The Technovation[MN] 2021-2022 season has begun and we are looking for girls and mentors. If you know a girl between 10-18 years of age, we have a life-changing opportunity for her.
The start of the new season had me reflecting on my own life-changing experience. I have always loved math. When I was in high school and developing my math, problem solving, and analytical skills, personal computers were clunky, rare, and the internet as we know it today was a twinkle in the eye of an academic researcher. It wasn’t until my second year in college when I took a numerical analysis class that this giant lightbulb went off and I could see the connection between math and computers. I was inspired and felt like I had a direction. I made the decision to become a programmer and it was a great career choice.
Fast forward 30+ years and technology is all around us. The pandemic has escalated our digital experience tremendously. Tom Fisher, Director of the Minnesota Design Center, has some interesting ideas on the cities of the future being influenced by the challenges of the pandemic and technology has a prevalent role. Three of his key ideas include:
- Expanded digital access and embraced entrepreneurial ideas to create equal opportunities for everyone in our society.
- High bandwidth access to the internet needs to be available everywhere, to everyone.
- Utilization of the excess capacity in our communities, such as closed businesses, malls, etc to address the unmet needs of the people.
Technovation[MN] begins and ends with the community. In inspiring girls to understand the power they hold in learning how to build technology, we start with the community. What challenges do you, your friends, or your family face today? What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals and how can you make a global impact? Who are the non-profits in your community and what are the missions they are striving for? What do the cities of the future need and what can you build to ensure all citizens are safe and healthy? Technovation[MN] gives girls tools to connect with their communities and imagine how technology can make an impact. It gives them the tools to build the cities of the future.
From there, we teach girls how to build technology and how to build a business. We give them mentors and put them on teams to provide a strong support network. We teach them how to code but we also teach them how to create a video pitch, how to research competition or identify a unique niche, how to create a positive user experience, how to build a logo, how to manage finances, how to work on a team, and most important, we help build their confidence. AND, we do this for no charge to our participants!
The pandemic has accelerated our use of technology in ways we have not seen in the past. It has also made inequities more prevalent. Nearly every job of the future will require some knowledge of technology. Technology careers are in high demand and that demand will only grow. These jobs offer some of the highest paid salaries. Technovation[MN] is working to change the demographic landscape in technology fields by fostering entrepreneurship in girls across Minnesota.
I am optimistic about our outlook with a diverse future technology workforce pipeline innovating on the many challenges the pandemic and other hurdles will present. We need the teams building technology to be representative of our communities to ensure a safe, healthy, and equitable future.
Please consider joining our team for the Technovation[MN] 2021-2022 season. If you know a team of girls that are interested, please fill out our participation intent form. If you don’t have a team, we will help you find one. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out our volunteer signup form. These forms will add you to our mailing lists and keep you informed. If you have questions, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Will get them answered quickly. Please follow our social media channels and share news about our program with your networks including our website, technovationmn.org, and our social media accounts, Twitter: technovationmn.org, Facebook: technovationmn.org, LinkedIn: technovation-mn, Instagram: technovationmn, and YouTube: Technovation MN. The girls in Minnesota need us and together we can.
- Technovation Challenge
- Registration opens: Dec 8. Registration can be found here.
- Program begins: Jan 10.
- Registration Closes: Mar 25.
- Submission Deadline: Apr 26.
- Alexa Skills Challenge
- Stay tuned for more
We also partner with other organizations across Minnesota. Technovation[MN] encourages you to participate in these programs.