Save the dates: We4Change Changemakers Fest is coming to Belgium!

As part of the We4Change “Girls and Women connecting for environmental change” Erasmus+ international program, in November and December 2022, the We4Change Changemakers Fest is coming to Belgium! 

Three We4Change Changemaking events, will bring girls and young women together with experts, trainers and business coaches, in order to develop their digital and innovation skills, increase civic engagement and unlock their changemaking potential to address climate change and drive environmental transformation.

What are the We4Change Changemaking events?

We4Change Changemakers are “hack for good” events where young women with an entrepreneurial mindset, trainers and subject experts come together during a two-day intense marathon in order to solve specific challenges posed by climate and environmental change encountered in their communities. The events include hands-on activities, training on digital, innovation and environmental awareness skills, problem-solving and co-creation of prototypes, as well as a pitching session by the changemaking teams.

Who can participate?

The events are open to all girls and women* who want to contribute to prosperous, cohesive and sustainable societies! Participants are not required to have prior digital or innovation skills. Your curiosity and commitment to address the challenges posed by climate and environmental change are all you need!

*Anyone who identifies as a girl or woman.

How will you benefit from this event?

  • You will learn new skills and information to bring into your daily life: a mindset to stay open to change and innovate, learn about how climate change affects particularly girls and women, what solutions are out there to tackle them and how can you be more active in supporting your local community;
  •  You will acquire digital, business development and innovation skills through hands-on activities, co-creation of prototypes and pitching workshops;
  • Join an international community of like-minded girls and women, including experts, activists, coaches and mentors dedicated to supporting you to achieve your changemaking potential.

When are the We4Change Changemaking events taking place?

The We4Change Changemakers Fest is organized as a series of three events with specific themes linked to climate and environmental challenges:

  • 19-20 November 2022 – We4Change: Girls and Women Connecting for Sustainable Consumption
  • 26-27 November 2022 – We4Change: Girls and Women Connecting for Smart Cities and Mobility
  • 3-4 December 2022 – We4Change: Girls and Women f Connecting or Clean Energy & Resource Efficiency

What is the format of the We4Change Changemaking events?

Below is the general format for each event. Participants will briefly receive the exact agenda with the name of the trainers and speakers for the event they register for.

Day 1

  • 9:30: Registration and coffee
  • 10:00 – 11:00 : Introduction of the event thematic by Digital Leadership Institute & inspirational speech
  • 11:00 – 13:00 : Workshop 1 on digital skills
  • 13:00 – 14:00: Lunch break
  • 14:00 – 15:00: Project proposals, ideation & team selection
  • 16:00 – 18:00: Project work

Day 2

  • 9:30: Registration, coffee & review of day 1
  • 10:00 – 12:00 Workshop 2 on Design Thinking
  • 12:00 – 16:00 Project work with coaches (1h of working lunch included)
  • 16:00 – 17:00 Project presentations with jury
  • 17:00 Feedback session and closing ceremony

How to participate to the We4Change Changemaking events?

The participation to the events is free of charge.

However, places are limited so you are required to fill-in this application form: https://forms.gle/YxPP1EV5kU8uqYQe9 

You can also register via the dedicated Eventbrire page here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/we4change-fest-girls-and-women-connecting-for-environmental-change-tickets-461175176367

The organizing team will send a confirmation email to confirm your participation. 

How else can you contribute?

If you would like to be part of to the organization of events, we are happy to receive your support! Below are some ways you can contribute:

  •  Be or suggest us an inspirational speaker
  • Volunteer to hold one of the workshops during the events (digital skills, business training, a training linked to the event thematic)
  • Volunteer to do business coaching during the hackathons
  • Volunteer as jury member for the pitching competition
  • Follow-up support: coaching and mentoring after the event for the winning teams.

Fill-in this partner application form and let us know how would you like to be involved: https://forms.gle/zcPnzppq1kjdm9He9

Selected organizing partners will receive a 1h online training on the main aspects of organizing a successful  We4Change Changemakers event.

Frequently asked questions

I can’t stay the whole time, can I still participate?

Of course! We realize that a weekend is a long time and people may need to attend to other commitments.

What if I don’t have any digital or business skills?

