DLI Update – January and February 2016

The Digital Leadership Institute kicked off 2016 with aplomb by launching our first Move It Forward event giving Brussels teen and adult women the skills to deploy projects promoting online safety and tackling cyberviolence against girls and women.  In the first week of February, DLI  also coordinated Brussels Region activities for the launch of Europe’s first “Startup Europe Week,” which reached thousands of participants across 200+ European cities.

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 January and February 2016, learn here about future activities we are involved in, and visit our calendar for upcoming events that DLI is organising. *entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics


cpdp228 January – Computer Privacy & Data Protection Conference (Brussels):  On 28 January,  DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller,  contributed to a worldclass panel on Loving the No-Hate Web: Another Look into Women’s Digital Rights, where the discussion centered on whether digital citizenship is equal and unprejudiced, in theory and practice.


sewlogo_3001-5 February – Startup Europe Week (Europe): As Brussels Coordinator for the first edition of Startup Europe Week, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, coordinated organisation of four free events on the topic of “Brussels: The Heart of Startup,” from 1 to 5 February in Brussels.  These events, organised by DLI and other top ecosystem players in Brussels, reached hundreds of (aspiring) starters and addressed such themes as “Promoting Tech Startup in Brussels” (DLI & Finnova), “Embrace Your Inner Entrepreneur” (Co.Station), “From Success to First Steps” (Betacowork), and “Women and the Cloud” (inQube/DLI).  The Startup Europe Week Launch Event was also held in Brussels on 1 February.


DLearn11 February – European Digital Learning Network (Brussels): On 11 February, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller,  spoke at a Digital Agenda for Europe roundtable on the subject of  Increasing Participation of Girls and Women in Digital Sectors, for the European Digital Learning Network.


wehubs15 February – WeHubs Webinar (Online):  On 15 February, 11:00-12:00CET, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, contributed to an online expert webinar open to the public on addressing European support programs for female web entrepreneurs, as part of the WeHubs project.


MWC1624-25 February – Mobile World Congress (Barcelona): DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, joined a Connected Women panel on “eSkills and Gender” as part of the Women Leadership Accelerating the Digital Age event at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, 24-25 February.


unwomen24 February – “Monitoring the 2030 Agenda & SDGs from a Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment Perspective” (Brussels): On 24 February, DLI Cofounder, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer  joined a UN Women lunch debate on the topic of “Monitoring the 2030 Agenda and SDGs from a Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Perspective” in Brussels.


Be sure to visit our calendar and sign up for the DLI Newsletter in order to keep up with DLI events and activities!

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Girl Tech Fest Brussels 2016

In celebration of International Girls in ICT Day 2016, on 30 April in Brussels the Digital Leadership Institute will launch the first-ever Digital MuseGirl Tech Fest” — an all-day event promoting digital and creative skills to 11-15 year old girls from the greater Brussels region. Supported by top technology companies, youth networks, and public and private partners in Belgium and Europe, GTF aims to increase participation of girls in ESTEAM* studies and careers through hands-on workshops at the intersection of creative and digital endeavor.

Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest:  The first-ever Girl Tech Fest will showcase inspiring women role models in tech, a Digital Muse Lab where girls can experiment with the latest high-tech gadgets, and dozens of hands-on workshops promoting digital skills and creativity with subjects like “The Future of Fashion,” “Digital Music Composition,” and “Building Smarter SmartPhone Apps.”

DM1 Art

Digital Muse One – Music Compilation Release:  On the occasion of the Girl Tech Fest, the Digital Leadership Institute will also release its first compilation album, “Digital Muse One – DM1,” featuring top women electronic musicians from the past and present.  Album artists will join the Girl Tech Fest as speakers and workshop leaders, and will perform at the DM1 Release party and GTF after-party to be held the evening of 30 April at a central Brussels location.  Proceeds from the DM1 release event and sale of the album will benefit this and future Digital Muse activities.

If you or or your organisation would like to support the Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest — with expert-led workshops, sponsorship, promotional consideration, media coverage, technical infrastructure or onsite volunteers, please contact us.  We are looking forward to launching this world-first for International Girls in ICT Day in Brussels on 30 April 2016 with you!

