It was only a few moths ago I was visiting Egypt with the Swedish Institute giving a talk on the internet being the infrastructure for change for young leaders, journalist and changemakers. I was invited again to give a talk on GeekGirlMeetup for the SheEntrepreneur program, a mentorship program with entrepreneurs from the MENA region initiated by the Swedish Institute.
My adept, sadly enough did not have the opportunity to show up, but i had a chance to meet interesting women from the region, that put a strong perspective on their (and my) everyday entrepreneurship.
During the last evening presentations Mubarak stepped down, and it was an emotional moment, without a doubt. The girls called it New Egypt, im from New Egypt.
That night was the entreprenuers freedanced. And like we say at the Kaospilots, if I can’t dance its not my revolution.
Young Swedish Entrepreneurs on the rise.
This was not the only young entrepreneurs i met this week. I also had the priviledge of being invited to DAC (Digital Arts Center) to be on a panel for the future bright minds of tomorrow in IT, presenting their ideas. With Peter Sandberg aka @poppetotte from Disruptive.nu and a few others we had the chance to give them feedback on ideas and presentations. Thank you, it was very inspiring!
I was asked by Internetworld to give my take on 2010 happenings, and what i was hoping for in 2011. The whole thing made me think a bit more about the whole act of leadership and the responsibility that comes with developing people as well as ideas. This reflects upon the book that i was sent by Emil Ems.
After attending my friend Ph.D David Bismarks course on Publishing and Social Media earlier this year i met Emil Ems, another curious Ph.D I taught how to blog. He was set with a wonderful skill, he was very curious and had an ambition to learn, so he just needed a push in the right direction and he was on his way. What i did not know, was that he was to sum up his travelling diaries from California and make a book about it. A first “preview” book was printed and sent to me, limited edition issue 10/10. Perfect for christmas reading. Stories and pictures from my favourite universities, yay!
This act of learning, speaks to me of the polarity of 2010 in the way that we in Sweden, a high-tech nation, yet we still have people who don’t know how to use mail, or what a browser is etc. Emil is not one of the people, and probably never will be, due to his curious nature, and will to find out how things work, finding another way of solving current issues.
However we have a huge digital devide in Sweden where closer to a milion (1/9) of Swedens population is still uses the internet very seldomly or never. As not everyone posesses the the curious nature that will find a way to learn like Emil, we still cant afford having illeteracy in Sweden. The IIS aka .SE is is doing a wonderful job minimizing the digital devide, and conquering the digital analfabetism that cripples so many, by offering to create projects that teach especially elderly that are over represented in the group of digital illeteracy.
The act of learning is a tedious part, and like many new things we learn, you have to be comfortable sitting in a chair – knowing nothing. Accepting that you know nothing. That can be a pretty stressful concept for a lot of people, especially if you are taking to much information, and we can’t consume it. A good teachers role is to see when the student has had enough, and can walk out of the session feeling sucessfully taught, and proud with what they have learned. This way a student can start making new thoughts and new argumentations for logical ideas.
We know that people get stuck. And frustrated. Even angry. (Including me) The point is that even if we don’t manage to learn everything, its not a failure, if you have really tried, and learned from it. Edward de Bono says it best with his famous quote:
“Fully justified venture which did not succeed for reasons which could not have been predicted and which were beyond control” – Edward de Bono
Being curious and willing to test new things will make you fail, you can count on it. We need to start learning that at that given point you know what didn’t work. It’s not the end of the world. It never has been, it never will be. And it automiatically let’s you test new ways, new possibilities. I’m hoping that more people in leading positions take it to their heart that people need to develop, test, and learn how to fail successfully to not grow old at mind. Development (people and products) is a question of leadership advocacy, and tech is just the device. I hope we all in our everyday leadership with our dreams and goals start keep this in mind.
Some mistakes are better learned from watching others
We should be learning by failing, as if we are learning to walk.
We should welcome some failures, as we then know we have at least given it a fair shot.
Worth the read and look:
Intrested in more about learning? Christer Holger has a brilliant blog called the Learning Lab.
Proud to present, GeekGirlMeetup was featured in the leading Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter wednesday last week, with almost 70 hits per minute during lunch time, and hundreds of comments, and still the top ten after a week, that is what DN calls, popular.
With no one to take revenge upon, we are happy about the the article as it communicates the our aim with new networks and local rolemodels within internet, code and startups and creating the future we need and want for women in the tech scene.
Lina Thomsgård at Rättviseförmedlingen also added us up on the list of internetexperts, entrepreneurs for seminars, panels and juries. Thank you @LinaT!
2 students from the University are writing their final thesis about GeekGirlMeetup as a phenomenon, exciting! More about this later.
TALKING ABOUT FEAR AND ANGER AS CONSTRUCTIVE FUEL
I am remembering how important it is to use your your fear constructively after discussions with musican Rebekka Karijord, who adresses it more like “Wear it like a crown“, and yet did this fantastic interpretation of my favourite “Smells like teen spirit”.