You are still welcome! We have dedicated digital and business skills development sessions, so you will be learning at the same time as the other participants. As long as you come willing to learn and contribute ideas.

What if I don’t have any entrepreneurial idea?

You are still welcome! During the event you will be inspired and learn from others what kind of entrepreneurial solutions are out there or need to be developed, and you could join one of the teams already working on an idea.

What do I bring?

Bring your laptop, mobile phone, scratch paper and curiosity. We will provide some food, some drinks, wi-fi, power and challenges.

How much it costs to attend the events?

The participation to the events is free of charge.

Can I attend more than one event?

Yes, you are more than welcome to attend several events and bring new ideas to the teams.

How do I register?

Fill-in this application form: https://forms.gle/YxPP1EV5kU8uqYQe9 

The organizing team will send a confirmation email to confirm your participation. 

We4Change: Girls and Women connecting for environmental change is funded  by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and seeks to contribute to the EU Youth Strategy with a specific female-focused approach, that responds directly to the specific gender-based needs of girls and young women across Europe, offering thus an appropriate and innovative way to empower and engage them in their communities and society-at-large. You can find out more about the project here: http://we4change.eu/

The second edition of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Women of Diverse Cultural Backgrounds

Athena Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2.0 follows after a successful first edition being organized in June 2022, aiming to support women migrants or with migrant backgrounds to plan their entrepreneurial activities in Belgium. The focus is on creating a community of women (aspiring) entrepreneurs with diverse cultural backgrounds that face similar challenges in starting or growing their businesses, by connecting them with a network of professionals and organizations that can support to fully valorize their entrepreneurial potential.

The second edition of the bootcamp was organized on the 7th of October 2022, as a more compact one-day training with one session covering the main administrative aspects of doing business in Belgium, and a second one dedicated to working on the business ideas of the participants. The aim was to offer a comprehensive understanding of the business ecosystem in Belgium, while allowing the participants to discuss about the opportunities and challenges they encounter on their entrepreneurial journeys, and brainstorm on adequate solutions together with our performance coach, Ms Cécile Bonneton:

  • Hands-on business coaching: clarify your business goals and work on a concrete plan to advance your activity with the support of our coach, and the different resources and tools offered by the program.

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Women of Diverse Cultural Backgrounds was organized as part of the Athena project – Approaches To valorise the High ENtrepreneuriAl potential of migrant women to contribute to their social and economic integration – a two-year project funded by the AMIF Program. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the economic and social integration of migrant women in the EU society by improving the services of entrepreneurship support oriented to migrant women and creating a specific entrepreneurial path for them.

The project is implemented by a consortium of six partners and covers five European countries , and will directly benefit a 210 migrant women, it will increase the capacities of more than 35 professionals working in entrepreneurship support roles, it will create synergies with several organisations and it will finally intend to influence policies through a series of policy recommendations. 

Here you can find more about the project: https://athenaproject.net/

DLI Update – Spring 2022

The DLI Board are actively involved in outreach activities with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women. Find out more below about our outreach activities in Spring 2022, including a 17 March #BreaktheBias event celebrating International Women’s Day. For upcoming events by DLI and our partners please visit here, and have a look at our calendar.

*Entrepreneurship and Art powered by Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics


5 January 2022  – Coding Over Cocktails Podcast (Online): On 5 January 2022, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined the Coding Over Cocktails Podcast to discuss opportunities presented by the pandemic for organisations to drive inclusive digital transformation.

12 January 2022 – Women Empowerment in Women20 (Online) – In the capacity of Co-head of EU Delegation and Co-chair of the G20 Women20 Italy Digital Equity Working Group, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the 12 January webinar on the topic of Women Empowerment in Women20:  Women20 Recommendations and their adoption in the G20 Leaders’ Declaration.  The event will be hosted by the outgoing W20 Italy Presidency with participation of the 2022 G20 Indonesia Women20 Presidency.

February 2022 – Staying Global While Staying Home (Online):  Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the February edition of NewComm Global Group‘s Staying Global While Staying Home webcast to discuss opportunities presented by the recovery for driving inclusive digital transformation.

15 February 2022 –  W20 Indonesia Policy Dialogue:  Freedom from Discrimination:  (Likupang, Indonesia & Online): On 15 February 2022, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the first policy dialogue side-event of the Indonesia G20 Women20 Presidency on the topic of Freedom from Discrimination: Historical Journey from Japan to Indonesia, taking place online and in Likupang, Indonesia.

