Meet Alexa, Your New BFF, at Girl Tech Fest 2017!

Ever wanted to build your own robot sidekick?  Get ready to meet Alexa, Amazon‘s cloud-powered virtual assistant and your new BFF, at the Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest 2017!

Teen girls attending Girl Tech Fest 2017 will have a chance both to meet Alexa, and to program the Echo platform that helps Alexa run!  Those joining the GTF Alexa workshop organised by Amazon Web Services* will learn to customize Alexa’s voice-recognition system and remotely launch activities, from playing music to sending email.   After that, the chances to make a life-long virtual friend are endless!

The learning opportunity will continue after Girl Tech Fest, too, as the girls will benefit from official membership in the Amazon developer community where they can make use of the Alexa Skills Kit and other online materials to help them continue exploring and creating.

If you can’t join us at the Girl Tech Fest, why not celebrate International Girls in ICT Day along with us by trying out the Build a Trivia Skill tutorial with your own young developer?

Special thanks to  Amazon Web Services for supporting DLI work to increase participation of girls and women in digital fields, and for partnering for our second Girl Tech Fest!

Pepper is Coming to Girl Tech Fest 2017!

Pepper is an autonomous talking humanoid robot who is able to detect and respond to a whole number of human emotions including joy, sadness, anger or surprise. This high-tech robot is even able to make sense of data that traditional computers cannot understand like social media, video, images and text all through the power of IBM’s Watson!  Watson is “the first open cognitive computing technology platform and represents a new era in computing where systems understand the world in the way that humans do: through senses, learning, and experience.”

While still unavailable for individual purpose in Europe, Pepper is already popping up at local organizations, including  CHR Citadelle Hospital in Liege and AZ Damiaan Hospital in Ostend. Its duties include greeting patients and accompanying visitors to the correct hospital department utilizing the 20 different languages it knows!

But Pepper is not all work, it also has some pretty groovy dance moves too:

Pepper will visit GTF as a plenary speaker and participate in the Digital Muse Fun Lab throughout the day so each girl has the opportunity to say hello!

Still need to register for Girl Tech Fest? Do so here.

Special thanks to our partners at IBMCronos  and Craftworkz for making this possible!

DLI Update – March 2017

March is always a busy month at the Digital Leadership Institute.  This year was no exception.  On International Women’s Day 2017, we had the special privilege of visiting European Commissioner for Justice, Ms. Vera Jourova with a group of young girls active in STEM areas.  The girls shared with Commission Jourova about their vision, challenges and hopes for a future with girls leading in STEM, or what we call “ESTEAM” sectors.  You can find out about the visit here, about our other activities in March 2017 below, future activities in which we are involved, and visit our calendar for upcoming events organised by DLI.

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

logo_Women4Tech27 February-1 March – Women4Tech Summit at Mobile World Congress (Barcelona): In collaboration with the European Commission, the Digital Leadership Institute led a mission to the 2017 Women4Tech Summit and 4YFN startup event which took place as part of Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, moderated a 28 February panel on Reducing the Gender Gap in the Startup Ecosystem at the Women4Tech Summit, and both Ms.Miller and DLI received honours as finalists for the 2017 Mobile Global Awards in the Mobile Industry Leadership category.

european parliament 7-8 March – European Parliament International Women’s Day Media Conference on Economic Empowerment for Women (Brussels): In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, moderated a 2-day conference for media hosted by the European Parliament on the topic of Women’s Economic Empowerment in Europe.

(LeftAligned)InternationalWomensDay_RGB8 March – Amazon Web Services Celebration of International Women’s Day 2017 (Dublin, Ireland): On 8 March in Dublin, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, gave a lightening talk on the subject of “Be Bold for Change” at the Amazon Web Services European headquarters in Dublin, in celebration of International Women’s Day 2017.

13-17 March – Semaine Entreprendre (Brussels): On 14 March, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, contributed as “godmother” to an event promoting women-led entrepreneurship as part of a week of activities by EFP, the largest entrepreneurship education institution in Brussels.  On 15 March, Ms. Miller also provided a keynote for the week’s flagship conference on the topic of “digital transformation and entrepreneurship.”

8 March – DLI “Girls in STEM” Visit with Justice Commissioner Jourova (Brussels)In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, DLI led a “girls in STEM” visit with European Commissioner for Justice, Ms. Vera Jourova, and hosted a mission of young girls including Ms. Manon Van Hoorebeke, 2014 European Digital Girl of the Year.

