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Women thinkers resetting the global agenda in 2021

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This is the next instalment of our special ‘Women Resetting the World’ feature, where we have been featuring prominent women across countries and industries who are resetting the global agenda.

Here, we’re shining a light on leading global thinkers, who are making waves and shifting conversations through their scholarship, influence, advocacy, writing and campaigning.

You can check out recently released list of 50 women – across all industries – who are resetting the agenda here, and our list of women in health and science, and in business.

Shani Dhanda

Born with a genetic bone disorder, Shani Dhanda is on a mission to make the world inclusive for people with a disability. Standing at 3ft 10in, she challenges people to think differently about disability and is a fearless advocate for inclusion. Based in the UK, Dhanda is the founder of the Asian Disability Network and Asian Women Festival. She also launched the Diversability Card in 2019, the UK’s first official discount card for those with disabilities.

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls is the convenor of Shifting the Power Coalition, which is mobilising diverse Pacific women’s voices on climate change and disasters across the region. She is also Co-Chair of the Global Fund for Women, which is organising resources globally to support grassroots women’s organisations.

Dr Kirstin Ferguson

An experienced business leader, company director and award-winning author, Dr Kirstin Ferguson is a proponent of emotionally intelligent leadership and an advocate for getting more women into leadership. Recently, she was the only Australian to have been named in a list of 30 “thinkers to watch” in 2021 by the London based group Thinkers50.

Lillian Ahenkan (aka Flex Mami)

Author, entrepreneur, social media influencer, podcaster, DJ and TV presenter, Flex Mami is a self-described “doer of things”. Ahenkan has just written her soon to be released book titled, The Success Experiment, a personal development experiment designed to help readers reach their own form of meaningful success. With 134,000 followers on Instagram and multiple successful businesses, she is one of Australia’s most influential young thinkers.

Ashley Galina Dudarenok

A marketing thought leader, Russian-born Ashley Galina Dudarenok explores ideas around Chinese social media marketing through keynote addresses, her popular YouTube channel, and consultancy business. Having lived and worked in China for over 15 years, she has been recognised as a LinkedIn Top Voice in marketing, an Asia-Pacific Top 25 Innovator and made Thinkers50’s Radar Class of 2021.

Ascia Al Faraj

This Kuwaiti American takes her activism online, speaking out against sexism and misogyny. ‘I will not be silent,’ she recently said in a video post that went viral, sparking renewed calls for her country of Kuwait to end violence and harassment against women.

Kate Crawford

AI is a space we think of as largely dominated by men. Well, that’s the truth, but who is fixing the injustices that exist within that space? Kate Crawford is a leading international scholar on the implications of AI and new technologies. At a recent public event, she said that the most important aspect of AI design in the future is asking two simple questions; “What are they doing?” and “Who do they serve?”

Caitlin Moran

This powerhouse of a feminist recently said “motherhood is the greatest unpaid job on the planet.” The award winning journalist icon and author spoke at the 2021 All About Women Festival in Sydney, where she gave frank advice to women of all ages: “You can’t change things if you don’t name them.  Being angry is productive. Along with my rage, I also feel enormous positivity.”

Mariana Mazzucato

An Italian American professor in Economics at the University College London, Mazzucato is one of the world’s most influential economists. Her work challenges orthodox thinking about how economic value is created, measured and shared, and the role of the state and private sector in driving innovation. Her third book, Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism, was recently released.

Joey Bui

This young Vietnamese-Australian writer graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi only a few years ago, where she completed her first collection of short stories, “Lucky Ticket” which then got short-listed for the Stella Prize in 2020. Just what the world needs more — stories about identity, family and dislocation from a young woman’s perspective.

Carlota Perez

The 81-year-old British-Venezuelan scholar has spent decades writing about technology and socio-economic developments. Perez is a distinguished economic historian, with her work informing our present understanding of the relationship between economic development, technology and innovation. In her book Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, Perez describes the way in which financial excesses and productivity explosions are “interrelated and interdependent”.

Laura Bates

Bates founded the Everyday Sexism Project almost a decade ago to highlight the daily injustices women face as they go about their lives. She’s spent the last few years studying online “manosphere” spaces, looking at the pervasive and insidious nature of men’s rights activists, and has recently released a new book called “Men who Hate Women.”

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