Digital Business Women
BADA*SS BUSINESS WOMEN LEARN ABOUT THE CHALLENGES, THE UP AND DOWNS, THE ADVICES, THE WHY AND ALL GLORY OF BEINGÂ IN BUSINESS.
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This edition is all about women who found their strength and want to share their journey and challenges. This is the kind of women we want to validate and celebrate. You can only make a difference if you stand out and Be Bold for the Sake of the Next Generation who needs to find their voice and believe in themselves. Thank you for accepting my invitation to speak out loud about experiences and all the challenges that you faced in life - THANK YOU! Our main goal is to support women with genuine advice and practical ideas and observation of facts or events that would impact our lives. If you are looking for support and collaboration, you have found your place here. If you want to join us, contact us! Candyce Costa - Founder and CEO
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS MUSIDORA JORGENSEN AMANDA CITRO MR ARTYOM ERMOLAEV
INTERVIEWS AVIVAH WITTENBERG-COX BRITTANY PECKHAM KRISHMA PAREKH PEACE KUTEESA SHEENA SHAH SUZI GODSON
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TECH INTERVIEWS ANNA MAKINEN ELIZAVETA SHPIEVA JENNIFER DEUTSCH KERSTYN COMLEY NASSIA SKOULIKARITI
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DATA, STORYTELLING AND TECHNOLOGY: A POWERFUL COMBINATION
THE TOP FIVE BENEFITS OF RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS
WHAT HE SAYS - MR ARTYOM ERMOLAEV
WHO ARE THE CGI INFLUENCERS THAT ARE FOOLING EVERYONE ON INSTAGRAM? BLOCKCHAIN IS THE ANSWER, BUT WHAT IS THE QUESTIONS?
IS LACK OF CONFIDENCE HOLDING WOMEN BACK FROM TECH OWNERSHIP? THE POSITIVE INSATIABLE DRIVING HUNGER OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND WHY IT SHOULD MATTER TO YOU
DIG IT TO THE CORE: THE FUTURE OF AUTOMATED VEHICLES IN THE MININGH INDUSTRY
IS YOUR SCHEDULE RUNNING YOUR LIFE?
THE ARTIFICIAL SIDE OF AI: WHERE DOES MACHINE INTELLIGENCE START?
DO YOUR SUSTEM UNDERMINE GENDER BALANCE OR SUPPORT IT?
THE RISE OF DATA ECONOMY
BOOK CLUB GADGETS RECOMMENDATIONS WOMEN IN TECH - NYC USA / NETHERLANDS AND LONDON
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Anna MĂ¤kinen Talent Acquisition Specialist, culture ambassador and people operations geek at Nordcloud.
Tell us about you and your work. I work at a cloud consultancy Nordcloud, focusing on talent acquisition, employer branding and new employee on boarding. I also get to build our culture & community. I have several years' experience in IT recruitment, from internal and external consulting perspective and I've worked with many industries from big corporations to local starts ups.
How did you decide to go into Tech Talent Acquisition ? I worked for an innovative market research company as their recruiter and I had always been interested and good in sales. I wanted to combine these skills so I got the spark to work as external recruitment consultant. I was then hired to grow business on Nordic IT market. Seeing how much demand and development areas there were in the IT market, I just realised that this is where I should be and I got to learn about all these innovative possibilities with data, AI and cloud.
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no secret that many women in tech have felt their gender affected the way that they are perceived/treated. Have you ever been in a situation like that? How did you handle it? Sadly yes. Every day sexism is not uncommon and I have had a fair share of it too. Cases like that have just made me realise how much more work there is for equality, diversity and inclusion and it has made me raise my voice, educate others and keep on fighting.
ANNA MÄKINEN What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in tech or what you wish to know before started your career? Just be yourself and be proud of your accomplishments! Listen to your own motivations and work hard towards your goals - not because of your gender but because you have a special talent. Don't let anyone tell you you can't do something just because you are a woman. You do not have to change the way you look&behave to please others but you can learn to communicate and play to your strengths. In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business? A fear of the unknown or unusual. When people get scared, they can act unreasonably (example: That's why some people still rely on old fashioned stereotypes, try to put women down and/or not offer the same opportunities as for men). Working towards equality takes a lot of effort and and energy. There is still so much work to be done and we all need courage to face the "unknown". Fun fact about you? I have lived in Finland, Sweden, Spain and the UK!
What do you think we should be doing more of to encourage more girls to consider a career in tech? We need to implement actions towards diversity and inclusion plans and adjust work places& roles more to those. Not only that but we as a society need to get rid of prejudices and stereotypes of what are "women's jobs" and expectations for genders. Only then can we have equal opportunities and more women in tech, from schools to leadership. How do you find inspiration in your life? I love getting to know different brave, innovative and unique people and stories. I enjoy brainstorming and having long conversations where I'm challenged and I get to challenge the ways we are used to thinking. I love travelling because it shows new ways of thinking and doing things differently. I also find inspiration in nature, writing, music and conferences of my passions. What's your favorite quote? I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done. - Lucille Ball
In your opinion, how could the tech industry be more inclusive for women? Educating on different opportunities there are in tech. Getting rid of stereotypes of what women / men are expected to do, at home or at a work place. More flexibility and trust. Equal pay and diverse benefits. Building a welcoming, open and listening environment where everyone is reaching for the same goal; equality and inclusivity. To what do you attribute your success? Not giving up and always wanting to improve myself. I guess it's relentlessness. I also have to give credit to my family, as they have always believed in me and supported my journey.
I’D RATHER REGRET THE THINGS I’VE DONE THAN REGRET THE THINGS I HAVEN’T DONE. LUCILLE BALL FAVOURITE QUOTE ANNA MÄKINEN
Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, 20-first CEO
WITTENBERG-COX Tell us about you and your business. I started out as a computer scientist with a degree from the University of Toronto, emigrated to Europe and worked in consulting for a decade. Then I got the entrepreneurship bug and started different ventures: a communications firm, one of Europe's largest professional women's networks and, for the past 15 years, a global gender consultancy.
How did you decide to get into IT? I was good at math and knew tech (and women) were transforming the world. I like to hang out at the leading edge. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no secret that many women in tech have felt their gender affects the way that they are perceived/treated. Have you ever been in a situation like that? How did you handle it? When i graduated (way back in the 80s) it was a huge plus. My first job was in L'Oreal's tech group, which was totally genderbalanced. It's gotten worse since.
What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in tech or what would you wish to know before you started your career? Like being a pioneer and an activist, treasure difference, and frame gender balance as an opportunity. Create/ participate in external women's networks to lobby for change and balance in the sector. Learn from everyone, but don't believe everything (or anything much) - you design your life.
What do you think we should be doing more of to encourage more girls to consider a career in tech? Educate boys and parents and companies. Don't over-focus efforts only on girls - they are a small part of the solution. Stop fixing them. Make workplaces attractive for everyone, not just a homogeneous group of guys. Shift the image of the sector with serious campaigns. At least half of consumers/ users and even gamers are women. Design innovations/ solutions for them, it's a business opportunity. In your opinion, how could the tech industry be more inclusive for women? By ensuring leaders, cultures and systems are skilled at managing 100% of the talent and 100% of the market. Not ignoring/ alienating or abusing half of it.
In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeeding in the workplace/business? Corporate culture, leadership mindsets and lack of skills, talent management and sales & marketing systems designed by and for men. The myth of meritocracy. The rise (and mismanagement) of the male backlash. The women that buy the kool-aid. Husbands that don't support their wives. Leaders that don't get the link between gender balance and their bottom lines. How do you find inspiration in your life? In kindred spirits. In courage. In all the women who came before me and changed the world.
To what do you attribute your success? My mother mostly. Otherwise, curiosity and getting very easily bored. Fun fact about you? It took me 52 years to get my first dog, Daisy, who models the secret of happiness: to love and be loved. What's your favorite quote? A hard man is good to find. Mae West.
LEARN FROM EVERYONE, BUT DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING (OR ANYTHING MUCH) YOU DESIGN YOUR LIFE. ADVICE TO A WOMAN CONSIDERING A CAREER IN TECH AVIVAH WITTENBERG-COX
Brittany Peckham CommStrong Founder
Did you always know that working in this industry focused on improving society and supporting nonprofit was what you wanted to do? I did not! I've known I want to own my own business for a long time. I have managed sole entities at a smaller scale. For example, I owned a soccer goalie coaching business in high school and I self published my first children's book called "The Hues Blues News" in November of 2017. With ideas swirling my head every day, my biggest challenge was finding an industry I was passionate enough about.
How did you decide to go into Nonprofit and App Business? I was drawn to the industry of nonprofit solutions because I love people. I love helping people and I want to make this world a better place. I am doing this by emphasizing on my strength of creating. In this case, I am creating innovative solutions to every day problems.
Tell us about you and your career. In short, I am developing a platform that will allow consumers to receive discounts to local retailers but only if they donate to a local charity first. This concept was created based on the wants and needs of consumers, local nonprofits, and local retailers alike.
BRITTANYPECKHAM Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to persue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it? Honestly, I haven't. My mother owns her own business and my Grandmother owned a business before her. This is not including, several aunts whom own their own business. I have been surrounded by a solid support system from birth and I think that a community like this one is so important in allowing women to shoot for the stars and accomplish the "impossible". What do you wish you knew before you started your career/business? First, just do it! The hardest step for any entrepreneur is taking the leap of faith. There is never a right time but with the right vision and determination, you'll be surprised how things align. Two, acquire mentors! Entrepreneur does not mean all on your own. In fact, I highly recommend you not go at it alone. Three, for my industry, those working for nonprofits are usually amazing people. What's your favorite quote? Everything has beauty but not everyone can see it.
What did you learn from your biggest failure? Failure. What failure? This is a hard one. The things I've felt were failures at the time lead me to a successful future. Out of college, I quit my first two jobs without another one in place. They just weren't for me. I am a hard worker and I didn't do poorly at these jobs but when you're not passionate about what you're doing, it makes a world wind of difference. In your opinion, how could the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive for women? I've had it very lucky. At the job I am currently working part time at to support myself financially, I work with a woman who has been a huge inspiration to me. She encourages and supports me in all parts of my life. Don't get me wrong, I know not all women feel appreciated in their workplace. Having strong female figures in our community to push and inspire women is a good first step. To what do you attribute your success? Myself. The wonderful people who support me. Every experience I've had, good and bad.
In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business? I'm going to speak to an experience I had at my previous job. I was at a conference and we were interested in partnering with a man that was there. At these conferences, there is often drinking involved. I was appalled at the fact that this man was making inappropriate advances at my former manager and I. I know this is a huge issue based on not only my own experiences but my friends as well. How do you find inspiration in your life? I find inspiration through knowing myself and surrounding myself by people that align with the way that I want to live. I find inspiration through the strong women I have met through my experiences. Alone we are strong, together we are unbeatable.
EVERYTHING HAS BEAUTY BUT NOT EVERYONE CAN SEE IT. FAVOURITE QUOTE BRITTANY PECKHAM
Elizaveta Shpieva, Team leader at VIST Group Developer of robotic solutions for mining and metals.
Tell us about you and your business. Elizaveta Shpieva, born 1987 in Moscow. She worked as a research assistant at BonnRhine-Sieg University. In Russia, she used to work as the chief engineer at Robot Corporation with such robots as FANUC, KUKA and many more. She is currently working for VistGroup, integrating industrial solutions for self-driving trucks in the mining sector.
In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business? No-one takes women seriously at first: you need to prove your worth. When I started working in my previous job, I applied for a technical director vacancy but had to work as a line staff member for three months. Then I was given an opportunity to choose and became a chief engineer. But things have changed lately: theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve now started inviting me to take senior positions.
Did you always know that Robotic Enginnering was what you wanted to do? As a child, I wanted to be a detective. But my father is an engineer, so I gradually fell in love with maths. I only became aware of robotics in my last year of education in Moscow, when I occasionally attended lectures by a guest German professor. So I went to Germany to study for a Master of Autonomous Systems. And that was the moment when I realized exactly what I wanted to do: build robots.
ELIZAVETA SHPIEVA Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to persue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it? In university there was a professor of programming who disliked girls. He thought that girls should get jobs in pasta-making shops, and he didn’t hide his opinion. That really bothered me a lot at first. I did my best to show him that I was as good as anybody else: I completed all the assignments, wrote code etc. I don’t know if he changed his mind, but I received very good marks in his exams. What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before started your career/business? Don’t try to repeat someone else’s path to success. Find you own way and use your woman power. Often when we learn new things we wish we could have known them before. And I’m no exception here. I study a lot, so I constantly think I wish I’d known this or that before, I wish I’d studied more programming, organization structures... It’s very important for me to develop and grow every day. How do you find inspiration in your life? My projects. My successful projects. When something I have created works.
What did you learn from your biggest failure? My first R&D project as a student in Germany was a failure. But my professor told me not to be upset and that “shit happens”. So, I realized that misfortunes happen, and you can do nothing about it. You just need to carry on working. The second conclusion was that you need to communicate well with people. It’s the only way to understand what they want, and consequently achieve the right result. In your opinion, how could the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive for women? I think it all should start at school. In Russia, we used to have a home economics class where the girls learned how to cook while the boys were taught how to make a stool. Well, in my school there was no carpentry teacher, so all the boys were sent to study computer science. I think we should have been given the opportunity to choose what we wanted to study. What's your favorite quote? Prove your worth using women power.
How did you decide to go into Engineering? I knew I wanted to be an engineer since I was 13. The decision to design robots came quite a bit later, when I was in my fifth year at university. To what do you attribute your success? I have a great example before my eyes - my father. I have a strong bond with him. Studying abroad gave me a lot too. My Master’s education in Russia was very theoretical. But in Germany, I came to the lab and almost from Day 1 started working with robots and experimenting. Openness helps a lot as well. When people around you can see that you have the same passion, everything works out better.
PROVE YOUR WORTH USING WOMEN POWER. ELIZAVETA SHPIEVA
Jennifer Deutsch Chief Marketing Officer Park Place Technologies
JENNIFER DEUTSCH Tell us about you and your business.
How did you decide to go into Technology?
I have been in marketing and brand development for 30 years.
I entered the technology sector with little experience. The challenge for Park Place was finding the right marketing tools to build a global brand . What was needed for this role was solid marketing skills. We told our story and prospects listened - our customer count has gone from 7,500 to 16,000+ over the past 26 months!
I am currently Chief Marketing Officer of Park Place Technologies, where I lead the global marketing and communication teams, and head up our Women in STEM initiative, encouraging more young women to consider a career in this industry.
Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to persue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it? No! I have never allowed people to stand in my way. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see barriers, I only see opportunities! Did you always know that Marketing was what you wanted to do? No! I have many interests that have helped to create opportunities and opened career doors that have gradually sharpened the focus into my current role.
What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before started your career/business? Tech is a fantastic space with huge opportunities. Tech is where growth and action are! This is the most exciting time ever to be in the tech and the B2B space. The marketing operations tools we are using today (technology we are leveraging) in the B2B space is amazing and makes the job of marketing incredibly interesting and rewarding. What did you learn from your biggest failure? Sometimes listening is not enough. If you are listening to issues and perceived problems and you are put in a situation where you could defend someone who is not there to defend themselves … you must. In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business? Self-confidence. Never let anyone stand in your way. View obstacles as a form of entertainment!
In your opinion, how could the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive for women? Examples need to be set at the highest level. It’s never about talking and promising; it’s about action and implementation. As more women are visible as examples of leadership, more women will be mentors to younger generations of women who will be encouraged and empowered to choose leadership paths.
What's your favorite quote? "I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." - Thomas Jefferson & Opportunities don't happen. You create them." - Chris Grosser Both address the power of selfmotivation and hard work. We are all in control of our future, we create opportunities for ourselves. Sitting back and waiting for something to happen is not a sound strategy!
How do you find inspiration in your life? I am inspired by my Park Place Marketing team, by my mentees at Case Western Reserve University, where I have been a business school mentor for 32 years, and by my children (24 and 27 years old and making great progress in the business world!). Young entrepreneurs are very inspiring to me. I love hearing ideas and learning about innovation and new products entering the market. To what do you attribute your success? My parents…they told me two things that were true, even today: 1. I can do anything 2. They were not going to support me financially, so I needed to figure it out!
I FIND THAT THE HARDER I WORK, THE MORE LUCK I SEEM TO HAVE. THOMAS JEFFERSON FAVOURITE QUOTE JENNIFER DEUTSCH
Dr Kerstyn Comley MeeTwo Education, Co-CEO Wapping High School, Chair of Governors Â
KERSTYN COMLEY Tell us about you and your business.
How did you decide to go into Biomedical Engineering?
MeeTwo is a multi-award winning app which helps anxious teenagers talk about difficult things. It supports 12,000+ young people dealing with issues from getting braces through to teens at risk of suicide. Twice voted one of the most inspiring education initiatives in the world by HundrED MeeTwo will represent British social enterprise at EXPO2020.
Aged 17 whilst working part time for an image analysis company I slotted the printed circuit board that I had designed into a newly patented scanner. My boss grinned at my enthusiasm and said "you're an engineer, aren't you?" My first forays into Machine Learning were in 1999 at Ford Motor Company. We are now incorporating Machine Learning into MeeTwo to enable us to scale without compromising safety. Natural Language Processing will help us spot the young people in need of urgent help.
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no secret that many women in tech have felt their gender affected the way that they are perceived/treated. Have you ever been in a situation like that? How did you handle it? Thankfully this is not something that I have experienced. With the exception of MeeTwo which has a 75% female workforce, even at board level, I have always worked alongside men, often as the only woman. On the whole, engineers and scientists are logical and pragmatic who love a smart solution to a tricky problem and I have found this creates a great place to work.
COMLEY KERSTYN What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in tech or what you wish to know before started your career? There has never been a better time to start a career in tech. There is so much impetus around women in tech and as demand for the computer science professions grow there will be ever more opportunities to mould a highly fulfilling career around other life ambitions.
In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business? For me it has been confidence, particularly 'imposter syndrome' where a person doubts their accomplishments and is fearful that they will be exposed as a fraud (Clance 1978). It's an emotion that I've always struggled with in spite of extraordinarily supportive family and friends. Having learnt so much about mental health through the MeeTwo venture I am now better able to spot and understand these emotions.
Fun fact about you? I have always been interested in science and tech, my parents boast that my first word was bulb.
What do you think we should be doing more of to encourage more girls to consider a career in tech? It's been heartening to see the achievements of women in science and engineering properly celebrated, normalising the idea that stem careers are suitable for everyone and highlighting the wide range of opportunities that exist. Sadly, a recent article in The Times about Jean Purdy, a pioneer of IVF, who was "air-brushed out of history" (Sanderson, 2019) shows how much still needs to be done. How do you find inspiration in your life? I've always had an insatiable appetite for learning. I was one of those weird kids who loved school. Despite what the cool kids say it's so much better to sit at the front ;) This hunger to learn along with a strong desire to solve the problems that I encounter mean I'm never short of ideas. My co-founder at MeeTwo, Suzi Godson, and I often mock each other for our stock phrase "I've had an idea". What's your favorite quote? A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, although as my brother, another engineer would say it's sometimes quicker by plane. (Lao Tzu)
In your opinion, how could the tech industry be more inclusive for women? I've not yet had a job where I didn't feel included. Perhaps that's a message that needs to be more widely shared. To what do you attribute your success? With so much still left to do it's premature to talk in terms of success. However, I do recognise that I'm lucky to have two very open minded parents who have always believed that I could achieve whatever I chose to. I also come from a long line of determined women who are obsessively hard working. My children, immodestly tell me that it's down to them, well they've certainly taught me patience!
Meetwo was recently recognised as the winner of the Samsung Connected Society Award at the 2019 Tech4Good Awards.
A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH A SINGLE STEP, ALTHOUGH AS MY BROTHER, ANOTHER ENGINEER WOULD SAY IT'S SOMETIMES QUICKER BY PLANE. LAO TZU
FAVOURITE QUOTE KERSTYN COMLEY
Krishma Parekh Learning Consultant (EMEA) Â
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
How did you decide to go into L&D Consultancy?
Failures happen for a reason, and it's important for your personal development. Experiencing failure allows you to review the situation so you tackle it better next time around when the consequences of getting it wrong may be greater.
Whilst working as a Sales Manager I built up my coaching and mentoring skills, whilst helping to deliver internal training sessions on a regular basis. I enjoyed training my team so they could deliver on their sales targets, and ultimately progress in their own careers. This aspect of people development is what lead me to pursue a career in this area.
Did you always know that L&D was what you wanted to do? Absolutely not! I always knew that I wanted to work in a field related to education, but only decided on specifics a few years ago!
Tell us about you and your business. I am an L&D Consultant, with experience in a range of industries, including education, property and most recently tech. My role involves partnering with stakeholders to provide Learning solutions for their teams. I also have a keen interest in D&I and run Unconscious Bias programmes for my organisation.
What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in ypour industry or what you wish to know before started your career/business? It's ok not to have a linear career path. I run Career Development workshops & find that people worry that they have boxed themselves into a role because they have been doing it for a while. I read an article around ‘Embracing the Career Stumble’ & it really made sense to me. Through time you inhibit a range of skills, which can be easily transferred if you decide to change career or industry. To what do you attribute your success? My family and friends. They’r e my support network and help me to stay balanced whilst providing great advice. My husband is always encouraging me to push myself, my brother is great at helping me make decisions. My mother helps me broaden my perspective and I can count on my mother and father in law for anything I need. I can't thank them enough.
In your opinion, how could the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive for women? The way businesses can tackle bias is by creating conscious inclusion. This means leaving your assumptions at the door and treating people in the same way, no matter what their race, gender, age may be. It means asking employees for their opinion, and really listening to what they have to say in order to implement changes. It can only benefit the workplace. In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business? In my opinion, I feel that women need to be their own cheerleaders. Studies suggest that women are far more likely to underestimate their own intelligence than men, and I have had colleagues express their reluctance to put themselves forward for a promotion or a project because they didn't feel like they were good enough. We are our own obstacle.
How do you find inspiration in your life? I find inspiration through listening to people's stories. I am always so curious to learn about how they have achieved success and find it motivating. I also have some great role models in my life, including my mother who has taught me to grab opportunities with both hands! What's your favorite quote? 'Change is the only constant'. It's a simple one, but it really resonated with me. I used to be afraid of change, but I've realised that in order to uncover opportunities we need to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone. This means welcoming change.
CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT FAVOURITE QUOTE KRISHMA PAREKH
Musidora Jorgensen, Regional Vice President at Salesforce
How did you decide to go into IT? I didn’ tmake a conscious decision to have a career in IT. I was looking for a career and an industry that was fastpaced, constantly evolving and that would have an impact in the world, through it's application - all three of those things come together with a career in the technology industry.
Tell us about you and your career. I've spent my whole career in sales and sales leadership. I was very lucky to find my passion for sales as I left University and I have never looked back! After graduating with a degree in Psychology, I joined BT onto their Graduate Scheme and did a number of roles across different parts of the business with varying sizes of customers and industry sectors. I then moved into the consulting arm of HP where I was selling large scale IT Transformation consulting engagements. Then onwards to Oracle to sell Cloud consulting and Human Capital Management solutions and a move into Sales Leadership. I now work for Salesforce, the global leader in customer relationship management, where I am currently leading the UK Energy, Utilities and Telco Markets.
It’s no secret that many women in tech have felt their gender affected the way that they are perceived /treated. Have you ever been in a situation like that? How did you handle it? Not at all, in fact, I’ve found that my gender has always been a great advantage to me in my career in technology, in bringing different perspectives, energy and insights to my customers. I’ve also been lucky to be surrounded by really great people and inspiring mentors.
What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in tech or what you wish to know before started your career? Go for it - it's a very exciting industry to be part of! There is a misconception that you may need to be very technical to get into a career in tech - that's absolutely not the case, and specifically for a career in technology sales, being able to articulate the business benefits of technology and how it can help your customers meet their strategic objectives, is the most important thing. Fun fact about you? I used to be fluent in Irish (not any more, sadly!) To what do you attribute your success? Hard work, a willingness to learn and maintaining a positive attitude.
What do you think we should be doing more of to encourage more girls to consider a career in tech? I often say "you can't be what you can't see". It can be hard to break stereotypes and during their formative years, girls don’t see and hear enough from women in tech and STEM at all career and life stages. They need more role models. We need to encourage female employees at all levels across the industry to be active mentors for the next generation as they evaluate career choices. In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/ business? Women, more so than our male counterparts, in my opinion, suffer much more with Imposter Syndrome, and not pushing ourselves for the next career move until we have 100% of the pre-requisites. I know that I've suffered from it myself (and still do at times!) and it’s a huge part of what I spend time coaching my mentees on.
In your opinion, how could the tech industry be more inclusive for women? I’' d love to see more business leaders take a strong stance on equality it is a role all businesses can and should play. Through collaboration and partnership, there is a great opportunity for private and public sectors to shape a fairer society and a more inclusive workplace. At Salesforce, our culture is built around four core values; trust, customer success, innovation and equality. The equality value and the culture of inclusivity are some of the main reasons why I joined the business. I think the steps which have been taken within our company, such as the gender pay gap actions our Co-CEO Marc Benioff took in 2018, are heading in the right direction, but more does need to be done throughout the wider industry. How do you find inspiration in your life? My three daughters (10, 8 and 3) who inspire me to be the best role model that I can be for them.
LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. BY NEALE DONALD WALSCH FAVOURITE QUOTE MUSIDORA JORGENSEN
DATA, STORYTELLING AND TECHNOLOGY: A POWERFUL COMBINATION Storytelling - and its relation to technology, social media and other digital platforms - has been one of my dearest research subjects in the last 11 years. I’ve started my professional career as a storyteller who was always struggling to develop and associate new tech possibilities to ensure the companies and clients I worked to achieved their goals with multiple stakeholders and audiences/customers. People used to look at me as I was nuts when I associated content (information) to technology (medium, form) as an unique thing. Things had changed. I'm sure, my brave women in tech and business reader, you might be curious about it. I´ll bring to this article a resume about this discussion from what I’ve earned at MIT and Stanford and also what I’m developing in my PhD women in tech investigation. First things first. Storytelling, in a short definition, can be considered the art, techniques or science of narrating and sharing stories. It seems something so natural to all of us. Human race has been doing it since pre historical era, but when we put it on a professional perspective it demands, even more, complex and cognitive skills for aligning message, context and the way it will get into people’s hearts and minds. A common mistake - in my point of view - is to consider technology and digital platforms more important than content. Online devices, mobile, wearable or web programmes, interactive technologies will always be in a dynamic improvement and disrupting new ways to get people and information together. It is a huge challenge to keep updating innovation but if we stop and reflect this movement mostly increased since the Web release but is something human race has been experimenting since Industrial Revolution. Knowing the storytelling architecture and align it to what suits better online and off-line for consumers is a rare skill. Storytelling is an expression and consequence of a person or a society culture. Another common mistake is to consider technologies responsible for engagement and participation. Technology allows us to establish interactions, to modulate information in an infinite lack of communicational platforms. We can not expect Facebook or an app to stimulate and sustain dialogs among users. Interactivity appropriates technology
characteristics and the user experience to design intelligent paths to convert and retain users by facilitating their choices. On the other hand, participation demands an understanding about complex paradigms, many and different labels of cultural, social, political, religious, economical contexts. People participate when things in their culture - for each person and all community - impacted in their life experiences. We can only engage people with powerful messages, it is a waste of time and money considering technology before mastering the content you have to know and the storytelling skills to communicate it. Social media and digital platforms expand our possibilities to make our business, start-up known in a fandom relation to customers, employees, partners. Two years ago I’ ve presented my own corporate, business and IT transmedia model in an International Gartner Symposium. I totally defend that CTOs, CIOs, women in tech and whoever intends to establish and expand a successful and fluid internal and external communication should consider this new reality: data and storytelling mixing. We need to treat stories as programming. If we want to be leaders we must not say to people what they should do, but inspire, mobilize and unite everybody in an engaging message that makes sense and touches their inner beings and cultures. Nowadays consumers are also content producers, they are more than repliers but critical thinkers who spread impressions, tastes and interests in a transmedia chain. “Numbers have an important story to tell. They really on you to give them a clear and convincing voice”, says Stephen Few. The mix of data and storytelling is inexorable, it enables us to explain and tell a story, enlighten something that might be hard in the back of statistics, engage audiences and drive individuals to a real change. Nowadays data scientists are one of the most needed professionals, but I think the professional of this time and near future must have hybrid skills and knowledge about the world and different cultures, be openminded to transit between virtual and offline worlds with a profound understanding of user-experience, learn different paths to reward consumers beyond material gifts and compensations, establish and develop digital solutions which enable consumers to become fans from big data, marketing, hardware, software, social media and whatsoever content and forms. Content is king. Storytelling will be always the link of our ancestrally to the present and future because it awakes in us our mankind. This challenges might seem huge and far from what you’ve got now, women in tech and women in business readers. What will make the difference is what you will do starting right now about your storytelling skills. Are you a good listener? Are you really a good storyteller? I'm inviting you to think about and, more than ever, to discuss in this magazine or in my online channels before planting your data storytelling in your startup or company yard.
