Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Girls ‘Hack’ For Change

Approximately 90 girls and young women will compete for prizes at the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) Girls in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Day Caribbean Hackathon on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

Students, from high schools, universities and community colleges — including Wolmer’s Girls’, Hillel Academy, St Andrew High School, St Elizabeth Technical High School, American International School Kingston, Excelsior Community College, the University of the West Indies, the University of Technology Jamaica, and Northern Caribbean University — will gather at Spanish Court Hotel, Worthington Conference Centre for a fun-filled day in celebration of International Girls in ICT Day.

The ‘hackathon’, led by a group of women consultants through a joint partnership between Cotton Tree Consulting and Change Makers Development Ltd, will take place simultaneously, in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. The event is supported regionally by Platinum Sponsor, Scotiabank and Gold Sponsor LOOP in partnership with the University of the West Indies and locally, by Platinum Sponsor, National Commercial Bank Jamaica Ltd, and Silver Sponsor, Phase 3 Productions, and supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Throughout the day, girls and young women will be engaged in hands-on activities, guided by a tech mentor, using ICT to create, innovate and generate solutions to various challenges. The activities include mobile app building, animation, robotics, digital video production and digital art works, and web development.

A day-long immersion in ICT, the ‘hackathon’ will give the girls and young women, an opportunity to envision themselves, not only as users of technology, but creators.

“With this exciting hands-on event, we hope to give girls the confidence to pursue studies and careers in ICT, to facilitate greater gender balance in the sector,” said Samantha Chantrelle of Change Makers.

Bridget Lewis of Cotton Tree Consulting added, “We want girls to know that they have the power to chart their own course, in a more dynamic technology sector, which ultimately leads to, enhanced productivity and innovation and better financial results.”

Throughout the day a number of local, regional and international role model tech speakers will be streamed, giving inspirational messages of support to the participants. The line-up will include Ingrid Riley, founder of SiliconCaribe (Jamaica); Leila Janah, founder of Samasource (USA); Wambui Kinya, chief strategy officer of Andela (Kenya); and Tricia Clarke Stone, co-founder and CEO of Narrative (USA).

Nicole Pitter Patterson, international advisor on the project, stated: “This initiative is a key example of how women’s economic empowerment can be inclusive of girls, who will become the future women leaders, using tech to advance their economic opportunities.”


Members of the public, worldwide, will be able to view the speaker presentations and the day’s happenings, by logging on to the ITU portal URL: http://www.itu.int/girlsinict


Simple Facts about Girls in ICT Day Worldwide
Over the last six years, over 240,000 girls and young women have taken part across 160 countries. Since the start of the initiative, the ITU Girls In ICT Twitter account has reached over half a billion people with the hashtag #GirlsinICT. In 2016, the hashtag reached 68.4 million, with over 237 million deliveries, representing the potential number of times that people saw a GirlsinICT tweet.
Supporting the global Girls in ICT movement empowers girls and young women to move from innovation to impact.

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