DLI Celebrates Top Women in Tech

On 30 November 2017 at BeCentral in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners welcomed over two hundred key stakeholders and community members to celebrate the fifth edition of the European Ada Awards and to share the success stories of the 2017 Digital Brusselles project with support from the Digital Belgium Skills Fund. The Ada Awards are a long-standing pledge to the European Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition that recognise top European girls and women in tech and the organisations that support them.

Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, opened the evening with a warm thank you to DLI supporters, followed by keynote presentations from Ms. Céline Vanderborght, Brussels Region Smart City Manager and Ms. Andrea Almeida Cordero, Member of Cabinet for Ms. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market. Both speakers committed their support and that of their stakeholders to active engagement of girls and women for fulfilling the vision of an inclusive digital Europe.  A subsequent tweet about the event by Commissioner Gabriel was very well received on Twitter.

Opening presentations were succeeded by graduation of over sixty participants from the 2017 Digital Muse After School program with Ms. Valentina Cala DLI Digital Creative Manager, and from the first-ever cohort of the CYPRO “First Steps” program with Ms. Mai Ensmann, DLI CYPRO Coordinator.

Ms. Katja Legisa, Digital Brusselles Director, then recognised 200-plus participants of the 2017 “Female Digital Starters” training program, followed by an inQube / Digital Brusselles project pitching session hosted by Ms. Lama Jaghjougha, a recent Syrian refugee to Belgium and founder of Move Women Refugees Forward. Initiatives presented included those launched in the context of inQube Move It Forward events over the past two years, including:

  • Brussely – a platform by/for/about Brussels Generation Y-ers, presented by Ms. Safia Bihmehdn
  • MESS – a gamified concert-going platform for Brussels citizens, presented by Ms. Alexandra Pykacz & Ms. Edith Euan
  • MIA – a virtual innovation space for Brussels citizens, presented by Ms. Muna Ibrahim
  • African Gist – an African tech internship program, presented by Ms. Cynthia Mukendy
  • Tabadoul – a professional mentorship program for women refugees led by ENoWM and DAW, presented by Ms. Sinem Yilmaz

A particularly moving moment of the evening came about when, as part of her pitch for the Brussely platform, Ms. Safia Bihmehdn read a poem she composed about her participation in the Move It Forward for Women in Media event, which as the poem describes, inspired her toward a whole new direction in digital entrepreneurship and in celebrating the youth and diversity of Brussels.

The final highlight of the evening was the 2017 European Ada Awards, launched with inspiring keynote presentations by Ms. Dinah Barret, Senior Solutions Architect for EMEA at Amazon Web Services, and Ms. Gabriela M. Juric, 2016 European Digital Girl of the Year, and co-hosted by Ms. Miller and Ms. Loredana Bucseneanu, DLI Strategy Officer.

2017 European Ada Award trophies were presented by Ms. Simone Hume of Amazon Web Services in the following categories and announced by noted Ada Award partner representatives:
1. Ms. Pascale Van Damme, Vice President and General Manager at Dell EMC Commercial Belux, is 2017 European Digital Woman of the Year, as announced by Ms. Austeja Trikunaite, Secretary General of CEPIS.

2. 2017 European Digital Girl of the Year honours were awarded in the following age categories:

15-17 Year Old Category, as announced by Ms. Kiki Walravens, GSMA:
Maeve Galvin (Ireland)

11-14 Year Old Category, as announced by Mr. Laurent Roux, Impact Officer at European Institute of Technology:

  • Aoibheann Mangan (Ireland)
  • Charlotte Johnson (United Kingdom)

10 Years and Under Category, as announced by Ms. Tomislava Recheva of European Schoolnet:

  • Helena Staple (United Kingdom)
  • Zara Ilyas (Ireland)
  • Ruby Scott Kenny (Ireland)

3. Teen-Turn of Ireland is 2017 European Digital Impact Organisation of the Year Award, as announced by Ms. Michela Palladino, Director of European Policy at Developers Alliance.

The 2017 European Ada Awards and Digital Brusselles celebration concluded with a reception catered by From Syria With Love, an organisation led by recent Syrian women refugees to Belgium that Digital Brusselles is honoured to support.

The Digital Leadership Institute and Digital Brusselles would like to thank the speakers, judges, partners and sponsors of the 2017 European Ada Awards and Digital Brusselles celebration, including the Digital Belgium Skills Fund, Amazon Web Services, European Institute of Technology, CEPIS, European Schoolnet, Edosoft, GSMA, Developers Alliance and BeCentral.

Congratulations to all the girls and women recognised by this year’s Ada Awards and Digital Brusselles celebration. We are looking forward to welcoming even more of you again next year!

Let's Get Digital!

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

Thank you! 

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

GTF Press

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

Feedback

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

Stay in touch! 

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

Thank you, and see you all again next year!

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!

