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Building a new community of Future DigiLeaders at KTH and beyond

Published Dec 10, 2019

What career paths await young researchers? Who do they want to become as future leaders within digitalization technology? And how should a good research environment look like according to them? This and more was discussed at a new network for Future DigiLeaders.

25 November, the Future DigiLeaders career workshop at KTH gathered 45 young, international female researchers interested in digitalisation technologies. A full day event offered talks, panels, lab tours, meetings with academic role models as well as tailored networking with fellow researchers and industry representatives. The event was held in conjunction with the conference Digitalize in Stockholm, 26-27 November. 

The community of Future DigiLeaders were welcomed to KTH by Annika Stensson Trigell, Vice President for research, followed by a talk and a discussion on career paths and strategies, led by Charlotta Holgersson, INDEK, with a focus on gender equality and diversity efforts in organisations. Real-life examples of joys and struggles of becoming and being a faculty were shared by faculty role models at KTH, among others Kia Höök, Danica Kragic and Marina Petrova.

Research perspectives and challenges for women in academia

Jana Tumová , Assistant Professor at the Division of Robotics, Perception and Learning at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, chaired the event, which in short was incredibly rewarding.

"We welcomed researchers in the broad theme of digitaliation technology, and also opened up the event to less traditional subjects and viewpoints. I was especially happy to see how many of the incoming researchers that were interested in the impact of digitalisation technology on our society, in human-technology interaction and in design. This provided new insights and connections for future, truly interdisciplinary, collaborations", said Jana Tumová and continues,

"The workshop had a very open and candid atmosphere. As female researchers in digitalisation, we work in typically male dominated fields. Many experiences that we go through and think are individual, are in fact shared by others. It is important to create opportunities where a minority becomes a majority and to ask how we can make things better for all."

Openness and networking for the future 

Anna Lukina , Postdoctoral researcher with Henzinger group at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, specialised in Safe and Explainable AI for control of autonomous systems, was one of the participants. At the Stockholm City Hall recpetion following the Future DigiLeaders event, she met with Anna König Jerlmyr, Mayor of Stockholm. 

"I was so surprised by the openness and friendliness that we were met with by the city mayor. She is really eager to learn and strongly believes that lifelong learning is paramount for the future digitalisation. We agreed that collecting massive data about city life can bring both enormous benefits as well as safety concerns", said Anna Lukina. 

"I think that the Digital Futures initiative will devote considerable attention to these challenges. The conference was inspiring for me both personally and professionally. First of all, meeting fellow young researchers and exchanging openly the views on future leadership in the academic world in general, and digitalisation in particular is essential at this stage of my life. Moreover, learning more about Swedish industries, education, and cooperation gave me a better perspective of the key factors to take into account when shaping my future career. Visiting Stockholm allowed me to meet professors and expert in my field, which will hopefully also stir new collaborations", she concludes. 

The community will continue to share insights, experiences, and ideas via established channels in social networks and via individual connections formed at KTH and in Stockholm.

Anna Lukina (to the right) together with the Mayor of Stockholm Anna König Jerlmyr and DigiLeader Lauren Snyder

Future DigiLeaders 2019 website


For further information please contact the network's mailbox.

E-mail the Future DigiLeaders network

The organising committee consisted of Jana Tumová, Sonja Buchegger, György Dán, Shiva Sander-Tavallaey, Anders Österlund,