DLI Among Top Startups in Belgium

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.”

Coding Brings Confidence Say Europe’s Women

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!

 

FREE Android Training Toolkit

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:

  1. 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!
  2. Download the training guidelines that include links to resources in English, Italian and Spanish!
  3. Fill out the Survey about your experience to let us know if we’re on the right track!
  4. Join the Coding for Young People Community to benefit from future resources from the project and its partners!
  5. Don’t hesitate to contact us if we can support you in any way in your mission to teach coding to young people!

Happy coding!

Featured Image: PC Magazine

Celebrate Girls in STEM for Women’s Day 2017

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

DLI Recognised by Global Mobile Awards

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.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djyGQ5moEYU

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.

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For more information about DLI activities at MWC and the Women4Tech Summit, please follow our activities and feel free to contact us!

Filmmaking Startup Event for Women

In celebration of Startup Europe Week 2017, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners Creative District and others, are proud to announce the third FREE Move It Forward – female digital starters weekend bringing together teenage and adult women* from the greater Brussels region to develop digital projects promoting women in media. This initiative, part of the DLI inQube female digital accelerator, is supported by top technology companies, media organisations, and youth and women’s networks and communities. Its objective is to give beginner girls and women the skills to drive positive change and enable them to become digital entrepreneurs and leaders.

Participants:  If you are a teen or adult woman* interested in building your tech and entrepreneurship skills to promote better and more portrayal of girls and women in media, with a focus on film-making and story-telling, please “Apply To Attend” for this FREE event!  Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and all effort will be made to accommodate everyone who wishes to participate.

For important logistical information about the event, please also see below.


Draft Programme:
Day One – 11 February (Saturday):

  • 8:00-8:30 – Registration & Coffee
  • 8:30-10:30 – Opening Plenary: Inspiring talks by Move It Forward Partners
  • Welcome & Keynote Presentations:
  • 10:30-12:30 – Workshop 1: Smartphone App Development for Android with Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, MIT Master Trainer / DLI
  • 12:30 – 13:30 – Lunch Break
  • 13:30-15:30 – Workshop 2: Build Your Online Presence with Squarespace with Maria Alfonso, Development Manager at DLI, and Oscar Rodicio, Mudita Communications
  • 15:30-18:00 – Brainstorming, Proposals, Idea Selection, Team Grouping & Project Work
  • 18:00-19:00 – Dinner
  • 19:00-22:00 – Project Work with Coaches

Day Two – 12 February (Sunday):

  • 8:00-8:30 – Coffee & Danishes
  • 8:30-10:30 – Workshop 3: Story-telling with Virtual Reality with Fabien Bénétou
  • 10:30-12:30 – Workshop 4: Launch Your Project in the Cloud with Ms. Madalina Lazar & Ms. Christine Gerpheide / Amazon Web Services
  • 12:30-13:30 – Lunch Break
  • 13:30-16:00 – Project Work with Coaches
  • 16:00-17:00 – Presentation Preparation
  • 17:00-19:00 – Closing Plenary: Project Presentations & Judging
Awards:
Prizes will be handed out for the top three projects presented on Sunday afternoon:
  • Overall Best: 6-month inQubation at DLI; 10 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching; Other TBC
  • Most Business Potential: 4-month inQubation at DLI; 8 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching; Other TBC
  • Most Innovative: 4-month inQubation at DLI; 8 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching; Other TBC

Coaches:  Move It Forward femaledigital starter weekends are supported by a worldclass team of coaches who generously give their time and expertise to help participants deliver awesome projects and enterprises. Please contact us if you would like to support our event as a coach.

Speakers, Judges & Coaches:

Ms. Julie Compagnon:  Ms. Compagnon is a Belgian artist heard for the first time on The Voice – Season One. She continues to make her way as a chronicler for the same television channel that discovered her without abandoning her dream of music. Julie is currently preparing her very first album: Between candor and power, humor and generosity.

Ms. Ségolène Martin: Ms. Martin is the cofounder and Managing Partner of Kantify, a technology startup enabling retailers to transform their data into value thanks to Artificial Intelligence. Ségolène manages the Business Development and Marketing of Kantify’s activities. Before Kantify, Ségolène cofounded Meetsies, a collaborative economy platform on social dining (1500 users and 3 cities in 8 months), and held several management positions in the fields of innovation, digital transformation and business development.

