DLI Update – March 2017

March is always a busy month at the Digital Leadership Institute.  This year was no exception.  On International Women’s Day 2017, we had the special privilege of visiting European Commissioner for Justice, Ms. Vera Jourova with a group of young girls active in STEM areas.  The girls shared with Commission Jourova about their vision, challenges and hopes for a future with girls leading in STEM, or what we call “ESTEAM” sectors.  You can find out about the visit here, about our other activities in March 2017 below, future activities in which we are involved, and visit our calendar for upcoming events organised by DLI.

*entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics


logo_Women4Tech27 February-1 March – Women4Tech Summit at Mobile World Congress (Barcelona): In collaboration with the European Commission, the Digital Leadership Institute led a mission to the 2017 Women4Tech Summit and 4YFN startup event which took place as part of Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, moderated a 28 February panel on Reducing the Gender Gap in the Startup Ecosystem at the Women4Tech Summit, and both Ms.Miller and DLI received honours as finalists for the 2017 Mobile Global Awards in the Mobile Industry Leadership category.


european parliament 7-8 March – European Parliament International Women’s Day Media Conference on Economic Empowerment for Women (Brussels): In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, moderated a 2-day conference for media hosted by the European Parliament on the topic of Women’s Economic Empowerment in Europe.


(LeftAligned)InternationalWomensDay_RGB8 March – Amazon Web Services Celebration of International Women’s Day 2017 (Dublin, Ireland): On 8 March in Dublin, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, gave a lightening talk on the subject of “Be Bold for Change” at the Amazon Web Services European headquarters in Dublin, in celebration of International Women’s Day 2017.


13-17 March – Semaine Entreprendre (Brussels): On 14 March, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, contributed as “godmother” to an event promoting women-led entrepreneurship as part of a week of activities by EFP, the largest entrepreneurship education institution in Brussels.  On 15 March, Ms. Miller also provided a keynote for the week’s flagship conference on the topic of “digital transformation and entrepreneurship.”


8 March – DLI “Girls in STEM” Visit with Justice Commissioner Jourova (Brussels)In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, DLI led a “girls in STEM” visit with European Commissioner for Justice, Ms. Vera Jourova, and hosted a mission of young girls including Ms. Manon Van Hoorebeke, 2014 European Digital Girl of the Year.


22 March – GSMA Mobile Meeting Series Breakfast (Brussels): On 22 March, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, and Ms. Maria Alfonso, DLI Development Manager, joined a GSMA Mobile Meeting series breakfast on “Fostering women inclusion in the tech sector” at the GSMA Europe headquarters in Brussels.


23 March – AmCham (Brussels) Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, joined a 23 March gathering hosted by the American Chamber to the European Union on the subject of “Women and Entrepreneurship: Fueling social change through economic growth“.


28 March – Entreprendre 2017 (Brussels): On 28 March, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, joined Ms. Loubna Azghoud, leader of the Brussels Women in Business Platform, to host a workshop and networking lunch on women-led entrepreneurship, entitled “They did it, so why can’t you?“, as part of 2017 Entreprendre/Ondernemen, the largest annual entrepreneurship event 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!

DLI.jpg

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

Support Our Women and Coding Survey

In early 2017, the Digital Leadership Institute joined a group of organisations from across Europe in the WOW Code2Confidence project, funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission, which aims to empower women by teaching them to code. In the two-year project, a team of five partners from the UK, Romania, Croatia, Lithuania and Belgium, will research the following questions:

  • How can coding inspire women to develop themselves, encourage them to take active part in the digital society, and allow them to access new jobs created by the digital transformation?
  • What are the skills and competences women can build from basic coding education?
  • How can outcomes around coding for women be improved upon?
  • How can digital skills be used by women for social and economic empowerment?

In the first stage of the project, DLI and its partners are conducting a survey that will form the basis for recommendations and future action around the scope of the WOW Code2Confidence project.

To contribute to our research on women and coding, please participate in the survey here!

Read the first WOW Code2confidence Newsletter here, and for more information about the project, or about other DLI work promoting women in coding, please contact us!

Girl Tech Fest Brussels 2017

In celebration of International Girls in ICT Day, on 29 April the Digital Leadership Institute and the European School IV in Brussels will carry out the second Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest, a day-long, volunteer-run event promoting entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (“ESTEAM”) to 11-15 year old girls from the greater Brussels area, in order to encourage them to take up studies and careers in these areas.

The Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest 2017 will be carried out in three languages (Dutch, English and French) for participants who will take part in fun, hands-on workshops led by role model professionals from ESTEAM fields.  At last year’s Girl Tech Fest, 250 girls took part in over 100 workshops on subjects such as “The Tech of DJ-ing,” “3D Jewellery Design & Printing” and “The Future of Fashion.”

Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest 2017 participants will have day-long access to the “Digital Muse Lab” where partners and sponsors showcase activities that represent the latest in high-tech gadgets, games and experiments.  GTF17 will also include two Plenary Sessions with contributions by leading female figures in ESTEAM from Europe and beyond.  At past events, participants enjoyed hearing from and meeting women astronauts, software engineers and global ESTEAM leaders.

Draft Agenda:

  •   8:00-8:30:  Check-in with Identification
  •   8:30-10:00:  Opening Plenary with Keynote Speeches by outstanding Girls & Women in ESTEAM
  •   10:15-11:00:  Workshop 1 & DM Lab
  •   11:15-12:00:  Workshop 2 & DM Lab
  •   12:15-13:00:  Lunch & Digital Muse Disco
  •   13:15-14:00:  Workshop 3 & DM Lab
  •   14:15-15:00:  Workshop 4 & DM Lab
  •   15:15-16:00:  Closing Plenary with GTF17 Showcase & Ambassador Selection

Volunteers & Partners Sought

If you are interested in volunteering for Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest 2017, please contact us or sign up to our volunteer event page.  We are also eagerly in search of partners who can deliver workshops, talks, and DM Lab activities, and sponsors who can provide catering, goodie bags and other in-kind contributions to make the Girl Tech Fest a fabulous day for participants.  If you or your organisation would like to be involved, please get in touch!

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 Update – January-February 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 January and February 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


18 January – Gender Mainstreaming Congress for Metropolis Women Network: Ms. Cheryl Miller, Brussels Capital RegionDLI Cofounder, moderated a day-long global congress for cities and regions on the topic of Gender Mainstreaming, chaired by Ms. Laura Perez Castano, Barcelona City, and hosted by Ms. Bianca Debaets, Brussels Capital Region Secretary of State for Equal Opportunity and Brussels Smart City, on behalf of the Metropolis association of world cities and capitals.


wowc2c19-20 January – WOW Code2Confidence Project Meeting (Nottingham, UK): Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, contributed to the first working meeting of the WOW Code2Confidence project, on the topic of Coding for Beginners, which was hosted on 19-20 January in Nottingham by project partner Go Digital All. WOW Code2Confidence is an Erasmus+ project of the European Commission.


Unconv2017-0123-25 January – Unconvention 2017 (Brussels, Belgium): On 23-25 January in Brussels, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, contributed to the fifth edition of the European Young Innovators Forum’s Unconvention in Brussels, as a mentor and jury member for the InnoPitch competition. Innopitch promotes entrepreneurship for young Europeans and contributes to the European Young Innovator of the Year contest.


3 February – Design Your Life Workshop at euroclearEuroclear (Brussels, Belgium): On 3 February in Brussels, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, organized a Design Your Life workshop for Euroclear staffmembers to tackle questions of personal and professional development based on design thinking.


SEW176-10 February – Startup Europe Week Brussels (Brussels, Belgium): From 6 to 10 February, the second annual Startup Europe Week was celebrated across Europe with as many as six events taking place in Brussels alone. As 2017 SEW ambassador for Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, and a team of Co-organisers organised several SEW Brussels 2017 events that showcased resources for Brussels-based startups. On 9 February, Ms. Miller moderated a panel on “Navigating EU Resources for Startups,” at Infopoint Schuman. On 11-12 February, DLI hosted the Move It Forward for Women in Media female digital starters weekend.


IMG_61088-9 February – InnoApps Challenge 2017 (Brussels, Belgium): Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Cofounder, mentored and trained top projects in Design Thinking for Startup and MIT AppInventor for Android for the 2017 InnoApps Challenge which took place 8-9 February in Brussels.


pes power to women9 February – Gender Equality and Cyber Empowerment Workshop for PES (Brussels, Belgium): On 9 February in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, and Ms. Maria Alfonso, DLI Development Manager, led a hands-on workshop for the Party of European Socialists on the topic of Gender Equality and Cyber Empowerment.


fintech16 February – Financial Inclusion at B-Hive #FinAndTonic (Brussels, Belgium) : On 16 February in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Cofounder, gave a keynote presentation on the subject of Financial Inclusion as part of the #FinAndTonic evening at B-Hive, newly-formed Belgian FinTech bridge.


distdenialofwomen23 February – Distributed Denial of Women (Global): On 23 February, DLI supported Distributed Denial of Women (#DDoW), an online and offline campaign to promote greater participation of girls and women in digital studies and careers.


