So Tim Cook, the chief executive officer of Apple Inc., Jane Goodall, a celebrated anthropologist and Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state walk into a swanky Manhattan event space …
The room is buzzing with conversation, the air filled with a uniquely optimistic energy, and the halls are graced by magazine covers of the world’s most influential people.
Welcome to TIME 100.
I attended the TIME 100 Summit last week, as one of six Newhouse students chosen to be in TIME’s ‘Rising Stars’ program. At this first ever summit, I was able to be in a room with influencers, leaders and innovative thinkers — from both on and off the TIME 100 list.
As a journalist and student of the world, I felt honored to attend the summit. Simply being in the same space with so many movers and shakers was something I’ll never forget, and listening to a variety of discussions gave me a 360-degree learning experience.
That was one of my favorite parts of the summit — tuning into high-level dialogue on a range of issues from politics and filmmaking to technology and the environment. It’s not every day that you get to listen to expert conversations about women’s empowerment and climate change or hear from Jared Kushner and Hillary Clinton at the same event.
TIME 100 plays a crucial part in facilitating these conversations and recognizing people who are changing the world. Making the world better truly requires a cross-disciplinary approach. There is no single answer or solution to any problem.The best way to create positive change is to hear from more voices at the table and talk to people with different experiences and backgrounds, whether at a high-profile event like the TIME 100 Summit or just your office break room.
One example of speaking across disciplines was when Bumble’s CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, and Cowboy Ventures’ CEO, Aileen Lee, came together for “Empowering Women in Business” panel, joined by Tyra Banks and Gayle King. I loved this conversation because we saw the dating app industry, the financial industry, the modeling industry and the television industry represented by a powerhouse of strong women who brought incredible insights to the table! (You can see more on this particular conversation, and the summit’s other discussions, on the @NewhouseNYC Twitter when I live-tweeted the event).
The best takeaway from this conversation was Whitney Wolfe Herd saying, “Everyone can do everything,” meaning girls don’t necessarily have to be cornered into only doing ‘girly’ things. I would argue that this theme was an important aspect of the entire summit.
For all of the industries and speakers that we saw, it was clear that one of the keys to societal progress is diverse representation and inclusivity.
From the half of Apple employees without college diplomas, as mentioned by Tim Cook, to a gay superhero (one of American film director Spike Lee’s latest projects), the TIME 100 Summit made it clear that 2019 is all about breaking the norms and shattering societal molds.
A presidential candidate can be a woman, a congresswoman can be a former bartender, and a model can love to eat and be opinionated. Everyone can do everything.
The experience still feels unreal. I’m fortunate to have been given a seat at the table, to be recognized as a “Rising Star” and to have supporters like the late Dean Lorraine Branham of Newhouse School of Public Communications, Director Cheryl Brody Franklin at Newhouse NYC and professor Jennifer Grygiel. They are all on my personal “top 100” list.
I left the TIME 100 Summit feeling inspired, optimistic and grateful for all the amazing people making positive strides in their respective careers. I hope to make a fraction of the impact they have made in my own lifetime.
Our “Postcards” series features stories from Syracuse University students exploring other parts of the world. Rashika Jaipuriar is a senior studying broadcast and digital journalism and citizenship and civic engagement at Syracuse University. This is her last Postcard from her semester spent in New York City.