DLI Founder Appointed to EU Digital Skills Board

On 28 September in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, Founder and Director of the Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute, joined the first meeting of the Governing Board of the European Commission’s Digital Skill and Jobs Coalition, to which Ms. Miller has been appointed for a two-year term.

According to the Commission, the aim of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board is to “provide strategic leadership and give high-level advice to improve the functioning and the impact of the Coalition, as well as monitoring its overall progress.” The Governing Board also represents the views of the Coalition partners at European level, and acts as a link between pledgers, national Coalitions and social partners.

At its first meeting, Ms. Miller accepted to lead the Governing Board’s work on “digital skills for ICT experts,” one of four digital skills pillars treated as priorities by the Coalition.  Ms. Miller and her colleagues will provide recommendations in these areas to the new European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market, Ms. Mariya Gabriel, in the context of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Conference, taking place in Brussels on 7 December.

Ms. Miller joins representatives of eleven other Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition stakeholders in the Governing Board, whose organisations represent pledging members, national coalitions, and Coalition social partners.

DLI Update – September-October 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.  This month, DLI was selected as one of the Best 100 Startups in Belgium, and DLI team members joined Digital First on 19 October to celebrate.  Also, as part of DLI activities supported by the Digital Belgium Skills Fund, on 25 October in Brussels we launched Digital Brusselles, Europe’s first female tech incubator.  See the article about our recognition here and a video about the Digital Brussels launch below.

*Entrepreneurship & Arts powered by Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics


6 September – Women in Tech.Brussels Breakfast (Brussels): On 6 September, Ms. Katja Legisa, Digital Brusselles Director, joined a Women in Tech.Brussels breakfast meeting to contribute to coordinating upcoming initiatives that promote women in technology in Brussels.


13 September – EIB Gender Action Plan Expert Engagement Meeting (Brussels): On 13 September in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to an expert meeting on the Gender Action Plan of the European Investment Bank.


15 September – Creative Ring Brussels “Women in Innovation” Meeting (Brussels): On 15 September at the BOZAR Lab in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a Creative Ring meeting on the topic of Women in Innovation.


19 September – Women in Business.Brussels Platform Meeting (Brussels): Ms. Katja Legisa, Digital Brusselles Director, and Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined the 19 September meeting of the Brussels Women in Business platform.


26 September – WISE4ALL Launch Event: Women Contributing to Innovation (Brussels): On 26 September, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  joined the WISE4ALL launch event at the European Parliament, in collaboration of MEP Pina Picierno and with support from the S&D Group, as part of a pan-European consortium promoting diversity in innovation. On the same occasion, Ms. Miller contributed to a round-table on Digital Manufacturing and New Innovation Processes.


28 September – First Meeting of the Governing Board of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  joined the meeting of the first Governing Board of the European Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition on 28 September at the European Commission in Brussels. Ms. Miller was recently selected to the inaugural 12-member governing body of the DSJC.


4 October – Grand Opening of BeCentral (Brussels): On 4 October in Brussels, the DLI Team will join the grand opening of BeCentral, a community space in the heart of Brussels dedicated to closing the digital skills gap and accelerating Belgium’s digital transformation.


9 October – Women Code Festival 2017 Launch (Brussels): On 9 October at Co.Station in Brussels, Ms. Katja Legisa, Digital Brusselles Director, will contribute to a panel discussion as part of the launch of Brussel’s first-ever Women Code Festival.


19 October – Digital First 2017 (Brussels)DLI was selected among the Best 100 Startups in Belgium in 2017 by a jury organised by media company Digimedia. Ms. Valentina Calà, DLI Digital Creative Officer, and Ms. Katrien Geraedts, DLI Marketing & Communications Manager, were on hand at Digital First 2017 on 19 October, at Tour & Taxis  in Brussels, to celebrate.


11 October – InnovIris Women in STEM Panel (Brussels): As part of the Brussels Women Code Festival and European Code Week, on 11 October Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, will provide a keynote presentation on Digital Brusselles: The Heart of Inclusive Transformation and contribute to a Women in STEM panel organised by InnovIris, the Brussels agency for scientific research.