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

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Brussels Women Move It Forward

Winning Project and Judges - MIF Brussels 2016
ENAC: Best Overall Project & Jury – MIF Brussels 2016

On 23-24 January, forty young and adult women gathered at DLI’s inQube space in Brussels to develop websites and smartphone applications, and to launch their own enterprises to tackle cyberviolence and promote online safety for girls and women.  Participants of the first-ever Move It Forward Brussels female digital starter weekend — organised by DLI and subsidised by the Brussels Capital Region — came from across Brussels and around the world, to improve their tech skills and try their hand at entrepreneurship.

Move It Forward Participants Create First Smartphone App
Move It Forward Participants Create First Smartphone App
Move It Forward Team-building
Move It Forward Team-building

Says Bianca Debaets, Brussels Minister for Equal Opportunity and Digitalisation, and supporter of the Move It Forward initiative:  “When women take up an active role in the ICT and business worlds, they are stronger. And that should reduce cyberviolence against women too. In that way, Move It Forward serves a dual purpose: It makes more women entrepreneurs and it empowers them digitally.”  (Read a full press release about the Move It Forward event in Dutch here: Move It Forward Persbericht 2016.)

Worldclass Tech Partners - Tableau Software
Worldclass Tech Partners – Tableau Software

Attendees of Move It Forward Brussels, from 14 to 54 in age and representing upwards of twenty-two nationalities, dedicated an entire weekend to learning digital and entrepreneurial skills taught by DLI and its worldclass technology partners, including Tableau Software, Amazon Web Services, WordPress and AppInventor.  With the help of a dedicated and talented team of coaches, participants developed innovative projects that they presented to a jury on Sunday evening for top honors.  Jury-members included Ms. Maité Morren, Councilmember for Ixelles responsible for ICT, and representatives from European Schoolnet, Child Focus Belgium, DLI and AWS.

Ms. Ellen Van Den Berghe - Inspiring Young ICT Lady of the Year
Ms. Ellen Van Den Berghe –  Belgian Young ICT Lady of the Year

The two-day Move It Forward Brussels initiative kicked off on Saturday morning with a keynote presentation by Ms. Ellen Van den Berghe, 2015 Young ICT Lady of the Year in Belgium, and closed with an inspiring talk by Ms. Terry Reintke, Member of European Parliament who recently authored a report on Women and the Digital Society.

Awesome Team, Coaches & Partners
Awesome Move It Forward Team, Coaches & Partners

Top awards for the weekend were presented to ENAC, Detrolled and iCompassion-Ubuntu, each promoting a unique approach for addressing cyberviolence against girls and women.  All winning teams receive several months’ inQubation and startup coaching at DLI and free membership for one year on the Amazon Web Service platform. Each member of the Overall Best project team also received Amazon Fire tablets.  In addition, several follow-up workshops are already planned to allow inQube community members to further develop the digital and entrepreneurship skills they started learning at Move It Forward Brussels.

Move It Forward Women
Move It Forward Women

Organisations across Europe have expressed interest in organising Move It Forward events in their own cities, and future plans for the Brussels inQube community include taking on additional challenges faced by Europe’s girls and women, including immigration and asylum-seeking, health and nutrition, media portrayal, etc.  Please contact us if you would like to learn more about the Move It Forward initiative, to partner with DLI/inQube, and/or to organise a Move It Forward event in your city!

egalitedeschances logoBrussels Capital Region

Dedicated Team-members
Dedicated Team-members
The Jury
The Jury:  Child Focus, European Schoolnet & Amazon Web Services
Pitching Projects to Tackle Cyberviolence
Pitching Projects to Tackle Cyberviolence
Dedicated DLI Staff
Dedicated DLI Team
"Check out this exciting line-up!"
“Check out this exciting line-up!”
Brainstorming to Tackle Online Violence
Brainstorming to Tackle Online Violence

Support the First Startup Europe Week

SEWBru16 Flyer-1During the week of 1-5 February 2016, hundreds of regions and cities across Europe will be celebrating the power of startups to revitalise the economy, stimulate job creation and address our most pressing social needs in innovative ways.  Actors — from governmental authorities to university incubators and grassroots organisations — are all on board to support the first-ever Startup Europe Week by showcasing the opportunities, resources and support available to individuals in their communities who are eager to launch a new enterprise.

Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, is coordinating 2016 Startup Europe Week activities for the Brussels Capital Region, numbering four events organised by local startup ecosystem leaders and collectively presented as “Brussels: The Heart of Startup.”  In addition, the launch event for Startup Europe Week will also take place in Brussels at the European Committee of the Regions premises.

For more information and to register for the Startup Europe Week 2016 activities taking place in Brussels from 1 to 5 February, please follow the below links:

Event organisers across Europe look forward to welcoming you in their cities and regions for this inaugural Startup Europe Week, and we especially welcome your involvement in “Brussels:  The Heart of Startup!”

Support Women Tech Entrepreneurs

*The Move It Forward event originally scheduled for 28-29 November 2015 has been rescheduled for 23-24 January 2016!  More time for you to join us and help support this great initiative!

There’s a serious shortage of women tech entrepreneurs in Europe.  How serious?  We don’t really know.  There isn’t a lot of data available but unofficial numbers in Belgium, for example, put the percentage of female tech founders at three percent.  Three percent.  And although we know the following to be true, there exists no concerted effort on a Belgian or European level to engage girls and women in tech startup:

  1. Girls and women are underrepresented in the tech industry, academia and in startup;
  2. Growth in the number of women-led startups in Europe is outstripping that of startups led by men;
  3. Girls and women thrive in tech and startup initiatives that specifically target them; and
  4. The untapped economic potential of getting more women engaged in the tech sector is huge.

Despite the foregoing, there are no public- or private-supported initiatives that promote startup and innovation in Europe which explicitly address under-representation of girls and women in this area.  Talk about “innovation”:  This is a situation ripe for something new.

On 23-24 January 2015,* the Digital Leadership Institute will launch “Move It Forward,” a female digital starter weekend that aims to tackle the under-representation of women in tech startup in Europe.  The initiative — NOT a hackathon, NOT a startup weekend, but actually both of these with a twist — is an event for female, tech and startup beginners that gives girls and women digital and entrepreneurial skills, along with a social challenge they need to address using these skills.

With the pilot version of Move It Forward, DLI and the Brussels Capital Region have given girls and women from the greater Brussels area the mission to develop projects that promote online safety for girls and women, and tackle cyberviolence.  Participants will receive training and coaching in website and smart app development, data visualisation and in launching digital enterprises.  With these skills they will develop projects and initiatives that they will present for prizes, resources and further development on DLI’s inQube – female digital accelerator – platform.

We are still looking for coaches, jury-members, sponsors and partners for the Move It Forward Brussels event — which aims to reach teen and adult women in the greater Brussels region, and create a footprint for future MIF events on topics like media, health, migration, etc., in other cities in Belgium and across Europe.

Does the idea of getting more women in tech entrepreneurship interest you?  Would you like to support the Move It Forward project of DLI and its partners — Dell, Amazon Web Services, Tableau, et al.?  Please contact us and let us know how you would like to help!  🙂

egalitedeschances logoBrussels Region Logo

Move It Forward is supported by the

Ministry of Equal Opportunity of the Brussels Capital Region.

2015 European Ada Award-winners

On 14 December in Luxembourg, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners – the Council for European Professional Informatics Societies, DIGITALEUROPE, the European Centre for Women and Technology, and European SchoolNetannounced winners of the 2015 European Ada Awards, recognising outstanding girls and women in digital studies and careers in Europe, and the organisations who support them.  The 2015 Ada Awards ceremony took place at the opening for a high-level eskills and entrepreneurship event as part of the Luxembourg presidency of the Council of the European Union.

2015 European Ada Award winners and finalists were recognised in the following categories:

NiamhScanlonWinner – 13 years old:  Niamh from Ireland

Niamh, 13, learned to code at CoderDojo when she was nine and she loves to build websites and apps that help people. When she was 11 she developed an award-winning app to help the drivers of electric cars. For three years Niamh has mentored at CoderDojo in Dublin City University, where she helps other young people – and particularly girls – to learn how to create with technology. She is a member of the Digital Youth Council in Ireland and she would like to see more coding and technology taught in schools.