22 March – GSMA Mobile Meeting Series Breakfast (Brussels): On 22 March, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, and Ms. Maria Alfonso, DLI Development Manager, joined a GSMA Mobile Meeting series breakfast on “Fostering women inclusion in the tech sector” at the GSMA Europe headquarters in Brussels.

23 March – AmCham (Brussels) Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, joined a 23 March gathering hosted by the American Chamber to the European Union on the subject of “Women and Entrepreneurship: Fueling social change through economic growth“.

28 March – Entreprendre 2017 (Brussels): On 28 March, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, joined Ms. Loubna Azghoud, leader of the Brussels Women in Business Platform, to host a workshop and networking lunch on women-led entrepreneurship, entitled “They did it, so why can’t you?“, as part of 2017 Entreprendre/Ondernemen, the largest annual entrepreneurship event 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!


Volunteer for Girl Tech Fest 2017!

In honor of International Girls in ICT Day 2017, on 29 April at European School IV in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute will organize the second annual Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest — an event that aims to encourage girls aged 11-15 to pursue studies in ESTEAM* through a day filled with fun, hands-on workshops and inspiring encounters with women role models in technology.  Past GTF events have included workshops on: “The Tech of DJ-ing, “3D Jewelry Design & Printing” and “The Future of Fashion.” Activities will also include a Digital Muse Lab where participants get to experience cutting-edge tech gadgets and interact with STEM mentors.  Interested participants can register here.

To carry out an event of this kind requires a dedicated team of volunteers for promotion, registration, coordination and workshop and DM Lab leadership.  So please get involved!

Promote the Girl Tech Fest in your Communities:
Be sure to get all the girls in your school and work communities involved in our event by printing and sharing GTF2017 posters in the following languages:

Why volunteer for the Girl Tech Fest Brussels 2017?

  • Social encouragement is 28.1% and career perception is 27.5% of the explainable factors influencing a young women’s wanting to pursue a computing related degree; and
  • If women held digital jobs as frequently as men, the gain for the European GDP each year would be around 9 billion euros!!!

If you’re interested in inspiring girls with STEM skills, check out the volunteer registration page! We do strive to showcase female mentors but men are of course very welcome to volunteer!

*STEM plus Entrepreneurship and Arts

Support Our Women and Coding Survey

In early 2017, the Digital Leadership Institute joined a group of organisations from across Europe in the WOW Code2Confidence project, funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission, which aims to empower women by teaching them to code. In the two-year project, a team of five partners from the UK, Romania, Croatia, Lithuania and Belgium, will research the following questions:

  • How can coding inspire women to develop themselves, encourage them to take active part in the digital society, and allow them to access new jobs created by the digital transformation?
  • What are the skills and competences women can build from basic coding education?
  • How can outcomes around coding for women be improved upon?
  • How can digital skills be used by women for social and economic empowerment?

In the first stage of the project, DLI and its partners are conducting a survey that will form the basis for recommendations and future action around the scope of the WOW Code2Confidence project.

To contribute to our research on women and coding, please participate in the survey here!

Read the first WOW Code2confidence Newsletter here, and for more information about the project, or about other DLI work promoting women in coding, please contact us!

Girl Tech Fest Brussels 2017

In celebration of International Girls in ICT Day, on 29 April the Digital Leadership Institute and the European School IV in Brussels will carry out the second Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest, a day-long, volunteer-run event promoting entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (“ESTEAM”) to 11-15 year old girls from the greater Brussels area, in order to encourage them to take up studies and careers in these areas.

The Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest 2017 will be carried out in three languages (Dutch, English and French) for participants who will take part in fun, hands-on workshops led by role model professionals from ESTEAM fields.  At last year’s Girl Tech Fest, 250 girls took part in over 100 workshops on subjects such as “The Tech of DJ-ing,” “3D Jewellery Design & Printing” and “The Future of Fashion.”

Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest 2017 participants will have day-long access to the “Digital Muse Lab” where partners and sponsors showcase activities that represent the latest in high-tech gadgets, games and experiments.  GTF17 will also include two Plenary Sessions with contributions by leading female figures in ESTEAM from Europe and beyond.  At past events, participants enjoyed hearing from and meeting women astronauts, software engineers and global ESTEAM leaders.