8 March 2022 – IWD2022 Women in Diplomacy Luncheon (Brussels): On 8 March 2022, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined a luncheon, hosted by the UK, US and Canadian Embassies to Belgium, to celebrate International Women’s Day 2022 and promote increased participation of women in diplomacy.

 

17 March 2022 – AWS #BreakTheBias Event (Brussels & Online): On 17 March 2022, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  contributed to the 17 March #BreakTheBias event hosted by Amazon Web Services EMEA, and spoke on the topic of “Overview of Gender Equality in the AI Ecosystem: Where Are We and Where do We Want To Go?


To browse past activities with DLI and our partners, please click here. Be sure to also visit our calendar, sign up for the DLI Newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram in order to keep up with DLI events and activities!

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Organise Your Own Move It Forward Event!

As an outcome of the Move It Forward+ project, funded by the European Union Erasmus+ program, a toolkit for organising your very own Move It Forward (“MIF”) event–as well as CSR and mentoring activities to promote women (digital) entrepreneurs–is now available free, online for the public!

Move It Forward is an event footprint–sometimes called a “hackathon” or “tech-for-good” initiative–originally developed by the Digital Leadership Institute as part of its inQube “female digital accelerator” program. With MIF and other activities, inQube aims to support teen and adult women entrepreneurs by providing community, digital and business skills, and other resources they need to launch and grow successful digitally-enabled and digitally-driven enterprises.

Including Move It Forward+ project activities, the Move It Forward event has been organized 20 times in 9 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, reaching thousands of participants, since 2014. In 2018, MIF received a Global Mobile Award, and in 2019 was recognised as European finalist for the UN ITU EQUALS in Tech Award.

Materials developed and made available within the MIF+ project are available for download on the Move It Forward+ website and below.

Please feel free to contact us for more information about and support with organising a Move It Forward event in your own city!

1. Guides: How to organise a Move it forward+ Event

We provide our Guides in 5 different languages, to support you with the organisation of your Move it forward+ event.

2. Event Preparation Documents

You can find additional and printable materials here:

3. In-event Documents

You can find a variety of printable material here:

4. Guides: How to organise mentoring sessions

You will find here all the resources related to the organisation of mentoring sessions linked to your Move it foward+ event.

Annexe n°1: Impact and assessment of women programmes and events supporting women in entrepreneurship.

Annexe n°2: Mentor’s portfolio & Mentee’s portfolio

5. Event Presentations

Our Event Presentation will be available soon!

DLI Update – Winter 2022

Happy 2022 to all our friends and collaborators!

The DLI Board are actively involved in outreach activities with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women. Find out more below about our outreach activities in Winter 2021-22, including the 22 December 2021 launch of the the G20 Women20 2022 Indonesia Presidency, attended by DLI’s director. For upcoming events by DLI and our partners please visit here, and have a look at our calendar.

*Entrepreneurship and Art powered by Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

15-17 November – SME Assembly 2021 (Portorož, Slovenia & Online): On 15-17 November 2021, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the SME Assembly 2021, hosted by the European Commission and taking place in Portorož, Slovenia and online, as part of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council.


17 November 2021 – “Solutions Through Inclusivity” Group of Nations Virtual Summit:  Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined a fireside chat on Digital Equity to Build Forward Better as part of a 17 November event on Solutions Through Inclusivity–celebrating 25 years of Group of Nations global events, including G20, W20, B20 and APEC.


25-26 November – Fin2021  Porto, Portugal  and Online): On 26 November 2021, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  provided a keynote presentation on the subject of Techno World at the FIN2021 event taking place in Porto, Portugal and online.  The event was supported by JEUNE, a pan-European organisation representing 1.6 million young entrepreneurs, for which Miller recently became Advisory Board member.


30 November – Udacity STEM Forward with Women: On 30 November 2021, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  contributed to an online panel promoting success for women in STEM  as part of the STEM Forward with Women event hosted online by Udacity.


2 December – Projexplorer Navigating the Future of Project Economy (online):  On 2 December 2021, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined a Projexplorer event on Navigating the Future of Project Economy with a keynote speech on the topic of Sexism in Tech:  Unlearn What You Know.


