ATHENA Project Final Conference : Entrepreneurship as a path to socio-economic inclusion of migrant women

On the 16th of March 2023 Athena project partners organize the final project conference on the topic of “Entrepreneurship as a path to socio-economic inclusion of migrant women” to present and discuss with European stakeholders and policy makers the project results including the policy recommendations and actions plans to be implemented to support and improve the inclusion of migrant women entrepreneurs.

The event will hybrid (in presence and online) and simultaneously translated to German and Spanish.

Agenda

The event will be moderated by Ms Katja Legisa, Entrepreneurship Director at the Digital Leadership Institute

9:30h – 10:00h Registration

10:00h – 10:15h Introduction & Welcome

  • Mr Stefano Mallia, President of the Employers’ Group of the European Economic and Social Committee
  • Mr Pablo Morales, Coordinator of the Athena project, Chamber of Commerce of Seville

10:15h – 11:00h – Athena Project outcomes and findings:

11:00h – 11:30h Coffee break

11:30h – 12:30h – Expert panel discussion 1: Policy priorities for the inclusion of migrant women entrepreneurs

What actions should the EU take to facilitate the integration of migrant women entrepreneurs? Policy recommendations from the experts and ATHENA project

Moderated by Ms Cheryl Novak, Research Associate at the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy

  • Ms Maria-Helena De Felipe, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee and Spokesperson of the SMEs category

12:30h – 14:00h – Networking lunch

14:00h – 14:45h – Expert panel discussion 2: Opportunities or obstacles? Recommendations addressing the challenges faced by migrant women entrepreneurs

What steps should be taken and by which stakeholders in order to facilitate the financial and legal integration of new migrant women entrepreneurs?

  • Ms Mamen Soria, Entrepreneurship expert at the Chamber of Commerce of Seville
  • Ms Loubna Azghoud, Expert in digital economy, gender equality and entrepreneurship strategy
  • Ms Siham Zarkan, Project Manager at SheDIDIT
  • Ms Tina Marquart, consultant at Jumpp Ihr Sprungbrett in die Selbständigkeit, Frauenbetriebe e. V.
  • Ms Rosy Cascella, Camera di Commercio Bari – Progetto Futurae

14:45h – 15:30h – Success stories of women entrepreneurs

Moderated by Ms Loredana Bucseneanu, Development Director at the Digital Leadership Institute

  • Ms Sofiia Shevchuk, Founder of VONA, Consultant, Researcher and Project Manager in Climate, Gender and Security
  • Ms Magna Solange Dos Santos , Entrepreneur in the hospitality sector
  • Ms Albina Savciuc, Entrepreneur in the sustainable jewellery sector
  • Ms Viviana Santana, Entrepreneur in external services to hotels
  • Blessing Ayomonsuru, Entrepreneur in trading ethnic food products

15:30h – 16:00h – AMIF future opportunities Focus group

Moderated by Mr Pablo Morales, Coordinator of the Athena project, Chamber of Commerce of Seville

  • Mr Juan Guerrero Caballero – General Manager and Head of the Department of International R& D Projects at INCOMA
  • Ms Ursula Hoenich – Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission
  • Ms Carmela Cotrone – Policy Expert

16:00 – 16:15 Closing of the conference

Please note that registration is mandatory for attending the event: https://www.eventbrite.be/e/entrepreneurship-as-a-path-to-socio-economic-inclusion-of-migrant-women-tickets-535756521177. Your personal data will be shared with the European Economic and Social Committee Visitors Office in order to grant you access to the building on the day of the event.

The event is organized with the support of the Employers’ Group of the European Economic and Social Committee .

For more info about the project visit www.athenaproject.net and the Facebook and Instagram page.

DLI Update – Winter 2023

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 2023, including the 18 January meeting of 2023 W20 India, the first meeting of the G20 India Presidency with International W20 Delegates. 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


13-14 November 2022 –  G20 Women20 Indonesia Post-Summit Event (Bali & Online): On 13-14 November 2022, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the G20 Women20 Indonesia Post-Summit Event, a G20 Leaders Summit Side Event, in her capacity as Co-head of the EU Delegation to the G20 Women20 engagement group.

12 December 2022 –  G20 Women20 Indonesia Handover to W20 India 2023 (India & Online): On 12 December 2022, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the Handover Meeting of the G20 Women20 Indonesia to W20 India 2023 in her capacity as Co-head of the EU Delegation to the G20 Women20 engagement group.

20 January 2023 – G7 Women7 Germany Handover to W7 Japan 2023 (Tokyo & Online): Online on 20 January 2023, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the Handover Meeting of G7 Women7 Germany to W7 Japan 2023 in her capacity as HOD ex officio of the EU Delegation to the G20 Women20.

