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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Move It Forward for Women Refugees

On 15-16 October, in celebration of Code Week Europe 2016, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners will organise the second FREE Move It Forward – female digital starters weekend bringing 100 teen and adult women* together from greater Brussels to develop digital projects that support women refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe. This initiative, part of the DLI inQube female digital accelerator, is supported by top technology companies, and youth and women’s networks and communities. Its objective is to give beginner girls and women the skills to drive positive change and enable them to become digital entrepreneurs and leaders.
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Participants:  If you are a teen or adult woman* interested in building your tech and startup skills for the benefit of women asylum-seekers and refugees in Europe, please apply to attend this FREE event at the following link:  http://bit.ly/mifbru16oct  Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and effort will be made to accommodate everyone who applies.
Supporters:  Please see a list of our Move It Forward partners and sponsors below, and kindly contact us if you would like more information on how to support this event. Opportunities exist for Move It Forward volunteers, interpreters, coaches, jury members, content and media partners, prize contributors and sponsors.
*anyone who identifies as a woman

Draft Programme:

Day One – 15 October (Saturday):
  • 8:00-8:30 – Registration & Coffee
  • 8:30-9:30 – Opening Plenary: Inspiring talks by Move It Forward Partners
  • Welcome & Keynote Presentations:

Day Two – 16 October (Sunday):

  • 8:00-8:30 – Coffee & Danishes
  • 8:30-10:30 – Workshop 3: Smartphone App Development with MIT App Inventor for Android with Ms. Rosanna Kurrer / DLI
  • 10:30-12:30 – Workshop 4: Launch Your Project in the Cloud with Ms. Nicola Walsh & Ms. Madalina Lazar / Amazon Web Services
  • 12:30-13:30 – Lunch Break
  • 13:30-16:00 – Project Work with Coaches
  • 16:00-17:00 – Presentation Preparation
  • 17:00-19:00 – Closing Plenary: Project Presentations & Judging
  • 18:30 – Keynote Presentations:
    • Ms. Sanem Oktar, President, KAGIDER
    • Ms. Helena Pofliet – Counselor on Equal Opportunity, Cabinet of Ms. Bianca Debaets, State Secretary of the Brussel Capital Region
  • 19:00-21:00 – Awards Dinner & Networking
Awards:
Prizes will be handed out for the top three projects presented on Sunday afternoon, and top projects will have the opportunity to be showcased at the European Parliament on 18 October as part of the KAGIDER event on “Digitalisation of women’s entrepreneurship and growing opportunities for all – Registration here!
  • Overall Best: 6-month inQubation at DLI; 10 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching; Other TBC
  • Most Impact: 4-month inQubation at DLI; 8 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching; Other TBC
  • Best Technical Solution: 4-month inQubation at DLI; 8 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching; Other TBC
Keynote Speakers:
Anna Zobnina: Born in St.Petersburg, Russia, Anna is a feminist researcher, activist and policy advocate. She is a selected expert with the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) and is serving the second term as chair of European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW), focusing on capacity-building of migrant & refugee women NGOs in Europe and strengthening their inclusion in the EU decision-making,  across such diverse areas as access to economic empowerment, justice, citizenship, labour participation, sexual & reproductive rights and non-discrimination.
 
 

Ms. Mina Jaf Mina Jaf was born in Kurdistan but was forced to flee the country at a young age. Mina became a refugee in Denmark and used her experience and motivation, to help other refugees. Mina is today the founder of Women Refugee Route and she works tirelessly on refugee issues and on women’s rights issues. Watch her speech from WRC Voice of Courage Award here!
 
Ms. Yara Al-AdibYara is Syrian-born and Western educated, now working in UX design at Deloitte Digital in Belgium. Besides having an eclectic cultural background (Arab raised and Western educated), she has acquired a mix of disciplines: Communication Design with Service and Social Design. These disciplines allow Yara to design with empathy, while keeping in mind both form and function. She considers herself a mediator between the East and West–both in terms of traditions and in design perspective.  Check out Yara’s TEDx talk here!