Renata Frade About me: I’m a PhD candidate in Doctoral Information and Communication in Digital Platforms Universidade de Aveiro and Universidade do Porto programme. I´m also a Portuguese and Brazilian entrepreneur who have been working, researching, developing and teaching Communication, Transmedia, Digital Marketing and Technology in the last 16 years in Brazil, USA and Europe. I&#39;ve been working with NGO institutions as a volunteer and consultant since 2004, such as Girls in Tech. My PhD thesis is a new, disruptive and unprecedented research: building a organizational, communicational and transmedia of empowering and entrepreneurism model to help women in tech become more representative with equal social and economic rights. Contact me: https://www.linkedin.com/in/renatafrade/ firstname.lastname@example.org @renatafrade
THE TOP FIVE BENEFITS OF RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS For those people who wonder about the pros of setting up their own business, just ask one of the 600,000 new business owners who start up each year. In the UK, there were more than 5.7 million SMEs in 2018 and a fifth of those are ran by women. Entrepreneurs are putting their ideas into action up and down the country and it’s not hard to see why. Of course, not all will be massive success stories or multi-millionaires. In fact, money is not the primary reason that people take the plunge. It’s as much as a lifestyle choice as it is about lifelong ambition. At our forthcoming Women in Business Expo event 16-17 October in Farnborough, visitors will get a unique insight into the start-up world from inspirational female speakers like Karren Brady and Michelle Mone to practical advice on funding, technology solutions and marketing. In the meantime, for anyone deliberating about running their own company, here are five top reasons why: Create your dream job
As a great philosopher once said “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” People who run their own businesses may put in more hours a week than their corporate colleagues out when you’'re passionate about your work and determined to make it as success, it somehow seems less of a chore. The enthusiasm you have in your product or service will show, to both potential investors and prospective customers. Flexibility Flexibility in terms of the hours and days you work can be invaluable, particularly for women with families. Even when businesses have to revolve around core hours to reflect their customer needs, the other essential elements of running a company such as accountancy and admin can be done at a time that suits your schedule. Many people who start up on their own actually find they are more productive during the hours they work, whether they are earlier risers or natural night owls.
For Mums juggling business meetings with school plays and sports days, getting the balance right is easier when you’re not locked into a 9-5 routine. Flexibility in other areas is also highly appealing - whether you want to work at home in PJs all day or call a client while you walk the dog. Be your own boss Being in the driving seat means you get to make all the decisions and reap the rewards without having to jump through hoops for senior colleagues. Many entrepreneurs relish the fact that they can take control and focus on what is best for their business. If your business expands, you can create your own company culture and make important decisions on who to hire. You won’t be bound by red tape so you can recruit employees that complement your skills and personality and set a salary that suits the business. Being your own boss will also allow you to achieve more in a shorter space of time. You can make decisions then get things done more efficiently and effectively. Rags to richer Not all businesses stem from a ‘live the dream’ scenario. Personal circumstances often spur people on to start up on their own simply as an alternative way to make money. Redundancy, divorce, parenthood, age – launching your own business could be the stepping stone you need to get cash in the bank. If start-ups costs are a barrier, there are so many short and long term options available - from straightforward bank business loans to crowdfunding opportunities. Take on the challenge The majority of entrepreneurs thrive on the daily challenges that come with running a business. If every day seems like Groundhog Day and you are sick of the old routine, starting on your own could be the challenge you need. When you run a business, no two days are the same and you will inevitably learn a range of new skills ‘on the job’. Creating a brand, learning to market it, drafting a business plan, balancing the books, designing a sales strategy – multitasking comes with the territory. Think of the sense of achievement you could get from turning an idea into a real-life company. Take on the challenge and it might just bring you success.
The Women in Business Expo will provide an essential resource for all people considering setting up on their own. There will be hundreds of exhibitors offering useful advice and services and a ‘free to attend’ seminar theatre covering a range of informative topics with sessions on everything from investment and crowdfunding to CRM software and social media marketing.
IS LACK OF CONFIDENCE HOLDING WOMEN BACK FROM TECH OWNERSHIP? The statistics around female ownership of tech companies make for depressing reading. This year only 2.5% of all Silicon Valley venture-backed start-ups have an all-female founding team, and only one fifth of US venture capital investment went to start-ups with one or more female founding partner. This is in spite of evidence that the performance of tech companies is the same regardless of the gender mix of the founding team. So why is there such an enormous gap in the numbers of male and female-led tech start-ups? What’s stopping us from thinking big enough to go after the Holy Grail of SAAS passive income generation? According to an article published on Virgin.com (https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/girls-just-want-have-funwhy-female-business-owners-tend-stay-small-rather-expand) most women go into business ownership to create better work-life balance. As a result we tend to think less about world-changing big ideas, and are more focused on how our business will fit around our relationships. What fascinates me is the number of women who are now realising that the typical female-led business model of one-to-one consultancy doesn’t actually lend itself that well to building balanced career. The beauty of the SAAS model is that once systems are in place, more or less everything can be delegated, leaving the owner free to choose how hands on or hands off they’d like to be. Which would be perfect for a woman, wanting to free herself up to spend time with the family. It seems unlikely, therefore, that it’s just lifestyle design that’s holding women back from tech ownership.
Another argument, according to Forbes, is that, ‘Many women start businesses that align with personal values’ – meaning that we’re more likely to follow our passions than the potential size of our bank accounts. Most normal people probably don’t feel passionate about simplifying business workflows, but men seem much more likely to focus on the revenue potential in solving these types of problems. Women, on the other hand, tend to gravitate towards passion projects in creative and nurturing industries. But what about those women who are genuinely passionate about business processes? Many of them still choose to go down the consultancy or coaching route. Could it be that a lack of female role models in STEM fields has been holding girls back from tech since school? Research suggests that by the time girls reach high school age, only 15% show interest in a career in STEM fields – meaning they lack the skills to code and develop software once they enter the workforce. It’s interesting to note, however, that there are plenty of high profile non-technical founders of tech companies such as Sean Rad (co-founder of Tinder) and Brian Chesky (co-founder of AirBnB). So lacking a background in computer science doesn’t necessarily stop leaders from succeeding in tech fields. So why then, are so few women establishing and running tech startups? The answer could be that it’s all down to our lack of confidence in our own abilities. In the process of researching their book, Womenomics, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay interviewed large numbers of successful women, including Clara Shih of Hearsay Social. They found that women are less likely than men to: Consider themselves ready for promotion Be optimistic about test performance Over-estimate their abilities Apply for jobs if they lack ANY of the attributes listed
They also found that the correlation between career success and confidence was as strong as the correlation with competence. This might help to explain why non-technical women are much less likely to found tech start-ups than men. Without the hard evidence of a technical qualification, we seem to lack the belief that we can make our ideas work. Whereas men are more prepared to act based on the skillsets they do have, and find partners who can fill in the gaps. Numerous studies have tried to understand why women and girls tend to avoid technical and scientific careers. There are clearly a large number of factors at play, including upbringing, priorities and values. It’s unlikely that any one reason is the sole cause of the huge gender gap in tech start-up ownership. But confidence has been shown to hold women back in their careers across all industries, because we need to feel that we have ALL the skills. Research on the subject is improving all the time, which will allow us to take the necessary steps to correct the gap before it gets any wider.
Anna Iveson Director VAzoom Helping Business Owners Find a VA They Can Trust www.vazoom.co.uk
THE POSITIVE INSATIABLE DRIVING HUNGER OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND WHY IT SHOULD MATTER TO YOU... It would be true to state in a matter of fact manner that social media can have a real impact and hold on us in our day to day lives. Not just personally but professionally too. Wouldn’t you say? It would be fair to also say, that for some this can be a time-consuming cause which can then impact our focus and drive in our appetites for work; after we are done checking ourprofiles. Can’t it? I thought it would make a great blog post to look at the insatiable hunger we have for social media; its positive impact within our businesses and brands, it’s beneficial use, how technology can help you plan for it, and when to book in a break for your well-being. So, without further ado let’s break it down and take a closer look…. The insatiable driving hunger and force of social media within business: do you need it?... It’s not about asking if social media will make you happier. Although there are some that may be quick to agree either way. But it’s about knowing how impactful its use can be for your business and brand. Answering, do you need it professionally then the answer has to be –– yes. It has reach beyond your local borders. It has the ability to offer you impact, opportunity, and to build something with an audience you may not otherwise have known. In an article released by Marketing Insider Group they go on to detail why social media marketing is important to you and your business, ‘It doesn’t matter if you run a small local shop or a big national company. Social media is an essential piece of your business marketing strategy. Social platforms help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about you brand, and boost your leads and sales. With more than three billion people around the world using social media every month, it’s no passing trend.’
Social media is here to stay and if strategised correctly; aligning with your company values, goals, and direction: it can open up a great amount of opportunity and success for you as both a business and brand. The positive impact of social media for business and branding: strategise... Social media has the ability to connect people, to allow people to engage, to be social where otherwise perhaps they may not be. It offers us the opportunity within our businesses and brands to build an audience, to showcase our credibility and expertise. Social media can see businesses produce interesting insights and build weight in authority in their niche. But, to cut through the noise it’s much better to strategise than to dabble. Dabbling is fun, but it wastes your time, effort and impact. Interestingly, a survey carried out by sprout social that was emailed to me by SocialMediaToday brings to light that 77% of people that were surveyed would buy from a brand that they had followed online. Fifty percent of marketers surveyed in the same report say that they find that engagement and inspirational style posts are the most effective with audiences. Which is a useful metric when you think of how to plan the structure and basis of your posts. You can still address issues, create awareness and boost your business and brand but with an approach that your audience doesn’t feel like it’s under attack with sales bombardment. You’d much rather that your audience feels that they can get involved with you as a business and brand. And one that they want to interact with. If they understand what you’re all about, they can then choose to engage and follow your journey’s direction. It’s worth setting aside time to plan a strategy not just for what you will put on social media but how often you will post, what you will say and what you want your posts to achieve. Make it work for you and your audience. But be honest with how much you can give to any given social platform. Don’t swamp yourself if you can’t maintain the flow of expectation with social platforms. Seek advice if you have the budget to do so, and certainly do your research. Know when is best to post for your sector and what your audience likes and dislikes. Will you utilise paid ads alongside organic posts? Where is your audience coming from, where do they hang out? Finding a strategy that works alongside your business and brand goals but that can equally be reflected in your social media presence is key. As is knowing and understanding your audience. As they are the ones you want to hold onto and attract overall. You can still be social and plan for social media: use technology to plan ahead... The clue is in the word. Social media is meant to be social, which can feel like a big statement when you are trying to think of it in terms of your business and brand. What does that mean and how can you apply that? Well... try looking at it like this: when you write for social media, write as if you are having a conversation. Write knowing that your audience will respond to the language, the emotive intent, the message and the tone. You want to be informative and insightful, but not pushy. You want to add authority and expertise and invite interaction. You don’t want to sound like you’re dictating. More trying to involve and relate. And you definitely don’t want it to sound like a sales pitch. Looking at your social media plan from the perspective of your audience helps to keep a clear picture of how you can reach your reader and how you can grip their attention. You can then align this with your overall aims and objectives as a business and brand. But you also don’t want to be spending all day on each given platform. So, using technology to plan your schedule and times for your responses and engagement is logical and practical long-term.
You can plan your schedule and posts with online tools such as Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Loomly and Buffer etc. To help to get you started or as a part of your ongoing plan. It’s worth also thinking about your response times too. Not only do you naturally want to place importance on what you are posting and when. But you also want to let your audience know that they are the focus of your clear intentions. With this is mind it is prudent to schedule time for engaging with your intended audience. Respond to their social comments, their emails, their queries. Set aside purposeful time to do this. You don’t have to be hanging out online all the time. Be mindful of your audience when considering your social media marketing. Using technology is a great tool at your fingertips to make for effective use of your time when you are short of it; especially when planning and strategising for your social media. Knowing you and knowing when to take a break: your well-being... Social media is an amazing tool and evolution of technology. It has a multitude of benefits and is a useful and necessary element to your business and brand marketing toolkit. That being said, setting healthy boundaries for when you don’t need it, or for when you need a break is equally as beneficial. We all need time-out, to readdress our boundaries, our focus, our attention, to give us room to think. Much like when we book a holiday. Be kind to yourself. You don’t have to go to sleep with your company page still open. You don’t have to wake up and even before you’ve had time for a coffee, to check your business social status. You don’t have to cut it out, it is a fantastic tool to be used and harnessed. But setting parameters where you too can step away and regroup is advantageous to us all. It’s not reserved for the few. Time out is good for you. So, plan a break. Plan for regular breaks. Schedule your annual leave. Your well-being is a thing. It’s not a taboo. Be mindful or your mind. Don’t buy into the hype. Social media for your business and brand is a strategy. It doesn’t have to dictate your life. Like Looney Tunes always used to end with.... ‘that’s all folk’s’... Conclusion and summary: be strategic with social media and decide on what you need as a brand and business... At its core this article is addressing the insatiable hunger of social media, and its benefits; Let’s get social: the sizeable impact to you as a business and brand... It’s not boring: why planning and scheduling is crucial to satisfying your stomach rumbling social audience... You'’ll get square eyes (errrr... that’s a myth) but you don’t have to be glued to the screen all the time: use technology to schedule and plan for your social planning. It can creep up on you in stealth mode: your mental health and social media can be linked to your well-being. Plan for time out away from social media for your balance of mind, but also to allow your mind to see its focus and purpose of plight with what you’re trying to achieve. As Seth Godin in This Is Marketing says, ‘treating people with respect is the best way to earn their attention.’ You don’t have to say goodbye...let’s keep the conversation going... You can leave me a comment, or you can find me at; simplyamberlou.worpress.com and on LinkedIn: @Amber L Smith, plus you can send me an email at: email@example.com.
BIGGEST SCANDINAVIAN INTERNATIONAL TECH-STARTUP SUMMIT - COPENHAGEN TechBBQ is a two-day international tech-startup summit by and for the startup community. Every year a dedicated team works tirelessly to link entrepreneurs with the world, providing startup ecosystems with cutting edge insights, business opportunities, and network. In 2018 the summit outgrew itself for the fourth year in a row. More than 6,500 local and international heroic startups and scaleups, tech talents, innovative minds, visionary corporates, prominent investors and pioneering speakers participated.
LETâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SHAPE TOMORROW TOGETHER
Startups + Investors + Tech Talent Showcase your Startup and lead it to new heights Network with prominent Business Angels and VCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Recruit top-talent in our Talent Corner Meet potential customers among corporate attendees More than 150 talks & roundtable discussions to get inspiration.
2019 Speakers TECHBBQ
Sakshi Chhabra Mittal - Investment Director at Soft Bank Vision Fund Joshua Slayton - Co-founder of Angel List Annie Jean-Baptiste - Head of Product Inclusion: Google Rasmus Lerdorf - Inventor of PHP Lina Wenner - Principal at Firstminute Capital Tine Thygesen - Chairman: The Creators Community Lina Chen- CEO & Co-Founder Nix Hydra Matt Meeker- Co-founder of Meetup Matthew Miller- Partner at Sequoia
Candyce Costa Digital Marketing and Social Media Expert , Speaker and Founder and Chief Editor of Digital Business Women
WHO ARE THE CGI INFLUENCERS THAT ARE FOOLING EVERYONE ON INSTAGRAM? To start let's explain what is a CGI (in my own words and I am NOT an expert).Basically is a computergenerated imagery created using computer software and special visual effects - it could be still or animated visual content and its used to produce images for visual art, advertising, engineering, anatomical modeling, video games and special effects and could includes Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications.
Have you heard about Lil Miquela or Shudu?
Yeah, they are some of the new influencers in our social media, specially Instagram.Because all of them are models! And insta is the right place to be if you are planning in becoming a model or a superstar... But they are - besides being models - a CGI Computer-Generated Influencer.
That's it. Miquela, Bermuda, Blawko and Shunu are a computer-generated (CG) character. They are here to disrupt the fashion and lifestyle scene and it is already fooling some of us. They are so convincing that 42% of people who followed them did NOT realizes that they are NOT real, NOT humans (according recent study by the media company Fullscreen).
The Digital Influencer market is set to reach $2 billion in the next two years, according to CBS, so there is a very lucrative niche in this high competitive market. Don't forget that Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Giselle Bundchen and Rosie Huntington-Whitely earn millions per year based on their looks, attitude, yoga poses, iced match tea, makeup, selfies while travelling around the world...they have a life that most of us envy!Wait a minute! CGI also have a life...yeah for real...on Instagram, Twitter!
Meet Lil Miquela - 1.5 million followers Lil Miquela, or Miquela Sousa, is a 19-year-old Brazilian-American model from Los Angeles, California. She is also a singer and Instagram Influencer with 1.5 million followers on Instagram, and has worked for Chanel, Proenza Schouler, Supreme and Prada.She has released her third single and stars in the pages of American Vogueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;'s, V and Paper. Miquela has her birthday wishes, was spotted buying some old fashion books and people are following her sometimes even not knowing what she is. A robot? A dool?
Meet Bermuda - 133k followers
Bermuda is the most controversial and a little bit of a radical "person"! She is an ex-Trump supporter, ex Blawko girlfriend, a "robot supremacist" and she hacked Miquela's page to give her an ultimatum: tell people the truth (that shes is a CGI).Now both are friends hanging out, going together to have lunch, drinking mocha, travelling around the world and living "life"Having a normal life! Exercising and eating healthy lunch.
Meet Blawko, 135k followers
His name is Ronald, he is 22 yo and loves video games, doesn't clean his room and apparently is in a love triangle (between him, Miquela, and Bermuda). He is a super model, digital influencer and wear designer clothes all the time and it became a digital influencer!
Meet Shudu, 172k followers
Shudu is the first world's digital supermodel and it is a creation of beauty photographer Cameron James Wilson as an art project. She is a digital influencer and took part at Rihannas's Fenty Beauty Instagram page.Shudu doesn't have a "life" - her instagram doesn't have eating, drinking, exercising... maybe because she is 100% focused on her model career...
Fascinates me that people interact as they are real! They share their love, their hate, they wish meet them, touch them to say hello, and they are confused if they are real, a robot...I love the comments a part of the abusive ones - don't be a bully even if they do not have real feelings...
Meet Saya - animated CGI
This is Saya and in my opnion, the best CGI at this moment. Why? Because I can see a "human" that I can relate - the way she blinks, her hair boucing, the sweet smile... The team have added human emotions to Saya like joy, surprise, sadness and fear and next steps is to Saya have autonomous behaviour and a natural voice (scared or excited?)Saya is a project started in 2015 and it's created by Telyuka - Japanese artists Teruyuki Ishikawa & Yuka Ishikawa. They have been improving Saya since them...
Watch Saya Hollywood has been working with CGI for a long time as well, the gaming industry. So to be honest, we are experiencing this technology for a while. I am sure you recognize Avatar, Gollum, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Funny though that when a CGI imitates a human, we feel a little bit ... nervous! Maybe we are a little bit scared of engaging with a "human" that is not a human at all and we cannot recognize this. And most of us feel scare when in front of something that is unknown. A digital person that is interacting and engaging (maybe in the future even having their own opinion about stuff). Right now, as CGI are taking the world by storm...even when we are not aware of that.
click here Candyce Costa Digital Marketing and Social Media Expert , Speaker and Founder and Chief Editor of Digital Business Women
BLOCKCHAIN IS THE ANSWER, BUT WHAT WAS THE QUESTION? This is no secret for anyone, Blockchain has fully grown up to a social buzz and proudly sits on top of the peak of inflated expectations (i.e. Gartner’s Hype Cycle). Banks, companies, institutions … none could escape the Blockchain tsunami that has been raging for almost 3 years. People usually react in two opposite ways: either fear (we are going to be disintermediated !) or excitement (Blockchain is an opportunity, it is going to reduce costs, increase incomes, secure processes, make coffee …) Though if we take a closer look at the latter — which we can summarize as “let’s put Blockchain everywhere” — things go wrong immediately. Let’s get back to reality, Blockchain is not a solution for all your problems. In fact, you need to associate it with other technologies to even make it work. As for making it relevant …
One cannot simply sprinkle Blockchain dust on any use case to make a delicious meal of it.
Thinking as the image above suggests, denotes a misunderstanding of the way Blockchain works, as well as failing to get its full potential. With this vision, if you think about using a Blockchain in your next project, whatever the cost, you are wrong for 2 reasons: 1. Most people are going to see that you didn’t get it 2. You are going to waste time working on false use cases, or even waste your money and your human ressources. But with further thinking, maybe you could come up with a better idea. Of course if you only mean hype, Blockchain is another word for buzz generator, even if not everyone is fooled. Now that we have made things clearer, a question raises by itself: “How do I know if Blockchain is relevant in my use case?” Excellent question, here are some advices … Understand what is the purpose of the Blockchain. You don’t need to understand every aspect and all the technical details. You simply have to get the main properties that will be useful to you. Example of possible descriptions: Blockchain as a tool for traceability, integrity, multi-party transactional architecture. Examples of what Blockchain won’t do (alone) You can store data with it and be confident that it won’t ever get corrupted. But you have no way to be sure of the veracity of this data. This is because Blockchain isn’t smart, it doesn’t know the context of use, nor does it know your sector of activity. If no verification is made when an entity brings information to your Blockchain, then it is basically saved whether it is correct or not. But you know it won’t be possible to modify it in the future anyway. :) It is a point to remember when conceiving a use case around assets traceability, like fighting counterfeit for example. Particularly when dealing with food, drugs, electronics, … wine, jewels, auto components, and so on. Start from the use case, not from the tech! You have to ask yourself if you even have a “pain point” in mind. Is it clearly identified? Given your actual understanding of the Blockchain, do you think that it brings any advantage to solve your problem and that it really fulfils your need? Understand pros and cons of a Blockchain. At this stage, if you passed the first 2 items, you should take a bit of a step back and list what can be solved directly by a Blockchain and what has to be added to it to solve your problem in a proper, efficient way. To say it differently, you have to understand where a Blockchain stands better than a traditional counterpart and vice versa. You should identify situations where it would be less performing or even completely unsuitable. Just be honest with yourself. Use the power of the Blockchain or leave it be, and use something else. Bitcoin is often referred to as a Blockchain Killer App. This is simply because it uses every main properties of the Blockchain. Be it from a technical, strategical or economical standpoint. Therefore, Bitcoin profits very well from using Blockchain. What about your use case? Do you need to store data? To make transactions with other peers? And are these very transactions based on data that is already stored in your Blockchain? Is there some kind of incitement or payoff for the entities of the network?
By using the different aspects of the Blockchain, you both ensure relevance and a certain level of security. Indeed, when the Blockchain “references” itself, you know it’s going to be ok because veracity of this data is already acquired. But what if it comes from an external source in the first place?! As a general fact, if data comes from an external entity, like oracles, you have to provide proofs and involve a third party, which makes the process less fluid, even though it does work. See Oraclize. Let’s not dive too much here into the details — that’s not the point of this article — and instead introduce the Blockchain Canvas. “The canvas below helps you identify the applicability of Blockchain for your use cases. Fill it with your own case” www.theblockchaincanvas.com
Context Problem Simply explain your problem, use short sentences that allow people to quickly catch the context, thus dealing with your need. Solution Explain your strategy to solve the problem, while using or not the term “Blockchain” Entities Blockchain mandatorily involve several entities since it is meant to emule decentralisation. If you are the only user of your Blockchain, it’s called a database. In this part, you have to define entities and groups/categories of entities. We often quote the number of nodes as a factor of decentralisation (and better security), I would add diversity of entities here. Indeed, diversity is a key ingredient for your ecosystem as it enhances discrepancy between entities which reduces the risk that they form profitable coalition or alliance. Now try to visualize your ecosystem and fill the canvas.
Where are you standing? As you can see, there are no figures on this graph, for a good reason! People often ask: “how many nodes do I need to be sufficiently decentralised?” It completely depends on several linked factors: the use case, the entities, the required level of security, the profit that an attacker could make. You need to take these factors into account to settle the size of your network. To make this less of an evasive answer, let’s say that 10 nodes aren’t enough to make a decentralized network. And to provide an example, Bitcoin (launched in 2008, considered the most secured Blockchain as of today 2016) involves a little less than 6000 validation nodes. As for diversity, 3 or 4 different categories of entities are usually enough to make an interesting use case. Moreover, this dissimilarity is a good point to advocate the use of a Blockchain which is particularly adapted to take care of the inherent complexity of multi-party interactions. Network Your transactions Here you have to describe the nature of your transactions. Do you need to transfer financial worth, intellectual property, access rights, or to log important events? The peers of your network Peer = node. An entity may have several peers (or nodes) running on different facilities. If you chose to use a Blockchain in your application, you are going to need Validators. For example, a transaction is solely registered in a Blockchain with the acceptation of at least the majority of Validators. It is extremely important to decide who will endorse the responsibility of being a Validator as it will have decisive consequences. Would you decide to use a public Blockchain (Bitcoin, Ethereum, …), you would have no control on the transactions validation system, because the infrastructure already exists and you have no rights on it. But it’s still possible to develop your own validation overlay (decentralised itself). On the other hand, if you opt for a Consortium Blockchain (or “Private”), for example an application of Hyperledger, you are totally able to constitute your own Validators network. You have to chose wisely how to allocate your validators among entities, since the goal is to ensure a maximum diversity as well as a sufficient multiplicity in your ecosystem. Of course you could do otherwise, everything is possible, you only have to design your network according to the use case, the aimed level of decentralisation in a Private Blockchain, or the degree of independence from a public Blockchain.
In a similar way, it is totally plausible to give different roles to your peers. Are they all able to read or write data? Do they all possess the “validation power”, namely the right to participate to the consensus to validate an incoming transaction? Low infrastructure effort = low independence level This is not a surprise since you base your own infrastructure on an existing one, instead of recreating it from scratch, in which case you would have full control. Naturally, deploying a decentralised infrastructure is costly and oppose a steep learning curve, often needing intervention of externs.
Network dynamism What are the rules to verify and then to validate a transaction? How does one decide that a transaction is correct? What kind of consensus are you going to use? (If you decide to use Hyperledger for your Blockchain for example. Note that Bitcoin and Ethereum don’t leave a direct access to this aspect) This is like thinking about the governance of your system which is — by far — one of the trickiest aspects to design in a Blockchain project. Data and analysis The main idea is to define the data you are going to manipulate. Is it of critical nature? Is it voluminous? This is important to figure it out, because a Blockchain grow with each registered activity and nothing will ever be deleted. Therefore, it is a lot better to get rid of useless, unworthy information and/or data that use a lot of space and could use some diet plans… In fact, it is advised not to store any inherently voluminous data in a Blockchain, like high resolution images for example, e.g. medical imaging. Although it is not a bad idea to keep the hash signature only, for checking the integrity of the original file (which is stored in a third database). There are 2 types of processing in the Canvas. Distributed storage (to store data like a database, which it is after all). But it is also possible to use it to make calculations (which can also be achieved while being a database at the same time through smart contracts). With Ethereum, writing a program (smart contract) that verifies rules or conditions (insurance, gambling, communication with connected devices) makes it possible to process information and then output provable results and directly store them in the Blockchain. For example, if Alice doesn’t trust Bob for a given calculation, Bob can create a smart contract on Ethereum. The smart contract delegates both calculation and storage of the result to the peers of the network (decentralised). This way, Alice can rest assured that the result is trustworthy. Here Blockchain acts as an intermediate and substitutes the needed confidence between entities Alice and Bob, by the already acquired confidence in the Blockchain itself. This sounds like the problem is solved, especially if we consider that it’s safer to trust a program than a human (wait, programs are coded by humans right? D’oh!)
The base principle is that you do trust the program behind the process even though it has been written by humans. It is easier to trust a program made once, than to trust every decisions, many humans could make, at different moments. Last but not least …
Value This box of the Canvas is difficult to explain (and to fill as well), because it depends a lot on the use case, to the point that it may be optional in certain occasions. Let’s use two different examples of use case: Bitcoin and Everledger On the Canvas, you read “Is your system based on (or does it use) a value system making it possible to establish the link between the Blockchain and the real world?” For Bitcoin, the link between the value of a bitcoin in the real world and its value in the Blockchain is noticeably due to validators work (aka miners), which are investing a lot of money in hardware and electricity bills.