DLI to Name Top Women in Tech at GE Garages

On 8 December in Brussels, in the context of GE Garages 2016 and the European Commission’s Vocational Skills Week 2016, the Digital Leadership Institute is proud to host a high-level panel on the topic of Disrupted Workforce: Leveraging Talent and Tech for Europe’s Future,” and the 2016 European Ada Awards Ceremony recognising top European girls and women in tech and the organisations that support them.  The event is free and open to the public, but registration at the following link is required: http://bit.ly/Ada16

Agenda:

15.30–16.00: Registration and Access to GE Garages
16.00-16.45:  Panel on Disrupted Workforce:  Leveraging Talent & Tech for Europe’s Future

16.45-17.00: Fireside Chat with Miss Niamh Scanlon, 2015-16 European Digital Girl of the Year and Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, Cofounder and Digital Literacy Lead, Digital Leadership Institute

17.15-18.00: 2016 European Ada Awards Presentation by Ada Awards Partners

18.00-19.00: 2016 European Ada Awards Reception
19.00-21:00: Pecha Kucha Night featuring Miss Manon Van Hoorebeke, 2014-15 European Digital Girl of the Year – separate registration required herehttp://bit.ly/pechakucha16


High-level Panel

16:00-16:45 – High-level panel on the topic of Disrupted Workforce: Leveraging Talent and Tech for Europe’s Future,” with top decision-makers from the European public and private sector.

2016 European Ada Awards Ceremony 

16:45-19:00 – Fireside chat with Miss Niamh Scanlon, 2015 European Digital Girl of the Year from Ireland, 2016 European Ada Awards Ceremony and Reception generously hosted by GE.  European awards for Digital Woman of the Year, Digital Girl of the Year and Digital Impact Organization of the Year will be presented by a high-level representative of the European Commission and members of the European Ada Awards partnership.

Pecha Kucha Night

19:00 onwards – Following the 2016 Ada Awards reception, participants will enjoy a Pecha Kucha night with inspiring talks from European thought-leaders, including Miss Manon Van Hoorebeke, 2014 European Digital Girl of the Year from Belgium.

Venue

All of the evening’s events will take place in the Panoramic Hall at The Square Brussels, Coudenberg Entrance, as part of Garages 2016 and in celebration of the 201st anniversary of the birth of Ada Lovelace.

 

DLI Update – May-June 2016

Spring has sprung right into summer, and although the weather may not reflect it, the crush of activities in Brussels has made it clear that the yearly exodus to warmer climes is imminent. Besides carrying out several awesome hands-on events around digital skills for girls and women, in this timeframe, DLI also launched the Digital Leadership Academy on 21 June with a seminar on “the Cloud” with Amazon Web Services, organised in the context of the first-ever Digital Festival in Brussels.

At GE‘s 14 June Minds+Machines event in Paris, DLI Cofounder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, also had the unique opportunity to interview Miss Niamh Scanlon (13 years old from Ireland), who is our Ada Awards 2016 European Digital Girl of the Year.  Check out the conversation they enjoyed here — and be sure to watch till the end to hear Niamh’s insightful advice for digital industry leaders!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-Lfud7LKM4&feature=youtu.be

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 May and June 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


womenandtechgoogle3 May – Google “Women and Technology” Event (Brussels): On 3 May, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder,  organised a hands-on workshop on “Android Coding with MIT App Inventor” for girls, and Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Coounder,  contributed to a high-level panel discussion at an event on “Women and Tech” organised by Google and Politico in Brussels.


bxlsmartcity3 May – Brussels Smart City (Brussels): On 3 May, DLI Cofounder, Ms. Cheryl Miller gave a keynote intervention on the subject of “Smart Citizens Make Smart Cities” as part of the Brussels Region “Brussels Smart City” event, organised under the auspices of Ms. Bianca Debaets, State Secretary of the Brussels Capital Region responsible for Digital Transition.


makerstown24 May – Makerstown (Brussels): On 24 May, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, spoke on the topic of “We Can Make It: Women Entrepreneurship,” as part of the first-ever Makerstown event in Brussels.


inspiringfifty25 May – Inspiring Perspectives (The Hague & Amsterdam): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, joined Inspiring Perspectives, a high-level event attended by her Majesty Queen Maxima of Holland and Mr. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, recognising top women in technology from around the world. The event was organised by InspiringFifty and StartupDelta special envoy Ms. Neelie Kroes, former Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda.


smeepp2 June – Female Entrepreneurs and Digital Business (Brussels): On 2 June, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, contributed to an expert panel on “Female Entrepreneurs and Digital Business,” for SME Europe of the EPP in Brussels.


ge14 June – GE Minds and Machines (Paris): On 13 and 14 June,   Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, joined the inauguration of the GE Digital Foundry and contributed to “Minds + Machines Europe 2016” with an interview of Miss Niamh Scanlon (13 years old from Ireland), the DLI Ada Awards 2016 European Digital Girl of the Year!


ey15 June – EY: Women. Fast forward Global Planning Session (Paris): On 15 June, DLI Cofounder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, contributed to a global planning session on harnessing digital disruption to promote leadership by women, at EY headquarters in Paris.


digitalfestivallogo221 June – Digital Festival 2016 (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, joined the opening plenary panel of the first-ever Digital Festival in Brussels on 21 June, at which DLI also organized two official side-events:

  1. Digital Leadership Seminar on “The Cloud” with Amazon Web Services – for women decision-makers by invitation; and
  2. Coding for Young People Expert Roundtable and Android Coding Workshop with Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder.

youthspeak27 June – AIESEC Youth Speak Forum (Brussels): On 27 June, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, delivered a keynote presentation on the gender gap in technology sectors, and she and the DLI team facilitate a workshop on building educational programs to address this gap, as part of the AIESEC Youth Speak Forum in Brussels.


28 June – Women and the New Economy: The Future of Work (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a panel on “Women and the New Economy” as part of a conference organized by the Gender Equality Committee of European Commission trainees, on 28 June in Brussels.


dsi4eu29 June – CAPS Policy Workshop on Digital Social Innovation (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  joined a panel on “digital social innovation” as part of a Collective Awareness Platform Workshop at the European Commission on 29 June 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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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.

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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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