YasminWinner – 14 years old:  Yasmin from England

Yasmin is a fourteen year old who has been programming for six years. She regularly builds projects with the Raspberry Pi computer, and volunteers to run workshops for young people to learn how to code using the Pi. As well as this, she runs a programming club during her school lunch breaks for younger pupils, to hopefully increase the uptake of Computer Science at her school.

Winner:  Janneke Niessen, Improve Digital, from the NetherlandsFoto janneke niessen

Janneke is a female serial technology entrepreneur who, next to her role of Chief Innovation Officer at Improve Digital, also makes big efforts to help other entrepreneurs and is a strong advocate for women in tech. She is mentor for startups, angel investor and regularly speaks at events to share her experience in building a high-growth international technology company. She is co-initiator of Inspiring Fifty, that makes female role models in technology more visible. She recently published a novel for young girls (10-14) to create a role model for them and show them how great and fun technology is and how many possibilities it offers.

First Runner-Up:  Monique Morrow, Cisco, from SwitzerlandMonique Morrow

Monique Morrow is the Chief Technology Officer for New Frontiers at Cisco that uniquely focuses on empowering women through the intersection of research, economics and technology execution.  Her current focus is spearheading an Internet of Women movement as an opportunity for women worldwide to collectively shape the future of the Internet powered by a SHE (Supercritical Human Elevated) technology platform.

Second Runner-Up:  Nicole Wajer, Cisco, from the NetherlandsNWajer

In her work, Nicole supports account teams and partners that need her technical expertise.  She is passionate about the Internet of Things (IoT), IPv6 and Security, and is currently playing with new technology e.g Sensors in her own home.  Nicole is a Champion of Change for her passionate work in the Industrial Automation space, and is a frequent blogger and attendee at the four annual Dutch Hacker Conferences.

vhtograbWinner:  VHTO, The Netherlands:
VHTO, the Dutch national expert organisation on girls/women and science/technology, makes an effort in many different ways to increase the involvement of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Every year VHTO organises the Dutch Girlsday together with 300 IT and technical companies. In 2015, 9,525 girls participated! To increase the participation of girls in Computer Science specifically, VHTO created the Digivita program for girls (age 8-18) which took place in in six cities in 2014, and carried out the Digivita Summer Camp in 2015. In 2014 VHTO reached 55,210 Dutch children through projects in primary and secondary education.

TravisFoundation-1 Runner-Up:  Travis FoundationRailsgirls Summer of Code, Germany: 

Travis Foundation runs Rails Girls Summer of Code for the third year in a row now – providing stipends for women all over the world to work on Open Source projects. The grassroots initiative is a hands-on solution for the problem of women being underrepresented in Open Source and Tech in general. With Rails Girls Summer of Code we are not only changing women’s careers, diversifying Tech Communities and building safer environments for women in Tech – we are also creating the much-needed role models in IT, so that future generations can follow suit.

Congratulations to all the 2015 European Ada Awards nominees, finalists and winners in every category, and thank you to our Award Partners and supporters of the 2015 European Ada AwardsAmazon Web Services, Facebook, Google, HP and SAP!  Please contact us with questions or inquiries on how to  support the Ada Awards and the larger mission of the Digital Leadership Institute.

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DLI Update – October 2015

October 2015 welcomed another record-breaking European Code Week, to which DLI contributed with two “Girls and the Future Internet” workshops exploring the internet of things and its impact on our daily lives. This month also took us to ICT2015, Europe’s largest ICT event, where DLI organised a stand on “Women in ICT” and carried out a “speed mentoring” session — with high school girls and adult women in tech — that celebrated 200 years of women in ICT leadership, starting with our beloved Ada Lovelace. Speaking of Ada, DLI also partnered with Euroforum to launch the first-ever Ada Lovelace Festival in Europe, where DLI Founder Cheryl Miller had the honor of delivering a keynote address, and she and DLI Cofounder, Rosanna Kurrer, organised two popular workshops on 3D printing and wearable technology. Find out more about our other October 2015 activities below.

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 September 2015, learn here about future activities we are involved in, and visit our calendar for upcoming events that DLI is organising. *entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics


mastercard8 October – MasterCard Women in Leadership Panel (Brussels): On 8 October in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a MasterCard panel on women in leadership hosted at Vlerick business school.


