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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DLI Update – September 2016

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 September 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


caliclinic6, 8, 13 & 15 September – The Women’s California Style Career Clinic (Brussels): In collaboration with the DLI inQube community, four free workshops with the Women’s California Style Career Clinic were carried out at DLI in September for women looking to discover their dream career.


womeninbusiness15 September – Women in Business Social Event (Brussels): On 15 September in Brussels, DLI team members were on board for the autumn networking event of the Women in Business platform at Impulse.Brussels.


mizbiz15 September- MizBiz Mentorship Event (Brussels):  Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, joined a 15 September MIZBIZ speed dating event that connected MIZBIZ members with mentors in the Brussels business community.


DAW Flower21-22 September – Digital African Woman Annual Event (Brussels): In the context of the inaugural Digital African Women event on 21-22 September, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, carried out a series of Design Thinking and Android app development workshops to support entrepreneurship by women in the African diaspora.


codeweek-badge27 September – “How do we make every week Code Week?” Debate at the European Commission (Brussels): On 27 September in Brussels, the European Code Week Ambassadors, including Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, and wider community engaged in a debate on the merits of learning to code.


ec28-29 September – ET2020 Working Group on Digital Skills and Competences (Helsinki): On 28-29 September, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, joined representatives of Ministries of Education from across Europe to promote Digital Skills and Competences especially for Europe’s young women.


wegate30 September – European Commission WEgate Launch Event (Brussels): On 30 September in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder,  joined an expert panel at the launch of WEgate, the European Commission platform promoting women in entrepreneurship.


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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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.
 codeweekeu
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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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 Update – November 2015

November was a busy month, highlighted by Women’s Entrepreneurship Day that took place all over the world on 18 November.  This month also featured hands-on involvement by DLI in several world class initiatives promoting young and experienced women in business, as entrepreneurs and, of course, in digital leadership of all kinds!

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 September 2015, 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


USEMb4-8 November – Women2Women Belgium Leadership in Action Event (Antwerp & Brussels) – The weekend of 7-8 November, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller,  contributed to the Leadership in Action initiative of the US Embassy in Belgium during a partnership event and opportunities fair promoting leadership by girls from across Belgium.


EY12-13 November – Women3. The Power of Three (Istanbul): As part of the EY Women. Fast forward platform, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder,  facilitated a high-level roundtable at the global Women3. The Power of Three conference, promoting technology as an enabler to achieve global gender parity.


thinkbigger14 November – JCI THOE Think Bigger Entrepreneurship Event (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a plenary session at the JCI The Heart of Europe Think Bigger event on the topic of growing your startup, and encouraging more women into entrepreneurship.


weday2015logo19 November – Bluemix Girls Night Meetup (Brussels): As part of the 2015 global celebration of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day — for which DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, is Belgian Ambassador — DLI  collaborated with IBM Belgium/Luxembourg to deliver Belgium’s first Bluemix Girls Night Meetup, promoting digital entrepreneurship by women around the world.


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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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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Europe's First Digital Innovation Centre for Girls and Women

On 9 March in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute and 150 of its closest friends and supporters celebrated International Women’s Day with the grand opening of DLI‘s Digital Innovation Centre for Girls & Women, a first of its kind in Europe!  This very special occasion was marked with fun, hands-on digital activities for all agesa high-level roundtable with Brussels, Belgian and European stakeholders, and a reception for all in attendance.

IMG_3131To kick off the evening, DLI volunteers and partners took over the entire, new 100m2 space to give young and young-at-heart members of the DLI family a try at hands-on digital activities with the following themes:

  • 3D Design & Printing
  • Digital Music & DJing
  • Bits, Bytes & Machine Code
  • Silly Robot Missions
  • Play Your Musical Fruit

In particular, the Bits, Bytes & Machine Code activity – a card game for all ages designed by Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Digital Literacy Lead and g-Hive Community Manager – was a popular (and loud) crowd favorite.  It required players to calculate in bits and bytes, and showcased the digital natives in the group, who nimbly trounced their analog ancestors to much vocal lamenting.dli launch ribbon

The Digital Activity Stations then gave way to an official DLI Opening Ceremony graced with a beautiful video message from Ms. Bianca Debaets, State Secretary of the Brussels Capital Region for Equal Opportunity and ICT, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony officiated by Miss Manon Van Hoorebeke2014 European Digital Girl of the Year, and Ms. Esther Roure Vila, 2014 European Digital Woman of the Year.  chat

The evening’s activities were rounded out with a high-level discussion on the topic of “Women Driving Digital Innovation,” with unique and insightful interventions by the VIPs in attendance, all amazing role models for girls and women in technology:

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As a magical closing to an exciting evening, Ms. Pascale Van Damme, Managing Director of Dell Belgium & Luxembourg and 2014 “ICT Woman of the Year”, surprised the convened guests with dedication of forty Dell laptops to DLI saying “this is a contribution to help ensure the DLI Centre gets off on the right foot and is able to achieve its mission which we support very much.”

Thank you, Dell!  And thank you to all of our DLI community and supporters for such a wonderful and memorable DLI opening event!

First-Ever Ada Lovelace Conference

On 10 December 2014 in Brussels, in honor of the 199th anniversary of the birth of Lady Ada Lovelace – world’s first-ever computer programmer, woman and European – the Digital Leadership Institute held the inaugural Ada Lovelace Conference celebrating outstanding girls and women in technology in Europe and beyond.  The event, blogged by new European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip responsible for the Digital Single Market, was generously hosted by General Electric as part of the GE Garages initiative.  It included a high-level best practices round-table on “getting more girls and women into digital studies and careers,” and three hands-on digital workshops – on 3D design & printing, creative coding & “beautiful/electric Arduinos” – for girls ages six to sixteen.  The event enjoyed participation by over one hundred people, and was part of the 2014 European Hour of Code.

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