• 5th Biennial Social, Economic, & Environmental Forum

    “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

    ― R. Buckminster Fuller, Futurist


  • “The only limit (of a system) is in available information and the imagination of the designer."

    - Warren Brush, Regenerative Educator & Social Entrepreneur


  • Because a world that works, WORKS for 100% of Humanity.

    August 23-28, 2016
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


  • "Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun."

    Mary Lou Cook


  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ~ August 23-28, 2016

    YOUR Voice Matters.

    THE GLOBAL SUMMIT V: Empowering Humanity


  • 5th biennial Social, Economic, & Environmental Forum

    Be Part of It!

    August 23-28, 2016
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil







The Global Summit V ~ Rio 2016: Game On!

This August, as the Olympic torch dims, The Global Summit will light up its next transformational conversation on the front lines of social, economic, and ecological change.

Bringing lessons on interpersonal transparency and feminine leadership from The Global Summit IV lens on Women, Power, Money, & Politics in 2014, and experience from our London Olympics Summit in 2012; The Global Summit V in Rio de Janeiro unites diverse impact leaders in social innovation teams to co-create measurable outcomes for Climate (smarter) Economics; Whole Health; Education for All; and Thriving Cities.

Blending a fertile field of emergent local ideas with cross-sector innovation games, world-class art and music performances, hands-on workshops and next generation technology, our 5th biennial promises to be our most significant yet as we integrate being, thinking, doing and fun to forge holistic solutions in the face of our toughest challenges.

  • Learn collaborative leadership skills for business, love, and life 
  • Join a global community united in action for a thriving world
  • Meet the ideal partners to take your mission to the next level
  • Access powerful new social and economic opportunities +!


About us

Launched in 2008 in San Francisco, CA, THE GLOBAL SUMMIT™ is a biennial Social, Economic & Environmental Forum. As a collaborative initiative led by 
[Empowerment WORKS], it is brought to life every other year by a diverse community of volunteers, pro-bono supporters, contributing voices and other Partners in Empowerment.

Autonomous, free from religious, political or any other singular agenda, The Global Summit crosses cultural, geographic and ideological boundaries to provide a neutral platform for worldwide collaboration advancing integrative, interdisciplinary solutions that honor the dignity of all voices - and respect all life.

Primary goals of THE GLOBAL SUMMIT:

  • Empower all people to have their voices heard in shaping solutions to the issues that most affect them.
  • Advance social innovation tools for local self-determination, and effective collaboration across civil society.
  • Promote breakthrough technologies that foster sustainable livelihoods and regenerate the planet’s ecosystems.

The Follow Up Plan –  tools for year-round impact:

Between summits, participant impact is advanced by Empowerment WORKS' year-round civic engagement & online education with its collaborative network (Partners In Empowerment – or 1PIE when united), locally-led [7 Stages to Sustainability] project support tools, and [Pulse of the Movement – POM], that work in ecosystemic synergy to empower all sectors of society to co-create a thriving world from the ground up.  

*The Global Summit™ (TGS) is an initiative of Empowerment WORKS, Inc. – a global sustainability think-tank in action registered 501c3 in the USA. Any and all event proceeds benefit locally-led sustainable community development initiatives and capacity building education. Affiliated Local Summits are produced by local lead partners with technical support from Empowerment WORKS.


To catalyze cross-sector collaboration across geographic and cultural boundaries, we offer two universal social innovation frameworks: 

WHO: Partners in Empowerment = the unique roles we play
1. Sustaianble Businesses
2. Artists In Action
3. Responsible Media Groups
4. Educational Institutions
5. Social Entrepreneurs
6. Collaborating Nonprofits

 7 Stages to Sustainability = natural process we use to co-create
1. Engage
2. Assess
3. Plan
4. Learn
5. Build
6. Expand
7. Sustain


 Community identified goals, issues, actions & impact needed for a thriving world.

Over three days of bridge-building, we’ll unite team genius, energy and action to move your work, and our movement forward around four INTERSECTION Challenges.  Each challenge is supported by expert co-chairs and facilitators across 7 breakout sessions - one for each of the 7 Stages to Sustainability framework:

- Climate (smarter) Economics
- Whole Health (from the inside out)
- Education for All (access & innovation)
- Thriving Cities (urban-social-ecology)

Through identifying the ”who, how & what” within this growing web, understanding the primary functions of each, and how they work in a whole-system, we foster coherence and transparency.