6 December – WEgate Community Council Meeting (Online):  Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined the third  meeting of the WEgate Community Council, supporting women entrepreneurs in Europe and beyond, on 6 December online.


9 December – Path to the Digital Decade  (Online):  On 9 December, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  provided a keynote address for an event of the Digital SkillUp project, on the topic of Path to the Digital Decade: Inclusive & Sustainable Upskilling for All, hosted by DIGITAL SME Alliance.


14 December – EIC Women Leadership Programme (Online):  Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, provided a keynote presentation for the 14 December EIC Women Leadership Program Personal Leadership Brand session, on the subject of Remaining Authentic in the Face of Adversity.

21 December – Italy-Indonesia Women20 Handover:  On 21 December, in the capacity of Head of EU Delegation to the G20 Women20, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined the Italy-Indonesia Women20 Handover meeting.

22 December – Indonesia 2022 G20 Women20 Presidency Launch:   In the new capacity of Co-head of EU Delegation to the G20 Women20, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined the 22 December launch event of the Indonesia 2022 G20 Women20 and G20 Empower Presidency.


To browse past activities with DLI and our partners, please click here.  Be sure to also visit our calendar, sign up for the DLI Newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram in order to keep up with DLI events and activities!

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World’s First #WomenVsCOVID19 Hackathon

On 24-26 April, as part of the #EUvsVirus event attracting 20,000 participants from around the world, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners hosted the first-ever global #WomenVsCovid19 hackathon tackling the unique challenges facing girls and women from COVID19 .  With 160 participants, ranging from 16 to 70 years of age and representing over 25 countries, the three-day “Move It Forward” event brought together policy-makers and private sector actors to support teen and adult women in driving solutions to the address the coronavirus pandemic.

Move It Forward for #WomenVsCOVID19 participants enjoyed interventions from European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Ms. Julie Linn Teigland, Global Director for Women Fast Forward at EY, Ms. Anna Falth of UN Women, Ms. Pirkko Mahlamäki from European Women’s Lobby, and Ms. Bernadette Gemmell of the European Institute for Gender Equality.  Miss Alai Miranda Blanco Lascurain, recipient of DLI’s 2019  European Digital Girl of the Year award, also inspired participants by sharing about her own 3D-printed invention supporting frontline healthworkers in Spain, vast majority of whom are women.

During the event, Move It Forward project teams also benefited from expert mentorship and digital skills trainings–including website development, smartphone app coding, and data visualization–in order to develop initiatives that tackle economic and social challenges impacting the world’s girls and women as a result of COVID19.

Top #WomenVsCOVID19 projects, recognised by a world class jury including Ms. Charlene Lambert from Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform, Ms. Wendy Diamond of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization, Ms. Jaya Jiwatram, of UN Women, Ms. Anne Ravanona of Global InvestHer, and Ms. Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck from DLI, were the following:

  1. All-Around Award:  WAVEA smartphone application tackling psychological abuse and delivering pan-European emergency-response for victims of violence against women and girls
  2. Innovation AwardExit Tales – An animated documentary of COVID19 stories from the perspective of migrant children
  3. Impact AwardArt Time with GrandmaAn inter-generational art-making project promoting women artists and connecting kids and elderly women in order to combat isolation during COVID19

DLI and partner Global InvestHer will support winning #WomenVsCOVID19 projects with incubation, mentorship, and training, and projects are also eligible for further support from the wider #EUvsVirus event that announced prizes for the top projects among over 1500 delivered.

Event partners also committed to supporting recognized projects and #MoveItForward events in other geographies. The first #MoveItForward for #WomenVsCOVID19 event was live-streamed on the DLI Facebook page, and links to the separate sessions may be found below.

Thank you to all of our amazing partners who made this event such a success!  Please do not hesitate to reach out to us to support future editions of #MoveItForward!

Move It Forward for Women vs. COVID19

Outcomes from this event are included in our 30 April 2020 post “World’s First Women versus COVID19-Hackathon

The Digital Leadership Institute and its partners are proud to announce a Move It Forward – female digital starters event for Women versus COVID19taking place online on 24-26 April 2020 (all times CET, GMT+2), in support of the #EUvsVirus hackathon organised by the European Commission, and in celebration of Girls in ICT Day 2020!

