We held our Inaugural Women’s conference on 1st November 2014 at Panari Sky Centre, with over 300 people in attendance, including a few men and students from Ngara Girls High school and Kenya High School.
We also unveiled our new logo and branding.
“She builds. She serves. She leads”
Our keynote speaker, Juliana Rotich, Executive Director of Ushahidi kicked off the event with a breakdown of what it means for us to build, to serve and to lead.
Here’s a fabulous visualization that summarises her sentiments by Willow Brugh, who also served as a panelist in a discussion revolving around Securing Online spaces for women.
Visuals Courtesy of http://viz.bl00cyb.org
This talk was a great entry into the program of the day, with a panel discussion on technology for change featuring Nivi Murkhejee, co-founder and CEO, e-Limu, Monica Nthiga, Programme Officer, Africa – MAVC, AND and Gladys Muhunyo, Director of Strategy and Business Development at Tangazoletu Limited. This discussion was focused on encouraging women to develop tools that make a difference in society.
In the spirit of keeping the conference as interactive as possible, a huge section of the conference agenda was set aside for 9 breakout sessions after tea break and lunch revolving around design, career development, programming and entrepreneurship. A lot of cross generational mentoring and learning came into play during these sessions.
We also had finalists from the #IncYOUbateIT competition showcase their ideas throughout the entire conference, and put the public to vote for their favorite idea. Finalists from this competition include:-
- Kona Mbaya, an application to that sensitizes Kenyans on the level of insecurity by highlighing safe and unsafe spots
- Taka App, which offers a linking service to garbage collectors and recyclers that will enable them trade in plastic and metal.
- PaireD – a social network that will help link women & girls to opportunities and solutions.
- Abero[dot]com – which provides access to information to marginalized women living in Turkana through very feminine information centres and gadgets
- Rendile Girls Foundation who are helping create awareness on the problems facing the Rendille Girlchild and also seeking for solutions to these problems
- S.K.I.R.T.S, which is a platform that offers a voice to speak out against violence on Women and Girls within our society.
- Adding Women’s Voices to Land Legislation in Kenya – putting women’s voices at the center of legal reforms by supporting a Women’s Rights Task Force to advocate for progressive provisions in national/regional land laws,and ensure regional consultations address women’s rights and include their perspectives.
These finalists also participated in a pitching event on 7th November 2014, competing for incubation at the newly launched South to South Lab, and access to funds of upto £40,000.
We chose to wrap up the conference with a discussion around securing women’s spaces online, featuring Nanjira Sambuli, Research Manager at iHub, Willow Brugh, co-founder and executive director of the NGO Geeks Without Bounds, Brenda Wambui – founder/CEO of BrandAvenue and co-founder of Brainstorm and Njeri Wangari, the multi talented published Kenyan Poet, Art & Lifestyle blogger and the founder of AfroKidz.
Below is a presentation by Willow Brugh, dubbed ”Weaponized Social”, which encouraged women to re-write social scripts to not include attacks, and remember that the beauty if the internet lies in allowing for conversations with people who we may not necessarily flock together with.
Presentation courtesy twitter.com/willowbl00 tag #WeaponizedSocial
Video recordings of the keynote session and panel discussions will be made available during the course of the week. We are also working towards getting all these presentations/notes taken during the breakout sessions available to the public within the coming week or so.
In the meantime, photos from the event can be found on our facebook page, and you can also follow tweets from the hashtag of the day #AWTC14
This is the first time the team has embarked on running an event on such a scale as this one. All this would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and partners Making All Voices Count, iHub, Anita Borg Institute, Ewamak designs and SIDA. The team at AkiraChix is grateful for the support and looks forward to even bigger collaborations in future.
A special thank you also goes out to our speakers and breakout session facilitators, who contributed towards making the event constructive and fun for our participants.
Last but certainly not least, a huge shoutout goes out to our team of volunteers who worked tirelessly over the last few weeks, attending planning and co-ordination meetings, and making sure that our participants, speakers and facilitators were well taken care off during the entire conference. You exemplify the kind of women who call themselves AkiraChix by serving and leading.
We are looking forward to hosting an even bigger and better AkiraChix Women’s Conference in 2015.
Interested in partnering with us next year? Reach out to me via angela AT akirachix DOT com and let’s get the conversation going ;).
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Have a great week ahead!