Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has founded courses that provide techniques and tools to live a deeper, more joyous life. He has established nonprofit organizations that recognize a common human identity above the boundaries of race, nationality and religion. His goal is to uplift people around the globe, to reduce stress, and to develop leaders so that human values can flourish in people and communities.

Gurudev has inspired a wave of volunteerism and service, resulting in one of the largest volunteer-based organizations in the world, with more than 30,000 teachers and over one million volunteers engaged in service projects in 156 countries.

Girl Child and Environment take centre stage at the 9th International Women's Conference

Leadership & Ethics

Girl Child and Environment take centre stage at the 9th International Women's Conference

Also available in: हिन्दी मराठी

The conference with 400 women leaders hosted at the picturesque Vishalakshi Mandap of The Art of Living International Center, opened to a graceful yet impactful start with powerful women talking about their stories of passion in social change.

February 14, 2019
Bengaluru, India

From starting a movement to reverse the sex ratio in Punjab and making the birth of a girl child a celebratory tradition; to putting Latvian folk culture on the global cultural map, to changing the laws of Nepal to bring in more representation of women in parliament, inheritance, and social justice; to passionately serving the Delhi Police as the first Indian IPS officer-the women speakers at the 9th International Women’s Conference were a force to reckon with.

Inaugural event of the International Women’s Conference

The speakers in the inaugural session included Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hon. Union Cabinet Minister, Justice Gita Mittal, Hon. Judge of the High Court, J & K, Dr. Kiran Bedi, Hon. Governor, Puducherry, Ms. Dace Melbarde, Member of European Parliament, Latvia, H.E Mridula Sinha, Former Governor, Goa, H.E Ms. Baby Rani Maurya, Governor of Uttarakhand, Hon. Justice Sapna Pradhan Malla, Supreme Court Judge, Nepal, and Mr. Nicolas Hulot, French Journalist and Environmentalist, Former Minister of Ecology.

Some of the other dignitaries present in the august gathering also included Ms. Malvika Avinash, actor and BJP Spokesperson for Karnataka, Ms. Medini Garudachar, wife of Dr. Uday Garudachar, MLA, Karnataka, and Rekha Hebbar Rao, internationally renowned artist.

Ms. Bhanumathi Narasimhan, Chairperson, International Women’s Conference and director of The Art of Living, set the context of the conference in her opening remarks by talking about the role of compassion, dispassion and passion in completing the circle of life. She said, “When we are passionate about something, it truly shows in the work we do. It helps us differentiate the best from the rest. When we have a goal, and along with it faith in a higher power, we say that let this or anything better than this happen, we gain the power to let go, the power of dispassion. Compassion is about seeing the bigger picture…how we are interconnected.”

Over the last fifteen years the conference has seen over 425 international speakers and 6000+ delegates come together from 110 countries in this celebration of womanhood, spirituality and collective action.

Hon. Union Minister Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, spoke about the richness and egality in the relatively young Sikh faith, and the role of spirituality in inspiring change.

“Spirituality is there inside everybody,” Kaur said, “You just need somebody to ignite it in you…a spiritual life is where your passion is channeled in the right direction: in the direction where our creator wanted us to go, for a bigger reason…When you have a Guru in your life and you follow him, your life becomes much smoother, and less stressful.

Yet another speaker, Hon. Justice Sapna Pradhan Malla shared how odds were stacked against women in Nepal in aspects of access to justice, human rights, sexual offences, rights to heritance, and discrimination existed in marriage, divorce, employment, and citizenship. With her passion and support of many including male members, today women have wider representation.

First woman IPS officer of India, Ms. Kiran Bedi, spoke about the first time she learnt she was passionate about justice, when at the age of 9, she held a man from beating his wife. She also shared how she learned to never complain about what she was passionate about. Talking about justice, Hon. Justice Gita Mittal said, “We need to rise over all our prejudices and dispassionately evaluate facts and then place a judgment. I am not infallible, but nobody should have a grievance that their voice was not heard.”

400 women leaders from across the world assemble for the International womens conference

Some of the other eminent speakers who will speak in the upcoming sessions include Lauren Von Der Pool, Plant-based Celebrity Chef and Cookbook author from USA, Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach, and Vandana Shiva, Scholar, Author and Environmentalist, among others.

Event highlight was The Unknown Factor, a conversation between Vishen Lakhiani, CEO, Mindvalley and Gurudev.

The conference includes sessions covering a wide range of themes from sessions on creative approaches to use social media tools for positive change; attitudes that shape achievers who are making positive contributions; insights on lifestyles that promote health, well-being and happiness while protecting the environment; to deliberations on the various perspectives that cultures offer that celebrate harmony in diversity.

The legacy of this paperless conference will be Mission Green Earth 2020, a commitment to plant and nurture 10 million trees in five years.

launch of mission green earth