Move It Forward female digital starters events are an initiative of inQube, DLI’s female digital accelerator, and are supported by top technology companies, non-profit organisations, and youth and women’s networks and communities. Their objective is to give teen and adult women* the skills to become digital entrepreneurs and leaders, and to support them in driving positive change in their communities and society-at-large.

Participants:  If you are a teen or adult woman* interested in building your tech and entrepreneurship skills while addressing challenges for Women during the COVID19 crisis, please sign up for this FREE event!

Coaches/Volunteers/Partners:  Please contact us if you would like 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 – 24 April (Friday – All Times CET, GMT+2):

Day Two – 25 April (Saturday – All Times CET, GMT+2):

Day Three – 26 April (Sunday – All Times CET, GMT+2):

  • 09:00-09:30 – Check-in & Virtual Coffee
  • 09:30-12:00 – Workshop Webinar 3: Build a Smartphone App with MIT App Inventor for Android
  • 12:00-15:00 – Project Work with Coaches
  • 15:00-16:00 – Project Submissions to #EUvsVirus (optional)
  • 16:00-19:00 – Closing Session (open to the Public): Project Pitches for “Women versus COVID19”

  • 19:00-20:00 – Virtual Reception with #EUvsVirus
**Awards:  Prizes will be handed out for the top three projects presented at the Closing Session:
  • Overall Best: 6-month Virtual inQubation at DLI; 10 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching; and free access to Crowdfunding 100 online course ($197 value) care of event partner Global InvestHer
  • Most Impact: 4-month Virtual inQubation at DLI; 8 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching
  • Most Innovative: 4-month Virtual inQubation at DLI; 8 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching

Europe Recognises Top Girls and Women in Digital Fields

“We are girls! We are women! We are strong!” – European Commissioner Gabriel to winners of the 2019 European Ada Awards recognising top female digital talent in Europe

“Take all challenges as opportunities,” advised Ms. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, to a group of wide-eyed finalists at the sixth European Ada Awards ceremony organised on 16 October 2019 in Brussels as part of European Code Week and the WomenInTech.Brussels Women Code Festival. The Ada Awards, founded in 2012 by Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute, promote top girls and women in digital fields in Europe in an effort to increase their numbers, a long-term priority for Commissioner Gabriel that she will carry into her new mission as European Commissioner for Youth and Innovation starting next month.

Commissioner Gabriel officially opened this year’s celebration of the Ada Awards, affectionately named for Countess Ada Lovelace, the world’s first-ever computer programmer, with a message that technology is “a strategic tool for the empowerment of citizens—of women and of men—that we must continue to use to advance ourselves,” she said. The Commissioner counseled those present to spend less time on embellishments and to focus on taking action when a door is opened, saying she would both hold them to task, and committed to supporting them along the way. The Commissioner closed her message praising the hard work and talent demonstrated by the Ada Award finalists and winners, underscoring: “We are girls! We are women! We are strong!”

Following her remarks, Commissioner Gabriel and Ada Award partners from civil society and private sector recognised the 2019 European Ada Award-winners.

2019 European Digital Woman of the Year Award

The 2019 European Ada Award for Digital Woman of the Year was presented by Ms. Kelly Dorekens, CRM Director at Deloitte Belgium, who shared that “diversity in a group matters as much as ability and brainpower,” adding that Deloitte “actively encourages women to embrace science, technology, engineering and math through selected partnerships and events, like the Ada Awards.”

Ms. Dee Saigal, United Kingdom – 2019 European Digital Woman of the Year
Ms. Dee Saigal is Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Erase All Kittens, an adventure game designed to give girls the confidence to code, whilst teaching digital and 21st century skills. Dee’s goal is for EAK is to transform the way children perceive coding and engineering, and empower millions of girls worldwide with transferable, digital skills. Dee shared that her biggest challenge so far, aside from being a woman in tech, has been fundraising for research and development. Her message to other women and girls is to not think tech is for boys or that it is “geeky.” “There are so many amazing careers in tech that are both interesting and challenging,” says Saigal. Now that Erase All Kittens has 150,000 players, her next step is to raise investment in order to be able to build more educational and gamified version to launch globally. Her team is raising £500,000, and are already at twenty percent of that goal.

