Girl Coding Power at Salesforce Essentials

On 1 June in Louvain-La-Neuve, girls and women from across Belgium joined an all-female Android coding workshop organized by the Digital Leadership Institute in the context of Salesforce Essentials, a large-scale event reaching over 600 Salesforce enthusiasts. The workshop, carried out as part of our Digital Muse initiative in collaboration with Salesforce Belux and Salesforce.org, attracted participants ranging in age from ten to fifty-five, who benefited from hands-on coding lessons using MIT App Inventor and inspiring talks by Salesforce employees.

Ms. Cécile Kempeneers is a role model with plenty of role models!

Ms. Cécile Kempeneers, a Salesforce Belux Senior Account Executive who also co-organized a workshop at the most recent Girl Tech Fest Brussels 2017, shared with participants about her own role models and people who inspired her to enter a career in tech — including her grandfather, but also Elon Musk, Michelle Obama, Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai.  Ms. Carmina Coenen, Salesforce Manager for Solution Engineering, also captured everyone’s imagination with a promise that coding and working with Salesforce would give them more options for an exciting and rewarding career.

Ms. Carmina Coenen inspires the Digital Muses

Workshop attendees showed a clear talent for developing their own Android smartphone application that translates speech from one language into spoken output in another language.  The talks by Ms. Coenen and Ms. Kempeneer also piqued their interest in career opportunities with Salesforce.

“We are excited to build on this interest by offering our community more curriculum on smartphone app-development and on becoming certified Salesforce CRM experts,” commented Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder.  “We look forward to pursuing this collaboration going forward, for the benefit of both Salesforce and for these amazing girls of all ages!”

DigitalMuse.org & Salesforce Selfie

 

DLI Update – April-May 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 April and May 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


14 April – Alma Radio “Digital Kids” Show (Brussels): On 14 April, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined Ms. Claire-Marie Healy from Alma Radio for a broadcast on the subject of “Digital Kids,” in the lead up to all-day Alma Radio coverage of the 2017 Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest organised by DLI on 29 April 2017.


10 May – Chatham House “Women in Trade” at European Parliament (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a 10 May meeting at the European Parliament on the topic of “Women in Trade” with contribution from Chatham House experts and members of European Parliament, which preceded an 11 May hearing on Gender Equality in EU Trade Agreements.


11 May – Trefpunt – Sterke Onderneemsters (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined a Trefpunt event, panel and speed-dating exercise, hosted by the “Sterke Onderneemsters” project, aimed a promoting women-led entrepreneurship, on 11 May in Brussels.


19 May – Digital Skills Fair at BeCentral (Brussels): On 9 June, Ms. Maria Alfonso, DLI Development Coordinator, showcased DLI activities at an all-day event promoting Belgian digital skills initiatives that took place at BeCentral 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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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!

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

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!

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.

Volunteer!
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

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 Wrap-up 2016

Banner Year for DLI: In 2016, the Digital Leadership Institute directly reached over seven hundred girls and women with hands-on workshops and role model activities aiming to improve their ESTEAM* skills and promote their participation in strategic, innovative sectors of the economy — as creators, entrepreneurs and leaders.  We thank you for your support of DLI in 2016 and, with your help, we look forward to positively impacting the lives of more girls and women in 2017!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g4iEmRG8WU

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Support DLI in 2017:  If you would like to support the ongoing work of DLI to promote inclusive digital transformation, which is reaching some of the most under-served communities in Europe, please consider donating to our institute or supporting us in other ways in the coming year.  US-based organisations can make a tax-deductible donation to DLI here.  Do not hesitate to contact us for more information on how to get involved.

Upcoming Events in 2017:  The following DLI events are coming up in 2017.  To keep up with the rest of our events, please visit our calendar or sign up for the DLI Newsletter.

2016 European Ada Awards smallUpdate November-December 2016:  On 8 December 2016 in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute celebrated the 2016 European Ada Awards recognising top girls and women in digital fields in Europe, and the organisations that support them.  The event was hosted by GE Garages in the context of European Vocational Skills Week 2016, and supported by top decision-makers from public and private sectors across Europe, including Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Ms. Eva Paunova, Member of European Parliament, and Ms. Beata Stelmach, CEO of GE Poland.  DLI and its partners awarded the 2016 European Digital Girls of the Year, Digital Woman of the Year, and Digital Impact Organisation of the Year.

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 November and December 2016, 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


8 November – “Promoting Digital Skills for Girls” Webinar: Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, was a special guest for an 8 November webinar on “promoting digital skills for girls,” hosted by the Innovation in Education Unit of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education, Art and Culture.


wehubs17 November – “Enterprising Women in TechWeHubs Closing Event (Brussels): On 17 November in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, judged the final pitch competition and contributed to an expert panel on “best practices in promoting female entrepreneurship,” in the context of the closing event of the WeHubs project for women web entrepreneurs in Europe.


debaets debates21 November – “Make America Great Again” – Debaets Debates (Brussels): On 21 November in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder,  joined a high profile public debate on the topic of “Make America Great Again” hosted by Ms. Bianca Debaets, State Secretary for the Brussels Capital Region, and moderated by Mr. Rik Van Cauwelaert, journalist for De Tijd.