Each Intersection Team is challenged to co-create three collaborative outcomes for the Social Innovation Awards (presented in Day 3 closing session):
1) Public Policy with action plan 
2) Community-based initiative
3) On-line web or mobile app

Those selected (for highest impact and confidence in key leaders' ability to implement before the next summit) will go on to the 1PIE Hackathon!

Games we're playing - to ignite creativity, catalyze collaboration, and capture data!
  • Supporting the highest outcome of the whole in large group sessions (SEED Change Forum), the Cooperative Games (Projetocooperacao.com.br) with Edgard Goveia Jr & team, brings us into a playful journey to from win-lose to a "Pedagogy of Cooperation", where we all win!
  • Throughout the 7 stage sessions, each Intersection will have a dedicated Playmaster using the #Ajogada game board to help generate and capture key data. Learn more about our playmasters and application of game theories at#Ajogada.


WHO: Emerging leaders, cultural icons, and renowned experts to facilitate critical collaboration in Rio and inspire a live stream global audience.

Voices Apply
Anne Koller

Anne Koller

Wellness Trainer/ Founder of TAPIN

Columbia grad and former corporate maven specializing in people and culture development using cutting-edge techniques in meditation, sleep, water, fitness and emotional awareness. +Featured in Huffington Post, Today Show, Tennis Channel, GOOD Magazine, Idealist, ReachMD, Yoga City NYC, Village Voice. Previously a project manager and development strategist for over 8 years at top organizations including ?What If!, Google, DoubleClick, and World Economic Forum. Fluent in English, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, Anne was a four-year scholar athlete on the Swimming & Diving Team the University of Minnesota.  More: annekoller.com

Martha Rogers

Martha Rogers

Founder of UXPress

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Stephan McGuire

Stephan McGuire

Creator, Cernunnos Media

Stephan is founder and director of Zürich, Switzerland-based Cernunnos Media and has been a producer with Los Angeles-based Tree Media since 1998.  He is Executive Director of Tree Media Foundation and has participated in panel discussions with numerous institutions including National Geographic and Earthwatch Institute.  With University of Massachusetts, he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Sustainability and is currently completing his Master’s Degree in Creative and Critical Thinking in International Relations and lives most of the year in Rome, Italy.Stephan has been a producer with Tree Media since 1998 and served on the production team of Leonardo DiCaprio’s "The 11th Hour”, and Board Member of Empowerment WORKS since 2008.

Featured Voices

Our highly interactive program will unite a total of 200 cross-sector impact leaders--many of whom will be featured voices.

Stay tuned for our growing list of Featured Voices, selected to bring new ideas, earthly wisdom & vital inspiration in 2016!
Bebel Clark

Bebel Clark

Women's Empowerment and Holistic Therapist

In Brazil, my mission is to help women to reconnect with their feminine essences through Women's Circles and Retreats, holistic therapies and public speakings about Sacred Feminine.

I believe this feminine energy is most needed in men and women, because we are tired of living in fear and loneliness. It's more than time to start living the lives we want and need, spreading Love, sense of Community, Affection, Caring and Respect through each other and our relationships. We need to take care of ourselves, and to take care of our world. I'm working to make a difference everyday here.

Gian Taralli

Gian Taralli

Managing Partner at SWARMS - Collective Intelligence Applied

Gian helps organizations increase their creativity and transform challenges into opportunities, combining his extensive business background with skills he built as a summer camp director for CISV (Children’s International Summer Villages) and performing and training as a clown.

An experienced facilitator, Gian has been working with multi-functional, multi-lingual, and multi-cultural groups and organizations throughout his career. He led the training and capability projects at ?What If Innovation Partners in Brazil, led the innovation initiatives for Johnson & Johnson’s Latin American Consumer Division and held sales and marketing positions with Blackberry and Ferrero. As a creativity and innovation consultant, Gian partnered with multinationals across a range of sectors like consumer goods, pharmaceutical, entertainment, retail, industrial, financial services and the governments of Colombia and the State of São Paulo, Brazil.