Draft Agenda:

  •   8:00-8:30:  Check-in with Identification
  •   8:30-10:00:  Opening Plenary with Keynote Speeches by outstanding Girls & Women in ESTEAM
  •   10:15-11:00:  Workshop 1 & DM Lab
  •   11:15-12:00:  Workshop 2 & DM Lab
  •   12:15-13:00:  Lunch & Digital Muse Disco
  •   13:15-14:00:  Workshop 3 & DM Lab
  •   14:15-15:00:  Workshop 4 & DM Lab
  •   15:15-16:00:  Closing Plenary with GTF17 Showcase & Ambassador Selection

Volunteers & Partners Sought

If you are interested in volunteering for Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest 2017, please contact us or sign up to our volunteer event page.  We are also eagerly in search of partners who can deliver workshops, talks, and DM Lab activities, and sponsors who can provide catering, goodie bags and other in-kind contributions to make the Girl Tech Fest a fabulous day for participants.  If you or your organisation would like to be involved, please get in touch!

Celebrate "Girls in STEM" for Women's Day 2017

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, the Digital Leadership Institute will organise several exciting activities across Europe promoting “women and girls in STEM*”.  In Brussels, DLI will lead an invitation-only visit with Ms. Vera Jourova, European Commissioner for Justice, where several young women — including Ms. Manon Van Hoorebeke, 2014 European Digital Girl of the Year — will share about their experiences and aspirations toward studies and careers in STEM sectors.

In Dublin, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, will give a talk on “Be Bold for Change” as part of a day-long event organised by Amazon Web Services, in order to promote greater participation of girls and women in digital studies and careers.

Ms. Miller will also author a special International Women’s Day opinion piece on “the digital gender divide” for General Electric‘s GE Reports, read by three million people annually.

In collaboration with the European Commission and European Parliament, Ms. Miller will also moderate an International Women’s Day event on “Women’s Economic Empowerment” that will feature keynotes and panel discussions by European thought-leaders, including renowned French nuclear physicist Hélène Langevin-Joliot, granddaughter of Marie Skłodowska-Curie.

Coming up on 29 April 2017, DLI will organise its second “Girl Tech Fest” promoting ESTEAM** skills for girls, for which we welcome inquiries by potential partners, workshop leaders, volunteers and sponsors.  Other DLI activities supporting our mission of inclusive digital transformation may be found on the DLI Calendar and Upcoming Activities pages.

  • *Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • **STEM plus Entrepreneurship and Arts

DLI Update – January-February 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 January and February 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

18 January – Gender Mainstreaming Congress for Metropolis Women Network: Ms. Cheryl Miller, Brussels Capital RegionDLI Cofounder, moderated a day-long global congress for cities and regions on the topic of Gender Mainstreaming, chaired by Ms. Laura Perez Castano, Barcelona City, and hosted by Ms. Bianca Debaets, Brussels Capital Region Secretary of State for Equal Opportunity and Brussels Smart City, on behalf of the Metropolis association of world cities and capitals.

wowc2c19-20 January – WOW Code2Confidence Project Meeting (Nottingham, UK): Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, contributed to the first working meeting of the WOW Code2Confidence project, on the topic of Coding for Beginners, which was hosted on 19-20 January in Nottingham by project partner Go Digital All. WOW Code2Confidence is an Erasmus+ project of the European Commission.

Unconv2017-0123-25 January – Unconvention 2017 (Brussels, Belgium): On 23-25 January in Brussels, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, contributed to the fifth edition of the European Young Innovators Forum’s Unconvention in Brussels, as a mentor and jury member for the InnoPitch competition. Innopitch promotes entrepreneurship for young Europeans and contributes to the European Young Innovator of the Year contest.

3 February – Design Your Life Workshop at euroclearEuroclear (Brussels, Belgium): On 3 February in Brussels, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, organized a Design Your Life workshop for Euroclear staffmembers to tackle questions of personal and professional development based on design thinking.