(And i promise to never be late for dinner again)
The Egyptian election makes me remeber my visit to Egypt with the Swedish Institute. To sum it up im linking in Måns Adlers startup, Bambuser tweet on the democratic importance of his start up service Bambuser.
I also cant seem to forget the Harrasmap that both me and Joakim Jardenberg listened to as we were both speaking at the YLVP´s Cairo Social Media Cafe this passed month. @jocke sums it up really well.
Jardenberg also disses the new apps for the iPad, by the major Swedish Media houses, and wether i agree or not I am suggesting some Margret Wheatly reading of for the people in charge of the apps, preferably Leadership and the new Science.
Sweden abolished the deathpenalty more than a houndred years ago, and we are very proud of that. Another thing we are very proud of is the Death map that DN has created the Deathmap.org. See how the death penalty has been practiced in the world during the past 100 years in this interactive world map.
TILLVÄXTEVERKETS & VINNOVAS ADVISORYBOARD Tillväxtverket and Vinnova invites the future bright minds of tomorrow (read: you!) to a user driven Advisory Board. Take your chance to help them out during the forthcomming year, they are looking for a wide uptake of of people from sweden.
Do you know a bright mind between 18-30? Let them know, or nominate yourself! (yes, don’t be shy now).
GEEK GIRLMEETUP #4
We managed to do it again, and this time we´re thinking “oh my god what have we done?” as the organisation keeps spreading organically, not only in Sweden but to Copenhagen in Denmark, and soon Mexico. Im proud to be a GeekGirl, my love for technology has taken me far. Thanks dad and mom for buying me a computer and a barbie, and not only a barbie.
The Swedish Institute asked me to go to Alexandria in Egypt, to host a keynote talk on tech tendencies in we that i see, for the *Young Leadership Visitors Programme. I chose to talk API´s as enabling tools for social entrepreneurship and user-driven services, and the benefits from opening up information for the users, for society, goverments and for entreprenurs. This way users and programmers/entreprenurs could create possiblities for change, and solutions for their direct needs faster, and hopefully serve other citizens needs, and possibly earn money on, in this case, as we see it, apps or new user-driven services.
Meeting the participants in the YLVP programme, a creme-de-la-creme of young future orientated players from the MENA region have given me a reality check, due their hard work to keep blogging, communicating and creating democratic possibilities for young people in the region.
I also talked about GeekGirlMeetup, and the organic growth of the organization in Sweden, it’s loose organization, holding the flag high with organizers and sponsors. After my stay in Egypt I’m off to Copenhagen where the first GeekGirlMeetup.com outside Sweden is being held by Henriette Weber.
* The Swedish Institute Young Leaders Visitors Program The Swedish Institute Young Leaders Visitors Program (YLVP) is an intercultural leadership program with focus on social media as a tool for positive change. The program invites young opinion makers from Sweden and selected countries in the MENA region who are actively working for social change in their respective contexts.
In computer programming, an application programming interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software and applications. An API expresses a software component in terms of its operations, inputs, outputs, and underlying types, defining functionalities that are independent of their respective implementations, which allow… Information from Wikipedia/DBpedia, article
Social entrepreneurship is the attempt to draw upon business techniques to find solutions to social problems. This concept may be applied to a variety of organizations with different sizes, aims, and beliefs. Conventional entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit and return, but social entrepreneurs also take into account a positive ret… Information from Wikipedia/DBpedia, article
User innovation refers to innovation by intermediate users (e.g. user firms) or consumer users (individual end-users or user communities), rather than by suppliers (producers or manufacturers). Eric von Hippel and others observed that many products and services are actually developed or at least refined, by users, at the site of implementation and … Information from Wikipedia/DBpedia, article
The term MENA is an english language acronym referring to the Middle East and North Africa region. The term MENA covers an extensive region, extending from Morocco to Iran, including all Middle Eastern and Maghreb countries. The term is roughly synonymous with the term the Greater Middle East. The MENA acronym is often used in academia, military pl… Information from Wikipedia/DBpedia, article
During this spring(2010) I started GeekGirlMeetup evening sessions becuase we felt that we needed some hands-on practical session on web, code and startups, outside the two-day conference we host twice a year. We ended up having full house everytime, we hade frontende-code, start-up night, and backend-code during the spring sessions.
Concidering that we had 70 participants at every evening session, and 100 per day during the 2 day conferance, we were today very happy to have 89 viewers of our LiveStream today, the first eveningsession for the Autumn, held at Valtech with 70 participants. A pretty good ratio.
You dont need to be a programmer to join us, you need curiosity. There are also different nights with different directions, we encourage curiosity, its rewarding.
Anyone can help out. We encourage you to share your ideas and thought with us, so that we can continue to create the best GeekGirlmeetup for this Autumn. We need smart, curious, challenging thinkers and most all, doers to join us. Since our im is to create new networks and new rolemodels were having an openhouse for people intrested in organizing the future of GeekGirlMeetup. Next meeting is on the 29th, at Fröjd, Stockholm. I cant be there, but thats the beauty of this network, we make it work (even if everyonecant make the meeting or skype meeting), just look how far we have come.