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 One of Belgium’s Best Startups

On 19 October, Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute joined Digital First 2017 to celebrate being among the Best 100 Belgian Startups as determined by a high-level jury organised by media company Digimedia. DLI team members, Ms. Valentina Calà and Ms. Katrien Geraedts, were on hand to greet investors and discuss the work of DLI, who has successfully launched Europe’s first female tech incubator, Digital Brusselles, and is driving world class programs to differentiate Brussels, Belgium and Europe as “the heart of inclusive digital transformation.”

“With a three-year track record as a social enterprise, DLI is outperforming most startups even outside its class,” shares Ms. Calà about the recognition.  “We believe this is as much about how innovative and impactful our work is, as it is about the engagement and dedication of our partners and community to our mission,” she says.  “It is not every day, for example, that organisations like Amazon Web Services and the Digital Belgium Skills Fund come together to help drive positive change,” says Ms. Calà.  “This is a testament to both the quality of the team we have gathered, and to the importance of the work we are doing — for which we are very grateful and proud.”

DLI Awarded by Digital Belgium Skills Fund

The Digital Leadership Institute has been awarded support from the Digital Belgium Skills Fund (DBSF) for its work to increase participation of girls and women in digital studies and careers in Belgium. In collaboration with the King Boudewijn Foundation and through support of the European Commission, DBSF aims to increase social inclusion through digital skills, especially for young people.  Launched in 2016 by Mr. Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium and Minister for the Digital Agenda, the Digital Belgium Skills Fund has a budget of €18 million which will be invested over the next three years on initiatives that teach key digital skills, including basic coding and cyber security.

Since its founding in Brussels in 2014, the Digital Leadership Institute has pioneered European and global initiatives to bridge the gender gap and digital divide, with a focus on delivering digital skills and career opportunities to the most under-served and socially excluded communities in the world.  With the support of DBSF, DLI is pleased to introduce our new team members and the exciting initiatives they will be leading in Fall 2017:

20 September-13 December – Digital Muse After School Programme: From 20 September to 13 December, DLI will organise the Digital Muse After School  program, a Wednesday afternoon (14:00-16:00) program in Brussels (EN/FR/NL) for up to 40 girls, aged 11 to 16 years old, in order to encourage them to pursue studies and careers in ESTEAM (Entrepreneurship and Arts powered by STEM).

Digital Muse After School Schedule:

The inaugural DMAS program will focus on project work that introduces digital-creative skills and career paths to participants around four themes:

 

  • 20 September-4 October:  “Talk2Me” – Smartphone App Development with MIT App Inventor for Android
  • 11-25 October:  “Teen Blogstar” – Web Design with WordPress
  • 8-22 November:  “See What I Mean” – Designing Infographics & Data Visualisation with Tableau
  • 29 November-13 December: “Future of Fashion” – Fashion Technology and Wearables with Adafruit

 

For more information about the DMAS program or to register please follow this link or contact Ms. Valentina Calà.

14-15 October – Move It Forward female digital starters weekend with Women in Music and the Arts:  On 14-15 October at BOZAR, in celebration of Women Code Festival, European Code Week, the International Week of the Girl Child and Ada Lovelace Day, DLI will partner with the Brussels Women in Tech Platform and the Brussels Electronic Marathon to organise our fourth Move It Forward Brussels event promoting female tech startup by teen and adult women from across Belgium, with women in music and the arts.

For more information about the Move It Forward weekend please contact Ms. Katja Legisa.

15 October – Digital Brusselles Music Showcase at BOZAR with Brussels Electronic Marathon:  As the closing event of the Move It Forward weekend and Women Code Festival, Digital Brusselles is thrilled to partner support the Brussels Electronic Marathon with a musical showcase at BOZAR on Sunday, 15 October that is open to the public.  The showcase will feature women and non-binary artists from across Belgium as well as projects from the MIF weekend.

For more information about the Digital Brusselles Music Showcase with BEM17 please contact Ms. Katja Legisa.