Specialties: team facilitating; creativity, brainstorming and motivating techniques; strategic planning; brand building.

Theresa Williamson

Theresa Williamson

Editor-in-chief, RioOnWatch/ founder, Catalytic Communities (CatComm)

A serial award winning author, urban planner and citizen media champion, Williamson has worked extensively around forced evictions as Rio prepared for the World Cup and the Olympics. Theresa is widely published in Progressive Planning, Journal of Urban Technology, Cidadania.org, The New York Times, and quoted by The Guardian, the BBC World, Al Jazeera America, NPR, and more. Awards: 2005 Gill-Chin Lim Award, 2012 National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials' John D. Lange International Award, + . Raised in the Washington, D.C., Theresa is a dual Brazilian / British citizen, and lives with her daughter in Rio de Janeiro.  More: catcomm.org

Rodrigo Arantes

Rodrigo Arantes

Founder of #Ajogada / Playmaster

Rodrigo Arantes is an economist, administrator and designer of in-office games. Entrepreneur and enthusiast of startup and gamification movements, Rodrigo accumulates experiences in a sequence of projects of entrepreneurship empowerment and engagement. Author of book about game metaphysics, founded the #AJOGADA Association for Business Gamification and Ludocracy (Game based governance) where he advocates the shift from documents to board games as the tools for future human organizations. More: ajogada.com.br

Aline Satyan

Aline Satyan

Gaia Jovem Serrano, Txai Design de Experiências e Cena Tropifágica

Aline Satyan is graduated in Media Studies at Universidade Federal Fluminense (Brazil), master in Creative Industries at Université Paris 8 (France) and published in 2008 the book "Cultural production in Brazil: From Tropicalia to Points os Culture". She has experience in cultural policies and educational programs on culture, and has worked in different projects for government and universities. She has been dedicated a few years now to study collaborative processes and works as an educator, facilitator groups and management consultant in cultural organizations. She had her Ecovillage Design Education (Gaia Education) at the ecovillage Terra Una in 2014, specialized in Dragon Dreaming in 2015 and had the Permacultural Design Course certification at Pindorama Institute in 2016. She is one of the coordinators of Gaia Jovem Serrano Program, co-founder of Cena Tropifagica and Casa Txai Design de Experiências. Her main quest nowadays is for a life full of consciousness, creativity and cooperation.  Lean More: tropicaline.wordpress.com


Aline Satyan é formada em Estudos de Mídia pela Universidade Federal Fluminense, mestre em Indústrias Criativas pela Universidade Paris 8 e autora do livro “Produção de Cultura no Brasil: Da Tropicália aos Pontos de Cultura”. Com experiência em políticas culturais e programas de formação para a cultura, trabalhou em diferentes projetos na esfera governamental e universitária. Há alguns anos tem se dedicado a estudar processos de colaboração e atuar como educadora, facilitadora de grupos e consultora de gestão em organizações culturais.

Certificou-se em design para sustentabilidade no Programa Gaia Education na ecovila Terra Una (Liberdade, MG) em 2014, Aprofundamento em Dragon Dreaming na Pedra do Sabiá (Itacaré, BA) em 2015 e em Design Permacultural no Instituto Pindorama (Nova Friburgo, RJ) em 2016.

É coordenadora do programa Gaia Jovem Serrano,co-fundadora da Cena Tropifágica e da Txai Design de Experiências, e sua principal busca atualmente é por uma vida de consciência, criatividade e em cooperação.


Paul Roux

Paul Roux

Artist in Action, Creator: Project Apology

Originally from South Africa, Paul Roux is a featured Environmental Artist in Action and global community peace builder.

Begun in 2007, Project Apology is an ongoing documentation of an undertaking to apologize to non-human species on the planet that are being adversely affected by human activity. The project's intent is to use satire as a means to deliver a serious message in an unconventionally, ‘amusingly’ palatable yet provocative manner - in attempting to come to terms, morally and spiritually, with the human implications of our current scientific reality. Having developed it into a workshop format, Roux now facilitates experiential group acknowledgement of this reality.

Aside from Project Apology, Roux’s work encompasses painting, writing and live performance.