“To mine” bitcoins is not very power efficient and consumes a lot of ressources. Value of a bitcoin can be seen as a result of validators (miners) efforts and investments. This also brings another reason for validators not to mess with their own Blockchain, because they have a lot to lose, and are dependant on the trust of entities (the users). For Everledger, the problem is completely different, it is to fight against diamond counterfeit, by registering true ones on a Blockchain. The value, or rather the link between the real world diamond and its asset on the Blockchain have to be strong enough to overcome any threat of destruction or corruption. Otherwise, the whole traceability system would fall through. They came up with the idea of generating a unique ID and engrave it on the diamond itself. This very ID is naturally registered in the Blockchain and constitutes the link. The bright side of this idea (joke intended) is that to erase the ID from the diamond would require extremely expensive and hardly obtainable equipment. Thus making of the task a counterproductive one for most criminals, since it would either cost too much or involve the risk of flawing diamonds. Imperfect diamonds lose a lot of value which would make any attempt to fake diamonds not really profitable. But diamonds obviously have unique properties that Everledger handled very well, resulting in a very effective system, capable of preventing a specific fraud. All use cases don’t fit that much the Blockchain aspects which doesn’t mean they aren’t made for it. You only need to know what it can do best and what it can’t do at all. Then try to figure out where does your project stand, hopefully somewhere in the middle. To conclude I hope you have enjoyed this article. If you were wondering whether or not you could make use of a Blockchain, I would really like to know if it helps you decide! The canvas is a useful tool for BrainStorming. Ideally, it should reveal by itself if a Blockchain is suitable for your use case and ultimately if your project is relevant. It also is a good specification support, should you wish to go further. It allows to identify needed information, which leads to make choices of technology and architecture. Still, it’s not self-sustaining, and does need some extra work of reflexion aside. If you feel the need to be guided in this, or to review the specifications of your project, I encourage you to contact me by email or through the website : www.theblockchaincanvas.com
This Canvas may evolve in the future with its users feedback. It has been used in several serious Blockchain projects that are currently in development (see on the website). We also use it in Hackathons (Blockfest) and “Creathon”, where people try to imagine possible future use cases. Sajida Zouarhi Blockchain architect & hackathon organizer (Le BlockFest) Top 10 Women to Follow in Tech in 2019 (#FrenchTech) • Women in IT Awards Ireland 2018 - Finalist for "FUTURE CIO OF THE YEAR" • Top 6 Women Blockchain Influencers (#FrenchTech) -If you whish to use the canvas for commercial purpose, special events or training, do not hesitate to contact me. Special thanks to Romain Vincent and Mercedes-Elena Moya for their help on the english version of this article. [Original article here] Noun project credits : Teacher by Gan Khoon Lay People by useiconic.com
Sajida Zouarhi is a Blockchain Architect @Consensys (formerly R&D engineer in Critical Data management). She was a researcher at Orange Labs & the Computer Science Lab of Grenoble as a PhD student. She is an advisor on the board of several Healthcare & Blockchain projects and is also President of the eHealth and Blockchain Think Tank. She has been contacted by the WHO to help preventing Kidney Traffic with Blockchain and she is the founder of the Kidner Project. This project aims at creating a worldwide decentralized matching platform for kidney paired exchange by using blockchain & economic paradigms to improve the effectiveness & fairness of the process. [www.kidner-project.com]
Nassia Skoulikariti Apiro Data Ltd Founder/CEO Â
NASSIA How did you decide to go into Telecoms and Cloud? I always loved gadgets and technology. I am fascinated by the way technology has been changing the way we communicate and engage and I am on a personal quest to find ways to humanise technology and make it easy to use. We are fortunate to be living at a time technology is evolving and transforming our lives, connecting our worlds, simplifying complexities and driving cultural changes. I hope to play a small part in creating a diverse, sustainable and connected future.
SKOULIKARITI Tell us about you and your business. Nassia has more than 25 year of International experience in Telecoms, Cloud communications and IoT helping global organisations to develop and grow. Has lived and worked in several countries and managed culturally diverse commercial and technical teams. Nassia has founded and managing Apiro Data an End2End IoT platform and full stack IoT ecosystem company that helps customers implement and monetise connected smart products through modular solutions which allows them to grow and innovate at their own pace and minimise their investment risk.
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no secret that many women in tech have felt their gender affected the way that they are perceived/treated. Have you ever been in a situation like that? How did you handle it? With 25 yrs in the tech world I have seen my fair share of the discrimination women face. We work harder to prove ourselves, given less opportunities and are passed up for promotion. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not forget the pay gap and the micro aggressions. I stayed true and kept going and I now hire and help as many women as possible at Apiro Data; at the moment we are a women only development team.
What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in tech or what you wish to know before started your career? Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be afraid to take risks and try something different, you have all it takes, believe in yourself and what you are passionate about and go after it. Meet as many people as possible, establish relationship with people from diverse backgrounds and learn as much as you can on how business works. Trust your intuition, stay true and advantage of the opportunities. To what do you attribute your success? I have vast amounts of natural curiosity, energy, drive and determination. I also have a very supportive family.
What do you think we should be doing more of to encourage more girls to consider a career in tech? Advocate the benefits and not only the challenges early on during the school years. As more women progress in their careers and rise up on technical roles that will inspire more young girls to consider a career in tech. Women supporting women and succeeding will inspire young girls and urge them to be part of a different "me too", an "I too am successful in tech" movement. In your opinion, how could the tech industry be more inclusive for women? Since the majority of the hiring managers are men, having those managers go though training on how to work and mentor women it will help. At the moment women need to be supported to grow. By giving women opportunities they can grow into outside marketing and HR roles and of course let's close the pay gap. Fun fact about you? I love flying helicopters and I am determined to get my licence.
In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business? Conscious and unconscious gender biases keep women back from landing great opportunities and create roadblocks to their success.. How do you find inspiration in your life? I read a lot and take classes on areas I feel I need to improve. I start my days with taking care me first, this includes meditating and working out and it acts as a daily mental declutter. I also like to write and paint as I find inspiration through the arts. What's your favorite quote? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.â&#x20AC;? by Nikos Kazantzakis
SINCE WE CANNOT CHANGE REALITY, LET US CHANGE THE EYES WHICH SEE REALITY. BY NIKOS KAZANTZAKIS FAVOURITE QUOTE
Peace Kuteesa Zimba Women Founder / Chief Operations Officer
PEACE How did you decide to go into Computer Enginnering? As a fulltime employee with a fully-fledged business at the same time, I couldn’t breakeven due to limited market access. With research, I realized many women were struggling with the same work-life balance. My passion for IT opened my mind to possibilities that technology would create for entrepreneurs. Together with my cofounder, we launched Zimba Women. What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before started your career/business? Find a mentor, network and do not look at yourself as a weaker vessel in that field, otherwise you may slacken. Consider yourself a qualified professional with the heart, resources and privilege to make a difference. Every time you get a chance, shine and pull up another woman. I wish I had always known of support networks and that I am strong and my contribution makes a big difference.
In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business?
I have been in both corporate and business. It’s the struggle to be recognized as an equal contributor. Women business or workplace leaders must work extra hard to get respect for being honorable, hardworking and qualified. Many women lack confidence and talk down their own and other’s achievements unlike men. We need learn to ‘amplify’ for not only ourselves but also for other’s work and business.
Tell us about you and your business. I am a Computer Engineer working at the integration of cyber security, internet safety and inclusion of ICT in business. I am the founder of Zimba Women a social enterprise that provides technology and software solutions, platforms, mentoring and networks for SMEs; to improve livelihoods of under-served women in Sub-Saharan Africa
PEACE KUTEESA What did you learn from your biggest failure?
I didn’t not take advantage of Technology enabled platforms and networks available for my business and it failed. This gave me an opportunity to learn how to be better. My lessons will be passed on to others. The women after me will not make the same mistakes and my daughter will have a better experience, more options, more doors opened and better access to mentors and networks, she will not fail. To what do you attribute your success? Choosing the right co-founder.We are both Computer Engineers who suffered with the challenge of not having mentors in the past, have similar life goals and challenges in business. Ours is a relatable story of impact that people want to be a part of. We are a perfect match because we are driven by a desire to give back and make things better for the next generation woman. Also being true to oneself. What's your favorite quote? “Instead of freaking out about constraints, embrace them. Let them guide you. Constraints drive innovation and force focus. Instead of trying to remove them, use them to your advantage.” 37 signals. At the start our women were not ready, we didn’t give up focusing on training women on Tech-use which grew Zimba Women numbers beyond expected so constraints are opportunities to open thinking process.
Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to persue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it? Yes, I have worked with high reputable organizations the struggle to grow career wise as woman in this male dominated field is real. There is always negative connotation as a female standing out trying to fix something. However, I constantly remind myself that I am qualified and have what it takes to pursue my dreams. I must be consistent knowing I have a host of women relying on me for motivation. Did you always know that Computer Engineering was what you wanted to do?
Yes, from an early stage, I was always passionate about fixing things. I knew that I would either end up as a Doctor or an Engineer to provide solutions to people. I decided to pursue Computer Engineering as I recognized that it was the future with limitless capabilities and did not want to be left behind. Technology has the ability to create a access and collaboration previously unimagined.
In your opinion, how could the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive for women?
In all of this, women inclusion gives everyone an opportunity to contribute and diverse opinions can be openly discussed. The more diversity you bring to your organization, the greater chances of discovering ground breaking insights, stereotypes and solutions. Every individual needs a chance to lead, women are nurturers and very creative hence creating colorful diversity. How do you find inspiration in your life? 3 ways; read, travel and talk. I travel often for work but also leisure which opens my mind to think big. Reading educates me widely to be on top of everything going on in the world. Being informed makes me curious which drives a desire to be part of the bigger picture of change. I also talk to the women we work with and their life’s (testimonies) positivity keep me motivated and inspired.
FIND A MENTOR, NETWORK AND DO NOT LOOK AT YOURSELF AS A WEAKER VESSEL IN THAT FIELD, OTHERWISE YOU MAY SLACKEN. ADVICE PEACE KUTEESA
Sheena Shah, ElevatHer Founder
SHEENA SHAH How did you decide to go into Finance? I remember loving economics and classical civilisation at A Levels. Economics seemed like a ‘safer’ option to study at University so I went to Aston University to study Business with International Relations. My work placement was in 2008 at Goldman Sachs which provided a greater exposure than usual with so much uncertainty around. I loved being constantly challenged and learning new skill sets. I was also lucky to work in a close knit team where I felt like I was part of a family and valued. After that work placement year I was more motivated than ever to finish my degree and come back into the industry.
Did you always know that in Finance and Community Apps was what you wanted to do? I had a taste for finance during my internship and wanted more. After being in the industry for a few years, across companies and continents, I realised that I didn’t want to work for a bank but it was all that I knew. I got lucky and found a small startup prop firm and learnt that it’s more the people you work with and knowing your self-worth that motivates me.
Tell us about you and your career. I spent 10 years in the financial services, starting my career on the graduate scheme for Goldman Sachs, moving to Morgan Stanley and most recently working for a proprietary trading firm Maven. Through the struggles of maintaining and expanding my network developed an idea of creating ElevatHer –A platform to connect women on experiences and skill.
SHEENA SHAH Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt discouraged to persue your dreams as a woman? How did you handle it?
In your opinion, how could the workplace/business environment do to be more inclusive for women?
When I have been given a promotion or a new role I have always thought about how it would impact my relationships or my future plans of potential maternity leave. In my head there was a negative correlation with hours spent at work getting to that next level and impact on my personal life. It seemed like I couldn’t have both because of the pressure I gave myself.
A common thread I found is that women do not have the same support as men do in the workplace and that’s everything from mentoring to maternity at all levels which is why I created ElevatHer – a community where women can connect on skills and experiences and tap into that support when they need.
What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in your industry or what you wish to know before started your career/business? Be ready to have multiple hats, I wake up as a CEO making plans on the direction I want the company to steer towards in 5 years and by lunch time I have become the accountant, going through transactions and balance sheets and by the evening I am an ‘engineer’ trying to figure out why my printer has stopped doing the one job it was made to do!
In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business? One of many obstacles is that there are not many platforms where women can interact with senior members and peers. 51% of women in senior management, reported they interact with a company leader at least once a week, compared to 62% of men, which makes a difference because almost seven in ten CEOs at S&P 500 companies last year had been recruited internally for the role. What's your favorite quote? My favourite quote which resonates with me more as a founder is that ideas are the currency of tomorrow.
What did you learn from your biggest failure? When I first launched ElevatHer it looked and felt very different to what it is today. What I am learning is that my career and company is a journey and not just an end goal. In the world of a startup you have to try everything to see what works for you and I am lucky to have the support of so many female founders that tell me failure needs to be applauded more. How do you find inspiration in your life? Every person that has come into my life has influenced or taught me something. I am inspired by their story because they have come from different walks of life and therefore have had different experiences to share. We can learn and inspire each other to be better which is what ElevatHer was created for, to be a safe place to share knowledge.
IDEAS ARE THE CURRENCY OF TOMORROW FAVOURITE QUOTE SHEENA SHAH
Suzi Godson Co-Ceo MeeTwo Education
GODSON Tell us about you and your career. I am a psychologist and a journalist specialising in sex and relationships. For the last 16 years I have written a weekly advice column in the Weekend section of The Times newspaper. Emails from young people struggling with personal problems they could not openly discuss gave me the idea for an anonymous advice app, which eventually became MeeTwo.
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no secret that many women in tech have felt their gender affected the way that they are perceived/treated. Have you ever been in a situation like that? How did you handle it? I am cynical that so many female innovators, like us, are struggling to create hard-to-fund digital solutions to huge social problems such as taking care of the disadvantaged, the elderly and young people, while male innovators focus on making money. If we were 28 year olds with beards, investors would have been queuing up to throw money at us, but altruistic middle age women? Forget it.
How did you decide to be an entrepreneur? I may have had the idea, but without my co-founder Kerstyn Comley I could never have made it happen. Between us we had an unusually broad skillset. I had an Ma in Graphic design, an Msc in psychology and I was able to string a sentence together. Kerstyn had a PhD in engineering, had built a freeschool, taught coding and had run several successful businesses. When there are only two people running a start-up, being able to do literally everything by yourselves, is a very valuable advantage.
SUZI GODSON What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in tech or what you wish to know before started your career?
What do you think we should be doing more of to encourage more girls to consider a career in tech?
A career in tech is like any other career. If you don’t think about your work 24/7 and wake up in the night thinking “Eureka, I know how to solve the problem that puzzled me today” you are probably not going to hack it long-term. The only reason Kerstyn and I keep doing this is because we are beyond passionate about the work we are doing, and the young people we are supporting.
