) a source of energy 2) a source of mobility 3) a source of connectivity

Leaders who understand how technology connects these three factors will become the change makers of our time.

Today, the new source of connectivity is a neural network of sensors called the Internet of Things. By 2020, the Internet of Things will comprise somewhere in the region of 50 billion devices, and a trillion sensors. The Internet of Things — will connect everyone and everything in a seamless network: People, machines, natural resources, production lines, logistics networks, consumption habits, recycling flows, and virtually every other aspect of economic and social life.

The source of mobility in this century is akin to the space race as the car industry competes tech startups and people working in their basements to win the holy grail of driverless automated vehicles, logistics and automated drones.

And our energy source is renewable energy.

In this context, data is the world’s new natural resource. It powers intelligence, insight, and knowledge. And it must be refined and made into goods and services.

The democracy of technology gives us all equal access. We now have a seat at the table.

The world is awash with data. Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes, so much that 90 percent of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone. We predict a 4300% increase in annual data generation by 2020. This has significant meaning for women. It’s the key to economic parity.

Can you create innovations and new products with this data?

You don’t have a choice.

Unless you can use technology to create the future the is being written in code, it is game on or game over for this generation of women.

Technology is our great liberator. Digital fluency is an economic issue. Women who are tech literate can truly disrupt old industry models and change the game. Each of you has a chance to lead progress and become an industrialist in the post-digital age. Are you equipped? How are you going to acquire the skills needed to seize the opportunities as they arise? And together, how are we going to train other women around the world, as well as the next generation, to speak this new language of society?

Let’s begin by creating opportunities for women of all ages and all backgrounds to become involved in S.T.E.A.M.D. activities; science, technology, engineering, art, math, and design. This level of digital fluency will transform them into the influencers of the future.

According to Accenture research we can achieve gender parity 25 years ahead of the current World Economic Forum model, by preparing women for three critical areas of progress:

  1. In education (Preparing them for the job market),
  2. In employment (Helping them to find and keep a job),
  3. For advancement and visibility (Helping each other rise quickly through the ranks and influencers of their industries. Moving into leadership roles can let them mentor and support their own communities).

Beyond achieving global gender parity, it is our moral imperative to accomplish this through radical collaboration. It is our duty to reach out and support, sponsor, and let’s face it ladies — put our money where our mouth is. Invest in this global sisterhood because the payout is earth-shattering, it’s nothing less than our leaving an economic legacy for our daughters and sons.

“Nothing changes the gender equation more significantly than women’s economic freedom” — Gloria Steinem

You see, gender equality isn’t just a woman’s issue. It’s a people issue. It’s a family issue that requires us to reframe the struggle for equality, from an ongoing battle between the sexes to a quest for economic parity for all.

Numbers don’t lie. Data provides transparency and accountability with software initiatives that let us measure progress in areas such as unconscious bias and equal pay, in real-time.

The goal here is business sustainability and uniting to create future facing leaders who will become this century’s great industrialists.

Seize this moment! It will only come around once in our lifetime. Let’s pay off the investment, risk, and courage of the women who went before us, who had the belief that this day would come. It’s here.
What are we going to do?

At the minimum, let’s aim to become digitally fluent. And for digital influencers let’s focus on supporting on initiatives that produce results for woman. It’s time to stop diagnosing the problem and come together to take action and get down to the business of getting to equality. Let’s use tech and data to finally set ourselves free and change the course of history.

The liberated woman is a tech savvy woman. Let’s go from being industrious females to becoming the great female industrialists of the 21st Century!

Artist, Activist, Inventor, Designer of intelligent things that are useful, usable and magical. |

Artist, Activist, Inventor, Designer of intelligent things that are useful, usable and magical. |