2019 European Digital Girl of the Year Award

“10 Years and Under” Category:
The 2019 European Ada Award for Digital Girl of the Year in the “10 Years and Under” category was presented by Ms. Afke Schaart, VP and Head of Europe, GSMA. Winner in this category was Tayra, from Bulgaria.

Tayra, from Bulgaria – 2019 European Digital Girl of the Year “10 Years and Under”
Tayra is ten years old and was born in Sofia. She loves coding, and most recently won a special prize at Softunjada Kids with her Scratch project “three bears fairytale,” using sign language for kids. Tayra says the projects she is most proud of are her webpage and her robots. In ten years, she hopes to be a programmer. Her message to other girls who are interested in tech is: “I believe that girls have a power, and the power of technology can change the world for the better, no matter who we are. It is never too late or too early to get involved in tech,” Tayra says.

“11-14 Years Old” Category:

The 2019 European Ada Award for Digital Girl of the Year in the “11-14 Years Old” category was presented by Ms. Christine Marlet, Board Member, Global Wo.Man Hub. Marlet expressed her awe of the candidates saying “the Ada Awards grant the participants the perfect opportunity to enhance their digital dreams. It encourages them to take risks along the way in order to achieve their digital goals because they believe that their objectives are attainable.” She added: “Belief in yourself stems from belief in your role models.” Winner in this category was Selin, from Turkey.

Selin, from Turkey – 2019 European Digital Girl of the Year “11-14 Years Old”
Selin is thirteen years old and loves building robots, coding, animals and travelling. She wants to study robotics and eventually build a humanoid. Selin shared that she was inspired to build her robot dog when her childhood dog passed away. She said “I knew that blind people especially have a strong connection with their dogs. I wanted to help them out, and felt like this was a great way of doing that.” She spends her free time on the weekends working on and improving her robotic guide dog. Looking forward, Selin says “I am currently developing the second version of my dog, and this one will be able to sit, lay down, bark, and it will even do ‘heart eyes’ towards my mom. Currently it’s only programmed to understand English, but I’m hoping for it to learn Chinese soon!”

“15-17 Years Old” Category:
The 2019 European Ada Award for Digital Girl of the Year in the “15-17 Years Old” category was presented by Ms. Viola Pinzi from European Schoolnet. There were two winner in this category: Anne, from Belgium, and Alai-Miranda, from Spain.

Anne, from Belgium – 2019 European Digital Girl of the Year “15-17 Years Old”
Anne is a fifteen-year-old girl who created Clinicoders, an initiative to bring technology and programming to children in hospitals. One of the goals of this project is to encourage children to create solutions for permanently disabled children. Anne said her next steps for Clinicoders are to bring it to a hospital in Antwerp, as it is only currently in Ghent, Belgium. “My dad wants to help bring it to other countries as well. So we’ll see where it goes,” she said. Over time, Clinicoders has developed from an application for children into something for adults too. “We shared this application called ‘Mindstorms’ to adult hospital animators, and it has been a real success.” In terms of her own future, Anne plans on studying law, but definitely wants to continue engaging hospital patients with Clinicoders.

Alai-Miranda from Spain – 2019 European Digital Girl of the Year “15-17 Years Old”
Alai-Miranda’s passion for STEM began when she was seven years old, and it has yet to fade. Most recently, she was invited to speak at the Amazon Web Services Summit in Madrid to discuss her experience as a girl in technology. Alai-Miranda shared about a new project she has begun to work on called “EsVuela.” A combination of the Spanish words “escuela” (school) and “volar” (to fly), the project will educate children on how to fly and program drones. As far as where Alai-Mirand sees herself in ten years, she says: “Hopefully I will have graduated from MIT and will be working in technology at a company, or maybe I will have even started my own company at that point. I hope to be either in the U.S., or maybe in Europe, maybe even still in Spain – somewhere!” As for her experience at the Ada Awards, she said that she feels “inspired to continue talking about and learning technology.”

