‘It Starts With A Girl’: How we celebrated International Women’s Day 2016

‘It Starts With A Girl’: How we celebrated International Women’s Day 2016

In recognition of the 2016 International Women’s Day theme ‘Step It Up’ for gender equality, we decided to highlight the equality challenges adolescent girls living in poverty face, how this affects their transition into womanhood and, ultimately, their lives as women.

With support from Second Home in London SPRING hosted an event titled ‘It Starts With A Girl’, looking at the role and value of Human-Centered Design (HCD) in the development of products and services that have a positive impact on girls’ lives in emerging markets, as well as the fundamental role that technology plays in giving girls access to opportunities.

Speakers included: Corina Gardner, Senior Manager, Program Design and Delivery at Girl EffectRoo Rogers, Creative and Business Leader at fuseprojectAnjali Ramachandran, Head of Innovation at PHD UK; and Ramona Liberoff, SPRING CEO.

Our audience comprised of the tech savvy Second Home community and our SPRING family in London.

5 key takeaways:

  1. Adolescent girls are a vastly under represented group. There are over 900 million adolescent girls in the world, the largest girl generation in history – never before has there been an opportunity of this scale to end the cycle of poverty.
  2. Girls face a complex matrix of challenges. Addressing these challenges is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do – girls completing secondary school in Kenya would add US$27 billion to the economy over their lifetimes.
  3. Whilst it’s important to combat negative norms, we must understand existing behaviours in order to make real impact.
  4. Technology gives girls access to opportunities in emerging markets. According to an Intel report, approximately 180 million women would improve their ability to generate income through access to technology. Nearly 500 million women would improve their education, and over 500 million would feel they had greater freedom as a result of being online. Overall, women could contribute an estimated US$13 – 18 billion to annual GDP across 144 developing countries.
  5. HCD methodology answers one simple question: “how do we solve this basic human need?” It allows a whole host of designers, anthropologists and sociologists to come together to create targeted and relevant solutions for problems through a co-creative process involving the end user, entrepreneur and designer.

A big thank you to all our speakers and attendees for making the day possible. See more from the event on Twitter at #SPRINGIWD.