Working in tech is a great career because it is highly paid and jobs are plentiful, but tech is just a medium. What we need to do is to get more young women thinking creatively about inovative ways to use technology to solve global problems. Whether its an app that helps women share childcare, or access education in remote areas, novel ideas will always be more valuable than coding skills.
In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to women succeed in the workplace/business? The gender pay gap has narrowed, but it certainly has not closed. Flexible working, job sharing and workplace creches are still a pipe dream, and despite working full time, most women still shoulder most of the domestic burden too. Gender inequity in the workplace means highly qualified women end up working part time in low income jobs so they can raise their kids. Its a terrible waste of talent. Fun fact about you? When I was 8 years old I was sent to an Irish convent boarding school. During my entire education I never received any sex education at all. As an adult, I have written several award winning books on sex, published the first ever sex column in a UK broadsheet newspaper and had a weekly sex column in The Times newspaper for 16 years. Could there be a connection?
How do you find inspiration in your life? I am in the process of finishing my psychology Phd and I write weekly for Times, but I spend most of my time working on MeeTwo. From researching, to writing, to designing, to helping a suicidal teenager access real world care, my work is so varied that I never get bored. At home I have four kids, three dogs, two building projects and a very patient husband to keep me busy. What's your favorite quote? "If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life." Brian Chesky, Cofounder of Airbnb.
In your opinion, how could the tech industry be more inclusive for women? The problem is not the tech industry, it is the UK education system which is simply not fit for purpose. Girls swerving on STEM subjects is not just about gender stereotypes. It is about the fact that these curriculums need a complete redesign from primary level upwards in order to make them feel relevant to girls. To what do you attribute your success? MeeTwo has been a success because it is an intelligent, well designed, carefully executed and engaging app, created by two women who have an authentic concern for young people. Kerstyn and I are very different as people, and we have very different skills, but we work and think in very similar ways. We also have very similar eithical and moral values which inform every decision we make together.
Meetwo was recently recognised as the winner of the Samsung Connected Society Award at the 2019 Tech4Good Awards.
IF WE TRIED TO THINK OF A GOOD IDEA, WE WOULDNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO THINK OF A GOOD IDEA. YOU JUST HAVE TO FIND THE SOLUTION FOR A PROBLEM IN YOUR OWN LIFE. BRIAN CHESKY, CO-FOUNDER OF AIRBNB FAVOURITE QUOTE SUZI GODSON
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Amanda Citro Business Development at verify-u GmbH
Please tell a bit about yourself. I am Amanda Citro, 32. Originally from Brazil, I have been living in Germany for almost 5 years. When I moved to Germany, I joined the Startup environment and just loved it! Currently, I work for verify-u GmbH, part of the Zuper Group, the winner of StartupGrind 2019 as the best Startup in Europe. I love traveling and learning more about different cultures - it makes me feel connected to the world.
Tell us about your journey to today. I have a Bachelor's degree in International Relations, and I pursue two Masters: in Business Administration (Brazil) and Economics (Germany). I started my career in the financial sector in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I then worked for an international Consultancy Group with Mergers and Acquisitions. Â What are the main challenges you have faced in your journey? The challenge is actually a very positive one: in the tech industry, everything is changing all the time (and fast!). In this fast-paced environment, I need to adapt myself and develop new skills to keep following it. Isn't it great?
Big Challenges as an Expat to be in Tech Industry? It is difficult to be an expat and I believe this challenge encompasses all the different industries. Learning a new culture, a new language, adapting to different professional standards, and to a new environment... all these challenges need to be faced by expats, regardless of the country and industry they have chosen. As a female expat, we also need to face gender inequality - and this is a very important discussion in my opinion..
AMANDACITRO In your opinion, how could the tech industry be more inclusive for women? I recently read an article from EY that I couldn't agree more. Three important things can ensure that women belong equally: create programs and training to bring more girls to the tech environment, create a supportive workplace culture to make sure that women are having the right tools to develop themselves, and encourage generational diversity. What do you think we should be doing more to encourage more girls to consider a career in tech? In Berlin, for example, there is a movement of girls encouraging and being encouraged by other ladies to talk about their careers. They ask for opportunities, projects, etc. I do believe this is the way to go: it is important to include more girls in our circle and open our network.There are many other female groups in Germany and the US. They organize meetups, they have some good wine and discussions about challenges and opportunities. This is great, isn't it?
We heard a lot about the challenges women have working in tech. Have you ever experienced negativity or bias? If yes, what would be your advise to deal with that? Inequality and gender discrimination are, unfortunately, almost everywhere. My advice is to find an organization with people you trust, who are open to the dialog, with women in leadership positions. I now work with brilliant women and feel very inspired by them. Also, try to build your female network. I do like this feeling of empathy and community. It helps and, of course, it is also fun! In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle for women to succeed in the workplace/ business? I believe there is a potential problem related to self-esteem/ confidence that can impact professional development. There are so many demands coming from society, from certain cultural environments and biased businesses. It can be a trap sometimes. As women, we need to watch out and prove ourselves all the time. To what you attribute your success? Curiosity, focus, and independence.
What advise can you give to someone who is looking to follow your path? Be curious, be focused, study the topics you consider yourself weak in and believe you can make it. These are the things I bring with me all the time. Also, don't be ashamed of asking for help, connect with people to get information about some project you are interested in (even those you don't know yet!). Build your network and community.
BE CURIOUS, BE FOCUSED, STUDY THE TOPICS YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF WEAK IN AND BELIEVE YOU CAN MAKE IT. ADVISE TO SOMEONE WHO IS LOOKING TO FOLLOW YOUR PATH AMANDA CITRO
EUROPEAN STARTUP FESTIVAL MALMO - SWEDEN The European Startup Festival is the celebration of our community, a joyful and human-centered event that will take place once a year in different countries across Europe - this year we are going to Malmo, Sweden! What is in it for you? Expand your network
Find new customers
Find new team members
Make new friends for life
Connect with fellow entrepreneurs
Learn new things
Grow your network on European level
Meet investors and start-ups
Be part of the movement
Our 2019 Programme:
Get Your Ticket Now! We are offering 10 FREE tickets Use Promotional Code DBW
Keynotes by Hampus Jakobsson, Gautam Ramdurai and Susanne Birgersdotter Interactive panels around the topics of Innovation, Sustainability, Marketing and Communication, Team building, Finance and Well-Being Masterclasses by our expert speakers to deepen your knowledge on specific topics Lots of networking and more And more...
DIG IT TO THE CORE: THE FUTURE OF AUTOMATED VEHICLES IN THE MINING INDUSTRY The significant drop in the price of many commodities is what forcing leading mining companies to digitalize. The mining industry is already rushing into the future, commonly implementing the Internet of Things in wireless mining automation and connected mines projects, in order to cut costs and speed up operations. According to PwC mining report, the overall market capitalization of the mining industry in 2018 reached $926bn, rising 30% due to a commodities price recovery. Nevertheless, some treat this price recovery as temporary, while noticing employee cost increase by 5%. The European Union announces it is keenly interested in developing autonomous mining technology as part of its drive towards robotics under its Horizon 2020 work programme. I believes that autonomous machines can provide an improvement potential of 40%-80%.In other words, intensions push automation in mining are going to continue. And Industrial vehicles, busy in ores and mining pits were first to meet automation.
AI and IoT driven progress Mining automation first appeared in the form of self-driving vehicles. These monstrous trucks, which use AI and IoT technologies, can operate 24/7 with no need for driver breaks or shift changes. AI for industrial vehicles is a step forward to the future. Implementation of this technology can improve the performance of autonomous vehicle tremendously since it can rely on a mathematical model and previous human-learned information. Mining automation and connected mines projects prove that the Internet of Things is already the reality and it is already providing millions of savings to the industries that have embraced it. Wireless mesh networks are the most common technology used to connect mining trucks to each other in areas where there is no cellular or WiFi coverage available. IoT for industrial vehicles can be used to monitor people, vehicles, and machines both inside the ore or in a mining pit. Moreover, it provides safety: small devices can control the position of people and can also be used as a remote emergency button. On the contrary to consumer driverless cars, industrial self-driving vehicles at mining facilities are in common use for almost 5 years. Although both are using the same technology, the environment is completely different. No unexpected traffic and extra people on the ground, as well as lack of uncertainty, are the least to mention.
Perhaps, the most vivid example of adopting this new technology is the iron mine at Rio Tinto’s Pilbara, where one can find 80 driverless Komatsu trucks. Using GPS, radar and laser sensors, the trucks can make their way around the mine site avoiding obstacles and delivering high-grad ore to be processed. In 2017, Rio Tinto’s Pilbara reported its trucks to move their one-billionth tonne of material and, moreover, have cut unit costs at the mine by 15%.
Intelligent monsters The CAT 797, originally designed in 1998, seems to be the most recognizable dump trucks ever developed. Made by Caterpillar, it has been reincarnated multiple times, most recently in 2009 when the Cat 797F was launched. This model is the second-biggest dump truck in the world with a payload of 400t. In the midst 2018 Caterpillar announced its 150 automated trucks to operate over the globe. Later in October 2018, another “monster” got “smart”. On a home base of Belaz an industrial loading and transport system for the mining industry was introduced: a fully autonomous Belaz truck BelAZ 7513R and selfdriving BelAZ-78250 front loader worked in unison. In May 2019 BelAZ 7513R proved to operate normally under extreme temperatures from -50C to +50C.
Challenges of today By now there fully autonomous as well as remotely controlled and regular vehicles are coexisting on the ground. For instance, Belaz truck is fully self-driving car, however, Belaz loader is driving by itself, while loading and unloading are operated from a comfortable chair in the remote control room by a live person. Leading equipment manufacturers Komatsu, Caterpillar and Hitachi have had notable success in the role out of autonomous haulage systems, with economic and safety benefits identified as primary drivers and noted the increase in productivity up to 30% in some operations. Nevertheless, the situation is far from ideal. Most challenging is a lack of standards to use industrial vehicles automation. Major companies are all at the level of integration of their solutions to existing processes. Moreover, the industrial car is a very huge truck, which works in a harsh environment and safety stays first on the list along with profitability. Most demanding areas of implementation are where very high and low temperature environment is: in places like a coal mine or underground ores.
Prospects of tomorrow Industrial vehicles automation is a core component in building industry 4.0 because it involves most of so-called next-gen industry pointers such as Big data analytics, additive manufacturing, robotics, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, and cognitive technologies. It’s believed that in 5 years most of the mining vehicles got “smart” and industrial machines will be automated: loaders, excavators, bulldozers, drills and many more will be automated. Robots of various sorts will be used to monitor mining operations to make sure everything is running according to what’s planned. Some will move through underground mines. With their laser scanners and radar, they will be able to move about safely and quickly in narrow, dusty tunnels that humans have trouble navigating. Now it’s important to watch this process of automation to develop in accordance with economic as well as humanistic incentives. About Mrs Shpieva She is the Team leader at VIST Group, Developer of robotic solutions for mining and metals. Elizaveta Shpieva, born 1987 in Moscow. She worked as a research assistant at Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University. In Russia, she used to work as the chief engineer at Robot Corporation with such robots as FANUC, KUKA and many more. She is currently working for VistGroup, integrating industrial solutions for self-driving trucks in the mining sector.
IS YOUR SCHEDULE RUNNING YOUR LIFE? I hear far too often, ‘I am just so busy,’ or, ‘I don’t know how I could have time for that.’ I hear these things from people who are striving to improve their mental and physical health, but cannot break free of the vicious cycle of their own schedule. So many things get piled onto our schedules and before we know it our weeks are jam packed, followed by totally full weekends and we have no time to take care of ourselves or even just sit down and relax. I can totally relate this this because I lived this way for many years! As a matter of fact if I am not careful I am quick to fall back into this cycle. What I am saying is I can totally relate to you, therefore I am going to speak from my personal experience and what I have seen many of my clients go through and have work for them. First I want to ask you a question. How often in an average week do you sit down and review your upcoming schedule? If you are looking at your schedule regularly, congratulations! You are on the right track. If you are not……..well this might be the biggest reason you feel overwhelmed or scattered. For me the answer if 7 times. I sit down each evening, with my schedule, Sundays for a longer more in-depth look. Let me break down what this looks like for you.
Sunday Evenings (about 30 minutes): Review my past week and make sure that all of my priorities where met as well as think about what flowed well and what didn’t Look through my schedule for the upcoming week and time block (more on this later) Communicate and needs or important items with those that need to know Make sure I have my top priorities scheduled for the week (what are top three things I want/need to accomplish and do I have enough time set aside for them) Make my to do list for Monday Go to sleep with a clear mind and clear plan
Monday-Saturday (5-10 minutes): Review my previous day, what flowed well, what didn’t, is there anything that I didn’t accomplish that I needed to Look at my schedule for the next day Confirm any appointments I have Make my to do list At the most this takes one and half hours total out of my week. That is only 2.5% of my week!!!!!! However, these short checklists and routines allow me to move through my week without feeling my schedule is in charge.
I quickly mentioned time blocking and I wanted to talk about this a little bit more. I had heard a lot about time blocking, however I really started to learn more about it after reading the book, ‘The 12 Week Year,’ by Brian P Morgan. In this book he talks about 3 times of time blocks for performance time, Strategic Blocks, Buffer Blocks, Breakout Blocks. I start by making sure my necessities are in the schedule. Work (especially if you have set hours) Errands Grocery store Childcare (if you have kids) Doctors’ appointments Then I make sure I have the blocks carved out. Strategic Blocks are three hours of uninterrupted time to create and work on money making activities. In the book he talks about how important it is to ensure you are not taking phone calls, checking emails or having meetings in this three hour block. Next I add in buffer blocks. Buffer blocks are there to help you handle the unexpected. You need to decide how many blocks you need, maybe one 30 minute is good, or maybe your need two 30 minutes or more. This is basically my catch all time. Following up with unexpected client questions, referrals etc. Lastly there are break out blocks. Three hour long breaks during the week for non-work related activities for you to refresh and recharge. For me this often includes a hike, surf or time at the beach. I know not everyone’s schedule will allow for this, however maybe one day a week you can take an extended lunch break. You will be amazed how refreshed you feel after and how much more productive you will be. I find in general we often try the look away approach when it comes to our busy schedules and unfortunately this just doesn’t work. Initially this may feel very uncomfortable, however as you get into a routine, I bet you find that you are more productive, less overwhelmed and stressed. You may even look forward to taking time to look at your schedule. Does this sound exciting or intriguing to you, but you are still needing some more guidance? Let’s set up a call and create an action plan for you. Click HERE to find a time that works.
