On 26 July 2017, we hosted a 'Girls in Innovation' workshop alongside our infocus 'Women in Innovation' photo exhibition at the Getting Images Gallery in London. Some of the girls who attended reflect on their experience.
Freya Legg (aged 14)
I was inspired by the Innovate UK “In Focus” event held at the Getty Images Gallery in London. The pictures of the female entrepreneurs in the gallery were amazing and described the fantastic inventions they had developed. I met three incredibly talented female entrepreneurs who explained the innovative business ideas they had created to a diverse group of teenage girls.
Getting kids into coding
Sophi creator of “Bright little labs” had designed a Children Intelligence Agency with special characters such as Detective Dot. The thinking behind this was to encourage kids to try out coding and solve mystery missions.
Diversity & inclusion in artificial intelligence
Tabitha owner of CognitionX described the challenges of AI (artificial intelligence) and the opportunities it presents as a new technology that can harness female communication powers. I found it interesting to learn about the diversity dimension of AI and importance of rule setting for robots to ensure they behave properly.
Improving user experience for a high-tech nail salon
Sharmadean from Wahnails tapped into my creative side with her high tech nail salon. This was designed thinking about how to improve the UX (user experience) and UI (user interface). She had some really great ideas like using Virtual Reality goggles to view nail colours before your purchase. Also using a BookingBot with AI through a messaging app to make appointments and speak automatically to customers.
A global robot code
The girls in the audience were then split into groups to take on challenges set by the presenters relating to their business. There was a real buzz during the challenge sessions and we all began exploring our own ideas. My group discussed ethical issues relating to robots and came up with a series of rules that robot developers should follow. We presented our ideas back to the wider audience. We recognised that although robots can provide positive benefits to humans they need to be developed in a way that minimises the risks of negative effects – using a global robot code.
Solve creative missions
My take away learnings from the session is that there are some great opportunities for females to get involved in technology and innovation. I am planning to sign up to the CIA with my younger sister so we can do coding together and solve creative missions.
Anastasia de Clermont (aged 17)
The Girls in Innovation workshop was a very valuable and enjoyable experience for me, and from speaking to other girls afterwards, for lots of others as well. It was fantastic to hear the stories and experiences of three different innovators, who all work in different areas.
I learnt a lot from having the opportunity to see what had inspired each of the innovators and their drive to develop their businesses was particularly motivating. I benefitted from the group work as we were given the chance to engage in discussion with one of the three innovators of our choice and work with them to find some solutions to the challenges that their businesses are facing.
I would recommend this workshop to any girls aged roughly 14-18 who are interested in innovation and who might want some inspiration from women have succeeded in their fields; it was a hugely rewarding experience for myself and many others.
Learn more about the infocus 'women in innovation' campaign.
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