sme-assembly-201623-24 November – “Helping Europe’s Entrepreneurs Reach New Heights” 2016 SME Assembly Slovakia (Bratislava): On 23-24 November in Bratislava, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, contributed to a high-level roundtable on “Entrepreneurship Education” at the European Commission’s annual SME Assembly, taking place as part of the Slovak Presidency of the EU Council.


thinkdigital29 November – Think Digital “Shaping the Digital Future of Europe” (Brussels): On 29 November, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, moderated an expert panel on “Shaping the Digital Future of Europe,” including Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Ms. Kaja Kallas, Member of European Parliament, which took place at Egmont Palace in Brussels as part of the first Think Digital summit.


logo_sfg1 December – A Journey into European Factories of the Future (Graz, Austria): On 1 December in Graz, Austria, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, delivered a closing keynote on the topic of “Industry 4.0” for the event “A journey into European Factories of the Future,” organised by SFG.


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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Belgian Minister De Croo Recognises Top Girls and Women in Tech

On 8 December in Brussels, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo recognised top girls and women in digital fields in Europe and underscored the need for positive role models, coding curriculum and communities of excellence to encourage youth toward digital careers. “Young people need inspiration,” De Croo said in remarks at a ceremony for the 2016 Ada Awards, named for Lady Ada Lovelace the world’s first computer programmer. “That inspiration comes from seeing excellent people at work, like the girls and women recognised by these awards.”

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Alexander De Croo, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for the Digital Agenda

De Croo’s comments came on the heels of news that women make up fewer IT professionals than ever in Europe despite skyrocketing demand for digital expertise. “Over the last ten years, demand for tech specialists in Europe has grown eight times faster than other fields, but women hold just sixteen percent of these jobs,” explained Cheryl Miller, cofounder of Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute and organisers of the Ada Awards. “By 2020, one million IT jobs will go unfilled because the skills are not available in the marketplace,” Miller continued. “So by engaging women, we can potentially double the number of tech experts in Europe, increasing European competitiveness and making sure girls and women do not get left behind in the digital disruption.”

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Fireside Chat: Niamh Scanlon (14yo Ireland) – 2015 Digital Girl of the Year, and Rosanna Kurrer/DLI

Nuria Oliver, winner of the 2016 European Digital Woman of the Year Award, noted that digital disruption risks exacerbating the lack of diversity in tech, but also holds promise for positive change. “The percentage of girls and women in technology in most Western countries is simply not acceptable,” Oliver observed. “But in the future, we will only be able to address problems like global warming and the ageing population with the help of technology. So we need all our diverse human capital on board: to optimise innovation potential and to increase our chances of success in these important fields.”

According to Beata Stelmach, CEO for GE Poland, workforce diversity and digital transformation are two opportunities that GE, hosts of the 2016 Ada Awards ceremony, is explicitly leveraging for success. “We see GE as a 124-year-old software startup,” said Stelmach. “And with this thinking, we seek to pioneer a digital industrial sector that could contribute as much as $1.7 Trillion to European GDP annually by 2025.”  In order to fully exploit the opportunities that digitisation brings,”it will be key to engage the entire European workforce,” she added. “And women in particular.”

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Disrupted Workforce Panel: Cheryl Miller/DLI, Beata Stelmach/GE, Andrea Parola/eSkills Association, Esther Roure/CISCO, Eva Paunova/MEP

Cerys Lock and Gabrijela Juriç, winners of the 2016 European Digital Girl of the Year Award, echoed the message of Deputy Prime Minister De Croo.  Fourteen-year-old Cerys, feels that more computer science curriculum in school would be critical to get young people, girls included, engaged in the digital transformation. She reflected on the era of the Commodore 64 and said “forty years ago that computer was popular and got people into coding.  We need something similar today, like the Raspberry Pi, that I personally am a huge fan of.”   Gabrijela, also 14, added:  “I am just proud that what I am doing actually matters to people in the sector. That really inspires me to keep going.”

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Digital Girls of the Year 2016: Gabrijela Juriç (14yo – Croatia) and Cerys Lock (14yo England)

Deputy Prime Minister De Croo summed up the awards event:  “When someone is good at something you need to show it and congratulate her for what she is doing,” he said.  “That is why the Ada Awards and the work of DLI is important:  You need to show examples, and these young ladies are just the kind of examples we all need to see.”

The 2016 European Ada Awards were presented in the following categories to the noted recipients:

2016 European Digital Woman of the Year:  Ms. Nuria Oliver, Spain
2016 European Digital Girl of the Year:  Miss Gabrijela Juriç, Croatia (14 years old)
2016 European Digital Girl of the Year:  Miss Cerys Lock, England (14 years old)
2016 European Digital Impact Organisation of the YearCyberMentor, Germany

The Ada Awards are an initiative of Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute in partnership with the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS), DIGITALEUROPE and European SchoolNet. The awards are named for Lady Ada Byron of Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer.  They are an official pledge to the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition in Europe.

The Digital Leadership Institute is a Brussels-based think tank whose mission is to promote inclusive digital transformation.

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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.