Know more about Project Apology:

Pedro Paulo Lins e Silva

Pedro Paulo Lins e Silva

Co-Chair, SEED Change Forum / Co-Founder, Welight

Bringing a decade of technology innovation and new business development, project management, and investor relations to the co-creation of Welight & the Welight Institute, Pedro is social entrepreneur, serving as both a guardian of eco-systems, and hands on leader of mission critical initiatives across Brazil.

"Welight is a global social enterprise, run by love driven people, that will deliver the best that technology can offer, so that having a very positive impact on the planet becomes very simple for everyone.

We dream of a world in which everyone can be a positive transformation agent, starting with just a few clicks and then feeling how good it is to make a difference.

We believe that simplifying ways for everybody to come together is the shortest path to create a world where people and nature can live in total harmony."

Stay tuned for the impact of welight.co

Jessica Glass

Jessica Glass

Mega Events & Thriving Cities

Jessica Glass has been doing research the impacts of mega-events on cities in Rio de Janeiro since 2013.

She initially traveled to Brazil to investigate changes occurring in the city due to upcoming mega-events, and how they were impacting local citizens. Through the years, she has come to understand the urgent nature of housing removals, which is the focus of her doctoral research.

She has been interviewed for the BBC radio program “Thinking Allowed,” and presented several papers on this research at conferences and symposia worldwide with topics specific to Brazil, including the impacts of mega-events on cities, ramifications of structural violence, and the criminalization of race and poverty.


  • Cultural Reception
    Aug 23 6-9pm: art, music and celebration -

  • Our 5th Summit / #RIO2016
    Aug 24 - 26 ~ 9:00 am to 6:00pm

  • 1PIE Hackathon
    Aug 27 & 28 ~ ground up innovation

  • 6:00 PM

    Museu de Ciências da Terra



    Enjoy connections over sustainable vegetarian dinner & be inspired by local & global Artists in Action...
  • 8:30 AM


    Get cozy with coffee, juice and pastries

  • 9:00 AM


    SEED Change Forum Opening Plenary 
    • Theme: Global Games 
      • State of the world, what's at stake and the journey that brought us here
      • Voices: Gian Taralli, Theresa Williamson, Rodrigo Arantes, others TBA
    • Who: All registrants/ Whole Community
  • 12:00 PM


    Recommendations of Local Restaurants around Urca & picnic options at Praia Vermelha

  • 02:00 PM

    BREAKOUT ROOMS 1-4 (Intersections assigned day of)

    INTERSECTION Session #1/7
    7SS Stage 1: Build a team around your ideal future

    All four Intersections begin their three day collaboration training, and get to know each other along with relevant engagement and team-building methods. 

  • 3:30 PM


    INTERSECTION Session #2/7 
    7SS Stage 2: Assess Your Assets

    Each of the Challenge teams continue their social innovation journey with an exploration into tangible and intangible assets.
  • 4:50 PM


    SEED Change Forum PM Session

    Panel & Community Dialogue:
    From Global Games to Local Games - Housing & Social Justice

    Day one closing session announcements, harvests, and inspiration for day 2.
  • 9:00 AM


    SEED Change Forum (whole community session)

    Theme: Power Games, how is the game set now?

    - Diving deep into the reality of Rio
    - Transparency in Politics, Media, and Big Data!

  • 10:30 AM


    INTERSECTION Session 3
    7SS Stage 3: Co-Create Your Plan
    • Work with your team to find root causes of shared challenges.
    • Outline needs, mission, goals, how you will measure success, and then actions.
  • 12:00 AM


    Recommendations in Urca!

  • 02:00 PM


    INTERSECTION Session 4
    7SS Stage 4: Educate Yourself and Learn from Others
    • Get the skills your team needs to make an impact
    • Help train those who are going to carry on the work
  • 3:30 PM


    INTERSECTION Session 5 
    7SS Stage 5: Get the tools you need. Build.

    • Identify, exchange & invest in LOCALLY appropriate technologies & critical information in health, energy, transportation, construction, agriculture, water, IT, education, +.
  • 4:50 PM


    SEED CHANGE FORUM Day 2 Closing
    • Community harvests, and inspiration
    • From Power Politics to Collaboration
    • Featured voices and sessions TBA
  • 9:00AM



  • 11:00AM


    INTERSECTION Session 6
    7SS Stage 6: Grow, expand, thrive.

