PONToon Global Women’s Digital Learning and Employability Symposium

17 Nov

I’m one of the co-organisers of this fantastic free symposium, which you can book yourself on to at this link here.

The University of Portsmouth UK (lead partner in the €5.8 million ERDF Interreg France (Channel) England programme) will host an innovative, international online symposium on Tuesday 1st December 2020 to explore digital learning and female empowerment as part of PONToon, an interdisciplinary project that supports women’s economic inclusion. So far PONToon has proudly upskilled and helped into employment 1,462 women across southern England and northern France.

PONToon Virtual Symposium: Digital Innovation and Female Empowerment will take place on one day within a 3-month long final exhibition, being hosted by project partner Aspex Gallery. The symposium will feature talks and practical workshops led by entrepreneurs, academics, activists and creatives. The topics covered on the day will enhance PONToon’s findings, drawing on methods learned through the project’s Train the Trainer and Digital Upskilling workshops. These include:

●      Female community activism enabled by digital tech

●      What the new Covid-19 landscape means for the future of women’s working, learning and digital art

●      The impact of technology on female equality in the developing world

●      Training and mentoring teachers of digital and entrepreneurial skills

●      Future scoping for the sustainability of PONToon and its replicability for other potential projects around the world

●      Design and testing of a digital toolkit (including virtual reality apps) to assist with job-seeking and confidence-building

Hosted online, the event is free and bookable via Eventbrite at this link here. Participants can access the online content and join workshops and discussions via online platforms.

For audiences unable to attend the event virtually on the day, all footage of workshops and webinars will be available via the project’s website.

The PONToon project is nearing the end of its three and a half years of working with women in the community who are furthest from the labour market. Across this time partners, stakeholders and trainers have been working closely with women to train them in graphic design, filmmaking, creative writing, CV building, social media use and basic ICT skills. Although the project’s reach across the UK and France has yet to be fully realised, the online symposium is an opportunity to celebrate the project’s achievements – even in these uncertain and extraordinary times.

Speaking about the symposium, PONToon Principal Investigator and keynote speaker at the symposium, Professor Joan Farrer said:

“Historically the technological sector has been seen as a male-dominated zone of employment. PONToon’s main goal is to create a digital toolkit that will help women to develop skills and be better prepared for employment.

“We’re really excited to be hosting the symposium, which we hope will serve as a platform and showcase for PONToon as the project moves into its final stages.”

For more information about PONToon (PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES USING NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOSTERING SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INCLUSION), visit: www.pontoonproject.eu

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