18 January 2023 – G20 Women20 India Delegation Meeting (Online): Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the 18 January 2023 online delegation meeting of G20 Women20 India 2023 in her capacity as HOD ex officio of the EU Delegation to the G20 Women20.

24 January 2023 – G20 Women20 EU 2023 Delegation Kickoff Meeting (Online): On 24 January 2023, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined the online 2023 Kickoff meeting of the European Union G20 Women20 Delegation in her capacity as HOD ex officio.

26 January 2023 – WEgate Community Council Meeting (Online): Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the 26 January WEgate Community Council Meeting in her capacity as WEgate Policy Chair, Community Councilmember, and Chair of the Digital Transition Thematic Group. 


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!

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 Connecting for 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/

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!

DLI.jpg

Digital Equity for Women’s Economic Agency at STI Forum 2022

Online on 5 May 2022, 18:00-19:15CET / 12:00-1:15pm EST, the G20 Women20 European Union Delegation and Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute are proud to organize “Digital Equity for Women’s Economic Agency,” an official side-event of the UN ECOSOC’s 7th Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum).

Confirmed Speakers:

Format: This event will feature a Roundtable, with interventions by representatives of public and private organizations promoting women’s economic empowerment and closing the gender digital divide for economic recovery and sustainable development. A Question & Answer session open to the public will follow the Roundtable.

Moderator: The event will be moderated by Cheryl Miller, Co-head of the G20 Women20 European Union Delegation, and Director of the Digital Leadership Institute

Registration: This online event is open to the public and registration is required. The event will be organized on Zoom and accessed via the STI Forum Whova platform which is still in process. Those who register via Zoom will also have access. Please stay tuned.

Live Stream: The event will also be streamed live on the DLI YouTube channel.

Concept Note:

Anywhere in the world today, a woman is: 

  • Less likely to be online;
  • More likely to have low or no digital skills;
  • Less likely to be an IT professional; and 
  • Far less likely to launch a tech-driven enterprise.

As a result, women are at greater risk of being excluded by the digital disruption, a phenomenon exacerbated by the COVID pandemic.

COVID has disproportionately impacted women—forcing millions out of the workplace, many permanently. In response, entrepreneurship is and will continue to be a key factor in sustaining financial independence for women and in reigniting the global economy.  In the digital society, such participation is increasingly linked to skills supporting both digitally-enabled and digitally-driven entrepreneurship.

However, a key characteristic of the digital disruption which cuts across geographic locations and socio-economic conditions is that, no matter where they are in the world, women are less likely to be online than men. Of the Earth’s 7.8 billion human population, men make up thirty percent and women twenty-five percent of people who are online, reflecting 195 million fewer women online overall. Despite a surge in online participation during the COVID pandemic, the rate at which women go online continues to lag behind. This ubiquitous and persistent trend represents the digital divide compounded by the gender gap which, without focused effort to address it, risks widening.

In countries where digitalization has a firmer hold, women are still less likely to have digital skills, take up formal computer science or other STEM studies, or hold technical and leadership roles in IT organizations. Globally, the founder of a digitally-driven enterprise is five times more likely to be a man than a woman, and in many places the ratio is closer to ten-to-one.

In addition to the yawing social divide this reality reflects, italso represents a loss for the global economy and for women themselves who are unable to fully realize their potential as economics actors in an increasingly digital society. In 2013, the UN reported that bringing 600 million women and girls online could boost global GDP by up to $18B. A European study of the same period suggests that equal participation of women in the ICT sector would contribute as much as €9B annually to the European economy. Especially as a response to the COVID-induced “She-cession,” action to tackle the gender digital divide presents an opportunity to improve women’s economic agency, address the digital skills and job gap, and promote a pathway toward sustainable development.

Regardless of geography, closing the gender digital divide presents a critical factor in ensuring women’s economic agency, previously and again at present, in order to promote economic development. This focus has the advantages of limiting the risk of further marginalization of women as a result of the digital disruption, addressing the global IT skills gap, filling tech jobs that otherwise go unfilled, and of supporting a woman’s pathway to economic agency in the workforce and as an entrepreneur whose work is digitally-enabled and/or tech-driven.

As such, the greatest single driver of economic recovery exiting the COVID pandemic, and that which will most contribute to sustainable development going forward, will be action supporting digital equity for women’s economic agency at the intersection of promoting women’s economic empowerment (WEE)—with women as entrepreneurs,  equal actors in the workforce, and leaders across the board—and closing the gender digital divide (GDD).

