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 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
9 November – Women Techmakers “Telling Our Story” (Las Palmas, Grand Canaries): On 9 November in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, DLI Founder Ms. Cheryl Miller provided a keynote presentation as part of the Women Techmakers “Telling Our Story” event at Centro Demostrador TIC – Recinto Ferial.
9 November – Second Meeting of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board (Brussels): DLI Founder Ms. Cheryl Miller contributed to the second meeting of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board on 9 November in Brussels, in preparation for the 7 December Digital Skills and Jobs Conference.
15 November – Entrepreneurship Forum (Brussels): On 15 November, DLI Founder Ms. Cheryl Miller contributed to an entrepreneurship showcase for students at Institut Cardinal Mercier in Schaerbeek, organized by 100.000 Entrepreneurs Belgium.
15 November – Digital Capital CODE FIESTA (Brussels): On 15 November at ‘De Kelders van Kuregem’ in Brussels, DLI contributed to the Digital Capital CODE FIESTA hosted by MAKS, with an intervention by Digital Muse After School, led by DLI Digital Creative Officer Ms. Valentina Calà.
16 November – Digital Muse at Westonbirt Schools Careers Day (Westonbirt): “Look to the future event”: career event for youngsters at Westonbirt (UK). Mai Ensmann, DLI Development Officer, attended the event, presenting the ESTEAM career possibilities to young girls.
19 November – Hacktivate the City! Generation Z: (Brussels) DLI director Ms. Katja Legisa joined the opening of the exhibition “Generation Z,” where finalists of our recent Move It Forward with Women in a Music were showcased and MIF project M.ES.S. won top honours from the Generation Z jury!
20-21 November – Third Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights (Brussels): On 20-21 November, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined the third annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights, on the subject of “women’s rights in turbulent times,” hosted by the European Commission DG for Justice at Palais d’Egmont in Brussels.
22 November – Innovation in Women’s Digital Entrepreneurship: On 22 November at a Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform event on “Innovation in Women’s Digital Entrepreneurship” at the European Parliament in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, provided a keynote presentation in celebration of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and Global Entrepreneurship Week.
23 November – Girls Go IT Annual Forum (Moldova): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, provided a keynote presentation for the 2017 Girls Go IT Annual Forum taking place in Chisinau, Moldova, on 23 November.
28 November – Think Digital.eu (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, moderated a panel on “Data Protection & Privacy” as part of the annual Think Digital event, taking place at Palais d’Egmont on 28 November in Brussels.
30 November – Chatham House Report Release (London): On 30 November in London, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined the Chatham House release of “Private Sector Engagement with Women’s Economic Empowerment: Lessons from Years of Practice,” a report authored by Linda Scott, Emeritus DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Oxford, based on research with the Global Business Coalition for Women’s Economic Empowerment (GBC for WEE).
5 December – The Role of Lifelong Learning for Women Entrepreneurs (Brussels): On 5 December, Ms. Katja Legisa, DLI board member, joined a panel discussion on “the Role of Lifelong Learning for Women Entrepreneurs” as part of a Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform event at the European Parliament in Brussels.
5 December – “Women in the Digital Age” Taskforce Briefing (London): On 5 December in London, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined a Chatham House meeting to launch a global taskforce on “Women in the Digital Age” as part of the 2018 G20 meeting in Argentina.
7 December – Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Conference (Brussels): On 7 December in Brussels, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined the members of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board for a meeting with Commissioner for the Digital Single Market, Ms. Mariya Gabriel, in the context of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Conference on the topic of “Digital Opportunities for Europe”. Ms. Miller also awarded the 2018 EU Digital Skills Award for “Digital Skills for All,” and DLI hosted a booth with two digital workshops on professional portraits and on-line CV tools.
9-10 December – Smart Family Hackathon (Brussels): As partner to the Women In Tech Platform in Brussels, Ms. Valentina Cala, DLI Digital Creative Officer, and Ms. Mai Ensmann, DLI Development Officer, supported a two-day hackathon to create smart solutions for the entire family, that took place on 9-10 December at DigiYser in Brussels.
12 December – European Commission Briefing on Women in the Digital Age (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined a 12 December meeting at the European Commission to review the forthcoming update of the 2013 report on “women active in the ICT sector .
12 December – NOVA XX Women in Innovation Panel (Brussels): As part of NOVA XX, the first international competition on women in technological, scientific and artistic innovation, Ms. Valentina Càla, DLI Digital Creative Officer, contributed to a 12 December panel on “Women in Innovation” in Brussels.
13 December – NOVA XX Women in the 4th Industrial Revolution Panel (Brussels): As part of NOVA XX, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a 13 December roundtable on “Women in the 4th Industrial Revolution” at the BOZAR in Brussels.