 

“Gender-Equality and Europe: Fit for the Digital Era?” Panel

The 2019 European Ada Awards ceremony was preceded by a high-level panel on “Gender Equality and Europe: Fit for the Digital Era,” moderated by Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, and including panelists Miss Manon Van Hoorebeke, 2014-2015 Ada Award-winner for European Digital Girl of the Year, Mr. Christian Veske, Stakeholder Relations Coordinator at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), Ms. Annick Breton Elias, Partner of Deloitte Luxembourg, and Ms. Afke Schaart, Vice President and Head of Europe at GSMA, a global trade association for the mobile industry.

Christian Veske kicked off the panel with a discussion of EIGE’s 2019 Gender Equality Index released this week, the factors contributing to Europe’s score of 67 out of 100, and the increasing importance of promoting gender balance in digital fields. “Women won’t achieve equality until there is digital equality,” agreed Schaart from the GSMA. “Right now, women hold less than twenty percent of jobs in the tech industry, which is why GSMA expanded our Tech4Girls program this year.”

 

At sixteen, Manon Van Hoorebeke shared that winning the Digital Girl of the Year award at eleven years old has played a significant role in guiding her life choices since then, and that she is now studying Physics at university. Van Hoorebeke also admitted that a lack of confidence with technology is a barrier to getting more young women into the field, and even despite her accomplishements, that she sometimes faces self-doubt. Elias concurred that this patter appears in professional contexts as well for which reason, she said, Deloitte works to identfy high-potential women in digital fields and starts conversations with them on leadership. “Because it is often unlikely that women will initiate these discussions themselves,” she said.

 

Formal welcome for the 2019 European Ada Awards Ceremony was provided by Ms. Loubna Azhgoud, COO of Women in Business and WomenInTech.Brussels @1819 Hub, and by Ms. Audrey Scozzaro Ferrazzi, Senior European Policy Manager at Google. Azhgoud congratulated Ada Award finalists and highlighted the event in the context of the third-annual Women Code Festival organised by the Brussels Region, which succeeded this year in reaching 2300 participants, eighty percent female, to encourage them into digital fields. Scozzaro Ferrazzi also welcomed guests with a rousing speech expressing her awe and admiration for gathered laurates who, like her, are pursuing digital fields.

Following the ceremony, WomenInTech.Brussels provided a lovely reception for the finalists and winners of the 2019 European Ada Awards and all their friends, families and supporters.

Congratulations to the 2019 European Ada Award winners, finalists and nominees for their amazing leadership in digital fields across Europe!

Thank you to our Ada Awards sponsors and supporters!

You can find more pictures from the 2019 European Ada Awards ceremony here.

DLI Update – Summer 2019

The Digital Leadership Institute Board and Executive Team are actively involved in outreach activities with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women.  Find out more about our outreach activities of Summer 2019 below, and please visit our calendar for events organised by DLI.

*STEM powered by Entrepreneurship and Arts


5 July 2019 – G7 & UNESCO International Conference (Paris): On 5 July in Paris, in the attendance of Ms. Malala Yousufzai and French President Emanuel Macron, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, and Ms. Loredana Bucseneanu, DLI Development Director,  joined a G7 and UNESCO international conference on the topic of “Innovating for Girls’ and Women’s Education.”


10-11 July 2019 – IMAGINE: A Better World, a Global Education Conference (Seattle): On 10-11 July in Seattle, Washington, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined IMAGINE: A Better World, a global education conference hosted by Amazon Web Services, long-time supporters of the DLI mission promoting inclusive digital transformation.


24 July 2019 – Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Ambassadors Meeting (Global): On 24 July, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined a meeting of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Global Ambassadors in preparation for the 2019 Women’s Entrepreneurship Day celebrations taking place on 15-16 November.


12-13 August 2019 – IMAGINE: A Better World, a Non Profit Conference (Seattle): On 13-14 August in Seattle, Washington, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined IMAGINE: A Better World, a global nonprofit conference hosted by Amazon Web Services, long-time supporters of the DLI mission promoting inclusive digital transformation.


29-31 August 2019 – World AI Conference (Shanghai): In Shanghai, China on 31 August, Ms. Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, gave a talk on “Challenges Facing the Future of AI,” at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference.


Be sure to visit our Calendar and Outreach Activities page, and sign up for the DLI Newsletter in order to keep up with DLI events and activities!

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