Tekla reaches out to girls globally
Worldwide push starts in Washington, D.C.
Robyn’s on a world tour and she’s taking her mission to inspire girls about technology with her. The Tekla Festival, which she founded in 2015, is making its global debut with a launch event in the U.S.
Tekla ’s mission to inspire interest in technology among elementary and secondary school girls is one that Robyn and KTH have together worked with since Robyn first founded the event in 2015, as her answer to being awarded KTH’s Great Prize .
Now in collaboration with the Swedish Institute (SI), Tekla is going to Washington, D.C. on March 8 (International Women’s Day) to unveil a toolkit for organizing Tekla events, which will be promoted globally through the Swedish Foreign Ministry’s web channels. The toolkit is one of many SI has produced for users around the world, including the “Transforming Transportation”, which is comprised of contributions from Integrated Transport Research Lab and the Mobile Services Lab at KTH.
Tekla will continue to create new events in Sweden but its partnership with the Swedish Institute will also involve visits to several countries around the world in order to spread Tekla’s mission even further.
Tekla isn’t a girls’ tech festival – as Robyn explains – it’s a tech festival where only girls are invited. “Tekla is a place where girls can explore tech in an environment where all the roles are available to them, where they get to meet female role models and where their confidence and curiosity toward the world of technology can grow,” she says.
The international project will launch with an event at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, March 8 and 9, 2019.
On March 8 Tekla veteran Caroline Dahl, technology Innovator from RISE, will lead a workshop with local girls from ages 11 to 14. They will get the opportunity to learn about code and explore different ways of using sensors and lasers to control music and light. The result will be an inspiring installation that mixes technology and music.
On March 9, Robyn is dedicating a day of her U.S. concert tour to participate in a panel discussion at the Embassy with influential guests such as Leslie Cruz, CEO of STEMconnector, Yamilée Toussaint, Founder & CEO of STEM From Dance, and Kate Rabinowitz, graphics reporter at the Washington Post. Natalia Brzezinski, CEO of Brilliant Minds Foundation and host of Brilliant Minds podcast on Spotify, will moderate the panel. This portion of the event is to live streamed on KTH.se.
“By bringing more women and girls into STEM, society at large benefits from their talents, unique perspectives and ideas,” says Karin Olofsdotter, Sweden’s Ambassador to the United States. “For example, studies show that when women contribute more, the economy does better. Supporting girls in realizing their full potential is the right thing to do and a global priority.”
Sigbritt Karlsson, President of KTH, says that the shared mission to attract more women and girls to STEM studies and careers is not just a matter of equality. “It’s about tapping into as much human talent and potential as possible,” Karlsson says. “The longer this imbalance persists, the more society loses. That’s why it’s important not only that we encourage girls, but that we encourage girls in all cultures.”