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!

DLI.jpg

DLI Recognised by Global Mobile Awards

At Mobile World Congress 2017 on 2 March in Barcelona, the Digital Leadership Institute and its cofounder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, will both be recognised for their outstanding contributions to closing the gender gap in mobile and digital sectors, as part of the first-ever Women4Tech Summit.  Ms. Miller and DLI have respectively been shortlisted for 2017 Global Mobile Awards for Mobile Industry Leadership in both the individual and organisation categories.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djyGQ5moEYU

In support of this year’s Women4Tech activities at MWC, the Digital Leadership Institute will also spearhead a European Commission mission to MWC that includes policy-makers, researchers and advocates for Women in Tech from across Europe and Africa.  In addition, Ms. Miller will moderate a panel on “Reducing the Gender Gap in the Startup Ecosystem” taking place on 28 February as part of the 4YFN (4 Years from Now) startup event at MWC.  Ms. Reine Essobmadje, founding member of DLI, will also be on hand the same day to award top projects from the Hack D Gap global challenge promoting gender balance in the tech industry.

logo_Women4Tech

For more information about DLI activities at MWC and the Women4Tech Summit, please follow our activities and feel free to contact us!

Towards Inclusive Digital Transformation in Europe

The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed. – William Gibson

The world is becoming digitised at an unprecedented rate. The advent of the internet, mobile devices and cloud-working has put vast connectivity and computing power in the hands of individuals at the most personal level, the world over. Since 2000, subscriptions for mobile services in the world have grown ten-fold to seven billion, and today, 3.5 billion people are online, most of whom are located in developed countries (ITU). By 2020, it it is estimated that people will be joined on the Internet by more than 50 billion objects, only one percent of which are connected today (Cisco). The future scope of digitisation is staggering, and the speed of its onset, and apparent inevitability, has given rise to what is called “digital disruption.” The consequences of this digital disruption—for our lives, the planet and our fellow creatures—are still largely unknown.

Digital disruption is impacting the technology sector itself, where demand for skills and the computing power to fuel the transformation is far outstripping our collective ability to keep up. Digitisation is affecting non-tech industries too, where market leaders in sectors like financial services, energy and even government are reinventing themselves as “digital” organisations. The rate of digital transformation represented by consumer-focused cloud computing, whose generated revenue is predicted to quadruple over the next ten years to $173B, will be further dwarfed by the coming of age of the “Industrial Internet.” Digital transformation of the world’s power and production facilities, connected across a digital landscape populated by massive amounts of data, is heralding the fourth Industrial Revolution, and is predicted to add €422B in value to German industry alone by 2025 (BITKOM, Fraunhofer).

While we are starting to get our heads around what digital disruption is and what it means, it is also important to understand what it is not. Not all continents—let alone countries—enjoy large bandwidth and high availability online access today, and fifty-three percent of people in the world are not online. This situation belies a harsh reality underpinning the digital disruption: Not everyone is on board.

The Digital Divide

As digital transformation goes, Europe enjoys an unrivalled position in the world. Twenty-five EU countries score higher than the OECD average for ICT indicators, and nine out of the ten nations with the fastest broadband in the world are located in Europe. As ITU figures suggest, however, differences in broadband speed persist, and a “digital divide” among regions of the world which parallels socio-economic realities, is clearly observable. In 2016, more than half of the world’s population — 3.9 billion people — remain offline, and of the nearly one billion people living in the Least Developing Countries (LDCs), 851 million do not use the Internet.

Among regions of the world, a second, persistent phenomenon may also be observed that cuts across geographic locations and even socio-economic conditions. Around the globe, no matter where they are, women as a demographic are less likely to be online than men, and despite its apparent leadership, Europe’s women are also getting left behind. Of the three and a half billion people online in the world, eighteen percent are men and sixteen percent are women, reflecting 200 million fewer women online overall. In Europe, of the twenty-one countries for which the ITU collected sex-disaggregated data in 2015, men enjoy greater online access than women in eighteen countries. In addition, the rate that women come online is slower than men, which means that the digital divide thus compounded by the gender gap risks deepening.

