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.

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!

 

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

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!

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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!

DLI Launches CYPRO – Cyber Professional Program for Women

On 10 October 2016 in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute launched its newest initiative, the CYPRO cyber professional training and workforce placement program for women, which aims to increase participation of experienced women in strategic, often male-dominated, ICT specialist fields such as cybersecurity, data science, DevOps, etc.

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The CYPRO program targets experienced women with intensive specialised education, apprenticeship opportunities, and permanent placement into IT organisations that includes ongoing training and mission support for as long as five years.

The first CYPRO cohort on cybersecurity kicked off in Brussels in October 2016, with a group of women who will join the IT workforce in February 2017.  For more information about upcoming CYPRO cohorts or about placing CYPRO delegates in your organisation, please contact us.

CYPRO is an initiative of the Digital Leadership Academy, professional training organisation of DLI.

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Women Refugees Move It Forward

mif eAs part of Code Week Europe 2016, on 15-16 October in Brussels, sixty young and adult women gathered at the Digital Leadership Institute’s inQube space for a Move It Forward “female digital starters” weekend in support of women refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe.  One quarter of event participants, ranging in age from 14 to 62 years old, were recent refugees to Europe, and the entire group shared over 25 different nationalities.

Through expert support and hands-on digital skills workshops over the course of a weekend, Move It Forward event participants built and launched their own technology-enabled initiatives to address the unique safety, health, education and economic challenges faced by displaced women across Europe and the MENA region.

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On the final day of the event, the most innovative projects with and for women refugees were selected for further incubation at inQube, and were recognized again later in the week at a European Parliament event hosted by KAGIDER, the Turkish women’s entrepreneurship association.  Projects included:

World-class technology partners who support DLI and inQube to deliver the Move It Forward startup weekends for women include Amazon Web Services, Onboard CRM and MIT AppInventor for Android. With continued support from these and other partners, DLI plans to organise MIF weekends in Istanbul, Athens, Sofia and other cities in 2017 in order to continue addressing global challenges that disproportionately impact girls and women, including women seeking asylum, women in media, cyberviolence against girls and women, etc.

Ms. Anna Zobnina, Chair of the European Network of Migrant Women, who gave a keynote and took part in the event, shared the following: “When extremism and poverty attack women, forcing them to flee their home, we should attack extremism and poverty by empowering refugee women to rebuild their dignified lives. And if we want to win, we have to be strategic and use the digital technology to fight violence and discrimination that women on the move face at every step of their journeys.”

Ms. Sanem Oktar, KAGIDER President said: “As the largest women’s entrepreneurship network in Turkey, KAGIDER is thrilled to ‘Move It Forward’ for female digital starters. We share the vision of economically empowering women to drive positive change in the world, and of enabling them to use technology to do that. We are therefore excited to showcase the successes of Move It Forward Brussels 2016 and to build on this with Move It Forward Istanbul in 2017.

The first Move It Forward weekend took place in January 2016 with support of the Brussels Capital Region. Four of the final projects received expert support from DLI for a period of five months, and several projects are continuing today. To build on its success in Brussels, DLI and its partners are now launching Move It Forward in other cities around the globe.

The two-day Move It Forward event is a flagship of the inQube female digital accelerator, a DLI initiative whose mission is to redress under-representation of women in tech startup.

Event Sponsors and Partners

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Coding for Young People at Digital Festival 2016

On 21 June 2016, as an official side-event of the first Digital Festival in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute will carry out a best practices roundtable on Coding for Young People in Europe and an Android coding workshop for young people, on behalf of the ERASMUS+ Coding for Young People project.

At this event targeting students, educators, administrators and policy-makers, expert panelists will lead a roundtable discussion on best practices in coding initiatives for youth from across Europe. The roundtable will be followed by an Android smartphone coding workshop for young people which is also open to members of the public (details below).  Participation is free of charge but both a ticket to the Digital Festival as well as a booking for the current event is required.


Draft Agenda:
14:30-14:35:  Welcome by Cheryl Miller, Cofounder, Digital Leadership Institute
14:35-14:50:  Coding for Young People Project Overview by Valentina Platzgummer, Consulta Europa


14:50-16:00:  Expert-led Best Practices Roundtable:

Moderator:  Ms. Cheryl Miller, Cofounder, Digital Leadership Institute


15:45-17:30: Android Coding Workshop for Young People:
Following the best practices roundtable, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, Digital Leadership Institute Cofounder, and Friedger Müffke of OpenIntents.org, will lead a hands-on Android Coding workshop with MIT App Inventor, targeting young people ages 11 and up.  Participation in the workshop is free but places are limited so reservation is required.  In addition, attendees should bring their own laptop or contact the organizers if they need to reserve one (limited supply).


Coding for Young People Project Partners

    

 

Girl Tech Fest Brussels

On 30 April at European School IV in Brussels, 250 girls from thirty-three schools across Belgium celebrated International Girls in ICT Day 2016 by participating in Belgium’s first-ever Digital MuseGirl Tech Fest,” an all-day event promoting digital and creative skills to girls aged 11 to 15. The first Girl Tech Fest was carried out in Dutch, French and English and organized by the Digital Leadership Institute with support from Google, IBM, Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Dell and the ULB. The event involved over 100 volunteers who organised more than forty workshops and twenty Digital Muse Lab activities that showcased high-tech gadgets and activities like Cooking with Watson, Google Cardboard, and Smartgurlz Drones designed, powered and modeled after girls.

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Participants also took advantage of hands-on workshops teaching such skills as how to “Lead Like a Girl” and “Write in Wikipedia,” and they got to design and build their own gadgets like computer-powered legos and 3D holograms. The first-ever Girl Tech Fest also featured inspiring talks by role models from GTF partners, as well as former European Digital Girls of the Year, Miss Lune Van Ewijk and Miss Manon Van Hoorebeke. Ms. Lorena Boix Alonso of the European Commission and Ms. Saskia Van Uffelen, Digital Champion for Belgium were also guests of honour.

DM1 ArtOn the occasion of the first Girl Tech Fest, the Digital Leadership Institute also released its first music compilation, Digital Muse One – DM1, featuring top women electronic musicians from the past and present. Ms. Maya Postepski, aka Princess Century, who composed a DM1 track called “California,” also delivered an inspiring talk at the Girl Tech Fest, organized several workshops on “digital music composition” and had several girls to join her in DJ-ing at a GTF disco during the lunch break.

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The closing GTF plenary showcased amazing digital creations of the day for which the girls themselves were responsible, including an original Digital Muse letter font, digital music compositions, and high-tech fashion designs. Prizes were given to outstanding digital muses who inspired their fellow participants during the day with insight, helpfulness, and general enthusiasm about the event and their fellow digital muses.

By all measures, the inaugural Girl Tech Fest Brussels was an unqualified success, and DLI is grateful to all its partners, volunteers and sponsors for the hard work, commitment and love with which this amazing event was delivered. In the meantime, the feedback from the school was so great that we have already been invited back next year– but this time with twice as many participants! 😮

Better start getting ready for 29 April 2017 when we will kick off Girl Tech Fest Brussels 2017!!! 🙂

If you or or your organisation would like to support future editions of the Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest in Brussels or elsewhere — with expert-led workshops, sponsorship, promotional consideration, media coverage, technical infrastructure or onsite volunteers — please contact us.

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