Teen girls attending Girl Tech Fest 2017 will have a chance both to meet Alexa, and to program the Echo platform that helps Alexa run! Those joining the GTF Alexa workshop organised by Amazon Web Services* will learn to customize Alexa’s voice-recognition system and remotely launch activities, from playing music to sending email. After that, the chances to make a life-long virtual friend are endless!
The learning opportunity will continue after Girl Tech Fest, too, as the girls will benefit from official membership in the Amazon developer community where they can make use of the Alexa Skills Kit and other online materials to help them continue exploring and creating.
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 ages, a high-level roundtable with Brussels, Belgian and European stakeholders, and a reception for all in attendance.
To 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.
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:
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!
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.