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.

DigitalMuseOrg

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.

gtfbru16team

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.

googlelogo_color_236x76dp
sponsors1

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

image
sponsors1

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

Looking forward to a new year of learning!

A New Year’s message from Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, Digital Literacy Lead & g-Hive Community Manager:

Hi girl-techies!

This year was a year of firsts for our organisation, and for our community. We got our own space in March, and started doing workshops on coding and electronics, using Scratch and Processing, as well as using interactive electronics and electric paint with the Bare Conductive Touch Board.

In the coming year, we plan on rolling up our sleeves and getting more active in organising a workshop series, for those of you who would like to take their learning experience to the next level. We will be introducing project-based learning workshops in coding and app development.  They will be taking place bi-weekly (every two weeks) on Wednesday afternoons. More information on these workshop series will be shared in January. If you have a preference for time and day, please don’t hesitate to send me an email with your requests.

I am also preparing a series of morning workshops for those of you who would like to learn basic coding skills, while enjoying a morning coffee with like-minded ladies. This will be a series of informal workshops called the “Techie Brekky Tuesdays”. You got it, we will be meeting on Tuesday mornings (every two weeks) for a couple of hours of group coding, coffee-sipping and croissant-munching techie-gigs. Again, more info on this on my next blogpost in January.

In the meantime, our female digital starter weekend “Move It Forward – tackling Cyberviolence and Online Hate Speech” has been moved to January 23-24, 2016. We have a line-up of great workshops scheduled for these two days, including a host of inspiring coaches who will help you with your projects and start-up ideas!

One more event that you might want to know about, we are teaming up with the IBM Bluemix team to organise a Bluemix Girls Night at inQube and offer a hands-on tutorial on their Bluemix Cloud Platform. Their team of engineers will be coming to our space and will lead hands-on exercises on real-world Internet of Things applications that could be deployed on the cloud. These tutorials will help us understand how cloud computing works, what the Internet of Things is, and how we can use “the cloud” to bring our start-up ideas to the next level. Visit here for more information, and to register for this event.

Here’s wishing all of you relaxing days during the holidays with your loved ones!

And let’s all stay techie-curious, and greet the new year with renewed energy to learn!

All the best,

Rosanna :)

Christmas Baubles with young Spruce tree branch. This file is cleaned, retouched and contains clipping path.

*Originally posted to g-hive.org on 21 December 2015

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.

DLI supports First U.N. Gender and Media Meeting

9-10 December 2015 at United Nations headquarters in Geneva, the Digital Leadership Institute joined the first-ever General Assembly of the Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG).  Read below the outcome of the gatherings, including input by Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, on the impact of online media on the struggle for gender equality.

Media Equality Critical for Women’s Rights

Geneva, December 11, 2015:  The first general assembly of the Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) has rounded out a week of meetings at the UN with a call for gender equality in and through the media by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“On International Human Rights Day (10 December), we call for inclusive societies that give equal voice to all,” said Colleen Lowe Morna, CEO of Gender Links and GAMAG Chairperson. “This cannot be achieved as long as half the world’s population is effectively silenced.”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0C-M9XLfEw

“We have come together to forge a global movement on gender and media,” said Alton Grizzle of UNESCO, which has facilitated GAMAG and organised the Geneva meeting with the Greek Secretariat General for Media and Communication. “Better access, leadership and portrayal of girls and women in media is a critical stepping stone for equal rights,” he added.

Launched in Bangkok two years ago, GAMAG brings together some 700 media houses, training institutions, journalism unions, gender and media activists to promote gender equality within the media and ICTs, and in the content they produce, as essential for achieving fundamental human rights for women worldwide.

Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent for CNN and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression, joined the International Development Cooperation Meeting on Gender and Media remotely to kick off the week’s events.  Said Amanpour: “On the very important platform that is media, women are simply not equally or even adequately represented, either in leadership roles or in media coverage.”

cooperation_meeting_banner

Over the past ten years, little has improved concerning the presence of women in media, according to Sarah Macharia who spoke on behalf of the World Association of Christian Communicators, an organisation that regularly monitors gender equality in global news media.

The 2015 Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) found that women constitute 24% of news sources – the same as five years ago.  “Women remain invisible or underrepresented on traditional media based on almost every indicator we measure,” Macharia warned. “And this trend has replicated itself in digital media as well.”

“As the struggle for gender equality moves to online media, the challenges multiply,” added Cheryl Miller of the Digital Leadership Institute, reporting for the GAMAG working group on media, ICTs and gender.  “Underrepresentation of women in both media and digital sectors converges online, and the scope for urgent action grows,” said Miller. From promoting positive role models online to tackling cyberviolence, “the internet is a double-edged sword for women,” she said. “It needs to be wielded for their benefit.”

At GAMAG’s inaugural General Assembly, stakeholders committed to making 2016 a year of unprecedented action on key priority areas which include digital media, youth, advocacy and gender and media research.  In addition, four regional GAMAG chapters were launched in order to operationalise the “Geneva Framework” reached at the International Development Cooperation meeting that preceded the General Assembly.

camerawoman_gamag_banner

Actions announced by GAMAG working groups included a set of gender equality principles and standards to be signed up to by media houses; gender sensitivity education for the media; a best practice community on gender and media, and an initiative to identify regional and local champions for gender in media like Amanpour.

Lowe-Morna underscored the urgency of GAMAG’s mission.  “Gender equality in and through the media is intrinsic to freedom of expression, democracy, good governance and transparency. We cannot hope to achieve the SDGs if this is sidelined.” GAMAG will be lobbying for gender and media indicators in the SDGs in the run-up to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting in New York in March 2016.

CSW60_Banners_675x123_EN

UNESCO’s Grizzle celebrated the milestones reached by the Geneva gatherings, and the support garnered from UN agencies and key public and private sector partners around the world. “With these watershed meetings behind us,” Grizzle said, “we are now looking forward to the next steps that will mobilise even greater effort and resources toward actively achieving the mission of GAMAG at a local, regional and global level.”

Erasmus+ Youth Coding Project Launch

Launch CYP

On 3 July 2015 in Brussels, DLI and its partners – Consulta Europa, PRISM & ATI (Spanish Association of IT Professionals) – launched Coding for Young People, a two year European Commission Erasumus+ Project that will collect and share best practices on innovative methods to teach coding to European youth, with a special focus on girls.

CYP PartnersFor more information about the Coding for Young People project, please contact us!

EC