Being a total Badass

11 November 2017 , , Philia

Empowerment starts with us!

I research the topic of power. Why? Because I care about social justice; especially in view of global power imbalances. In order to change current power dynamics, we need to first understand power; however, there are many people, who shy away from this topic.

Why is that? A mistake many people make when looking at power as a dynamic is to label it as something outside of themselves and most of the time also something negative.  They assess their surroundings and analyse how people and institutions relate towards them without considering their own role within the system.

Empowerment is a trendy word. Everyone nowadays wants to empower others. But I urge you to take a step back and look at yourself: Are you empowered? How powerful are you?

“Empowerment” in essence is a concept that cannot be done towards another. Think about it: The very moment you “give someone power” (which oftentimes equates to you giving someone something: advice, resources…) you subtly and indirectly confirm their own powerlessness and in a sublime way reinforce the idea that they have to be “given” power. In essence, you are strengthening the status quo disempowering the individual.

Since this is the topic I deal with on a daily basis, I was very drawn to the event:

“The moment I became a total badass! Game changer or Fuck it all moment – Badassery is owned by those who bring gender equality”

The question Vivian Wagner came up with was: “What makes you a total badass?”. Looking at the research I have undertaken up until now, this is one of the decisive questions we got to ask ourselves; especially if we are part of a minority group! Vivian is the founder of the 1World Social Capital Program, a powerful initiative that is supporting women through mentorship and connection.

But listen to Vivian herself on why she came up with this specific event format:

Creating a Badass-Event was important to me, because I wanted to do something that was different from the notion of “fixing the women”.

I believe that women have great skills and qualities that differ from those men have. Both genders are equally important to the success of this world and should be equally valued. However, we women have a history of devaluing our skills and trying to adopt those of men.

I wanted to create an event that celebrates women for who they are, to build confidence that they all are already Badass – no matter what!

Being a leader of a small team that consists of men and women I often wish that the men would learn from the women and that the company as a whole continues to work on the fact that both genders are equally important.

Philia is selective in its approach towards Women’s Empowerment. We believe that we can empower ourselves and be there for one another in the process of self-empowerment. Empowerment is a little bit like a chick coming out of its egg shell. We discover a whole new world. We break away from our comfort zones. We got to be brave.

Philia Participants realise that it is save to be brave; especially when you have Philias from all around the world with you who have gone this journey themselves and continue being on the path of empowerment; a never ending journey full of surprises and challenges and with many many rewards.


This post was written by Nicole.