EU Code Week was a success: 100 people participated in activities

24 December, 2013 in news

One story we started telling in the last newsletter was about the various projects targeting digital skills. We sat down and tried to understand the reason for the strong impact in this field. We’re sharing that discussion here and would love to hear why you think digital skills are in such demand and more importantly how it can shape our future. 

Our starting point is that coding is the language between humans and computers. We certainly could benefit from learning this language more in-depth. We spend an increasing amount of time on computers, mobiles and tablets and we consume the web – social networks, games, application, e-commerce, enterprise applications etc. – but do we know how it all really works?

TheImpactory1-642x336The ones of us who have kids see the huge impact screens have in our kids’ lives. Kids and teenagers are so called “digital natives”. It turns out that our children are really good at using the internet but mostly as passive users. As a result, they miss out the chance to gain skills they could capitalise on for life. They risk losing real life social skills. The idea is not to turn every kid into an IT specialist but give them the chance to learn how to use the technology in a smart way. Don’t we all want them to be confident, creative, value adding and responsible digital natives?

For adults alike the digital economy has a lot to offer. If you want to improve your chances to be part of it, digital skills can make a real difference on the job market or when deciding to launch your own business. Unfortunately it’s now established that women tend not to be present in the digital economy and therefore do not grab the numerous, creative, opportunities offered to them.

Code Club in actionAs you read in the last newsletter, the various projects we have run at the Impactory led to an invitation from Nellie Kroes Young Advisors to Marina to become the Luxembourg Ambassador of the EU Code Week (initiative launched by European Commission to give everyone the chance to learn what coding is about). The Impactory was delighted to be part of the action, providing space and support so these initiatives, for the benefit of community, with 100 participants involved!

The initiatives around coding were started from scratch with no resources other than high motivation from a group of people who were able to get help from other passionate people. More than ten volunteers contributed to the initiatives and events. They helped with teaching, coordinating, working on the communication side or serving food and drinks. A huge shout out to you all! You know who you are.

Marina, our Community & Projects Manager, and the EU Code Week ambassador says “It’s really rewarding to see that so many people got involved and were so happy about it. Luxembourg did very well for this first EU Code Week and I hope we can reach more people the next time. Key now is to find support”. In early December Marina was also invited to a conference on e-skills in Bruxelles. “It’s clear that everybody thinks this topic is getting critical”, she concludes.

The most frequently asked question we have heard since the EU Code Week has been “Will you organise it again?”. To keep the various projects we have started going we need volunteers, support and sponsors. During the last couple of months, links have been established with relevant government and industry representatives. The next step is to solidify these relationships and turn them into action. We’re delighted that Xavier Bettel is not only the Prime minister but also the Minister in charge of ICT. We hope to see a willingness from the new government to participate in our activities next year.

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