Civic Tech Sisters is a program that brings together 20 mentees (10 from Germany and 10 from Ukraine) with 10 mentors (5 from Germany and 5 from Ukraine) to develop a mentee-mentor-relationship over the course of 6 months (June-October). The aim is to equip young aspiring female leaders with the knowledge of successful female leaders in the Civic Tech sphere and empower them to shape their own leadership role that lies ahead of them.
The program will be kicked-off with digital meetings in the beginning of June leading the way to the digital learning space, where mentors and mentees will work together on the agreed topics and goals. They are supported by (external) input and an international network.
Why join Civic Tech Sisters?
Civic Tech Sisters is a program where we digitally bring together and accompany mentors and mentees in collaboratively building a trustful relationship over the course of 6 months. After this digital mentoring phase we will come together in a joined event in Kyiv. During the process, we will help them share the mentees’ stories through an accompanied storytelling component..
The mentees and mentors will together develop an individual learning plan and define individual goals of the digital mentorship phase.
Topics of the mentor-mentee-process can include:
To kick off the mentoring-phase and provide some guidance on the process, we will meet digitally in one mentees-only-meeting and then have a joined conference day together with the mentors.
Then the digital mentorship process follows, which will conceptually be accompanied by the betterplace lab and consist of formats for knowledge exchange and experiences, peer-learning approaches and the involvement of (external) input depending on the needs of the mentees. Throughout the program, all program organisations will serve as contact persons and will assist in accessing an international network.
A storytelling component accompanies the project: Through encouraging the mentees to write about their own story and editorial preparation by the programme organisations to present their stories via blog online we aim to raise awareness on female role models and strengthen the narrative that (young) female leaders are a much needed valuable resource in the Civic Tech sphere to create a diverse and creative working environment.
At the end of the program (November 2020) we all will meet in Kyiv at a three-days event consisting of training, exchanging learnings and challenges and building even stronger network ties. The final day of this meeting will be a public half day conference which aims at promoting the Civic Tech sector, women in Tech sectors, sharing experience and knowledge within the Civic Tech and Tech sector.
Facts and figures on the program:
We believe in the potential of technology for social means. The term Civic Tech paints a pretty wide picture, so we’d like to take a moment to define the term as we understand it (with reference to Knight Foundation):
Civic Technology – or Civic Tech for short – is technology that enables engagement, participation or enhances the relationship between the people and the government (by enhancing citizen communications and public decision, improving government delivery of service, and infrastructure).
Civic Tech solutions are often developed by tech-savvy civil society actors, who use their expertise aiming to improve public sphere. The topics include:
However, we do know that the potentials of tech are mostly used by male creators: you can find numbers and stories put together by betterplace lab of the situation worldwide here, the results of a qualitative approach conducted by betterplace lab in Germany here and a really great talk on the topic held by female hacker and advocate for more women in tech Fiona Krakenbürger here.
There are some networks who support women to strive in the tech-world, to name a few: the worldwide Women in Tech network connecting women internationally, ZebrasUnite helping women to get started in the startup sector (not only, but often related to tech) and the Superrr lab offering a feminist tech fellowship that empowers activists, technologists and creatives of all sorts in imagining a digital future that benefits us all.
We believe in strong networks and international cooperation to join forces and to bring together new perspectives. That is why with the mentorship program we wish to establish German Ukrainian platform for networks of women in Civic Tech. At the same time, the program shall foster networks within Ukraine and within Germany.
We named the program "Civic Tech Sisters", because we believe that women need to support each other very well to be better represented in the Civic Tech scene.
We strongly encourage women from all parts of Ukraine and Germany to apply for the program, as we also wish to reach the areas besides the buzzing tech-headquarters of each country.
The deadline for applications was on Sunday, May 10th, 23:59 pm (CEST).
You will hear from us by Monday, 25th May. Please check your inbox (also your spam folder that day) that evening so we can quickly proceed with the matchmaking process of assigning a suitable mentor to you.
What’s in it for you as a mentee?
Goethe-Institut Ukraine is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. We promote the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural and civil society exchange.
1991 Incubator is a non-profit, equity-free and the biggest incubation program in Ukraine. 1991 Open Data Incubator supports startups, offering expertise, industry insights and knowledge via tailored incubation programs. In 1991, civic IT initiatives get a chance to become real startups and to build lasting collaborations with business, ministries and municipalities.
What do I need to bring along as a mentee?
For this project three organisations joined forces to share their expertise and networks to carry out this German-Ukrainian program together. It is financially supported by the Federal Foreign Office: