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

Support the First Startup Europe Week

SEWBru16 Flyer-1During the week of 1-5 February 2016, hundreds of regions and cities across Europe will be celebrating the power of startups to revitalise the economy, stimulate job creation and address our most pressing social needs in innovative ways.  Actors — from governmental authorities to university incubators and grassroots organisations — are all on board to support the first-ever Startup Europe Week by showcasing the opportunities, resources and support available to individuals in their communities who are eager to launch a new enterprise.

Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, is coordinating 2016 Startup Europe Week activities for the Brussels Capital Region, numbering four events organised by local startup ecosystem leaders and collectively presented as “Brussels: The Heart of Startup.”  In addition, the launch event for Startup Europe Week will also take place in Brussels at the European Committee of the Regions premises.

For more information and to register for the Startup Europe Week 2016 activities taking place in Brussels from 1 to 5 February, please follow the below links:

Event organisers across Europe look forward to welcoming you in their cities and regions for this inaugural Startup Europe Week, and we especially welcome your involvement in “Brussels:  The Heart of Startup!”

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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DLI Update – June 2015

The DLI Board and Executive Team are actively involved in initiatives with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM (entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) leadership by girls and women. Find out below about our work in June 2015, learn here about future activities we are involved in, and visit our calendar for upcoming events that DLI is organising.

KET1-2 June – Digital & Key Enabling Technologies Skills Conference (Brussels): On 2 June, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a high-level panel on the subject “towards an e-Leadership ecosystem” at the first annual Digital and Key Enabling Technologies Skills Conference in Brussels.


bxl smart city3 June – Brussels Smart Cities Summit (Brussels): On 3 June, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, delivered a keynote address on the topic of “Smart People: Education and raising citizens’ awareness of new technologies” as part of a Smart City Summit presented by Mrs. Bianca Debaets, Brussels Capital Region Secretary of State for Regional and Community Informatics and Digital Transition, and hosted by the Brussels Regional Informatics Centre (BRIC).


SKFlogo4 June – SKF Belgium: On 4 June, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, visited SKF Belgium to facilitate the second meeting of the SKF Women Work group.


ladiescircle9 June – Ladies Circle (Brussels): On 9 June, the Ladies Circle of Asse & Grimbergen enjoyed a special evening of wine, discussion and 3D Design & Printing facilitated by DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, at the DLI inQube space in Brussels.

 


unhrc17 June – 29th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (Geneva): As part of the 29th Session of the UN Human Rights Council taking place in Geneva on 17 June, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a Global Alliance on Media And Gender Europe panel on “Issues and challenges facing women in media“.


29 June – Visit of Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO (Brussels):Facebook & DLI Meeting On 29 June 2015 in Brussels, DLI board members, Ms. Cheryl Miller, and Ms. Janine de Keersmaeker, joined Ms. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.org, and a small group of Brussels policy-makers to discuss increasing participation of girls and women in technological sectors.

 


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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DLI Meets Sheryl Sandberg on Women in Tech

Facebook & DLI Meeting
Sandberg Meeting in Brussels: Tessa Lyons, Erika Mann, Nicola Mendelsohn, Janine de Keersmaecker, Sheryl Sandberg, Kristen Jorna, Cheryl Miller, Ann Mettler, Renate Nikolay, Anne Hoerée, Nadia Calvino, Julia Harrison, & Ditte Juul Joergensen

On 29 June 2015 in Brussels, DLI board members, Ms. Cheryl Miller and Ms. Janine de Keersmaeker, joined Ms. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.org, and a small group of Brussels policy-makers to discuss increasing participation of girls and women in technological sectors.  In her remarks, Ms. Sandberg underscored Facebook’s engagement in Europe where it employs 1500 people and provides a platform for businesses that creates another 140,000 jobs.  “In Europe, less than 1 in 3 tech workers —  and less than 1 in 5 tech graduates — are women,” said Sandberg. “This isn’t a European problem,” she said. “It’s an everywhere problem.”

Facebook is a long-standing sponsor of the Ada Awards – an initiative of the Digital Leadership Institute which recognises outstanding girls and women in digital studies and careers, and the organisations who support them.  The European Ada Awards were launched in 2013 under patronage of then-European Commission Vice President responsible for the Digital Agenda, Ms. Neelie Kroes, as a pledge to the Grand Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs in Europe.