SWlogo9-11 October – FinTech Startup Weekend Brussels – (Brussels): On 9-11 October, Brussels hosted its first-ever FinTech Startup Weekend, and Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined the event jury to choose the next revolutionary idea in banking and finance.


codeweek-badge10-18 October – European Code Week (Belgium): With the generous support of Google, DLI organised two workshops on “Girls and the Future Internet” as part Europe Code Week 2015. As Code Week Ambassador for Belgium, DLI Founder Cheryl Miller was active in promoting EU Code Week events in Belgium and beyond, which reached a record 7,000 events across Europe in 2015.


ff14 October – Failing Forward – (Brussels): On 14 October in Brussels, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, delivered a keynote speech at Failing Forward, Belgium’s flagship event that aims to “break through the stigma associated with failure,” organised by Startups.be.


CoR15 October – Open Days Workshop on “Inclusive Entrepreneurship” at the Committe of the Regions – (Brussels): As part of 2015 Open Days at the European Committee of the Regions, DLI Cofounder, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, contributed to a workshop on “European Entrepreneurial Regions promoting inclusive entrepreneurship” taking place at the CoR offices in Brussels.


transmit16 October – Transmit at the Signal Festival – (Prague): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, spoke on “Ada 200: The future of feminine, creative digital expression” at Transmit, the educational platform for digital culture, art and technology, at the annual Signal Festival in Prague.


bxldigweek17 October – Women in Tech Night at Brussels Digital Week – (Brussels): On 17 October, as part of European Code Week and Brussels Digital Week, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, moderated a Women in Tech Night panel discussion on participation of girls and women in digital society, with top women from the Belgian tech sector.


ict_2015_lisbon20-22 October – ICT2015 (Lisbon): DLI led an “Ada200″ networking session on “Girls & Women in Tech” and hosted a Women in ICT booth at ICT2015, Europe’s largest ICT event, which took place 20-22 October in Lisbon, Portugal. At the networking session — celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lady Ada Lovelace — DLI launched its newest policy initiative, Europe5050, host a handful of lightening talks by ICT luminaries, and facilitate a “speed-mentoring” event between teenage girls and women in tech.


adalovelacelogo27-28 October – Ada Lovelace Festival (Berlin): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, gave a keynote speech at the first-ever Ada Lovelace Festival, an initiative of Euroforum DE, on 27-28 October in Berlin. Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Digital Literacy Lead, Ms. Miller and Ms. Norma Carr from Dimension Alley also led two popular workshops on 3D Printing and Wearable Technology.


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 Update – September 2015

Brussels Awards DLI Cyberviolence Project

The Ministry of Equal Opportunity of the Brussels Capital Region has selected DLI to lead a seminal campaign engaging Brussels adult and teenage women* in addressing cyberviolence in their communities. In Fall 2015, DLI will carry out several inQube – female digital accelerator workshops to build awareness about the growing problem of online violence, bullying and hate speech, and provide girls and women with skills and resources for tackling this problem. Six workshops will be held at DLI headquarters in Brussels from September through November 2015, culminating in the 28-29 November global launch of a Move It Forward digital starter event for girls and women focusing on Cyberviolence.

Move It Forward
Move It Forward

The events of the Move It Forward project are open to the public, and carried out in English, French and Dutch.  Attendance is free but space is limited so registration at the noted links is required.

To partner with us or sponsor the DLI “Move it Forward” Cyberviolence campaign, roundtable or digital starter event, please contact us!

The 2015 Move It Forward project on Cyberviolence is supported by the Ministry of Equal Opportunity of the Brussels Capital Region.

*anyone who identifies as a girl or woman

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DLI Promotes Girls in Tech at ICT2015

On 20-22 October 2015, more than 4500 people will converge on Lisbon to attend ICT2015, Europe’s largest ICT event. DLI board members, Ms. Cheryl Miller and Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, will host the Women in ICT booth at ICT2015, and DLI will organize “Ada200,” a special networking session to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lady Ada Lovelace — the first computer programmer in the world, a woman and a European.  DLI and its partners will showcase European women role models in ICT and carry out a speed-mentoring activity to encourage young girls toward digital studies and careers.

ECThe program for the Ada200 Networking Session at ICT2015 is as follows:

To participate in, partner or sponsor the Ada200 Networking Session at ICT2015, please contact us!

httpv://vimeo.com/126954305