 

Ms. Marine Haverland:  Active in the audio-visual sector since 2008, and after a period with Versus production, in 2012 Marine Haverland found Aura Films, a platform for developing an producing new media projects.   Marine also organized conferences and education in the transmedia filed and co-founded Liège Web Fest, the first Belgian festival dedicated to  transmedia, web-series et Virtual Reality. Marine is presently in charge of new media, gaming and virtual reality for the screen.brussels cluster.

Ms. Ioana Matei: Ms. Matei is Executive Film Producer at Reality+ Film, a movie director and writer, and she currently working on the production Joanne.  She is also Virtual Reality Solutions Delivery Leader at Procter&Gamble and leader of Diversity and Inclusion for the IT Function in Europe.  Ms. Matei has a 13-year trackrecord with P&G with eleven years in Business Intelligence that includes hands-on analysis work, deployment of BI IT solutions globally, and design and re-transformation of BI services. Ms. Matei is passionate about coaching and mentoring with focus on woman in IT, and actively promotes creativity in the workplace by using movie and story-telling techniques.
 
Ms. Claudia Ritter:  Ms. Ritter has 25 years experience in senior management and business consulting. Her career has encompassed EU affairs, journalism, strategic communications, and organisational development. Her work with European media broadcasts, as well as in leadership positions at the European Commission and in other international organisations, gives her a strong understanding of international relations and strategic thinking.
 
 
Mr. Fabien Bénétou: Mr. Bénétou is a passionate virtual reality developer whose vision for VR is to allow us to better explore our thoughts and express creativity.  Fabien produces professional VR content, and regularly organizes workshops to share the power of this medium with people of all backgrounds.
 Mr. Geoffroy Verney-Carron is an experienced strategy, digital and project management professional, and a highly entrepreneurial individual who has worked in corporate and startup environments. Mr. Verney-Carron believes in building trust and its value over time. Looking for opportunities to help organizations run their activity like a startup, collaborate, innovate, take ownership and be agile.
Mr. Óscar Rodicio is a foreign-language enthusiast and has acquired experience in different fields such as translation, event management, communication, teaching, interpretation and PR, both as an employee and as volunteer. He is currently working on MuditaComm, a startup idea that aims at providing language and digital marketing services to SME’s and organisations.

 

Childcare We proudly work with Bsit to provide childcare for participants with children up to ten years of age, on an as-needed basis.  If you wish to take advantage of this service, please kindly indicate that in the application form.

Languages:  Workshops and inspirational talks will be given in the language of choice of the speaker with interpretation in other languages, as needed.  If you would like to support this event as an interpretor, kindly join the event as “Volunteer/Event Partner” or contact us.

Laptops: Participants will need a laptop to be able to fully benefit from this event. If you do not have access to a laptop please let us know to reserve one for you. We have a limited number available and are grateful for participants who can bring extra/s to share with others. Please let us know if you can support the event in this way.

Supporters:  Please see a list of our Move It Forward partners and sponsors below, and kindly contact us if you would like more information on how to support this event, or join us as a “Volunteer/Event Partner”. Opportunities exist for Move It Forward volunteers, interpreters, coaches, jury members, content and media partners, prize contributors and sponsors.

If there is any other way we can facilitate your participation in this event, please do not hesitate to let us know!

*anyone who identifies as a woman

DLI Wrap-up 2016

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!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g4iEmRG8WU

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.

2016 European Ada Awards smallUpdate 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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Digital Leadership Institute, asbl/vzw
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Brussels, Belgium 1050

Refugee Women Move It Forward

As part of Code Week Europe 2016, on 15-16 October in Brussels, sixty teen and adult women–ranging in age from 15 to 55 and representing upwards of twenty-five nationalities–gathered at the Digital Leadership Institute’s inQube space for a Move It Forward “female digital starters” weekend. Through expert support and hands-on workshops on web development, app coding, the cloud and CRM, participants built and launched their own enterprises in support of women refugees and asylum seekers in Europe.

Ms. Anna Zobnina, Chair of the European Network of Migrant Women, who gave a keynote and took part in the event, shared the following: “When extremism and poverty attack women forcing them to flee their home, we should attack extremism and poverty by empowering refugee women to rebuild their dignified lives. And if we want to win, we have to be strategic and use the digital technology to fight violence and discrimination that women on the move face at every step of their journeys.”