 

16 October-30 November – “CyPro” Cyber Professional Training and Job Placement Program for Women:  In Fall 2017, DLI will launch the first cohort of its CyPro Cyber Professional Training and Job Placement Program for Women, an initiative that aims to increase participation of women with work experience in strategic IT fields such as cyber security, data science, cloud computing and CRM. Working with key content partners — including AWS, Cisco, and Salesforce — the program will offer participants an IT expert certification path in parallel with on-the-job work experience through paid placement in IT organisations.  The program will kick off with a free, expert-led, 6-week CyPro “First Steps” IT Career training series for women.  Delegates completing the entire program will be eligible for a globally-recognised IT Essentials professional certification.

CyPro “First Steps” Schedule & Instructors:

  • 16-20 October:  Intro to IoT with Ms. Mai Ensmann – Cisco Networking Academy Course Certificate
  • 23-26 October: Intro to Cybersecurity with Ms. Hiba Khalid – Cisco Networking Academy Course Certificate
  • 26-27 October:  Linux Unhatched with Ms. Hiba Khalid – Cisco Networking Academy Course Certificate
  • 6-28 November:  IT Essentials with Ms. Hiba Khalid – Cisco Networking Academy Certificate & CompTIA A+ professional certification
  • 29-30 November: AWS Technical Essentials with Ms. Hiba Khalid – AWS Educate Course Badge
  • 30 November 18:00-19:00 – CyPro “First Steps” Graduation Ceremony as part of 2017 European Ada Awards Ceremony at BeCentral in Brussels

For more information about CyPro, please contact Ms. Mai Ensmann.

21 October-18 November – Digital Brusselles Female Digital Starter Series:  Over the course of one month, the Digital Brusselles female tech incubator will host a free, four-part Female Digital Starters training series that will address themes unique to digital startup by women. If you have joined previous inQube events, these trainings will build on the skills have learned and help move you forward on your path to digital startup!  If you have not participated in past events, do not worry. The content of these courses is geared toward new and recent starters, and all participants will benefit to the maximum.

Female Digital Starters Schedule & Instructors:

For more information about the Female Digital Starters series, please contact Ms. Katja Legisa.

25 October – Digital Brusselles Female Tech Incubator Launch:  On 25 October at BeCentral in Brussels, DLI will launch the first female tech incubator in Europe, building on its pioneering five-year inQube work promoting female digital startup.  The Digital Brusselles incubator will support DLI’s world class “Move It Forward” weekends with ongoing tech and entrepreneurship training for community-members; provide a space for hot-desking, networking and events for female tech starters; and facilitate consultation with experts who will provide broad-reaching support for launching women-led tech projects into the Belgian startup ecosystem.

For more information about the Digital Brusselles launch event, please contact Ms. Katja Legisa.

 

30 November – 2017-18 European Ada Awards Ceremony: In celebration of the 202nd anniversary of the birth of Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, DLI will host the European Ada Awards in Brussels.  For the fifth consecutive year, DLI will recognise outstanding women and girls in digital fields across Europe, as well as organisations working to increase the participation of women and girls in tech. This year, the awards ceremony will take place on 30 November at BeCentral in Brussels, and nominations in the following categories are open until 30 October:

For more information about the 2017-18 European Ada Awards, please contact Ms. Loredana Bucseneanu.

To keep up-to-date about these and other activities organized by DLI, please consult our calendar and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  For press and media inquiries about Digital Brusselles or other DLI projects, please contact Ms. Katrien Geraedts.

DLI Update – June-August 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.  As part of our activities in Summer 2017, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, contributed to the Entrepreneurship Summer School in Brussels, whose outcomes are shared in the video below. 

Find out below about our other work in Summer 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


1 June – Digital Festival (Brussels): DLI partnered for the second edition of the Digital Festival, that took place on 1 June in Brussels which aims to celebrate technology, ideas and global innovation. Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to an invitation-only luncheon panel on the topic of “Redesigning Work to Unlock Human Potential.”


