DLI Update – November-December 2017

The DLI Board and Executive Team are actively involved in initiatives with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women.  Find out below about our work in November and December 2017, learn here about future activities in which we are involved, and visit our calendar for upcoming events organised by DLI.

*entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics


9 November – Women Techmakers “Telling Our Story” (Las Palmas, Grand Canaries): On 9 November in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, DLI Founder Ms. Cheryl Miller provided a keynote presentation as part of the Women Techmakers “Telling Our Story” event at Centro Demostrador TIC – Recinto Ferial.


9 November – Second Meeting of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board (Brussels): DLI Founder Ms. Cheryl Miller  contributed to the second meeting of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board on 9 November in Brussels, in preparation for the 7 December Digital Skills and Jobs Conference.


10-12 November – LOOP Summit for Music Makers (Berlin): 10-12 November in Berlin, DLI Founder Ms. Cheryl Miller  joined the LOOP Summit for Music Makers taking place at Funkhaus in Berlin.


15 November – Entrepreneurship Forum (Brussels): On 15 November, DLI Founder Ms. Cheryl Miller contributed to an entrepreneurship showcase for students at Institut Cardinal Mercier in Schaerbeek, organized by 100.000 Entrepreneurs Belgium.


15 November – Digital Capital CODE FIESTA (Brussels): On 15 November at ‘De Kelders van Kuregem’ in Brussels, DLI contributed to the Digital Capital CODE FIESTA hosted by MAKS, with an intervention by Digital Muse After School, led by DLI Digital Creative Officer Ms. Valentina Calà.


16 November – Digital Muse at Westonbirt Schools Careers Day (Westonbirt): “Look to the future event”: career event for youngsters at Westonbirt (UK). Mai Ensmann, DLI Development Officer,  attended the event, presenting the ESTEAM career possibilities to young girls.


19 November – Hacktivate the City! Generation Z: (Brussels) DLI director Ms. Katja Legisa  joined the opening of the exhibition “Generation Z,” where finalists of our recent Move It Forward with Women in a Music were showcased and MIF project M.ES.S. won top honours from the Generation Z jury!


20-21 November – Third Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights (Brussels): On 20-21 November, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined the third annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights, on the subject of “women’s rights in turbulent times,” hosted by the European Commission DG for Justice at Palais d’Egmont in Brussels.


22 November – Innovation in Women’s Digital Entrepreneurship: On 22 November at a Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform event on “Innovation in Women’s Digital Entrepreneurship” at the European Parliament in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  provided a keynote presentation in celebration of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and Global Entrepreneurship Week.


23 November – Girls Go IT Annual Forum (Moldova): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  provided a keynote presentation for the 2017 Girls Go IT Annual Forum taking place in Chisinau, Moldova, on 23 November.


28 November – Think Digital.eu (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  moderated a panel on “Data Protection & Privacy” as part of the annual Think Digital event, taking place at Palais d’Egmont on 28 November in Brussels.


30 November – Chatham House Report Release (London): On 30 November in London, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  joined the Chatham House release of “Private Sector Engagement with Women’s Economic Empowerment: Lessons from Years of Practice,” a report authored by Linda Scott, Emeritus DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Oxford, based on research with the Global Business Coalition for Women’s Economic Empowerment (GBC for WEE).


5 December – The Role of Lifelong Learning for Women Entrepreneurs (Brussels): On 5 December, Ms. Katja Legisa, DLI board member,  joined a panel discussion on “the Role of Lifelong Learning for Women Entrepreneurs” as part of a Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform event at the European Parliament in Brussels.


5 December – “Women in the Digital Age” Taskforce Briefing (London): On 5 December in London, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  joined a Chatham House meeting to launch a global taskforce on “Women in the Digital Age” as part of the 2018 G20 meeting in Argentina.


7 December – Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Conference (Brussels): On 7 December in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  joined the members of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board for a meeting with Commissioner for the Digital Single Market, Ms. Mariya Gabriel, in the context of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Conference on the topic of “Digital Opportunities for Europe”. Ms. Miller also awarded the 2018 EU Digital Skills Award for “Digital Skills for All,” and DLI hosted a booth with two digital workshops on professional portraits and on-line CV tools.


9-10 December – Smart Family Hackathon (Brussels): As partner to the Women In Tech Platform in Brussels, Ms. Valentina Cala, DLI Digital Creative Officer,  and Ms. Mai Ensmann, DLI Development Officer, supported a two-day hackathon to create smart solutions for the entire family, that took place on 9-10 December at DigiYser in Brussels.


12 December – European Commission Briefing on Women in the Digital Age (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  joined a 12 December meeting at the European Commission to review the forthcoming update of the 2013 report on “women active in the ICT sector .


12 December – NOVA XX Women in Innovation Panel (Brussels): As part of NOVA XX, the first international competition on women in technological, scientific and artistic innovation, Ms. Valentina Càla, DLI Digital Creative Officer,  contributed to a 12 December panel on “Women in Innovation” in Brussels.


