It was late October when Arianna Huffington hosted her HuffPost's 2011 Game Changers Event. The night was a celebration of the 100 innovators, visionaries, and leaders, who as Arianna puts it -are changing the world and the way we live in it. Huffington gave her readers 12 categories to choose from including Politics, Media, Green Technology, etc. One from each category was chosen to be honored on a cool New York night in October. (Back then, the Occupy Wall Street movement was litte more than a rowdy group of anti-establishment kids who rallied the event to get some much needed press) New York's Governor Cuomo, Tv's Dr. Oz, and Hell's Kim Kardashian were all on hand. While I could have done without Kim, I realize now that AOL owns the Huffington Post, it would be hard to imagine any type of list like this not including a reality TV tart or two.
Aside from Kim, the event was a really smart evening, honoring brilliant people in Science, Medicine, and Charitable causes. Of course, Huffington herself is at the top of any Game Changer list. Arianna proved once again that America is the place where dreams can become reality. When a girl from Greece moves to America and works her way up from political housewife, to syndicated columnist, to media personality, to Editor in Chief of a company she has sold this year for $315 Million, that has American dream written all over it. Huffington is as smart as a whip and charismatic as can be. Undoubtedly the magic combination of brains and charm made her success possible. But the point is that there are women in countries all around the world with brains and beauty and charm that are not given the chance to shine. Instead they are routinely passed over and held back by the men who run the establishment.
I expected to meet people of great substance at the Game Changers event, but I never expected to see some really stylish women! I was pleasantly surprised to find the sexiest dressed woman of the night was also one of the smartest. Nicole Arrigo is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University - excuse me!! That's right, forget everything you thought about scientists spending all their time in lab coats, because Nicole proves there is a whole new generation that are highly educated, and also appreciate great style. When I saw Nicole across the room in this awesome printed dress, my first thought was Stella McCartney. When I asked Nicole if it was Stella, her face lit up with a smile as she laughingly said "I wish". I'm guessing Postdoctoral Research Scientists aren't paid nearly as much as fashion models, too bad! In any event, Nicole was right on trend from head to toe and I really have to commend her on the great work her talented team is doing at Columbia involving infectious diseases. The lovely lady with Nicole, also very chic in her little black dress is Sia Sanneh. Ms. Sanneh is a Yale educated Lawyer and much sought after professor at Columbia.. I told you the room was chock full of smart!
Ms. Sanneh is also the wife of John Prendergast, one of the honorees of the night. Mr. Prendergast is a human rights activist and founder of the Enough Project - an organization to end genocide and crimes against humanity. The project is focussed primarily on the crisis in the Sudan, Congo, and areas in Africa where some of the worst atrocities in the last century have occurred.
For this debonair crowd, fashion was really just the icing on the cake - refreshing!
Thank you to Ms. Arrigo, Ms. Sanneh, Mr. Prendergast, and of course Ms. Huffington for making the world a better place one day at a time. click HUFFINGTON POST GAME CHANGERS to read more.