8-9 June – Gender Equality in STEM Conference (Berlin): On 9 June, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, moderated a day-long session exploring Gender Equality in STEM as part of a first-time event on this subject that took place 8-9 June in Berlin.


11 June – In Conversation with Gloria Steinem at Google (Brussels): In collaboration with the European Women’s Lobby, Google Belgium welcomed Ms. Gloria Steinem in Brussels for an invite-only luncheon attended by Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder. The event was followed by a panel at Brussels Town Hall and a march to end violence against girls and women.


14 June – SciChallenge Contest: On 14 June, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, joined the jury of the 2017 SciChallenge contest, in which 487 teams from across Europe participated. The twelve top projects were awarded on 20-21 July in Vienna.


14-15 June – 2017 Digital Assembly (Valletta, Malta): 14-15 June in Valletta, Malta, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined hundreds of European and global stakeholders promoting “Digital Europe: Investing in the Future,” as part of the Maltese presidency of the Council of the European Union.


21 June – KAGIDER “Women in the Workforce” Session at European Parliament: On 21 June at the European Parliament in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined a high-level roundtable hosted by MEP Kati Piri and KAGIDER on the the topic of participation of women in the workforce in Turkey and Europe.


29 June – “Women in Tech” Platform Launch (Brussels): On 20 June, DLI joined in celebrating the launch of the Brussels “Women in Tech” platform whose aim is to promote greater participation of girls and women in digital studies and careers in Brussels. The initiative, to which DLI is a partner, is part of the Women In Business platform supported by Impulse Brussels


10-11 July – Chatham House International Policy Forum (London): 10-11 July, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, joined an invitation-only International Policy Forum on the topic of “Smart and Fair: Recognizing Women’s Role in Our Economic Future,” organised by the Chatham House in London.


10-16 July – Entrepreneurship School Brussels: 10-14 July, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, gave a talk to dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs gathered in Brussels to take part in the Think Young Entrepreneurship School 2017. Ms. Miller provided advice and mentorship based on her experience as an entrepreneur and contributed to judging the final presentations at Google in Brussels on 14 July. Top projects by women-led teams were awarded incubation with inQube, DLI’s female tech incubator.


28-30 August – UNESCO International Symposium and Policy Forum (Bangkok): 28-30 August in Bangkok, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, spoke on the topic of “Best practices to increase participation of girls and women in ESTEAM,” as part of the UNESCO International Symposium and Policy Forum on Cracking the Code: Education for Girls in STEM.


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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Coding Brings Confidence Say Europe's Women

In May 2017, the Digital Leadership Institute team met in Croatia with its WOW Code2Confidence partners, a project funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission. The project organisations explored how learning to code can lead to more confidence for women during studies and in the job market.

During the meeting, results from a pan-European survey on the interest of European women in coding were presented. Key findings of the survey, which was carried out by WOW Code2Confidence partners across Belgium, Croatia, England, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Romania, are below:

  • 53% of European women surveyed expressed an interest in learning to code;
  • Most women surveyed rate their current coding skills as Beginner, and 85% of women surveyed noted that coding activities give them confidence.
  • The main reason for women’s interest in coding is because coding skills are required for studies/work and due to an expressed desire to become more familiar with technical terms and jobs.
  • The survey also revealed that the main reason for those surveyed having never tried coding is due to a lack of suitable training resources.

Read the full results of the survey in our most recent WOW Code2Confidence newsletter, and for more information about the project, or about other DLI work promoting women in coding, please contact us.

On 5-6 October in Brussels, DLI will host the Fall 2017 meeting of the WOW Code2Confidence Project whose focus will be how women can leverage coding skills to improve their opportunities in the job market.  Stay tuned!

 

Girl Coding Power at Salesforce Essentials

On 1 June in Louvain-La-Neuve, girls and women from across Belgium joined an all-female Android coding workshop organized by the Digital Leadership Institute in the context of Salesforce Essentials, a large-scale event reaching over 600 Salesforce enthusiasts. The workshop, carried out as part of our Digital Muse initiative in collaboration with Salesforce Belux and Salesforce.org, attracted participants ranging in age from ten to fifty-five, who benefited from hands-on coding lessons using MIT App Inventor and inspiring talks by Salesforce employees.