13 December – NOVA XX Women in the 4th Industrial Revolution Panel (Brussels): As part of NOVA XX, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  contributed to a 13 December roundtable on “Women in the 4th Industrial Revolution” at the BOZAR in Brussels.


Be sure to visit our Calendar, Upcoming Activities page, and sign up for the DLI Newsletter in order to keep up with DLI events and activities!

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DLI Celebrates Top Women in Tech

On 30 November 2017 at BeCentral in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners welcomed over two hundred key stakeholders and community members to celebrate the fifth edition of the European Ada Awards and to share the success stories of the 2017 Digital Brusselles project with support from the Digital Belgium Skills Fund. The Ada Awards are a long-standing pledge to the European Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition that recognise top European girls and women in tech and the organisations that support them.

Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, opened the evening with a warm thank you to DLI supporters, followed by keynote presentations from Ms. Céline Vanderborght, Brussels Region Smart City Manager and Ms. Andrea Almeida Cordero, Member of Cabinet for Ms. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market. Both speakers committed their support and that of their stakeholders to active engagement of girls and women for fulfilling the vision of an inclusive digital Europe.  A subsequent tweet about the event by Commissioner Gabriel was very well received on Twitter.

Opening presentations were succeeded by graduation of over sixty participants from the 2017 Digital Muse After School program with Ms. Valentina Cala DLI Digital Creative Manager, and from the first-ever cohort of the CYPRO “First Steps” program with Ms. Mai Ensmann, DLI CYPRO Coordinator.

Ms. Katja Legisa, Digital Brusselles Director, then recognised 200-plus participants of the 2017 “Female Digital Starters” training program, followed by an inQube / Digital Brusselles project pitching session hosted by Ms. Lama Jaghjougha, a recent Syrian refugee to Belgium and founder of Move Women Refugees Forward. Initiatives presented included those launched in the context of inQube Move It Forward events over the past two years, including:

  • Brussely – a platform by/for/about Brussels Generation Y-ers, presented by Ms. Safia Bihmehdn
  • MESS – a gamified concert-going platform for Brussels citizens, presented by Ms. Alexandra Pykacz & Ms. Edith Euan
  • MIA – a virtual innovation space for Brussels citizens, presented by Ms. Muna Ibrahim
  • African Gist – an African tech internship program, presented by Ms. Cynthia Mukendy
  • Tabadoul – a professional mentorship program for women refugees led by ENoWM and DAW, presented by Ms. Sinem Yilmaz

A particularly moving moment of the evening came about when, as part of her pitch for the Brussely platform, Ms. Safia Bihmehdn read a poem she composed about her participation in the Move It Forward for Women in Media event, which as the poem describes, inspired her toward a whole new direction in digital entrepreneurship and in celebrating the youth and diversity of Brussels.

The final highlight of the evening was the 2017 European Ada Awards, launched with inspiring keynote presentations by Ms. Dinah Barret, Senior Solutions Architect for EMEA at Amazon Web Services, and Ms. Gabriela M. Juric, 2016 European Digital Girl of the Year, and co-hosted by Ms. Miller and Ms. Loredana Bucseneanu, DLI Strategy Officer.

2017 European Ada Award trophies were presented by Ms. Simone Hume of Amazon Web Services in the following categories and announced by noted Ada Award partner representatives:
1. Ms. Pascale Van Damme, Vice President and General Manager at Dell EMC Commercial Belux, is 2017 European Digital Woman of the Year, as announced by Ms. Austeja Trikunaite, Secretary General of CEPIS.

2. 2017 European Digital Girl of the Year honours were awarded in the following age categories:

15-17 Year Old Category, as announced by Ms. Kiki Walravens, GSMA:
Maeve Galvin (Ireland)

11-14 Year Old Category, as announced by Mr. Laurent Roux, Impact Officer at European Institute of Technology:

  • Aoibheann Mangan (Ireland)
  • Charlotte Johnson (United Kingdom)

10 Years and Under Category, as announced by Ms. Tomislava Recheva of European Schoolnet:

  • Helena Staple (United Kingdom)
  • Zara Ilyas (Ireland)
  • Ruby Scott Kenny (Ireland)

3. Teen-Turn of Ireland is 2017 European Digital Impact Organisation of the Year Award, as announced by Ms. Michela Palladino, Director of European Policy at Developers Alliance.

The 2017 European Ada Awards and Digital Brusselles celebration concluded with a reception catered by From Syria With Love, an organisation led by recent Syrian women refugees to Belgium that Digital Brusselles is honoured to support.

The Digital Leadership Institute and Digital Brusselles would like to thank the speakers, judges, partners and sponsors of the 2017 European Ada Awards and Digital Brusselles celebration, including the Digital Belgium Skills Fund, Amazon Web Services, European Institute of Technology, CEPIS, European Schoolnet, Edosoft, GSMA, Developers Alliance and BeCentral.

Congratulations to all the girls and women recognised by this year’s Ada Awards and Digital Brusselles celebration. We are looking forward to welcoming even more of you again next year!