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I write frequently from Fortune conferences. Today I want to point your attention to one I’m not attending: the annual Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit.
Perusing the agenda, I can assure you this is the single best business conference any publication or other event organizer will host this year. And I say that as a lead editor involved in most other Fortune events. With a few outlier exceptions, this is a women-only event. Yet what I love about it is that it’s not a conference about “women’s issues.” This is the brilliance of my colleague Pattie Sellers, who founded the event. She recognized that women in business value the opportunity to interact with each other without men around but that what they want most to discuss is business.
Tech is extremely well represented at the event in Washington, D.C. Marne Levine of Instagram will appear, as will her colleague Carolyn Everson of Facebook (FB). GM’s (GM) Mary Barra is certain to address GM’s aggressive investments in self-driving cars. Mattel (MAT) CEO Margo Georgiadis, formerly of Google (GOOGL), will address disruption. A bevy of cybersecurity experts (from Accenture, Cisco (CSCO), and Palantir) will discuss that important topic. Videos of many sessions will be posted here.
Beyond tech, this year’s summit, which began Monday afternoon and runs through Wednesday, has more than its fair share of bold-faced names. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, in the thick of NAFTA renegotiations, will speak, as will her boss, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (I mentioned there are exceptions to the no-men rule.) Others certain to attract headlines include Ivanka Trump (last night), Kellyanne Conway (tomorrow), and a sports icon in the cultural zeitgeist again, Billie Jean King.
If that’s not power, I don’t know what is.
Incidentally, a star speaker at Brainstorm Tech in Aspen this summer was Jamie Miller, head of GE’s (GE) locomotive business. A relative GE newcomer, she got a big promotion last week, having been named by new CEO John Flannery to the position of chief financial officer. I feel like more often after we interview a high flyer on our stage they lose their job. It’s nice to see a happier outcome.