    Explore: how
    to link existing resources (Stage 1 & 2) with skills & technologies (Stage 4 & 5) to
    • develop products and services that value and protect local heritage
    • Harness the power of markets to deliver what's needed & create livelihoods for people in need
  • 2:00 PM


    INTERSECTION Session 7


    Explore how to:
    • Reinvest in impact & build local resilience.
    • Develop, reinforce, and deepen, multi-sector exchanges
    • Create regenerative income streams for a regenerative world
    Identify Intersection Innovations:
    • Policy 
    • Digital 
    • Community
  • 3:30


    SEED Change Forum

    The follow up plan...

    Panel: Leadership for our thriving future

    Intersection Outcomes: Social Innovation Awards
    (Global voting selection for 1PIE Hackathon)

    Closing Ceremony....Moving Forward!
  • 10am - closing TBD

    Live in Rio and distributed globally

    building our 21st century operating system... 

    Teams of artists, impact leaders and coders unite to advance winning Social Innovations from the Summit into ongoing, on-the-ground, and virtual impact.

    Guided by needs of community-based partners in Nepal and Zimbabwe, and inspired by globally-live streamed summit, global coders join forces on GitHub to accelerate 1PIE collaboration portal tools enabling innovation from the ground up.


Get Directions



What a few of our past delegates had to say

I feel lucky to be a part of this amazing group of people. Participating was transformational for me in that I finally saw myself as a visionary too. I am eager to bring all a can to this project.

Angela Ginsburg
Angela Ginsburg
A Fork Full of Earth Organic Catering

Thank you for a wonderful and successful summit – I am left feeling hopeful, energized and ready to take action to move our agenda forward.

Bruce Dear
Bruce Dear
CEO/ Owner, Pure Bamboo

We succeeded. There’s always more – yet we moved the ball forward in a big way.

Greg Wendt
Greg Wendt
Sustainable Assets Advisor/ Manager

You assembled an amazing group of people. It was a pleasure to be there and I look forward to hearing about the next Summit.

Kim Weichel
Kim Weichel
Pres. UN Association San Francisco


More questions? We’d love to hear from you! Email us directly.

Do delegates (general participants) need to speak english?

Content will be in both English and Portuguese. 

To bridge the language gap for our local & global community, we plan to offer simultaneous interpretation in the main SEED Change Forum, yet can not promise it in all sessions.

While not required, having a moderate level of english would be for the benefit of all involved.  

While recruiting more interpreters, this is our first time producing a bi-lingual event, so want to be transparent about our current limitations, and ask for support as a volunteer team.

With all that said, only a small percentage of the brain processes verbal communication (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonverbal_communication), so to all who feel called to collaborate here: welcome!

What do you mean by Global?

Global perspective

Considering the world, including its human inhabitants, from OUTSIDE or BEYOND the limits defined by national borders, language constructs, cultural training or “realities”.

Global context

Accounts for and allows for all human perspectives, and relates to every human being from the same place. Relates to language, culture, politics, customs, (also age, gender, physicality, economic status, etc.). as circumstances, similar to clothing — sometimes useful, sometimes limiting, and always changeable and ever expandable.


“We’re all in this together,” shifting, expanding, and transforming–in the natural flow of life. There is no “them”.

From where do you receive your funding?

Most of our funds come through registrations and individual contributions.

That said, our #1 resource is our creativity -- as we work to keep costs down, keep doors open to a diverse audience, give as many well deserved scholarships possible, and co-create a world class high impact experience.

Thanks to a volunteer-driven team and the support of many pro-bono partnerships, the majority our production needs are covered in-kind.

All featured voices contribute their time as volunteers as well. They are normally are in a position to pay their own way and contribute financially as well. 

Our collaboration in producing the event is really part of the program.

Throughout the year, The Global Summit facilitating organization Empowerment WORKS is almost entirely self-funded through program fees from its Fiscal Sponsorship program (providing legal, technical and network support to about 60 incredible social entrepreneur led initiatives).

