Hackathons on across the Caribbean today
Today girls and young women from 15 schools will gather to compete in a Caribbean Hackathon in observance of International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) Girls in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Day.
On Thursday, April 27, 2017, the Spanish Court Hotel’s Worthington Conference Centre will be filled with students from Wolmer’s Girls’, Hillel Academy, St Andrew High School, St Elizabeth Technical High School, Campion College, Manchester High School, Immaculate Conception High School, American International School Kingston, Hampton School, Excelsior Community College, University of the West Indies, Moneague Community College, Caribbean Institute for Media and Communication, University of Technology Jamaica, and Northern Caribbean University, vying for prizes at the Jamaican leg of the Caribbean Hackathon.
The 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.
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.
“Scotiabank is pleased to be part of an initiative that will inspire and excite our girls through their engagement with technology. This unique opportunity is one we are sure will not only encourage interest but ultimately galvanise the talent of Jamaican women in the development of the ICT industry,” said Yanique Forbes Patrick, vice-president of marketing at Scotiabank, regional platinum sponsor of the hackathon.
The event is also supported regionally by Gold Sponsor LOOP in partnership with the University of the West Indies.
Let’s Talk Tech
A number of local, regional and international role model tech speakers will also be streamed, giving inspirational messages of support to the participants as over 40 messages can viewed over the ITU portal URL: http://www.itu.int/girlsinict.
Messages will come from Trinidad-born Aaerospace engineer Camille Wardrop Alleyne, who currently serves as an assistant programme scientist for the International Space Station, based at National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre in Houston in Texas. Assistant Professor of Technology and Operations Management at Bason College, Jennifer Bailey, whose speciality is identifying effective strategies for generating innovation breakthroughs, while mitigating innovation risks will also have a message.
The extended line-up includes Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc (USA); Leila Janah, founder of Samasource (USA); Dr. Zorica Pantic, President of Wentworth Institute of Technology, (USA); Wambui Kinya, chief strategy officer of Andela (Kenya); Dr. Cardinal Warde, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Interim Executive Director, Caribbean Science Foundation; Dr. Gunjan Mansingh, Business Intelligence Lecturer at the University of the West Indies (Jamaica); and Tricia Clarke Stone, co-founder and CEO of Narrative (USA).
Nadeen Matthews, National Commercial Bank (NCB) chief digital and marketing officer and CEO of the NCB Foundation expressed that the hackathon is part of an important global movement to increase female representation in ICT.
“Digitisation is a global shift and our ability to effectively compete as a nation and as a corporate entity requires that we generate a talent pool with the requisite skill set to meet the growing demands. It is exciting to see so many Jamaican companies collaborating to make this a reality in Jamaica. NCB, as local platinum sponsor, is delighted to be part of this movement,” Matthews concluded.
The Hackathon is supported locally by Gold sponsors Phase 3 Productions and JN Foundation, Silver sponsors Flow and the Inter-American Development Bank.
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.