On 19 October, Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute joined Digital First 2017 to celebrate being selected among the Best 100 Belgian Startups by a high-level jury organised by media company Digimedia. DLI team members, Ms. Valentina Calà and Ms. Katrien Geraedts, were on hand to greet investors and discuss the work of DLI, who has successfully launched Europe’s first female tech incubator, Digital Brusselles, and is driving world class programs to differentiate Brussels, Belgium and Europe as “the heart of inclusive digital transformation.”
“With a three-year track record as a social enterprise, DLI is outperforming most startups even outside its class,” shares DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, about the recognition. “We believe this is as much about how innovative and impactful our work is, as it is about the engagement and dedication of our partners to our mission,” she says. “It is not every day, for example, that organisations like Amazon Web Services and the Digital Belgium Skills Fund come together to help drive positive change,” says Ms. Miller. “This is a testament to both the quality of the work we are doing and to just how important that work is — for which we feel very honoured.”
On 14-15 October in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute, Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform, Bozar and their partners hosted a Move It Forward female digital starters event for Women in Music and Entertainment, in collaboration with the Brussels Electronic Marathon and in celebration of the European Week of Action for Girls, the Women Code Festival and European Code Week 2017.
Move It Forward is an initiative of inQube, DLI‘s female digital accelerator, and is supported by the Digital Belgium Skills Fund, top technology companies, non-profit organisations, and youth and women’s networks and communities. Its 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.
*anyone who identifies as a woman
In May 2017, the Digital Leadership Institute team met in Croatia with its WOW Code2Confidence partners, a project funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission. The project organisations explored how learning to code can lead to more confidence for women during studies and in the job market.
During the meeting, results from a pan-European survey on the interest of European women in coding were presented. Key findings of the survey, which was carried out by WOW Code2Confidence partners across Belgium, Croatia, England, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Romania, are below:
- 53% of European women surveyed expressed an interest in learning to code;
- Most women surveyed rate their current coding skills as Beginner, and 85% of women surveyed noted that coding activities give them confidence.
- The main reason for women’s interest in coding is because coding skills are required for studies/work and due to an expressed desire to become more familiar with technical terms and jobs.
- The survey also revealed that the main reason for those surveyed having never tried coding is due to a lack of suitable training resources.
Read the full results of the survey in our most recent WOW Code2Confidence newsletter, and for more information about the project, or about other DLI work promoting women in coding, please contact us.
On 5-6 October in Brussels, DLI will host the Fall 2017 meeting of the WOW Code2Confidence Project whose focus will be how women can leverage coding skills to improve their opportunities in the job market. Stay tuned!
On 8-9 July in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Digital Leadership Institute, Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform, Begital and Trust for Social Achievement and their partners hosted a Move It Forward female digital starters event with Women Roma. Move It Forward is an initiative of inQube, DLI‘s female digital accelerator, and is supported by the Digital Belgium Skills Fund, top technology companies, non-profit organisations, and youth and women’s networks and communities. Its 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.
*anyone who identifies as a woman
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.
In order to fully benefit from the Toolkit, please be sure to:
- 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
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
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.
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.
For more information about DLI activities at MWC and the Women4Tech Summit, please follow our activities and feel free to contact us!
On 11-12 February in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute, Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform, Creative District and their partners hosted a Move It Forward female digital starters event for Women in Media, as part of Startup Europe Week 2017. Move It Forward is an initiative of inQube, DLI‘s female digital accelerator, and is supported by the Digital Belgium Skills Fund, top technology companies, non-profit organisations, and youth and women’s networks and communities. Its 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.
*anyone who identifies as a woman
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!
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.
Update 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.
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This will be a busy week! On Wednesday, we will have the last of the Cyberviolence workshops we have been running since September. It will be a very interesting and informative event. One of the speakers will be an expert from the European Schoolnet who will speak about the inSafe network, a Europe-wide program to empower children and young people to use the internet, as well as all forms of mobile technology, positively, safely and effectively.
Our second speaker is a cybersecurity expert who will explain how we can add a layer of security to our internet usage, to protect our online identity. He has been giving workshops to journalists and human rights activists on how to make their online correspondences more secure and hacker-resistant. (Register here: http://bit.ly/15inqube14) Expect to take a lot of notes!
For those curious about cloud computing technology, you are all welcome to our Bluemix Girls’ Night on Thursday. There will be an interesting panel of women entrepreneurs and cloud computing experts who will talk about how (would-be) entrepreneurs could use this new technology in setting up a sustainable business with the same scalability as big tech companies. Register here!
Have a great week ahead!