DLI Update – March 2015

Spring has sprung at the Digital Leadership Institute and we have welcomed it with open arms–and the Brussels launch of Europe’s first-ever digital innovation centre for girls and women!

In addition to celebrating this great milestone, Ms. Rosanna Kurrer and Ms. Selma Franssen, the DLI g-Hive and inQube Community Managers, kicked off our first digital and entrepreneurship events for girls and women in the brand new DLI space.  The DLI team were also in Belgium, Germany and the US this month promoting girls and women in what we call “ESTEAM”: entrepreneuership, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Please read about our activities below and check out our calendar for more upcoming events and activities.


EP4 March – International Women’s Day at the European Parliament (Brussels):  In celebration of International Women’s Day 2015, Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Founder, moderated an all-day conference at the European Parliament on the “strategy for equality between women and men in Europe“.  Photos here.


iwd9 March – International Women’s Day – DLI Digital Innovation Centre Opening (Brussels): On 9 March in Brussels, DLI celebrated International Women’s Day by opening the very first digital innovation centre for girls and women in Europe. Please see coverage of this event here.


csw5911 March – Urban Digital Women High-level Roundtable59th Meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (New York): On 11 March in New York City, DLI Founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, moderated a panel on “digitally empowering women for positive urban transformation” co-chaired by the cities of Brussels and Barcelona as an official side-event of the Beijing+20 and 59th Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations.  Photos here.


GSMA_logo17 March – GSMA Europe – Connected Women (Brussels): Ms. Cheryl Miller, DLI Executive Director, participated in a high-level roundtable on “accelerating the role of women in the digital economy” hosted by GSMA Europe, the regional organisation of the global association for GSM stakeholders.



adalsmall26 March – Ada Lovelace Conference (Berlin): In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lady Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, DLI founder, Ms. Cheryl Miller, moderated a best practices roundtable on “getting more girls and women into digital studies & careers” hosted at GE Garages Berlin. Several high-level women representatives of Berlin-based tech organisations spoke at the roundtable, and an animated discussion with the 40+ participants ensued. This was the second Ada Lovelace Conference hosted with General Electric. Read about the first one – blogged by European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip – here!


Thank you to all our supporters and friends for welcoming Spring 2015 and this exciting new stage of DLI activity with us!  We are looking forward to enjoying the coming months and to welcoming many more Springs with you in the years to come!

Be sure to visit our calendar and sign up the DLI Newsletter in order to keep up DLI events and activities!


Europe's First Digital Innovation Centre for Girls and Women

On 9 March in Brussels, the Digital Leadership Institute and 150 of its closest friends and supporters celebrated International Women’s Day with the grand opening of DLI‘s Digital Innovation Centre for Girls & Women, a first of its kind in Europe!  This very special occasion was marked with fun, hands-on digital activities for all agesa high-level roundtable with Brussels, Belgian and European stakeholders, and a reception for all in attendance.

IMG_3131To kick off the evening, DLI volunteers and partners took over the entire, new 100m2 space to give young and young-at-heart members of the DLI family a try at hands-on digital activities with the following themes:

  • 3D Design & Printing
  • Digital Music & DJing
  • Bits, Bytes & Machine Code
  • Silly Robot Missions
  • Play Your Musical Fruit

In particular, the Bits, Bytes & Machine Code activity – a card game for all ages designed by Ms. Rosanna Kurrer, DLI Digital Literacy Lead and g-Hive Community Manager – was a popular (and loud) crowd favorite.  It required players to calculate in bits and bytes, and showcased the digital natives in the group, who nimbly trounced their analog ancestors to much vocal lamenting.dli launch ribbon

The Digital Activity Stations then gave way to an official DLI Opening Ceremony graced with a beautiful video message from Ms. Bianca Debaets, State Secretary of the Brussels Capital Region for Equal Opportunity and ICT, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony officiated by Miss Manon Van Hoorebeke2014 European Digital Girl of the Year, and Ms. Esther Roure Vila, 2014 European Digital Woman of the Year.  chat

The evening’s activities were rounded out with a high-level discussion on the topic of “Women Driving Digital Innovation,” with unique and insightful interventions by the VIPs in attendance, all amazing role models for girls and women in technology:


As a magical closing to an exciting evening, Ms. Pascale Van Damme, Managing Director of Dell Belgium & Luxembourg and 2014 “ICT Woman of the Year”, surprised the convened guests with dedication of forty Dell laptops to DLI saying “this is a contribution to help ensure the DLI Centre gets off on the right foot and is able to achieve its mission which we support very much.”

Thank you, Dell!  And thank you to all of our DLI community and supporters for such a wonderful and memorable DLI opening event!