DLI Update – May 2015

gamagMay 2015 –  Gender Equality in Media Campaign (Global): May is the month for promoting greater and better representation of women and girls in media. As an active member of the UN Global Alliance on Gender and Media and part of the GAMAG Advocacy Committee, DLI is promoting this campaign across Europe. Please support the campaign on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to sign the UN petition for greater equality in media!


SWL1-3 May – Startup Weekend Leuven (Leuven, BE): On 3 May, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI founder, judged nine teams competing for final recognition at Startup Weekend Leuven. Prizes were rewarded to three projects: “FestivalRadar,” “Woodies,” and “ZenSay.” See more details and photos on the inQube Facebook page.


bxlsu8-10 May – Startup Weekend Brussels – Maker Edition (Brussels): 8-10 May in Brussels, Ms. Selma Franssen, DLI Communication Director and inQube Community Manager, and Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Digital Literacy Lead and g-Hive Community Manager, provided startup and maker advice to the over eighty participants of Brussels’ first-ever Startup Weekend Maker Edition. On the final day of the event, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, participated in an all-star jury and awarded prizes to deserving winners in three categories: Internet of Things, Fab and Maker. All the women participants of Startup Weekend Brussels – Maker Edition also received free admission to two upcoming inQube workshops. See more details and photos on the inQube Facebook page.


nuvolarosa19-21 May – Pink Wave / Nuvola Rosa Girls in ICT Event (Milan): On 19 May, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, traveled to Milan for the third edition of “Pink Cloud” (Nuvola Rosa) organized by Microsoft Italy, aiming to inspire 1500 girls to take up studies and careers in technology. Ms. Miller moderated a high-level panel on the topic of “Skilling up to be Digital Leaders of Tomorrow” with leading women from Microsoft, ASUS, Ernst & Young and Aviva. Ms. Miller and other event speakers also enjoyed a guided tour of the US and European pavilions at the World Expo 2015 and attended a VIP gala hosted by the Region of Lombardy.  Photos on the DLI Facebook page.


innov3520 May – MIT Innovators Under 35 Belgium (Brussels):  DLI has partnered with MIT Technology Review and Opinno to identify and recognise top innovators in Belgium, France and Poland for the 2015 MIT Innovators Under 35 Europe awards.  On 20 May, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, contributed to the event recognising Belgian award-winners for 2015 on the topic of “Diversity Equals Innovation.”



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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New DLI Board Members Announced

On the heels of an exciting DLI opening event on 9 March 2015, we are now thrilled to introduce the new members of the DLI Board of Directors. Learn more about each board member below, and stay tuned here for further news about their activities with the Institute.

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© Copyright 2014-2015
Digital Leadership Institute, asbl/vzw
Place Van Meyelplein 24
Brussels, Belgium 1040

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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Digital Leadership Academy Launch

We are very excited to announce the launch of the Digital Leadership Academy, the very first initiative of the newly-formed Digital Leadership Institute!  In its first year, the DLA will carry out a year-long training program for future female digital leaders, starting on 23 April 2014 in Brussels, in celebration of International Girls in ICT Day!

DLA

Digital Leadership Academy
The Digital Leadership Academy aims to close the ICT skills gap and increase the number of female entrepreneurs and leaders in digital sectors in Europe and beyond, by delivering digital and leadership skills to young and career-age women. The DLA approach combines cross-generational mentoring and technical, business and leadership skills development with the goal of building a resilient community of female digital leaders, confident and prepared for long-term, fruitful careers in digital sectors.

The DLA approach is unique because:

  • Topics addressed meet a real need;
  • Content provides both theoretical background and practical experience; There is opportunity for self-reflection and interaction;
  • Motivation is stimulated; and
  • People have fun.

2014 Digital Leadership Series
In 2014, DLA will launch an inaugural Digital Leadership Series consisting of twelve seminars (two hours each) taking place from April to December in Brussels for a group of twenty teen- and career-age women. The series will be split between fun, hands-on, result-oriented workshops that deliver practical, creative, digital skills, and leadership and business seminars that address personal and professional skills for success.  All courses will be led by a team of DLA digital, business and leadership experts.

Practical
The 2014 Digital Leadership Series will be carried out from April to December* in Brussels. Places are available for individuals wishing to take part in the program and organisations wishing to sponsor young women or women in transition to participate in the series.

Please contact us if you would be interested in becoming a DLA 2014 candidate, if you would like to sponsor a participant in the DLA 2014 class, or if your organisation would like to support the Digital Leadership Academy!  More information about the 2014 Digital Leadership Series may be found here.