Session 4

"Strong women get things done." —Gabby Giffords

Session four looked toward the future with Gabby Giffords and husband Mark Kelly; SpaceX's Gwynne Shotwell; a panel of incredible women including astronauts Mae Jemison and Cady Coleman, Harvey Mudd President Maria Klawe, and Google[x]'s Megan Smith who discussed the importance of getting girls and women into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math); The Girl Declaration's Maria Eitel; and 11-year-old football phenom Sam Gordon.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong interviewed Sam along with her father, Brent Gordon. When asked what he thinks makes Sam so successful, Brent responded: “Her confidence is something that helps her out. When she went out there on the field, she felt comfortable. ... that confidence made all the boys on the team look up to her as their leader.” One image that Brent found particularly powerful was the memory of his daughter as team captain surrounded by 20 boys in a team huddle.

From what we heard in session four, we have no doubt that the future is in good hands, as long as we help the next generation along. 

To end the entire event on a high note, and most definitely a tearful one, Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly demonstrated to the audience true resilience in the face of violence and reminded us that even we, in our own lives, have the power to make change and do better.

Gabby closed the conference with words that lingered with everybody who heard them, "Strong women get things done." Not a bad way to end the inaugural MAKERS Conference.