Empowerment WORKS annual revenues are made available to the public via it’s profile at Guidestar.org

What's the Summit's policy on sponsorship?

While we accept and recognize no-strings-attached-to-program donations from values-aligned Supporting Partners, The Global Summit does not sell sponsorships.  

Our mission is to ensure all voices are heard, so while we do need and appreciate funding, we are committed to ensuring that our platform remains neutral, and that the content and voices represented are not unduly compromised.

Why do you call it “The” Global Summit? Mighty ambitious...

1) After assessing the massive, round the world, multi-sector, diverse program vision, nothing else seemed to fit.

2) THE Global Summit is a call to action inviting 100% of humanity to be part of the solution, with the understanding that we are all inextricably linked, inter-connected and that real change takes all of us.

3)Building a better world is up to all of us- not waiting for star-studded heroes. If we do not make “THE Global Summit” happen, who will, and when? The time is now.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  – Margaret Mead

Are you trying to replace the United Nations?

(Who, us?) Consider The Global Summit a think-tank in action. With its small, decentralized and flexible structure, The Global Summit serves to crowd source what’s working, innovate, experiment and re-design a few out-dated policy, philanthropy and technology systems. Through concrete, evidence based outcomes from each Summit that can inform the development of new approaches and policy systems, and by sourcing input from communities who do not have direct input into global policy making systems (other than through their governments), The Global Summit Initiative is dedicated to provide relevant information to support the UN mission and improve its structures, but not to replace or be any kind of alternative.

I understand it's a collaboration, but who leads it and how?

The Global Summit is a collaborative initiative, and core program of Empowerment WORKS (EW), a catalyst for community-led solutions since 2001, with its overall approach sourced from locally-led projects in Zimbabwe.

EW's founder conceived of the Summit in 2007 as an evolution of EW's ecologically inspired collaboration approach (7SS/ 1PIE). Since it's ground-breaking summit in 2008, EW has been the lead producer of each summit and continues to steward the Summit's founding mission to unite social, economic, and environmental movements for a sustainable world.

Smaller than many of the Partners in Empowerment (PIE) involved, EW facilitates and advances a collaborative structure and process, harnessing the unique strengths of each Partner to co-create something none can do alone.  Empowerment WORKS and The Global Summit organizing partners are guided by principles and methods of Dynamic Self-Governance or Sociocracy.  Learn more at Empowerment WORKS' self-governance webpage here.

Empowerment WORKS is a registered 501c3 for-impact organization in the USA, and has a legal nonprofit headquarters in Switzerland as a program of Cernunnos Media.

Learn more at EmpowermentWORKS.org

Be part of The Global Summit V live in Rio de Janeiro!

Registration for The Global Summit is by invitation (through partners) or through completing the below application.

Please complete, submit, and we'll respond within a few days with registration options or any questions!


Registration options span: R$ 375.00 (w/ student ID), Brazilians R$575 to 975, Global/ USD earners R$ 1275 to 2,475.00 (Executive).

What will be included:  
- Access to Evening Cultural Reception August 23 (with vegetarian dinner & non-alcoholic beverages)
- Full Access to main Program Aug 24 - 26 (with coffee & snacks)
- 7 Stages to Sustainability (7SS) Basic Training Certificate with full participation
- Options to participate in community partner field trips or 1PIE Hackathon the weekend of August 27-28
- Year-round access to webinar library and other impact tools from Empowerment WORKS and Partners


For a reference on Country Codes see www.countrycode.org




Museu de Ciências da Terra
       Av. Pasteur, 404 
       Urca, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
       CEP 22290-255

Aug 24th-26th, 2016

Time: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM


The Global Summit V - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Phone: +55 (21) 969-363-915

Email: contact@theglobalsummit.org

c/o Empowerment WORKS - Oakland, CA

Phone: +1 (415) 967-1711

Web: www.EmpowermentWORKS.org


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The Global Summit™ (TGS) is a biennial social innovation forum empowering all voices to be heard in shaping our future.

URGENT: The @FCC is expected to announce a vote on #netneutrality the day before Thanksgiving. Call Congress now! https://t.co/yMWe34opxx

Thanks to our Partners who bring each summit to life, and catalyze impact throughout the year!