Ms. Cécile Kempeneers is a role model with plenty of role models!

Ms. Cécile Kempeneers, a Salesforce Belux Senior Account Executive who also co-organized a workshop at the most recent Girl Tech Fest Brussels 2017, shared with participants about her own role models and people who inspired her to enter a career in tech — including her grandfather, but also Elon Musk, Michelle Obama, Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai.  Ms. Carmina Coenen, Salesforce Manager for Solution Engineering, also captured everyone’s imagination with a promise that coding and working with Salesforce would give them more options for an exciting and rewarding career.

Ms. Carmina Coenen inspires the Digital Muses

Workshop attendees showed a clear talent for developing their own Android smartphone application that translates speech from one language into spoken output in another language.  The talks by Ms. Coenen and Ms. Kempeneer also piqued their interest in career opportunities with Salesforce.

“We are excited to build on this interest by offering our community more curriculum on smartphone app-development and on becoming certified Salesforce CRM experts,” commented Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder.  “We look forward to pursuing this collaboration going forward, for the benefit of both Salesforce and for these amazing girls of all ages!”

DigitalMuse.org & Salesforce Selfie

 

DLI Update – April-May 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 April and May 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


14 April – Alma Radio “Digital Kids” Show (Brussels): On 14 April, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined Ms. Claire-Marie Healy from Alma Radio for a broadcast on the subject of “Digital Kids,” in the lead up to all-day Alma Radio coverage of the 2017 Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest organised by DLI on 29 April 2017.


10 May – Chatham House “Women in Trade” at European Parliament (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a 10 May meeting at the European Parliament on the topic of “Women in Trade” with contribution from Chatham House experts and members of European Parliament, which preceded an 11 May hearing on Gender Equality in EU Trade Agreements.


11 May – Trefpunt – Sterke Onderneemsters (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined a Trefpunt event, panel and speed-dating exercise, hosted by the “Sterke Onderneemsters” project, aimed a promoting women-led entrepreneurship, on 11 May in Brussels.


19 May – Digital Skills Fair at BeCentral (Brussels): On 9 June, Ms. Maria Alfonso, DLI Development Coordinator, showcased DLI activities at an all-day event promoting Belgian digital skills initiatives that took place at BeCentral 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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Let's Get Digital!

In honour of International Girls in ICT Day 2017, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners organised the second annual Girl Tech Fest Brussels 2017, a volunteer-run event with over 100 activities reaching 250 participants from across Brussels, encouraging girls toward study and career paths in ESTEAM:  STEM plus Entrepreneurship and Arts!

Thank you! 

With 25 workshops and a dozen “Digital Muse Lab” activities, the Girl Tech Fest took tons of effort and dedication from a lot of people to make happen!  We would like to thank everybody who contributed:

GTF Press

Our event got some attention!  Find out who was impressed right here!

Feedback

To help us improve Girl Tech Fest for the next time, please share your feedback here:

Stay in touch! 

For pictures of the event, news about upcoming activities and additional ways to stay involved in future DLI and Digital Muse events, please follow us here!

Thank you, and see you all again next year!

FREE Android Training Toolkit

In the context of the Coding for Young People project, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners have developed a FREE Android App Training Toolkit for use and sharing by individuals and organisations interested in teaching Android using the MIT App Inventor platform.


In order to fully benefit from the Toolkit, please be sure to:

  1. Download the ‘Talk2Me” training presentation and watch the 50-minute “Talk2Me” training video. Use these to teach Android to your students, and feel free to share them with others!
  2. Download the training guidelines that include links to resources in English, Italian and Spanish!
  3. Fill out the Survey about your experience to let us know if we’re on the right track!
  4. Join the Coding for Young People Community to benefit from future resources from the project and its partners!
  5. Don’t hesitate to contact us if we can support you in any way in your mission to teach coding to young people!

Happy coding!

Featured Image: PC Magazine