Hoping that you have enjoyed looking back at the women that have helped to shape the world we live in today. As a result of their work and the many other women (and men) who have dared to be different a large majority of us now have equal access to education, social justice and are relatively free to express our ideas and creativity.
However, now is not the time to rest on our laurels but it is time to enjoy the interviews and to see the truly innovative work of our 21st Century pioneers.
As the content compiler of this work perhaps this is also good time to, briefly, re-introduce myself and to share some more details about the concept and delivery of this book.
At the time of preparing the final draft of this book in September 2007, I worked for the Electrolux Group as a production planner. The Electrolux Group create innovative products for global markets. My role was one that provided support and delivery services from manufacturing sources in Asia Pacific, mainland Europe and the UK to consumer sectors throughout the world.
My daily work routine would not have been possible without the advances of modern technology (email, the Internet, mobile phones) and the fact that it is now acceptable for women to work in roles that have formally been dominated by men. For all of those advances, I am very grateful that I’m alive in the 21st Century and I am endlessly grateful to the people who have worked to put the technology and social structures in place, including the women I have paid homage to within the history section of this work.
Before becoming involved with international trade, I had worked as a technical author and proof reader for many years. However, I have never had the opportunity to become involved in the concept and creation of a more ‘human’ centred publication. I am very grateful to Ajit for giving me the impetus to create the Digital Eves concept, which, following my redundancy from the Electrolux Group in 2010, has now been re-visited as the Soft Footsteps blog,
The research of this work has been an truly inspirational time for me, not least my contact with Judy Breck, Karen Coppock and Jensine Larsen. These ladies are very busy and I am so very grateful to them for sharing their stories with me. Their energy is infectious, their commitment and focus is uplifting and their stories provide great road maps for others.
The interviews were carried out by email during November 2006 to August 2007. The stories are built around these emails, shared articles, pdf files and discussions which have been edited by myself, Judy, Karen and Jensine. Any articles extracted have been republished with kind permission from the original sources.
Please further note that, to date and to my knowledge, Judy, Karen and Jensine are unaware of this blog. I am keen to see if the world wide web will remind them of the time we spent together during 2006-7.
All three 21st century innovators have quite different backgrounds.
Judy Breck has a career that spans being a high school teacher to Wall Street, the Whitehouse and beyond. She has broad interests and describes herself as a ‘generalist, New Yorker and Texan’. She is a prolific blogger, insightful author and has created some great signposts for making education more accessible for all. Not forgetting that Judy has also led the creation of the largest Internet collection of open content learning links from 1997-2001.
Karen Coppock lived in Latin America for a decade and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala and Uruguay. She is currently based in Silicon Valley, in Palo Alto, California, US. She is the Vice President of Consulting Services at Vital Wave Consulting and is helping people from all over the world develop their own social and business enterprises. Karen is involved with delivering strategic consulting services to Fortune 500 and non-profit clients.
As a young woman attending the Mount Horeb High School, Wisconsin, Jensine Larsen thrived on discussing local, national and international politics. She dreamed of a media source that would broadcast the thriving but neglected voices of women and youth around the world. As a freelance journalist covering the stories of women refugees who had fled ethnic cleansing inside of Burma, Jensine became inspired to create a magazine which evolved into an interactive media enterprise and a breakthrough interactive communications tool.
However, although their backgrounds and individual focus may be different, the common elements shared by our 21st century innovators is a desire to help make the world a better place. They are able to do this because of their intelligence, determination and energy. These ladies understand the real life changing potential in the current developments in the Internet and mobile technology. The interviews will be published in the next 3 blog posts.
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