Questions: The event will investigate the following questions: 

  • What is the economic impact of the gender digital divide and the opportunity presented by closing it?
  • What is the state-of-play regarding development action that focuses on tackling the gender digital divide and promoting women’s economic empowerment? 
  • What indicators and best practices may be employed to support digital equity for women’s economic agency as a pathway to economic recovery and sustainable development?

Topics: The event will address the topics of women’s economic empowerment, the gender digital divide, gender equality, woman’s rights, inclusive digital transformation, digital financial inclusion, access to finance, online safety, digital equity, digital skills, STEM skills, women-led entrepreneurship, economic recovery, building forward better from COVID, diversity, equity, inclusion, women in peacekeeping and conflict avoidance, women migrants and refugees, women in leadership, women in innovation, female founders, the SDGs, sustainable development goals, and sustainable development.

Moving Forward Support for Women Entrepreneurs

Women-led entrepreneurship can act as an enabler of women’s economic empowerment and gender equality and contribute to the post-COVID economic recovery.

On this important topic, DLI and it’s partners organized an event entitled Moving Forward Support for Women Entrepreneurs on 16 March 2022 at the Residence Palace in Brussels.  The event was hybrid, which supported people to attend from a large variety of countries and organisations.

Moving Forward Support for Women Entrepreneurs was organised in the framework of the Move It Forward Plus project (MIF+), an Erasmus Plus-funded project to support organizations working in the field of female digital entrepreneurship by equipping them with tools and strategies to better support aspiring women entrepreneurs. The highlighted “tool” was the Move It Forward female digital starters weekend, a two-day program with the aim of bringing together teen and adult women to provide them with the digital skills, resources and access to expertise necessary to inspire them to take up digital entrepreneurship.

During the event, speakers highlighted the importance of supporting women-led entrepreneurship from different angles and perspectives.  

First, Cheryl Miller, DLI Director and Co-head of EU Delegation to the G20 / Women20, dug into why it is important to support women entrepreneurs and what is at stake if this is not done.

The project coordinator, Marina Andrieu from WIDE(Luxembourg) then presented tools and methodologies developed in the MIF + project, and how they can be applied and used for training and mentoring of future digital entrepreneurs. 

Next, MIF+ partner organisations, Fundatia Professional (Romania), Led by Her (France), WIDE (Luxembourg), and CTK Rijeka (Croatia), described the specific actions they implemented to support women entrepreneurs and the impact this had in their local communities.

In the final and most heart-warming part of the event, three future women entrepreneurs who are currently enrolled in the MIF+ mentoring program, shared their experiences of why and how they started on their entrepreneurship journey. In each case, they underscored the fact that getting support to develop their project idea—first during the MIF digital starters weekend and afterwards with guidance from a mentor—is what has permitted them to start making their entrepreneurship dreams come true.

Women Power Code Skills Week

The Women Power Code project aims to celebrate the art of creating with code, to motivate young and adult women to start developing tech skills, and to connect individuals with organisations keen to support women in the digital society. In order to showcase achievements in the project, WPC partners from across Europe are organising Women Power Code Skills Week, a series of events addressing disruptive technologies and career opportunities arising in the tech sector. Join us for interesting discussions and practical workshops by registering at the links below, and join the Women Power Code Social Learning Community to meet like-minded peers.

14 July 18:00 CEST: Introduction to the Internet of Things: ”Build your first mobile app” – online workshop organised by Digital Leadership Institute in collaboration with CIVIC. Exploring the Internet of Things, this online workshop will focus on practical skills as we will be creating our first mobile app with MIT App Inventor.

16 July 18:00 CEST: Introduction to 3D Printing: ”Design your first 3D object” – online workshop organised by Digital Leadership Institute. Examining development of the 3D printing market in recent years, during this workshop we will learn the first steps to create a 3D object and discuss the opportunities for developing new skills and competences in this field. 

21 July 18:00 CEST: Women Power Code Final Conference: ”New skills for the digital age” – online conference organised by the Digital Leadership Institute. During this event, we will discuss the results of the Women Power Code project, focusing on the most relevant skills for the digital age and opportunities in technological fields for women who want to enter or shift to digital careers.

We look forward to welcoming you at these exciting events taking place as part of Women Power Code Skills Week!

DLI Update Spring 2020

2020 has been an extraordinary year for everyone, and the DLI team is no exception. The year started off routinely enough, but then activity around the world halted in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. When we started  to regain our bearings, the DLI Executive Team decided to tackle the present challenge in the same way in which we believe every challenge facing society should be tackled: By giving girls and women the community, skills, support and mission to address the challenge themselves.