 
 
 
 
Jury Members:
+Others TBA
 
Coaches:
The Move It Forward female digital starter weekend is supported by a worldclass team of coaches and trainers who are generously giving their time to help participants deliver awesome projects and enterprises.  Meet our terrific coaches here!
 
Ms. Emmanuelle Verhaegen, COO, CT Paramedics
 
 
 
 
Ms. Pavlina Canova, Director of Communications, Cosmopolitalians.eu
 
+Others TBA
Sponsors & Partners:
Thank you to the individuals and organisations who are making this event possible!

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DLI Update – January and February 2016

The Digital Leadership Institute kicked off 2016 with aplomb by launching our first Move It Forward event giving Brussels teen and adult women the skills to deploy projects promoting online safety and tackling cyberviolence against girls and women.  In the first week of February, DLI  also coordinated Brussels Region activities for the launch of Europe’s first “Startup Europe Week,” which reached thousands of participants across 200+ European cities.

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 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


cpdp228 January – Computer Privacy & Data Protection Conference (Brussels):  On 28 January,  DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller,  contributed to a worldclass panel on Loving the No-Hate Web: Another Look into Women’s Digital Rights, where the discussion centered on whether digital citizenship is equal and unprejudiced, in theory and practice.


sewlogo_3001-5 February – Startup Europe Week (Europe): As Brussels Coordinator for the first edition of Startup Europe Week, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, coordinated organisation of four free events on the topic of “Brussels: The Heart of Startup,” from 1 to 5 February in Brussels.  These events, organised by DLI and other top ecosystem players in Brussels, reached hundreds of (aspiring) starters and addressed such themes as “Promoting Tech Startup in Brussels” (DLI & Finnova), “Embrace Your Inner Entrepreneur” (Co.Station), “From Success to First Steps” (Betacowork), and “Women and the Cloud” (inQube/DLI).  The Startup Europe Week Launch Event was also held in Brussels on 1 February.


DLearn11 February – European Digital Learning Network (Brussels): On 11 February, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller,  spoke at a Digital Agenda for Europe roundtable on the subject of  Increasing Participation of Girls and Women in Digital Sectors, for the European Digital Learning Network.


wehubs15 February – WeHubs Webinar (Online):  On 15 February, 11:00-12:00CET, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, contributed to an online expert webinar open to the public on addressing European support programs for female web entrepreneurs, as part of the WeHubs project.


MWC1624-25 February – Mobile World Congress (Barcelona): DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, joined a Connected Women panel on “eSkills and Gender” as part of the Women Leadership Accelerating the Digital Age event at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, 24-25 February.


unwomen24 February – “Monitoring the 2030 Agenda & SDGs from a Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment Perspective” (Brussels): On 24 February, DLI Cofounder, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer  joined a UN Women lunch debate on the topic of “Monitoring the 2030 Agenda and SDGs from a Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Perspective” in Brussels.


Be sure to visit our calendar and sign up for the DLI Newsletter in order to keep up with DLI events and activities!

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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!  🙂

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Move It Forward is supported by the

Ministry of Equal Opportunity of the Brussels Capital Region.

Brussels Awards DLI Cyberviolence Project

The Ministry of Equal Opportunity of the Brussels Capital Region has selected DLI to lead a seminal campaign engaging Brussels adult and teenage women* in addressing cyberviolence in their communities. In Fall 2015, DLI will carry out several inQube – female digital accelerator workshops to build awareness about the growing problem of online violence, bullying and hate speech, and provide girls and women with skills and resources for tackling this problem. Six workshops will be held at DLI headquarters in Brussels from September through November 2015, culminating in the 28-29 November global launch of a Move It Forward digital starter event for girls and women focusing on Cyberviolence.

Move It Forward
Move It Forward

The events of the Move It Forward project are open to the public, and carried out in English, French and Dutch.  Attendance is free but space is limited so registration at the noted links is required.

To partner with us or sponsor the DLI “Move it Forward” Cyberviolence campaign, roundtable or digital starter event, please contact us!

The 2015 Move It Forward project on Cyberviolence is supported by the Ministry of Equal Opportunity of the Brussels Capital Region.

*anyone who identifies as a girl or woman

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