On 30 November 2017 at BeCentral in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners welcomed over two hundred key stakeholders and community members to celebrate the fifth edition of the European Ada Awards and to share the success stories of the 2017 Digital Brusselles project with support from the Digital Belgium Skills Fund. The Ada Awards are a long-standing pledge to the European Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition that recognise top European girls and women in tech and the organisations that support them.
Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, opened the evening with a warm thank you to DLI supporters, followed by keynote presentations from Ms. Céline Vanderborght, Brussels Region Smart City Manager and Ms. Andrea Almeida Cordero, Member of Cabinet for Ms. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market. Both speakers committed their support and that of their stakeholders to active engagement of girls and women for fulfilling the vision of an inclusive digital Europe. A subsequent tweet about the event by Commissioner Gabriel was very well received on Twitter.
Opening presentations were succeeded by graduation of over sixty participants from the 2017 Digital Muse After School program with Ms. Valentina Cala DLI Digital Creative Manager, and from the first-ever cohort of the CYPRO “First Steps” program with Ms. Mai Ensmann, DLI CYPRO Coordinator.
Ms. Katja Legisa, Digital Brusselles Director, then recognised 200-plus participants of the 2017 “Female Digital Starters” training program, followed by an inQube / Digital Brusselles project pitching session hosted by Ms. Lama Jaghjougha, a recent Syrian refugee to Belgium and founder of Move Women Refugees Forward. Initiatives presented included those launched in the context of inQube Move It Forward events over the past two years, including:
- Brussely – a platform by/for/about Brussels Generation Y-ers, presented by Ms. Safia Bihmehdn
- MESS – a gamified concert-going platform for Brussels citizens, presented by Ms. Alexandra Pykacz & Ms. Edith Euan
- MIA – a virtual innovation space for Brussels citizens, presented by Ms. Muna Ibrahim
- African Gist – an African tech internship program, presented by Ms. Cynthia Mukendy
- Tabadoul – a professional mentorship program for women refugees led by ENoWM and DAW, presented by Ms. Sinem Yilmaz
A particularly moving moment of the evening came about when, as part of her pitch for the Brussely platform, Ms. Safia Bihmehdn read a poem she composed about her participation in the Move It Forward for Women in Media event, which as the poem describes, inspired her toward a whole new direction in digital entrepreneurship and in celebrating the youth and diversity of Brussels.
The final highlight of the evening was the 2017 European Ada Awards, launched with inspiring keynote presentations by Ms. Dinah Barret, Senior Solutions Architect for EMEA at Amazon Web Services, and Ms. Gabriela M. Juric, 2016 European Digital Girl of the Year, and co-hosted by Ms. Miller and Ms. Loredana Bucseneanu, DLI Strategy Officer.
2017 European Ada Award trophies were presented by Ms. Simone Hume of Amazon Web Services in the following categories and announced by noted Ada Award partner representatives:
1. Ms. Pascale Van Damme, Vice President and General Manager at Dell EMC Commercial Belux, is 2017 European Digital Woman of the Year, as announced by Ms. Austeja Trikunaite, Secretary General of CEPIS.
2. 2017 European Digital Girl of the Year honours were awarded in the following age categories:
15-17 Year Old Category, as announced by Ms. Kiki Walravens, GSMA:
Maeve Galvin (Ireland)
11-14 Year Old Category, as announced by Mr. Laurent Roux, Impact Officer at European Institute of Technology:
- Aoibheann Mangan (Ireland)
- Charlotte Johnson (United Kingdom)
10 Years and Under Category, as announced by Ms. Tomislava Recheva of European Schoolnet:
- Helena Staple (United Kingdom)
- Zara Ilyas (Ireland)
- Ruby Scott Kenny (Ireland)
3. Teen-Turn of Ireland is 2017 European Digital Impact Organisation of the Year Award, as announced by Ms. Michela Palladino, Director of European Policy at Developers Alliance.
The 2017 European Ada Awards and Digital Brusselles celebration concluded with a reception catered by From Syria With Love, an organisation led by recent Syrian women refugees to Belgium that Digital Brusselles is honoured to support.
The Digital Leadership Institute and Digital Brusselles would like to thank the speakers, judges, partners and sponsors of the 2017 European Ada Awards and Digital Brusselles celebration, including the Digital Belgium Skills Fund, Amazon Web Services, European Institute of Technology, CEPIS, European Schoolnet, Edosoft, GSMA, Developers Alliance and BeCentral.
Congratulations to all the girls and women recognised by this year’s Ada Awards and Digital Brusselles celebration. We are looking forward to welcoming even more of you again next year!
On 1 June in Louvain-La-Neuve, girls and women from across Belgium joined an all-female Android coding workshop organized by the Digital Leadership Institute in the context of Salesforce Essentials, a large-scale event reaching over 600 Salesforce enthusiasts. The workshop, carried out as part of our Digital Muse initiative in collaboration with Salesforce Belux and Salesforce.org, attracted participants ranging in age from ten to fifty-five, who benefited from hands-on coding lessons using MIT App Inventor and inspiring talks by Salesforce employees.