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer
Transfer.nu is a mentor/adept organisation I was suggested to speak at last week, and it was fantastic. Want to do something that creates fantastic value, get an adept from Transfer.
By supporting transfer, you contribute with your proffesional expertise, either by being a mentor to your adept, and if you want you can also host talks at the schools. As mentor you contribute with your time, and the schools get the talks for free, so this is one way to making the school system better, by practial-real-life stories from proffesionals. Cest tres bien Transfer!
Nästan varje startup börjar med ett svar på något som är ofullständigt, något som kan göras bättre eller något som inte finns. Man finner en lösning på det ofullständiga eller så skapar man något som man själv behöver och vill testa. Har man tur lyckas man tillföra substansiellt värde.
Det krävs att man lyssnar mer till sig själv, och mindre på annat samtidigt som man är uppmärksam på sina behov och undviker bekvämlighetsfällan. Oavsett om det är en egen byrå man vill starta eller en egen startup, så är det viktigt att dividera med sig själv – gör jag detta för mig själv, eller för andra? Vem blir nöjd, vem blir glad, vem blir jag omtyckt av om jag gör detta? Gör jag det för att jag inte kan låta bli, för att jag anser att det saknas något väsentligt i världen? Kan jag låta världen gå vidare utan detta? Stannar tiden när jag jobbar med detta?
“Strategi är att säga nej”, säger Tom Kosnik, PhD på Stanford, på en föreläsning jag deltog i hösten 2009. Han har så rätt, för det är så enkelt att säga ja till allt – gå på alla happenings, på alla fester, slänga in en feature till i sin tjänst. Men Less är More, och det svåra är att ta bort en feature, välja bort en fest, säga nej till ett välbetalt jobb, trotsa sin omgivning när man säger upp sig under lågkonkan. “Du ska väl inte säga nej till ett välbetalt jobb?” frågar en del, men det beror ju på vad man försakar förstås. Vad är din dröm värd? Vågar du sätta en prislapp på att inte genomföra den? Kommer pengarna du tjänar när du inte genomför din dröm att vara värda lika mycket? Det du ger uppmärksamhet växer, och det är då du vet svaret på *37 Signals eminenta fråga: “Do you want it bad enough?”.
Konsten är att finna sin stil i vardagen. Vi finner andras uttrampade stil varje dag, på folks Twitter, Facebookprofiler, på deras bloggar, men främst genom deras verk, deras världsförbättrande livsdrömmar som de valt att aktivt förverkliga. Verken de lät bli att gå ut för, verken de slutade att kolla på tv för och nyttjade timmarna till att programmera. Det finns inga ursäkter att skjuta på sina drömmar. Så länge du är frisk, så kan du alltid börja skriva en novell innan du börjar skriva en bok, bara för att det är så kul att du inte kan låta bli.
Jag hade en föreläsare** som sa, att vi satt på hennes föreläsning och dog. Vid föreläsningens slut skulle vi vara 3 timmar närmare döden. Det må låta morbid, sa hon, men hon uppmanade oss att om vi hade något viktigare för oss de närmaste 3 timmarna skulle vi gå och göra det. Alla stannade kvar. Tillsammans med henne tog vi på oss möjlighetsglasögonen och börja tänkte på vad i livet som är värt att dö för, för att vi i praktiken skulle spendera stora delar av vårt liv med att jobba antingen för våra drömmar eller för andras. Varför inte välja det som vi tyckte var absolut viktigast och mest meningsfullt?
“Give your brain as much attention as you do your hair and you will be a thousand times better off” (Malcolm X)
På Kaospiloternas 3:e våning, i hallutrymmet innan man klättrar upp på taket, sitter citatet, vilket alltid påminner mig om att det inte finns några ursäkter. Det handlar om att välja att stanna hemma de där nätterna istället för att gå ut, en dag av helgen eller kanske varannan helg? Man tar eget ansvar för genomförandet av sina drömmar. Antingen sitter man på stranden och tittar på medan de andra surfar eller så nöter man våg efter våg tills man tar sin första sweetaste våg, för att sedan avancera.
Varsågod, testa att göra det du drömmer om, det är tvekandet som dödar dig.
*Ett kapitel i boken ReWork, uppföljaren på Getting Real).
GeekGirlMeetup.com is a webconferance I founded with Andie Nordgren with aims to create more female rolemodels and networks within web, code and startups in Sweden. Thru the years we have had lot of help from people helping us with taking time to make it happen, by coding, organizing in other areas of Sweden, sending us sponsors and most of all, just putting those extra hours of extra effort.
@Emma Koszinowski and I filmed some voices on GeekGirlmeetup, this may 2010 and gave it a brief cut. For the ones not familiar with the concept, heres one angle of it. This is in Swedish, maybe more will follow in English.