Towards Inclusive Digital Leadership

In addition to generally enjoying less online access, European women have fewer digital skills than men, they are less likely to engage in formal Computer Science studies, and they hold twenty percent or less of technical and leadership roles in ICT organisations. Tech entrepreneurs are five times more likely to be men than women, and in some places this ratio closer to 100:1. In leadership across the board, including in the technology sector, women make up only four percent of corporate CEOs and they hold less than fifteen percent of board roles in the private sector. Since the tech sector is both a key driver of digitisation as well as a reflection of the general digitisation of a society, diversity in this sector is particularly indicative of digital inclusiveness.

Where digital skills are concerned, for the seven-year period from 2005 to 2012 during which sex-disaggregated Digital Scorecard data was collected by the European Commission, research showed a consistent and persistent lag in the digital skill-levels of European women. When overall skill-levels increased or decreased across EU member states, a corresponding shift in women’s skill sets was also reported. In every case a lag remained, roughly representing a ten percent difference between the genders. These percentages represent the following absolute numbers:

2012 – EU Population: 502M people

  • Men: 49% or 246M people in Europe
  • Men with medium-high computer skills: 57% or 140M people
  • Men with low or no computer skills: 43% or 106M people
  • Women: 51% or 256M people in Europe
  • Women with medium-high computer skills: 46% or 118M people
  • Women with low or no computer skills: 54% or 138M people

For a European population of 560 million people in 2015, Eurostat data for individuals with basic, no or low digital skills, shows the following evolution:

2015 – EU Population: 560M people

  • Men: 49% or 274M people
  • Men with basic, low or no digital skills: 50% or 137M people
  • Women: 51% or 286M people
  • Women with basic, low or no digital skills: 52% or 149M people

From this data, the following may be concluded:

  • 286 million people, or over half of Europe’s population, have basic, low or no digital skills;
  • 149 million people of Europe’s digitally under-skilled, or 27% of the total EU population, are women;
  • 12 million more women than men in Europe, or 2% of the total EU population, are digitally under-skilled; and
  • These numbers reflect a significant and persistent trend.

Although devolution in European digital skills over the 2005-2015 period may be explained by expansion of the European Union and changes to data collection approaches, the following facts are clear:

A woman in Europe is:

  • Less likely to be online;
  • More likely to be digitally under-skilled; and
  • At greater risk of being excluded from the digital disruption underway.

Towards Inclusive Digital Transformation

Like online access, digital skill levels are an excellent indicator of the general education and economic integration of a given demographic, and they are an even stronger litmus test of how well that demographic is engaged in the digital transformation afoot. As such, the situation described above represents vast lost potential to Europe and to the young and adult women of Europe who are unable to fully realise their place as productive members of our increasingly digital society. A risk exists that the needs of these women go unheeded and the benefits of engaging them in the further digitisation of European society go unrealised.

A 2013 European Commission report demonstrated that equal participation of women in the ICT sector — as a quick-win to address the growing skills and job gap in Europe — would contribute as much as €9B to the European economy every year. A UN study in the same period linked every ten percent increase in access to broadband with a 1.38% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for developing countries, and noted that bringing 600 million additional women and girls online specifically could boost global GDP by up to $18B. The increasing rate of digital disruption could certainly serve to further compound the upside potential shown here as much as it could multiply the downside risk from exclusion that is already happening.

For this reason, the present Manifesto explicitly supports priority-setting, resources and action at the EU level that accomplishes the following:

  • Curtail the risk of further digital exclusion of Europe’s 286 million women;
  • Close the digital skills gap impacting women in Europe; and
  • Maximise the opportunities presented by engaging Europe’s women to actively design, build and lead Europe’s digital transformation.

To this end, the Manifesto seeks to promote, scale and replicate initiatives that increase ESTEAM—including digital—skills for girls and women and prepare them to lead Europe’s digital transformation. Such initiatives embody best practices of the following kind:

  • Focus on girls and women specifically;
  • Promote female role models in tech, and more generally;
  • Stimulate learning through hands-on, result-driven and values-oriented activities;
  • Develop a rich, diverse and widespread community of European female digital leaders in the public and private sector, including entrepreneurship.

Many world-class initiatives of the foregoing kind have been developed and carried out in Europe by the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners.

*Reprinted from The e-Skills Manifesto, Chapter 10: Towards Inclusive Digital Transformation, written by Cheryl Miller, Cofounder, Digital Leadership InstituteCheck against printed copy.

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

[print_gllr id=1560 display=short]

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!

DLI.jpg

dfii flower
© Copyright 2014-2017
Digital Leadership Institute, asbl/vzw
Rue Carolystraat 29
Brussels, Belgium 1050

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.”

ada16 adc
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.”

ada16 fireside small
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.”

ada16 panel
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.”

ada16 girls
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.

ada16 program2