Ms. Cécile Kempeneers, a Salesforce Belux Senior Account Executive who also co-organized a workshop at the most recent Girl Tech Fest Brussels 2017, shared with participants about her own role models and people who inspired her to enter a career in tech — including her grandfather, but also Elon Musk, Michelle Obama, Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai. Ms. Carmina Coenen, Salesforce Manager for Solution Engineering, also captured everyone’s imagination with a promise that coding and working with Salesforce would give them more options for an exciting and rewarding career.
Workshop attendees showed a clear talent for developing their own Android smartphone application that translates speech from one language into spoken output in another language. The talks by Ms. Coenen and Ms. Kempeneer also piqued their interest in career opportunities with Salesforce.
“We are excited to build on this interest by offering our community more curriculum on smartphone app-development and on becoming certified Salesforce CRM experts,” commented Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder. “We look forward to pursuing this collaboration going forward, for the benefit of both Salesforce and for these amazing girls of all ages!”
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 April and May 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
14 April – Alma Radio “Digital Kids” Show (Brussels): On 14 April, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined Ms. Claire-Marie Healy from Alma Radio for a broadcast on the subject of “Digital Kids,” in the lead up to all-day Alma Radio coverage of the 2017 Digital Muse Girl Tech Fest organised by DLI on 29 April 2017.
10 May – Chatham House “Women in Trade” at European Parliament (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, contributed to a 10 May meeting at the European Parliament on the topic of “Women in Trade” with contribution from Chatham House experts and members of European Parliament, which preceded an 11 May hearing on Gender Equality in EU Trade Agreements.
11 May – Trefpunt – Sterke Onderneemsters (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, joined a Trefpunt event, panel and speed-dating exercise, hosted by the “Sterke Onderneemsters” project, aimed a promoting women-led entrepreneurship, on 11 May in Brussels.
19 May – Digital Skills Fair at BeCentral (Brussels): On 9 June, Ms. Maria Alfonso, DLI Development Coordinator, showcased DLI activities at an all-day event promoting Belgian digital skills initiatives that took place at BeCentral in Brussels.
In honour of International Girls in ICT Day 2017, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners organised the second annual Girl Tech Fest Brussels 2017, a volunteer-run event with over 100 activities reaching 250 participants from across Brussels, encouraging girls toward study and career paths in ESTEAM: STEM plus Entrepreneurship and Arts!
With 25 workshops and a dozen “Digital Muse Lab” activities, the Girl Tech Fest took tons of effort and dedication from a lot of people to make happen! We would like to thank everybody who contributed:
- European Commissioner for Justice, Ms. Vera Jourová who had a special message for GTF participants!
- Our wonderful partners — Amazon Web Services, IBM, Dell EMC, Cisco and Salesforce — for helping us in countless ways to make the event a reality!
- All the amazing volunteers — Alma Radio, Hack4Kids, Ludilab, Hexalina, Women Mentor Association, Nightwave, DJ Sand, et al. — who donated their time, knowledge and a sheer physical presence to assure the girls that there is a place for them in our digital present and future!
- The speakers and their stories of ambition, perspiration and inspiration: Nadia Aimé, Gaby Juric, Pascale Van Damme (Dell EMC Belux), Simone Hume (AWS) and even Pepper (c/o IBM, Kronos Groep & Craftwerkz)! 😉
- The European School IV of Brussels (EEB4), without whose enthusiastic collaboration and massive behind-the-scenes support, the Girl Tech Fest would not have been possible!
Our event got some attention! Find out who was impressed right here!
- The Girl Tech Fest was featured in the Saturday evening news on BX1 television
- The GTF social media team created massive coverage at the #girltechfest hashtag
- Our #girlpower video via Stefanie/Hack4Kids got some traction too
- And here is Cheryl Miller (DLI Founder)’s blogpost for the European Commission in celebration of Girls in ICT Day
To help us improve Girl Tech Fest for the next time, please share your feedback here:
Thank you, and see you all again next year!
In the context of the Coding for Young People project, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners have developed a FREE Android App Training Toolkit for use and sharing by individuals and organisations interested in teaching Android using the MIT App Inventor platform.
- Download the ‘Talk2Me” training presentation and watch the 50-minute “Talk2Me” training video. Use these to teach Android to your students, and feel free to share them with others!
- Download the training guidelines that include links to resources in English, Italian and Spanish!
- Fill out the Survey about your experience to let us know if we’re on the right track!
- Join the Coding for Young People Community to benefit from future resources from the project and its partners!
- Don’t hesitate to contact us if we can support you in any way in your mission to teach coding to young people!
Featured Image: PC Magazine
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.
Special thanks to Amazon Web Services for supporting DLI work to increase participation of girls and women in digital fields, and for partnering for our second Girl Tech Fest!
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.
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
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.
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