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Monaco Women Forum 2022

Science and Technology:
for a more equitable modern society

The 5th Monaco Women Forum, under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, was held on Tuesday May 3rd, 2022, at the National Council of Monaco, on the theme “Science and Technology for a modern and more equitable society”.Diane Harper, Nada Raddoui, Giovanna Tinetti, and Michele Mitchell, winners of the Monte-Carlo Woman of the Year Award of previous editions, shared their experiences.


After the opening speech of Mr.Stephane Valeri, and of Mrs. Ornella Barra, sponsor of the event, we had the honor of receiving a special intervention from Mrs. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. An important recognition from Madame Bachelet for this Forum of the Principality. The Sovereign was represented by Mrs. Isabelle Costa of the Prince's Cabinet; the Minister of the Environment was represented by Mrs. Valerie Davenet ; the Head of the Cabinet of the Minister of State Laurence Garino; also present, the vice-president of the FPA2 of Monaco Olivier Wenden ; the Intergovernmental Delegate for the Protection of Women's Rights, Celine Cottalorda.

The Monaco Women Forum opens with a speech from Mr. Valeri, who expresses his pride in welcoming into his hemicycle these women rewarded by the Monte Carlo Woman of the Year Award for the value of their respective discoveries. 

It is recalled in the introduction that this is not a feminist forum but a "committed forum for women alongside men" on the initiative of Cinzia Sgambati-Colman and with the unwavering support of Ornella Barra.

Opening by Ornella Barra, thanks to participants and guests, if we want a more equitable world this will be achieved through health, the green deal and gas reduction projects by 2050, although necessary, are very ambitious, especially given of the new context with the war in Ukraine. We must transform environmental challenges, and this is becoming an essential challenge.

During the video speech by Mrs. Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights, who was unable to be present to support the Forum, she recalls her commitment to the rights of men and women, her fight for the rights humans who fill her with passion, the fight against discrimination, among others.

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-1st discussion: decarbonization and scientific research;

The environment is a major determinant of human health through different factors (air, water, etc.) and all human activities have an impact on health and the environment which are therefore inseparable. The health sector has a key role in climate change and can become a leader in this area;

- Diane Harper, professor in the department at the University of Michigan, says that in her area of expertise, the papillomavirus vaccine and the possibility of self-testing make it easier to detect the disease in larger populations of women regardless of their financial means. The majority of cancers are often linked to environmental pollution, so detection and prevention are essential to reduce mortality.


- Doctor Nada Raddaoui, specialist in blood cancer, recommends moving towards a “modern society”. The research is not in line with the growth of society for example, the waste of plastic. We must develop an economy in accordance with research for implementation in everyday life.

The example of the RNA messenger has shown that time and investments are necessary and that this can sometimes be very long (sometimes 20 years). The economy cannot be dependent on research, we must therefore place emphasis on research, the only way to develop a modern society.

- 2nd discussion technology and the environment:

Nathalie Hilmi, Research Manager - Environmental Economy at the Monaco Scientific Center, recalls the latest IPCC report which told us that we were already in code red, the increase in temperature of 1.9°C while the limit is 1.5°C.

The intensification of weather phenomena, the loss of eco systems, 3.6 million people made aware of climate change, the lack of water, climate migrations around the world etc  

We need to be net zero in 2050 and 2070.

Reduce carbon quotas either with forests or in the ocean with blue carbon.

There are solutions, mangrove eco systems and new energies.


Is tech at the service of the environment?

-Engineer Marco Casiraghi responds, we already have effective technologies but not applied enough, such as solar panels.

We are approaching lower costs. To speed up the process, we must help researchers, young researchers (ref solar energy boat) to also educate children with activities using innovative and non-polluting technology, electric helicopters, etc.


-How can space research contribute to the green transition?

Professor Giovanna Tinetti, researcher in galactic planetary sciences at UCL and ESA collaborator, responds that satellite data gives us the nature of changes precisely. Monitoring to understand climatology and interpret satellites and put the earth in a broader context also provides very interesting parameters for comparison over time. 

Applications by 2050, climate monitoring, the "space economy" is an opportunity for economic growth. It is therefore crucial to have initiatives from the private sector and the GVT.

-Dr. Stefano Besseghini, President of the Regulatory Authority for Energy and Environment, indicated that it is difficult to satisfy all parties, consumers and authorities. A balance must be established between energy and needs to avoid waste. 

Water is one of the issues. We cannot have a single approach regarding all energies, we need an opportunistic economy depending on the sectors and not missing opportunities. 

We introduce a taxonomy to regulate the environmental economy and try to achieve all the same objectives, we try to open the field of possibilities to apply a certain innovation.


-Valentino Iakimov, engineer and founder of the start-up Sea Further, intervenes by reminding us that we must make environmental drivers green. He works graphene in large volumes, which is an economic advantage. Ecologically, it does not have a chemical approach but works with organic processes of mineral salts which transform it. Powdered graphene could lead to the elimination of rare metals.

Financiers are moving towards a greener economy and an exit from fossil fuels;

- The interventions conclude with that of Michelle Mitchell, filmmaker and journalist, who revised her opinion, like many she thought that the improvement of the female condition went through education but who now realizes that first it goes through health! Without it nothing is possible, for a better and more equitable life we need total access to care. Shocked, she brings up the news of what is happening in the USA on abortion and which she considers to be an unimaginable regression for women. To help women, we must give them access to decision-making positions on security and peace; their implications at the decision-making level of these issues are crucial.


Cinzia Sgambati Colman, organizer of the forum, concluded the meeting with a question: what can women born in the most advantaged regions of our planet do? And one wish: that this forum could be a Manifesto for the transition to a green economy and that it could start from the Principality of Monaco.

MWF in pictures

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