From this vision, the world’s first global #WomenVsCOVID19 event was born! On 24-26 April, DLI and its partners organized “Move It Forward for Women versus COVID19” as part of the #EUvsVirus hackathon, and in celebration of Girls in ICT Day 2020. As we learned from this experience, the future of our species, fellow creatures and planet is safe in the hands of our girls and women.  In the words of European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, our shared “solidarity, creativity and determination” will permit us to emerge together–stronger and better –from the current crisis. In the meantime, our profound love and sincerest wishes for continued health, hope and safety are with you, our dear DLI community!

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 about our outreach activities of early 2020 below, and please visit our calendar for events organised by DLI, many of which are still going forward, if with a slight delay, online.

*STEM powered by Entrepreneurship and Arts


22 January 2020 – Uber “Diversity & Inclusion in a Changing World of Work” Luncheon Roundtable (Brussels): Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined a 22 January luncheon roundtable in Brussels on “Diversity & Inclusion in a Changing World of Work,” hosted by Mr. Tony West, Chief Legal Officer, of Uber.


22 January 2020 – ESBA “New Brand. New Direction” Reception (Brussels): On 22 January in Brussels, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director joined a reception for organisations and individuals interested in “helping entrepreneurs and promoting a culture of enterprise across Europe,” hosted by the European Small Business Alliance.


23 January 2020 – Women Political Leaders “Rejkjavik Index for Leadership” Breakfast (Davos): Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  was invited to a 23 January breakfast on the “Rejkjavik Index for Leadership,” which revealed that everyday beliefs and behaviours influence participation of women in boardrooms and differences in the wages between men and women. The event was hosted by Women Political Leaders in Davos, Switzerland.


27-28 January – W20 Saudi Arabia 2020 Launch (Riyadh): In the capacity of EU Delegation member, DLI Founding Director, Che Miller Van Dÿck  was invited to the 27-28 January inception and launch of the W20 Saudi Arabia 2020 meetings, taking place in Riyadh as part of the G20 Saudi Arabia 2020 process.


4 February – EIB Annual Board of Directors Seminar with Civil Society 2020 (Luxembourg): On 4 February, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, was invited to the European Investment Bank annual Board of Directors seminar with civil society 2020 in Luxembourg. The two themes for the meeting this year were “The European Green Deal and the EU Climate Bank: addressing the critical decade ahead” and “Supporting development through quality employment.”


5 February – Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board Meeting (Brussels): On 5 February, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the semi-annual meeting of the Governing Board of the European Commission’s Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, of which Van Dÿck has been a member since 2017.


11 February – Women in Science Day 2020 (Ghent, Belgium): Katja Legisa, DLI Entrepreneurship Director,  joined a panel on Climbing the Gender-Balance Ladder in STEM as part of the Women in Science Day 2020 celebrations organised by Be4Diversity and the Faculty of Bio-Science Engineering at Ghent University. DLI also hosted a stand showcasing #womeninSTEM work by DLI and the R&I PEERs Project.


17-18 February – Global Women’s Forum Dubai, We-Fi MENA Summit (Dubai, UAE): On 16-17 February in Dubai, UAE, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  was invited to the Global Women’s Forum Dubai and We-Fi (Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative) MENA Summit, an initiative of the World Bank for advancing initiatives and policies that tackle finance and market obstacles faced by women entrepreneurs.


24-27 February – GSMA Mobile World Congress Women4Tech Summit (Barcelona): On 24-27 February, Che Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  was invited to attend the Ministerial Programme and speak at the Connected Women and Women4Tech events taking place as part of the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  These events were subsequently cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


6 March – EuroNEXT Bell-ringing & Women in Finance Roundtable (Brussels): In celebration of International Women’s Day 2020, on 6 March in Brussels, the DLI Executive Team had planned to joined a Bell-ringing Ceremony at EuroNEXT stock exchange as guests of Bank of New York Mellon and the Association of Women in Finance. The ceremony was to be followed by a round table discussion on Women in Finance, but the entire event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


13-14 March – 64th Commission on the Status of Women – Beijing+25 (New York, New York): Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  planned to join the 13 March W20 engagement group side-event of the 64th Commission on the Status of Women – Beijing+25 and 14 March round-table hosted by the W20 Saudi Arabia 2020 Secretariat to the G20 2020 meetings. The CSW meetings were scaled down significantly and the G20 meeting took place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


23 March – SHERPA Stakeholder Board Meeting (Brussels): On 23 March in Brussels, Che Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  had planned to join the stakeholder board meeting of the SHERPA, an EU project exploring ethics in AI and big data, for which she is an advisor. The event took place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


23 April – Brussels Region Digital Strategy Launch (Brussels): On 23 April, the DLI Executive Team  joined the launch of the new Digital Strategy of the Brussels Region at the Google Atelier in Brussels.

Be sure to visit our Calendar and Outreach Activities page to keep up with DLI events and activities! You can also and sign up for the DLI Newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

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