About me: Jennifer Shaw is a wellbeing consultant helping successful Women break free from overwhelm and exhaustion so they can feel joyful, energized and balanced. Connect with her at Linekdin here.
THE ARTIFICIAL SIDE OF AI: WHERE DOES MACHINE INTELLIGENCE START? The Most Loved Buzzword One of the buzzwords of the last few years is AI. Startups and enterprises from all around the world claim they are embedding artificial intelligence in their products or apps to attract investment and customers. Other companies may actually consider hiding it. The power of AI is undebatable, if we simply look at the astonishing impact it has been showing in healthtech for diagnosis and intervention purposes, or even at all the media scandals involving political campaigns where it has been used (see Cambridge Analytica). And after all, who can easily resist the temptation of using FaceApp to see a picture of themselves as an elderly? And isn’t it sometimes just chilling to receive a robocall? But is it always really AI?
The Internet is full of jokes from connaisseurs about how a simple computer program executing nothing more than a bunch of if-then statements can be (debatably) presented as an example of “artificial intelligence”. In the end, it might make sense to say so, since, even in this case, you have a piece of software performing automatic operations potentially over huge datasets. Does this make it intelligent? Arguably, yes. Is it artificial? Definitely! Still, one must not forget to look at AI as something more than the sum of its parts. So where is that limit that defines AI? Where does standard, rule-based software end and real AI start? The Imitation Game The most popular way to define intelligence, in the sense of what we may call true AI, is the 1950 Turing test, also known as the imitation game: it involves a human evaluator examining the conversation between a human and a machine designed to create human-like responses. The conversation takes place via text and is witnessed by the evaluator by means of a screen, such that the evaluator has no information with regards to which party engaged in the conversation is the actual human. If the evaluator cannot establish for sure which one is the machine, then the intelligent system has passed the test. Hello, Siri! Right?
Difference Between Rule-Based Decisions and Machine Learning or AI While the line may still be a bit unclear between the two possible approaches to a system (rule-based vs. AI or machine learning), the main difference between a so-called if-then approach and machine learning is that the first one works deterministically, while machine learning works probabilistically. Before going into more details, what is the relationship of machine learning (ML) to AI? Machine Learning is probably (no pun intended) the most popular approach to artificial intelligence, providing the most relevant subset of AI algorithms so far. Machine learning empowers systems to learn independently from data and experience without being explicitly programmed. The system may or may not be trained initially on smaller datasets in which each data item is labeled with the intended category. This leads to the different namings for the two types of learning: supervised learning vs. unsupervised learning. Let’s go back to deterministic vs. probabilistic systems. Deterministic systems work well in clearly defined contexts and basically perform matching of a given input to a certain output, the entire logic for it having been hardwired by the programmer of the rule-based system. Probabilistic systems, on the other hand, are able to work on ambiguous, more general and multi-dimensional problems, covering more easily those special cases, and provide a result with a certain probability or confidence level. These systems rely on analysing a random probability distribution and make predictions with a certain degree of precision. Instead of providing a clear answer based on the inputs, probabilistic systems look at the history of previous outcomes and infer on the future.
The key here is that machine learning is relying on patterns and inference, instead of explicit instructions. Rule-based systems have the disadvantage of being less flexible in dynamic real-world situations and when large datasets are involved. Just think of a company that has to perform complex operations for a thorough background check of its large and growing customer base, with its many rules changing constantly and with new rules being added perhaps every week. A rule-based system quickly becomes a nightmare to adapt and maintain. On the plus side, rule-based systems offer a more definite answer than machine learning systems and require no training based on labels, yet they are still prone to (human) errors. In real-life examples, intelligent systems described and widely accepted as AI systems, such as most self-driving cars, actually combine complex rule-based systems with machine learning.
AI vs. Rules in an Emotional Real-Life Example Let’s take a look at the following simple binary classification problem to better understand how a rule-based system would work vs. how a machine learning system would work: Physiological research shows that the level of skin conductance (or GSR -galvanic skin response) increases as we experience intense emotion, either positive or negative, and the same is true for heart rate (HR). Let’s consider that we have a wearable which measures both skin conductance and heart rate, and alerts the user via a notification or vibration every time a state of emotional arousal is identified. Such a device can have an important impact on the medical recovery of some patients. For example, it can be useful in the recovery of veterans affected by PTSD. The task is to binary classify the emotional state of the user based on the real-time GSR and HR inputs from the wearable into one of the two possible states: emotionally aroused vs. emotionally neutral.
A rule-based system could simply work by the following principle: IF (GSR > unique GSR threshold value) AND (HR > unique HR threshold value), THEN the decision is that the user is in a state of emotional arousal and the notification is triggered. Otherwise, there is no alert for the user. The system could, of course, be tailored to follow a more complex set of rules. A machine learning system, on the other hand, can be programmed to continuously learn from the inputs collected from the user, as the user evolves on their recovery journey, and adapt so as to provide more and more accurate notifications or vibrations. This approach takes into account that recovery is a dynamic process which may change the reference thresholds in a way that is unpredictable from the perspective of designing a set of rules. Such a system therefore becomes data-driven, instead of rules-driven. Using Support Vector Machines (SVMs), for example, multiple (GSR, HR) reading pairs, labeled with one of the two possible states, emotionally aroused or emotionally neutral, get mapped into the bi-dimensional space defined by the GSR and HR axes, with their category specified. A separation hyperplane (in this case, a line) is then drawn in the bi-dimensional space such that it optimally separates the data points belonging to the two different categories. A new unlabelled point or recording is plotted in this bi-dimensional space and the most likely category (emotionally aroused or emotionally neutral) for this recording is established based on which side of the separation hyperplane (the line) this new point is on. Unsupervised learning with clustering can also be used in this example. The computations involved in the machine learning approach are definitely more complex, however they provide the system with greater adaptation power and make it more application-relevant.
The (Most Likely) Conclusion The problem of defining real or true AI may never have a fixed solution. However, by looking at most of the current state-of-the art applications, we may say that the use of a probabilistic model within the system in question, based on big data which allows for a strong confidence level, definitely makes the claim from app makers regarding the use of AI more solid. It also allows for much greater scalability and security, especially in the context of huge amounts of dynamic data. When data points instead of human-defined rules run the show, it’s safe to say we have a strong case for AI. About the Author, Gina Georgina Lupu Florian is the founder and CEO of Wolfpack Digital, a start-to-end web and mobile development agency in Cluj (Transylvania, Romania) with a team of 50+. She started her journey in Machine Learning back in 2011 by building a biometric authentication system based on voice and dynamic signature (using SVM and a TESPAR-inspired algorithm), and continued it at King’s College London, where for her dissertation thesis she worked on a clustering algorithm meant to calculate the rate of local absorption of electromagnetic waves in human tissue (SAR) from MRI input. She is currently completing her PhD in machine learning applied to Psychology and cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).
Want to have a short chat with Gina? Connect with Gina on LinkedIn
Need help with building a mobile or web app? Contact the Wolfpack Digital team
THE RISE OF DATA ECONOMY In the last two months we had two big announced acquisition in the Big Data visualisation space. That of Looker by Google for $2.6B and the announcement that of Tableau by Salesforce for $15.7B. Both Tableau and Looker are visualisation tools working to make sense of all the data a company has across their different departments and provide a visual and graphical representation of what all that data means for the organisation. The Digital world is disrupting everything we know in an accelerated rate. The new digital economy has crowned data as the new currency. All companies and organisation irrespective of their size, hold vast amounts of data. Accessing and understanding that data, allows companies to harness the power of knowledge and gain competitive advantage. Data is valuable to all companies... It used to be that data gathering was cumbersome and manual, not anymore. Today, using data to run your business is the new norm and if you are not, you run the risk of being left behind. According to an Accenture study 89% of enterprise executives have pursued Big Data projects to create competitive advantage and about 79% agree that companies not embracing Big Data could face extinction. 10 Key ways data harnessing is creating value The new digital economy is generating vast amounts of data, however, all the data is useless without concrete plans and strategies that are designed to cope with its size, complexity, velocity, and most importantly can enable organisations to leverage the information to create value.Â Harnessing data: Aids decision making with on target and real time insights Facilitates customer and market understanding Improves internal and external processes Aids with product effectiveness Improves performance Aids problem solving Promotes new customer acquisition Increase customer retention Helps predict future trends Provides analyses of internal and external Social Media interaction
Manual data collection has high financial cost, it takes time and its difficulty to execute. Today's technological advances around Big Data, Analytics, IoT and AI provide companies with tools they can implement to harvest, understand, visualise and action their data. How valuable is Data?
According to Wikibon worldwide Big Data market revenues are projected to increase from $42B in 2018 to $103B in 2027.
These predictions, coupled with the recent acquisition announcements of Looker and Tableau make the Big Data market a very interesting area to watch. We anticipate even further consolidation of the marker as larger organisation are buying up technology to enhance their own analytics products.
5 Key challenges around Big Data
The ways Data harnessing is creating value was documented earlier on this article. It wouldn't be complete however if we didn't highlight equally the key challenges related to the effective use of big data as they can be daunting. Managing large amounts of data and knowing what data to gather. Data is everywhere, however most of the time, more is not necessarily better, it has to be the right data. Knowing which analytical tools to use. Analytical and visualisation tools can help you aggregate and analyse data, as well as understand relevant insights and help you make decisions appropriately throughout the organisation. Which ones should you choose? Should you partner with a large organisation promising to solve all your needs or a smaller more agile outfit promising a team-up approach and development? Knowing how to go from data to insight to impact. You got the data, now how do you turn it into insight to make a positive impact on your organisation? Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is decide where to start. Most commonly organisation look at their processes first. Shortage in skills. There is a lack experienced people and certified Data Scientists and Data Analysts in the market. Despite all the automation AI is promising, the need for human interaction with the machines and algorithms is necessary as we are not yet fully trusting technology to show us the way. The lack of qualified experts makes the data crunching challenging and slower to build. Data Security. With data generated from virtually everywhere, it creates a hight potential of security problems as we don't know what and if anything has been compromised. It’s necessary to introduce Data Security best practices from the start to ensure more secure data collection, storage and retrieval.
What the Future Holds Data will become increasingly more important. With the aid of digital and virtual reality tools, oranisations will be able to use data generated by predictive self-diagnostic sensors to run infinite models and keep improving productivity, velocity, agility, revenue and customer service. The recent acquisitions of Looker and Tableau are a further proof that data analytics are playing and will continue to play a big role on digital transformation.
Nassia Skoulikariti, Founder/CEO of Apiro Data Ltd Nassia is passionate about finding ways to humanise technology and making it easy to implement and use. She is the Founder and CEO of Apiro Data, an end2end IoT platform and full stack IoT ecosystem that helps customers implement and monetise connected smart products through modular solutions which allows them to grow and innovate at their own pace and minimise their investment risk. Nassia has over 25 years of international experience in Telecoms, Cloud communication and IoT; has lived and worked in several countries and has managed culturally diverse commercial and technical teams globally. In the process Nassia has developed a â&#x20AC;&#x153;people firstâ&#x20AC;? Moto which is the driving force at Apiro Data. Nassia holds a BA in Communication from the University of New Hampshire.
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WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT! MALAWI EXPEDITION SEP/2019 what’s it all about The Women’s Empowerment expedition aims to push the boundaries of travel to Africa. Designed for women who want to head behind the scenes, learn more about the role of women in business from the community level up to established companies that are striving to build their local economy. This is an expedition that gives back at every turn, supports village businesses, offers a chance for skills sharing and cultural exchange and still fits in time for some of Malawi’s visitor highlights. It is a get your hands dirty expedition which is designed to challenge your perceptions of Africa and offer you a chance to use your skills, passions and interests to positively participate in sustainable development initiatives.
costs and inclusions We try our best to include everything for your time in Malawi. The cost of The Women’s Challenge is £1,800 which includes all meals, accommodation, bespoke activities and skill sharing, and transport during your time in Malawi. International flights (est. £650-£950), drinks, visas, tips and items of a personal nature are excluded. Payment: We offer really good payment plan options and advise re fundraising. To get your company or business involved in part payment of your expedition please see our Corporate Page. Flights: We are ATOL registered so can book your flights for you. If you would like to book your own flights but just need some advice regarding routes then do let us know.
DO YOUR SYSTEMS UNDERMINE GENDER BALANCE OR SUPPORT IT? The power of systems is everywhere on display, from Google walkouts to Financial Times bots. If your systems don’t align with your company’s gender objectives, they are most likely sabotaging them. Used well, they accelerate balance by nudging new behaviors. Ignored, or misaligned with changing realities, they can quickly unravel what companies have spent years building. Here are two examples of the good and bad use of systems.
Recently, the Financial Times introduced an alert that lets journalists know if too many of their sources and quotes are coming from men. Internal research has shown that this turns women off, and the paper is interested in expanding its male-dominated readership by gender balancing. A simple bot, introduced by Deputy Editor Roula Khalaf, flags if journalists continue their current habit of quoting 79% of men in their reporting.
This small example illustrates a systemic nudge used to shift a bigger cultural issue. Most journalists have networks of people they call upon regularly. They stick to sources developed over time, often reflecting their own gender. It took a new manager coming in and introducing a small system innovation to shift an automatic reflex and make journalists aware of a habit they had probably never thought about. This can have a big impact, as it did on The Atlantic journalist, Ed Yong, when he discovered he was doing the same thing. He stopped, and consciously reprogrammed his defaults, as will some of the FT's journalists. That’'s how redesigning systems can help adapt cultures, as Harvard behavioral economist Iris Bohnet has illustrated in her book What Works. But in some companies systems have the opposite effect. They contradict or undermine what the company professes to be pushing. This brings me to the latest Google story.
