When Robyn teamed up with Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology last year to present a technology festival for girls, it was supposed to be a one-off event. But due to popular demand, the singer-songwriter’s Tekla Festival is back on April 9, 2016.
For the second year in a row, girls between 11 and 18 years will get a chance to spend a full day discovering and experimenting with different kinds of technology, which will be held again at the KTH campus in Stockholm.
The free Tekla Festival offers girls firsthand experience in learning how to use technology, and a chance to meet female role models in a variety of fields. Tekla tackles the gender gap in the so-called STEM fields -science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The idea of the festival is to make technological areas more accessible to young women. For KTH, the long-term goal is for more applications from young women.
PRESS HERE to watch Robyn discussing the festival with KTH’s president Peter Gudmundson.
“We need to be persistent in efforts to reduce the gender imbalance,” says KTH President Peter Gudmundson. “It’s not enough to have a one-time event, so it is both exciting and important that we can hold Tekla Festival again this year.”
Robyn says that while there are no quick fixes, “getting girls to be comfortable in technology” is essential if women are to have an equal stake in influencing our increasingly technological society.
“Technology plays a huge part in how our society is developing right now, and it’s obvious that technology will be shaped by those who want to be involved with it. But this is a long process.”
Robyn states that as a musician, she knows how important this kind of setting is: “In the creative process, freedom to experiment is very important. I music you can go totally bananas – and maybe that’s the way it should also be in technology, which can seem a little bit stiff.”
This year’s festival is expanding to host 400 girls – twice as many as last year, due to overwhelming demand (more than 1,500 girls expressed interest in attending Tekla in 2015).
This year’s Tekla Festival offers 28 activities and workshops running simultaneously. The participants will be separated into two age groups (11-14 and 15-18), and they will have an opportunity to combine technology and creativity in a variety of areas, such as space exploration, robot programming, game design, music production, 3D printing, protein purification, and more. The festival day concludes with a DJ session with the duo Y + M as well as a live performance with Robyn.
Tekla Festival is organized by KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Robyn, with partner companies Atlas Copco, EA DICE, Ericsson, NCC, Scania and Spotify. Creuna is the Tekla web partner.
Registration is free and will be taken from March 1 to 18 at the Tekla homepage, www.teklafestival.se, where a complete description of the program will be available.
The event takes place on the KTH Stockholm campus, inside Kårhuset (student union), Drottning Kristinas väg 15, and in the Arkitekturskolan (School of Architecture and Build Environment), Osquars backe 5.
Tekla Festival was held for the first time in 2015, on the initiative of Robyn and Lina Thomsgård in close collaboration with KTH. One goal of the festival is for more young girls to apply to KTH programs. Another is to make technology more accessible as well as attractive so that more girls can deepen and develop their interest in technology. The festival is aimed at girls ages 11 to 18 years. In early February this year, Tekla received the “Indie of the Year” prize at the Manifest Gala.