SEW176-10 February – Startup Europe Week Brussels (Brussels, Belgium): From 6 to 10 February, the second annual Startup Europe Week was celebrated across Europe with as many as six events taking place in Brussels alone. As 2017 SEW ambassador for Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, and a team of Co-organisers organised several SEW Brussels 2017 events that showcased resources for Brussels-based startups. On 9 February, Ms. Miller moderated a panel on “Navigating EU Resources for Startups,” at Infopoint Schuman. On 11-12 February, DLI hosted the Move It Forward for Women in Media female digital starters weekend.

IMG_61088-9 February – InnoApps Challenge 2017 (Brussels, Belgium): Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, mentored and trained top projects in Design Thinking for Startup and MIT AppInventor for Android for the 2017 InnoApps Challenge which took place 8-9 February in Brussels.

pes power to women9 February – Gender Equality and Cyber Empowerment Workshop for PES (Brussels, Belgium): On 9 February in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, and Ms. Maria Alfonso, DLI Development Manager, led a hands-on workshop for the Party of European Socialists on the topic of Gender Equality and Cyber Empowerment.

fintech16 February – Financial Inclusion at B-Hive #FinAndTonic (Brussels, Belgium) : On 16 February in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, gave a keynote presentation on the subject of Financial Inclusion as part of the #FinAndTonic evening at B-Hive, newly-formed Belgian FinTech bridge.

distdenialofwomen23 February – Distributed Denial of Women (Global): On 23 February, DLI supported Distributed Denial of Women (#DDoW), an online and offline campaign to promote greater participation of girls and women in digital studies and careers.

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!


DLI Recognised by Global Mobile Awards

At Mobile World Congress 2017 on 2 March in Barcelona, the Digital Leadership Institute and its cofounder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, will both be recognised for their outstanding contributions to closing the gender gap in mobile and digital sectors, as part of the first-ever Women4Tech Summit.  Ms. Miller and DLI have respectively been shortlisted for 2017 Global Mobile Awards for Mobile Industry Leadership in both the individual and organisation categories.


In support of this year’s Women4Tech activities at MWC, the Digital Leadership Institute will also spearhead a European Commission mission to MWC that includes policy-makers, researchers and advocates for Women in Tech from across Europe and Africa.  In addition, Ms. Miller will moderate a panel on “Reducing the Gender Gap in the Startup Ecosystem” taking place on 28 February as part of the 4YFN (4 Years from Now) startup event at MWC.  Ms. Reine Essobmadje, founding member of DLI, will also be on hand the same day to award top projects from the Hack D Gap global challenge promoting gender balance in the tech industry.


For more information about DLI activities at MWC and the Women4Tech Summit, please follow our activities and feel free to contact us!

DLI becomes Recognised Charity in the US

Following an extensive international vetting process, we are thrilled to announce that the Digital Leadership Institute is now eligible to receive tax-deductible donations from US-based individuals and organisations through the Charities Aid Foundation of America.  Over the last five years, CAF America and its subsidiary, the CAF American Donor Fund (CADF), have given more than $400 million to charitable organisations in over ninety countries around the world.  DLI is proud to be one of the organisations now eligible to receive grants via CAF America, which we consider a key step to increasing our reach in North America and around the world.

To make a tax-deductible contribution to DLI’s mission to achieve inclusive digital transformation worldwide, please consider any of the following options:

Some of the initiatives DLI leads in order to promote our mission around the world are the following:

QinQube – Global network promoting women-led startups in digitally-driven and digitally-enabled enterprises. Flagship “Move It Forward” female digital starter weekends are carried out in different cities around the world, reaching 50-100 teen and adult women with tech and business skills to encourage them toward tech startup while addressing topics disproportionately impacting girls and women — like cyberviolence, women refugees and asylum-seekers, and Women in Media. – Global initiative promoting ESTEAM* skills to girls through creative endeavor, in order to increase the quantity and quality of stories by, for and about girls and women in digital media.  Volunteer-run Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest events reach hundreds of 11-15 year old girls in a given city each time they are organised.

cypro logo lgCYPRO – Cyber professional training and workforce placement program for experienced women, focused on increasing participation of women in strategic IT professional careers such as cybersecurity, data sciences, artificial intelligence, etc.

Award Banner – Global awards recognising outstanding girls and women in digital studies and careers and the people and organisations supporting them, with the annual Ada Award Ceremony held in a different country every year.

We are excited about the opportunity this partnership with CAF America represents for DLI, and look forward to the continued support of our current partners and to welcoming new partners and sponsors for promoting DLI’s mission around the world!


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