Here's a company that has been working on gender balance for years, under the enlightened leadership of Sundar Pichai. His Executive team is gender balanced, Google runs (and makes public) unconscious bias training company-wide. Pichai publicly fired James Damore for a diatribe against the company’s gender balancing push and seems committed to transparency and authenticity in building balance. Yet years of effort have been upended by a global walkout of enraged employees discovering how slanted the systems underlying the picture were towards the dominant group’'s interests. Particularly egregious was the forced arbitration clause that many employees hadn't even realized was hidden deep within the contracts they’d signed. In forced arbitration, a company requires employees to submit any dispute to binding arbitration - as a condition of employment. The employee waives their right to sue, participate in a class action lawsuit, or appeal. Forced arbitration is mandatory, the arbitrator's decision is binding, and the results aren't public. In sexual harassment cases, at the heart of the Google walkouts, it has the double whammy of silencing victims while protecting those who assaulted them. Google paid Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, a $90 million settlement while praising his genius, but hiding the harassment issue for which he was laid off. It was revealed by the New York Times and was the fuel that ignited a global walkout of 20,000 employees. Forced arbitration is the antithesis of transparency. It is a system’'s acknowledgment and willful cover-up of bad leadership and permits – even encourages - its self-replication. “The silencing of people's voices has clearly had an impact in perpetuating sexual harassment,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’'s president and chief legal officer said when Microsoft decided to drop the practice last year. Google first responded to the outrage over the Rubin settlement by saying it fired 48 other executives on sexual harassment claims - without any compensation. But it wasn't until employees took to the streets that the company addressed the underlying systemic issue of forced arbitration by eliminating the clause. This has led other companies, like Square, Airbnb and eBay to do the same. Microsoft was one of the first big companies to dump the practice and Uber followed shortly thereafter, as part of their efforts to better manage gender and harassment issues. Thankfully, many other companies never had them at all. The idea that companies can preach gender balance on the one hand and insist on policies like forced arbitration clauses on the other is a good example of misalignment of leadership and systems. Until the one supports rather than contradicts the other, efforts at gender balancing are at risk of systemic failure. Countries, like companies, are also shaped by the interplay of leadership, culture, and systems. Sadly, no one can accuse the U.S.’'s misogynistic political leadership of not being aligned with systemic policy. Last May, just as leading companies were starting to eliminate forced arbitration in sexual harassment cases, the Supreme Court upheld companies’ rights to it. That's “egregiously wrong,” said Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her dissent, supported by all the other women on the court. The US is a daunting illustration of how powerful it can be when leadership and systems align for gender balance – or against it.
Avivah Wittenberg-Cox I am CEO of 20-first, a global gender-balance consultancy. I work with C-suite teams to achieve real gender balance by reframing the issue: on leadership, culture and systems. I facilitate politically incorrect debates that get leaders defining the strategic business opportunities of balance (and risks of not balancing). I have written a number of reference books in the field, including "Seven Steps to Leading Gender-Balanced Businesses," and "Why Women Mean Business: Understanding the Emergence of Our Next Economic Revolution." I speak on leadership, 'gender bilingual' marketing and talent management, and career issues across the globe, write for FORBES and Harvard Business Review, and lecture at HEC Business School. I believe gender balance offers companies, countries and couples huge - and still untapped - benefits. What are you waiting for?
MY PERSONAL JOURNEY
MĂŠlanie Marie Akkari Technology, computing and data science have never really been my passion.
As a little girl I was a literary person and used to hide under my sheets at night to read my books only using my flashlight. Sometimes, when my parents confiscated it, I remember trying to use outdoor lamp post light because finishing my book was really my first world problem. Today I am working as a Business Insight Analyst in a telecom company, studying at the same time for a second master, in data science, as the first one was in business engineering, building and coding dashboard all day long. The transition took time but was an evidence and it appears that ma passion for books was the one that leads me today being mad about new technology and computer programming. During the time I spent in College I started to be more and more interested in economy mainly because I was good at it. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why when I had to choose a path for my university studies, my professors pushed me in the world of Business Engineering. Business Engineering is a newly developed university cursus that aims to forms the leader of tomorrow to take the right decisions by understanding and considering all the parameters in any firm. In this context and in order to have the engineer title, students learn about chemistry, physics, mathematics and of course computer science in addition to financial, management and law classes. The objective is here is the global vision. About computer science, each year you learn a new programming mindset. When I was at the university, first year was about Java, second year about SQL mainly &amp; RStudio a bit and third year about RStudio for econometrics reasons. When I did my two years master in Advanced Corporate Finance, I regret that it was purely financial exercises (even though I should have guessed) and that there was no trace of any technology in the financial processes. That is the reason why I started, during my master and after it to learn programming languages by myself and forming my skills completely on the internet on my own. RStudio is the software that really blow my mind when I started to use it. I know it is not the most intuitive and maybe not the best one (I think about Python for example that is an impressive one) but I learnt it so fast and it became so familiar to my fingers that I clanged to it. There are always news packages and news ways to use it and that is why I never get bored of it. I can use RStudio for any statistics exercise and at the same time to build the best data visualization dashboards. I can integrate HTML code in it for example and more or less any programming language. The second software that I use the most is SQL of course (and all its derivatives), because it is for me the best way to reach and clean the data, before building the visualization.
You must keep in mind that I am still young in this world, even if I am passionate about it, I still have a lot to learn and that what I am saying above is really my experience and maybe not the truth of everyone. (Data scientist and developers like to debate about which software is the best and for what use). When the telecom company I am working for get in touch with me, it was because of this double profile: master a finance and skills (soon a master) in data science. Now I work in a Corporate Transformation Team in the Finance Department, where I can fully develop my skills, learn a lot about new technology and computer programming languages (DataCamp is a learning platform and help people (financial people and even others team members) by building dashboards to help them with their daily tasks increasing at the same time their efficiency. You guess it right: I am trying to introduce more and more technology in the world of finance, exactly what my formation was lacking. As a woman it was hard for me to find my place in this man’s world, I always need to prove myself twice as much as a man to expect to be taken seriously. Sometimes when I have a meeting, I realize I am the only women in the room with 10 others man discussing with each other like I don’t belong here. Of course, my young age (23) doesn’t help, I am the youngest person in my firm. I have been asked many times if I were the intern of if I was the new secretary of the department. Fortunately, I came across a lovely team and awesome managers who do not give me the impression that we have 20 or 30 years apart. My line manager is especially really my mentor. He is a programmer /developer and every single day I learn sometimes new by working on his side. He trusts me and is not afraid to put me on big projects. He is really the pillar of my training. As I said, during each meeting I made within my company, I felt alone, and today I am writing because I don’t want anyone to feel that again. Girls, we are completely qualified for technical jobs, computer programming, data science and all those areas to which no one ever lead us when were young. “What do you want to become? A nurse? A dancer? A lawyer?” No one ever asked if we wanted to become a data engineer. As women we always underestimate our skills and our ambition. We think we are not enough, we think that somebody can do it better than us. That’s is so wrong. I am still learning to trust my instinct, to dare speaking in public and express my ideas and when I do it, it feels so good, trust me. Being able to gently put a misogynistic haughty old man in his place by showing him how much you know more about your topic than him is seriously the best feeling in the entire world. Forget about sex, THIS is the real orgasm. I want woman to show themselves, I want young girl to choose engineering and data science like it is a normal path and to be respected for that and not by having to scream to get heard. I want women to study science, physics, data, I want them to become nurse or lawyer, I want them to become whatever the fuck they want but because they wanted it not because some stupid patriarchal society told them that as a woman they should do this or that. We don’t have a restrictive number of options, we can and need to do everything we want because we are qualified for it, no boy is born smarter than you and now it is time to show them.
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Seminar timetable & speakers - 16 October
Alida Ballard SAS Business Box Money Mindset - A revolutionary approach to making enough money
Robin Selden Avast The wrong way
Keynote Speaker Caprice Bourret Getting Ahead - Play to your strengths, support each other & own it!
Keynote Speaker Cynthia V Davis BAME Recruitment/ Diversifying.io Diversity in leadership
Seminar timetable & speakers - 17 October
Panel by Amanda Shovelton NatWest Enabling female founders
Joanna Hodgson Red Hat Default to open: How being an open leader can unlock your potential
Expert Panel by Ayumi Moore Aoki Women in Tech
Harriet Ansell Maximizer CRM Customer Success: How to talk to your customers (and keep them)
Lara Asprey Asprey Introductions The power of thinking big and overcoming limiting beliefs
Estelle Keeber Mums in Business Association (MIBA) How to use social media to change your LIFE
Suzy Walker Psychologies How to get free PR from the national press
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WHAT HE SAYS
Moscow has moved up into the top positions in terms of creating a quality urban environment, human capital, and the digital economy in just a few years. What kind of initiatives and programmes are being implemented right now in these areas? The reason why we are in the top position is because we have invested in infrastructure. We now have a very good structure and have created new ways to use technology for the urban environment in order to jump to the top position: The United Nations has placed Moscow in first position globally on the provision of digital services to its citizens. What helps us is the advanced infrastructure, and we are now developing AI in different fields like health care, education and transport. We continue to work on providing digital services to our citizens. We are working on apps using human resources alongside AI to replace human decision making with AI and data. This enables us to take human decisions out of the decision process and have much more effective selection and resolution.
INTERVIEW WITH MR ARTYOM ERMOLAEV PRESIDENT OF SMART CITIES INITIATIVE, HEAD OF MOSCOW IT DEPARTMENT, 2011-2018
We are implementing AI in our CCTV camera system, as well as transport, family care and school management. We will use Blockchain in our next elections and robots for garbage collection, and are also exploring Smart Cities projects.
We all know that Moscow has an enormous network of CCTV cameras, but unlike many cities, thousands of those cameras are now hooked up to a powerful facial recognition system.How has surveillance and security actually changed since the system became official in the city of Moscow? Before the AI implementation, Moscow had 167,000 cameras and all of them were connected to a single system. We are using a unique surveillance-as-aservice model, in which the city is only paying for live streams and storing them, while the infrastructure and cameras are provided by the telecom operators. The city authorities are now deploying AI with a behaviour recognition technology within this system. Moscow ran a pilot project using approximately 1,000 cameras not even covering the whole city - and detected 15 serious criminals from the Federal Watch List. But our CCTV camera system is not only for security. Let’s look at some other examples, such as garbage collection and kindergarten surveillance. In the case of garbage collection, the city’s contractors are bound by contract to empty the bins every four hours. So now, if they breach the contract, we can detect this through surveillance and add a fee for that. In terms of kindergarten surveillance, we are looking after our kids and their safety: a broken bench that might have hurt a kid was fixed before any accident could occur, for example. We are focused on creating good services for our citizens.
You said previously that “Moscow is today in first place in the world in terms of developing e-services for business and city residents, ahead of London, New York, and Paris. Digital medical services, artificial intelligence technologies, and blockchain are developing rapidly.” How will the data collected and the information shared be protected in a way that would give citizens control over their personal data? The data collected is part of Government big data and the government has the right to make the city safer and more secure for our citizens. However, there is another law on controlling data that is collected and kept for the government, and this concerns data collected and controlled by our federal agents. This data is not changed, and to prevent any changes to it we have implemented a Blockchain system that saves and maintains the data without any changes. For example, if a hacker wants to break into our system and wants to penetrate Russian data, we have a firewall and another extra levels of security to block that. And now we are moving ahead using Blockchain for the next local elections in September. We are going to collect the votes and use a Blockchain system to protect them. This has already been implemented and tested, and this will be the first time we’ve run an election with Blockchain providing security.
You have mentioned before that â&#x20AC;&#x153;digital technologies will help increase transparency in many socio-economic processes and create an environment of equal opportunity.â&#x20AC;? How does the Russian government see AI technologies in terms of influencing peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decisions without bias? We are investing vast amounts in collecting big data and using AI for the decision-making process. For example, in healthcare: cancer is a very expensive problem for Moscow, so we want to use AI to support cancer patients in the early stages before they become terminal. For example, if a patient with flu asks for a prescription, the AI will do an analysis of his medical history and assess the probability of cancer. A doctor will investigate the AI decision and ask for more analyses, and the patient could get cancer treatment in the very first stage. The doctor will have assistance from AI and the medical data collected to make patient evaluations. This is already a pilot and has proved that it works in helping the health system work more effectively. We are also implementing AI to forecast and compare data in health, transport and family care, as well as in school management, where it provides students with advice on their future careers. An important point here is that we are not planning to take the human factor away, but rather to combine it with AI to recommend the best data-based scenario. This is what we hope for the next 10 years, but now we need to get past this first stage.
We have created a noncommercial organisation to collect case studies and are currently focusing on the Moscow area. The main objective is to promote and share the knowledge we have. Smart Cities is about business cases and implementing and testing processes, and we want to attract people to share our cases because some of these cases can be shared with other cities to accelerate implementation with additional input from those partners. That is our plan and we are happy to meet other organisations willing to share their knowledge.
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HELLO WORLD: BEING HUMAN IN THE AGE OF ALGORITHMS by Hannah Fry A look inside the algorithms that are shaping our lives and the dilemmas they bring with them. "As we rely on algorithms to automate big, important decisions – in crime, justice, healthcare, transportation, and money – they raise questions about what we want our world to look like. What matters most: Helping doctors with diagnosis or preserving privacy? Protecting victims of crime or preventing innocent people being falsely accused? “Hello World” takes us on a tour through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us on a daily basis."
THE FOURTH AGE: SMART ROBOTS, CONSCIOUS COMPUTERS, AND THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY by Byron Reese We are now on the doorstep of a fourth change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. “The Fourth Age” provides extraordinary background information on how we got to this point, and how – rather than what – we should think about the topics we’l l soon all be facing: machine consciousness, automation, employment, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, AI ethics, the future of warfare, superintelligence, and the implications of extreme prosperity."
IRRESISTIBLE: THE RISE OF ADDICTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND THE BUSINESS OF KEEPING US HOOKED by Adam Alter
"Welcome to the age of behavioral addiction — an age in which half of the American population is addicted to at least one behavior. We obsess over our emails, Instagram likes, and Facebook feeds; we binge on TV episodes and YouTube videos; we work longer hours each year; and we spend an average of three hours each day using our smartphones. Half of us would rather suffer a broken bone than a broken phone, and millennial kids spend so much time in front of screens that they struggle to interact with real, live humans. In this revolutionary book, Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, tracks the rise of behavioral addiction and explains why so many of today's products are irresistible."
REINVENTING JOBS: A 4-STEP APPROACH FOR APPLYING AUTOMATION TO WORK by Ravin Jesuthasan and John W. Boudreau
"Transcending the endless debate about humans being replaced by machines, Jesuthasan and Boudreau show how smart leaders instead are optimizing human-automation combinations that are not only more efficient but also generate higher returns on improved performance. Based on groundbreaking primary research, "Reinventing Jobs" provides an original, structured approach of four distinct steps – deconstruct, optimize, automate, and reconfigure – to help leaders reinvent how work gets bundled into jobs and create optimal human-machine combinations."
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PhD degree (or Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree with relevant experience in academia or industry) in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Experimental Physics or related technical fields Software development experience in one or more common programming languages Background in computer and software engineering for Quantum computers (including Q programming languages, Q Error correction techniques, Q compilers and run-time systems, Q algorithms) Proficiency in algebra (vectors, matrices tensors, ket/bra notation)Strong analytical skills
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