FemmeQ is a community of thought leaders, change makers, social activists and business leaders committed to creating new paradigms of thinking and acting in core sectors of society such as: business, peace building, politics, arts and culture, health, ecology and education.
Created by Dr. Scilla Elworthy -Peace-Builder &, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Societal & Political Change Maker-, Karen Lee Downes -Serial Entrepreneur, Founder of The Flourish Initiative-, and Alexandra Feldner -Founder FemmeQ, Change Maker, Creative Director, to help awaken your fierce, feminine intelligence and move mountains.
FemmeQ exists to discover how pioneering women and men around the world are embracing feminine wisdom and intelligence to lead humanity toward a safer, more peaceful future.
Nathalie Virem: We are here today at the FemmeQ Summit in Los Angeles and I am curious to know what makes this event different and impactful?
Karen Lee Downes: We have now conducted this summit around the world and it is part of an international conversation. We have diversity and we have intergenerational participants who are coming to join us in this movement. What makes it impactful is that we are coming from an approach that is not usually done or recognized and that is from addressing societal concerns and challenges from three different perspectives. One is that direct action is always needed so we need to march in the street. We need to take direct action against the things that we stand for and our human rights. Number two, is we need to change the systems and the structures that no longer serve us. So we look at ways and means to do that in the actions we take but also how we apply our intelligence to these areas of decision making and the copy card is to change the systems. Third is shifting consciousness and that’s one of the most important facet which is the inner work. We know it is so important for impacting our direction because otherwise we have more of the same. So, it’s raising consciousness and doing the deep inner work of recognizing how we are and who we need to be to see how we see the future.
Nathalie Virem: As the founders of FemmeQ, what are your visions and goals?
Alexandra Feldner: We want to bring this conversation further into the world. We plan to have events in New York, Paris and Dubai. Also, we are building up a community, so people can actually enroll in our community and stay in contact with us. That’s because what happens is that people open up a lot in our events and afterwards, of course, they would like to know what to do next. So, we are building up a community in order to stay in contact with people, to have them in online events and online conversations so that we can support them and help them and make sure that they go back into their professional lives and community and stand tall in their feminine intelligence.
Dr. Scilla Elworthy: I have been working for the last forty years in preventing people from killing each other in the hot spots of the world. And if we take this concept of feminine intelligence to where life is at stake, what we know is that these qualities can actually stop people from becoming terrorists and actually stop war in its tract. So, let me give you a very brief example. Our colleague Gulalai Ismail in North West Pakistan, she originally enrolled girls in school along with Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head. Gulalai completely unabashed by that went on to train teams of young men and young women to go into the Madrasas and find those who have been trained for Jihad, go home with them to their parents and talk to the parents about why the Koran would not approve of suicide bombing. As a result, they prevented 203 suicide bombings so far. So, this is not just nice to have. This matters at the shop end and so we will be sharing this kind of information with people here. Many of them feel that things are becoming so factionalized and so fraught in the United States with so many deep divisions that what we need most of all is the confident ability, of strong women and men to use our inner power to resolve those issues.
Nathalie Virem: How does FemmeQ help create new paradigm of thinking in leadership?
Karen Lee Downes: One of the things that our society is now governed by and has been built up over thousands of years is an orientation to the rational, to competition, to resourcefulness, to results-driven versus experience. So, we have negated the human experience in business; we have negated the human experience when we sit at the negotiation table, and we are always after results. So, we say and we know now that feminine intelligence, these qualities that were mentioned before are actually the attributes and qualities we need to create a more sustainable future. And what we mean by that, the shifting of paradigm from the industrial gross society, which is all about production and– consumption. Now we are moving much more toward contribution, impact and most importantly bringing those feminine qualities essential to shift the orientation of leadership. Again, traditional leadership has been based in the past on military models. More recently in businesses and corporations, it’s been the athletic model of performance and team building. What we are interested in is building communities where people share values. So, we are very much in our own work as individuals and also in our projects. We already entail this new notion of paradigm where when we go to work. We actually feel valued; we feel respected and the human factor is taken into account versus the result driven which denies the human ingredient of compassion and care where people can flourish in business. So, we are really saying this is a new paradigm that many of the systems are resisting because it takes a shift. It takes effort and it takes energy to change but people are waking up as they see the results of the systems that aren’t working anymore,
Nathalie Virem: What will attendees take away from this workshop
Dr. Scilla Elworthy: We are very keen for people who sometimes feel disempowered to walk away from this workshop with a full toolbox. In other words to have skills that they didn’t have before that they can use. They will have increased confidence and actual methodologies that they can use in their everyday lives and in their communities, in their children schools, in their workplace and in their families. They will have more compassion, inclusivity and intuition as well as beautiful skillful listening to make all their work completely different and to show other people how feminine intelligence can actually solve problems daily, minute by minute.
Karen Lee Downes: I think the other thing is many people come to the Summit are curious and with a deep sense of yearning. They know the way we are working isn’t working, but they don’t know what to do about that and it’s why we came up with this name. What we are passionate about is restoring integrity to our full human capacity. And what that means is we have ever used the masculine in all sector of society, we have used it when we drive for result, we have ever used it when everything is about gender and many of the women in leadership positions that I have worked with will say that they find themselves going home every night saying to their children “Could you just let me put the washing on? Could you just let me get the dinner served? Could just let me…?” and they are missing the moments of the very reason why they go to work and that’s (inaudible 26:13). So, what we see happen at the end of the Summit after two days is people might not have been aware that something was missing, but now when they wake up from a deep sleep or a trance, they see the world in a very different way. So, for us it is also shifting perspective that allows people to see that many of us are living life as if one hand is tied behind our back when we have only got this two to work with, the muscle versus the deep. It’s connectivity and sensitivity that we need, (inaudible 26:50). So, it’s a beautiful awakening. We watch people say “Wow! I am awake! Life will not be the same again.”
Alexandra Feldner: What I always find interesting is that we obviously live in a male driven world and in a patriarch society so many women who will come and men obviously also don’t really anymore what their feminine side is. It’s very much a process over the two days which activates, in people, something which they know is there but which they have forgotten about. In our very busy and hectic lives, it’s very difficult to really tap into the feminine qualities because they need a lot of stillness, a lot of quietness. You can’t get connected to intuition when you are running from one appointment to the other. It’s very difficult to get deep inside when you have no time to reflect and no time to be still. And so what people experience in our events is what it means to be first of all in a very feminine environment. And to be really very much in the experience versus the head.
Dr. Scilla Elworthy
Peace-Builder &, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Societal & Political Change Maker
Books: Pioneering The Possible, The Business Plan for Peace, and Making Terrorism History
Courses: The Business Plan for Peace’s 13-part on-line course free intro and Affiliate program
Karen Lee Downes
Serial Entrepreneur, Founder and managing director of The Flourish Initiative-Building organizations where people flourish and business prospers.
The Flourish Initiative people and content assist organizations to prosper while their people flourish with focus on:
– Wellbeing and beyond by unlocking the potential of one’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual intelligence
– Building business communities that harness the collective intelligence
– Integral leadership by restoring the balance with feminine intelligence
Founder FemmeQ, and Shine Your Light. Shine Your light was created to empower the much needed Change Makers of today by packaging their stories, causes and missions in a unique way. Alexandra and partners use their professional experience and creativity to maximize the impact a Change Maker wants to achieve in this world.