Is Everybody Online? - Technology For Social Change (2020)

About The Event

Since 2007, the Sabancı Foundation Philanthropy Seminars have been bringing civil society, academia, private and public sector representatives together with international experts to learn about new trends and hot topics in philanthropy and civil society sector. 

The role of technology in social change will be discussed at the 13th Sabancı Foundation Philanthropy Seminar entitled "Is Everyone Online?". "How does technology transform the lives of women, youth and persons with disabilities?" "Besides the opportunities it creates, does it also deepen inequalities?" "How can we define inclusive technologies?" The seminar will open space for discussing these questions, watch inclusive performances and participate in workshops. The event will take place on Sabanci Foundation’s YouTube account on 15 December 2020, 20.00. 


15 December 2020, Tuesday
Host and Moderator - Serdar Kuzuloğlu
Performance - Adrian Anantawan, Violinist
Opening Speech - Güler Sabancı, Chair of the Sabancı Foundation Board of Trustees
Keynote Speech - Mariéme Jamme, Founder of iamtheCODE

Session: Technology for Gender Equality

Hera Hussain, Founder of CHAYN
Müjde Esin, Founder of KızCode

Session: Technology for Independent Living

Carlos Pereira, Founder of Livox
Hasan Özdemir, Microsoft Accessibility Lead

Session: Technology for Social Change Through The Lens of The Youth

Elif Eda Güneş, Developer
Enis Getmez, Entrepreneur
Selin Alara Örnek, Robot Designer

Workshops (Zoom)

16 December 2020, Wednesday

16.00-17.30 Digital Vocabulary Workshop with KızCode
18.00-20.00 Online Animation Workshop with The Cartoon Mill
20.00-21.00 Story Reading Workshop with the Association of Persons with Hearing Impairments of Turkey


Adrian Anantawan:

Violinist, Advocate of inclusive art

Canadian violinist Adrian Anantawan started his violin training at the age of 9. Having completed his education at the Curtis Institute of Music and Yale University, Adrian has studied with world-renowned violinists such as Itzhak Pearlman and Pinchas Zukerman, has performed with the Toronto Symphony orchestra as a soloist several times and appeared on many prestigious events and stages such as the White House, Carnegie Hall and Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Olympic Games. Adrian Anantawan, who is born without a right hand, also defines himself as a disability rights advocate and besides his music career, he works for the equal participation of persons with disabilities in art. In 2019, he started Music Inclusion Program and research-based technology supported instruments have developed for persons with disabilities. By this way, environment have created where persons with and without disabilities can perform together.


Mariéme Jamme:

Founder of iamtheCODE aiming to empower 1 million young women and girls globally to become coders

Senegalese-born Mariéme Jamme experienced considerable hardship during her childhood including loss of her relatives and financial difficulties. She did not have a formative education until the age of 16 when she taught herself how to read and write. Afterwards, Lady Mariéme moved in the UK where she reinvented herself by learning how to code from her local library and her kitchen. With her passion, she started to being visible in the field of technology and named as BBC's Top 100 Women nominee. Often called the diplomat of technology, she was also named twice as one of the 100 most influential Africans by the African Business Magazine. Inspired by her childhood and technology's impact on her changing life, she established iamtheCODE in 2015 to empower girls living in marginalised communities with digital skills by trainings and mentorship programs. Lady Mariéme's goal is to empower 1 million young women and girls globally to become coders by 2030 and to align with the UN 2030 agenda.

Hera Hussain:

Founder of CHAYN, A platform for struggling violence against women

Raised in Pakistan and living in the UK, Hera Hussain knew from early on she wanted to empower women. She took action in 2013 and found CHAYN after helping a Pakistani woman and realizing lack of resources and support for women exposed to violence. As a passionate believer in using the power of open source technology and open data to solve the world's pressing issues, Hera designed CHAYN as a global volunteer-run project crowdsourcing resources on the web to address gender-based violence. As a result, CHAYN became a platform for cooperation among women beyond an information source. For now, CHAYN has reached more than 360 000 people through its resources which are designed with survivors of abuse. With her effort, Hera was on the Forbes 30 Under 30 and MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 list.