Attendees of the Move It Forward event, twenty-five percent of whom were refugee women from across Europe, enjoyed an entire weekend dedicated to learning digital and entrepreneurial skills taught by DLI and its world-class technology partners, including Amazon Web Services, Onboard CRM and MIT AppInventor for Android.

On the final day of the event, the most innovative projects were selected for further incubation at inQube, and recognized later in the week at a European Parliament event hosted by KAGIDER, the Turkish women’s entrepreneurship association.  Recognized projects included:

Ms. Sanem Oktar, KAGIDER President said: “As the largest women’s entrepreneurship network in Turkey, KAGIDER is thrilled to ‘Move It Forward’ for female digital starters. We share the vision of economically empowering women to drive positive change in the world, and of enabling them to use technology to do that. We are therefore excited to showcase the successes of Move It Forward Brussels 2016 and to build on this with Move It Forward Istanbul in 2017.

The first Move It Forward weekend took place in January 2016 with support of the Brussels Capital Region. Four of the final projects received expert support from DLI for a period of five months, and several projects are continuing today. To build on its success in Brussels, DLI and its partners are now launching Move It Forward in other cities around the globe.

The two-day Move It Forward event is a flagship of the inQube female digital accelerator, a DLI initiative whose mission is to redress under-representation of women in tech startup.

Event Sponsors and Partners

Move It Forward for Women Refugees

On 15-16 October, in celebration of Code Week Europe 2016, the Digital Leadership Institute and its partners will organise the second FREE Move It Forward – female digital starters weekend bringing 100 teen and adult women* together from greater Brussels to develop digital projects that support women refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe. This initiative, part of the DLI inQube female digital accelerator, is supported by top technology companies, and youth and women’s networks and communities. Its objective is to give beginner girls and women the skills to drive positive change and enable them to become digital entrepreneurs and leaders.
Participants: If you are a teen or adult woman* interested in building your tech and startup skills for the benefit of women asylum-seekers and refugees in Europe, please apply to attend this FREE event at the following link: http://bit.ly/mifbru16oct
Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and effort will be made to accommodate everyone who applies.
Supporters: Please see a list of our Move It Forward partners and sponsors below, and kindly contact us if you would like more information on how 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 – 15 October (Saturday):

  • 8:00-8:30 – Registration & Coffee
  • 8:30-9:30 – Opening Plenary: Inspiring talks by Move It Forward Partners
    • Welcome & Keynote Presentations:
    • Keynote: Ms. Yara Al-Adib – Service & UX Consultant/Deloitte Digital
  • 9:30-11:30 – Workshop 1: Web Development with WordPress (TBC)
  • 12:30 – 13:30 – Lunch Break
  • 13:30-15:30 – Workshop 2: Grow Your Business with Salesforce.org (TBC)
  • 15:30-18:00 – Brainstorming, Proposals, Idea Selection, Team Grouping & Project Work
  • 18:00-19:00 – Dinner
  • 19:00-22:00 – Project Work with Coaches

Day Two – 16 October (Sunday):

  • 8:00-8:30 – Coffee & Danishes
  • 8:30-10:30 – Workshop 3: Smartphone App Development with MIT App Inventor for Android (TBC)
  • 10:30-12:30 – Workshop 4: Launching Your Project in the Cloud with Amazon Web Services (TBC)
  • 12:30-13:30 – Lunch Break
  • 13:30-16:00 – Project Work with Coaches
  • 16:00-17:00 – Presentation Preparation
  • 17:00-19:00 – Closing Plenary: Project Presentations & Judging
  • 18:30 – Keynote Presentation: TBA
  • 19:00-21:00 – Awards Dinner & Networking
Awards:
Prizes will be awarded for top three projects presented on Sunday afternoon:
  • Overall Best: 6-month inQubation at DLI; 10 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching; Other TBC
  • Biggest Challenge: 4-month inQubation at DLI; 8 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching; Other TBC
  • Best Technical Solution: 4-month inQubation at DLI; 8 Hours one-to-one inQube Startup Coaching; Other TBC

Sponsors & Partners:
Thank you to the individuals and organisations who are making this event possib

Brussels Women Move It Forward

On 23-24 January, forty teen 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.

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.)

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.

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.

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.

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!