Müjde Esin:

Founder of KızCode Aiming To Empower Girls By Coding

Born in a small town of Ağrı, Müjde Esin, despite having difficulties in her education life due to social prejudices, passed the talent exam and studied communication and media studies at the university. During her university years, she learned coding and developed herself in the field of technology. Müjde completed her master's degree in the UK and established KızCode social enterprise to provide migrant girls and women the skills to gain financial independence in migrant patriarchal communities and to facilitate their integration process in the UK. In 2015, KızCode was selected "Social Enterprise of The Year" by the UK government. Kızcode gives trainings on coding and gender equality in the UK and in Turkey.

Carlos Pereira:

Developer of Livox, The alternative communication app to give voice to persons with disabilities

Early in his career, Carlos Pereira worked in technical jobs at various private companies in Brazil. With the birth of a daughter with cerebral palsy in 2007, he devoted himself to empowering persons with disabilities using his knowledge in the field of technology. With the AI-supported app Livox developed in 2010, he aimed to facilitate the communication processes of individuals who have difficulties in verbal communication. The Livox app, which can be used in 11 different countries and can operate in 25 different languages, recieved awards from many prestigious institutions such as United Nations, MIT and Google. The Livox app, which has technology giants such as Intel and SAP among its supporters, continues to disseminate and grow its impact.

Hasan Özdemir:

Developer who develops Microsoft accessibility applications

Having completed his primary school education at the school for the visually impaired, Hasan Özdemir realised that the assistive technologies he used made his life easier and started to learn software during his high school years. After his graduation from Boğaziçi University, Hasan established his own software company and developed apps for the persons with visual impairments. In 2009, he started to work at Microsoft Turkey as software development engineer and supported development process of accessibility technologies of Microsoft. In 2019, he was transferred to Microsoft Headquarters in Seattle as Accessibility Lead.

Elif Eda Güneş:

Software developer who travels from village to village to increase girls’ interest intechnology

Elif Eda Güneş, who grew up in a village of Yozgat without internet, started to learn coding with paper and pencil by getting printouts from a nearby town during her high school years. During her high school yearsin Kayseri, she entered the university's technopark and developed herself there. At the age of 17, she participated in a competition with the Ancha Space team on a design of the spacecraft heading to Mars. Elif Eda Güneş, currently a first-year university student, travels from village to village with her Butterfly Effect project to become a role model for girls in the countryside and make them love science and technology.

Enis Getmez:

Artificial intelligence and robotics consultant entrepreneur

Enis Getmez met computer and software in the first year of primary school and advanced his career in this direction. With the IoT software he developed in 2015, he won the first prize in an international competition organized by Intel. Enis, who was deemed worthy of various awards by organizations such as Havelsan and ING with the projects he developed as a result of his studies in the fields of big data and deep learning, won dozens of degrees in national and international competitions with the communities and teams he formed with his friends. In 2018, the deep learning software developed for zooplankton, which is a part of the aquatic life cycle, was awarded by Hackernest and exhibited at the World Economic Forum. In 2019, he founded Artificaid, an initiative that develops an artificial intelligence-based camera assistant. In 2020, he founded Türkol Software Company by gathering all his software projects under one roof.

Selin Alara Örnek:

Robot designer for social change

Selin Alara Örnek, born in 2006, started coding at the age of 9 and making robots at the age of 10. Having learned C ++ and Phyton software languages with the online trainings she participated in and the projects she developed, Selin has so far developed 5 robots, some of which are for entertainment purposes and for social change. She won the first prize in the hardware category in the international Coolest Projects competition with the robot guide dog, IC4U she developed in 2018. The same year, she became a finalist in the European Youth Awards in the Open Innovation category and was selected as the "Digital Girl of the Year" by Ada Awards in October 2019. Selin was accepted as a young member of the New York Academy of Science in September 2020 and qualified to participate in the "1000 Girls 1000 Future" program. Selin is a high school student, who primarily continues to work with the motivation to show young girls how fun technology is and that technologies for social change can be developed.

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