2014 NCWIT Summit – Welcome

[upbeat music]

RONNIE CAROPRESO: All right, good afternoon everybody. [applause] It’s always great to be first because you get a round of applause whether you do anything or not. [audience laughing] Especially if you don’t trip up the stairs or anything. I’m gonna ask the folks in the back just to come on in, if you don’t mind, so everybody can hear us and get goin’. Does everybody have one of these? Don’t say no because you’re not supposed to be in here if you don’t. A couple of things I’d like to say as we get started around this is, if you look on the bottom of this you might have an At One sign. Does anybody have an At One sign? Okay, that’s the number of people that were here at the very beginning, and it’s not because we’ve lost them. I think I saw about 10 hands, including some of our co founders, but it’s because we’ve grown so much as an organization. Our very first event like this we had between 40 and 50 people. We were so new we didn’t completely keep our count, but it was 40 to 50 people. It’s okay, we’re just a research group, don’t worry about it. Now, today’s enrollment was close to 700 people, right? [applause] And for all of us that are math wizards, we know that that’s more than doubling or tripling the number, so it’s a good indication. Thank you, and welcome to California, we’re hoping that you’re looking forward to the conference this year, it should be very exciting. We’ve got quite a bit of good speakers lined up for you, as well as great sessions for us to have an opportunity to exchange ideas, and have a chance to be with people who feel very passionate about this topic. I think, as all of us know, cohorts are so important in this space. We’ve talked about it with our young girls coming up, we’ve talked about it to one another, and this is a terrific opportunity to share with a number of people who feel passionate and have the same experience sets that you all have. We are over 500 organizations strong at this moment, I think, from an alliance standpoint. That’s a tremendous thing from an umbrella organization. When I think about all of the things that have been accomplished, to date, sometimes you think about all of group people that come together, but every now and then you have to think about one or two people who make a big difference. I would like to, before we get fully started, ask a little bit of a favor. One very important person, who is the At One person, and couldn’t be here with us today, is Brad Feld. Brad is our chairman and he has been very much a motivator, a contributor, personal funds, personal time, personal energy, personal relationships. What I’d really like all of you to do if you have a few minutes, is grab out whatever device you are using today and go ahead and send him a tweet. Let him know that we’re thinking of him, if you’re so inclined to do so, because we wish that he could be with us today, but he couldn’t. Brad’s been really important and in addition to the tweet, maybe we’ll give him a round of applause. [applause] On to the power of others, I do have to thank our strategic partners, I’ll let you read all of their names up there. I won’t read them, but I will tell you that one of the interesting comments that was made about the organization today, from one of our the guest speakers from the NSF. We’ll talk about him in just a moment. Was what a phenomenal progress we’ve made as an organization, and the amount of dollars that we’ve raised as an organization that are matched by private industry. We have the public private partnership because of the people that are in this room that represent these corporations, and we owe them thanks as well. Congratulations everybody, and thank you. [applause] Turner’s not up there, oh, he’s there at the bottom. We’re also doing a live stream as well, you’re all being recorded, we’re on live stream, so be careful. Don’t rush the stage with any important announcements. We are live today, moving forward in technology, which is good. We have a habit of not doing very long, formal introductions here because we’ve got a lot of lettered and talented people that we could go on and on about. We want to get to actually the meat of the information, so we’re not going to do a lot of long introductions, but I will do one quickly which is to bring Erin Gavin to the stage. Erin is from Qualcomm, who is our local sponsor. She is the senior manager of government affairs for Qualcomm, she’s been there for over nine years. In addition to that, Erin’s got the wireless reach programs in Southeast Asia, that’s, you’ve got India, as well, and Africa. That’s probably keeping you a little busy, isn’t it? Her focus is on women and entrepreneurship. We’re very honored to have her with us today, and have her kick off the conference. Please come up, and thank you again, Erin. [applause]

ERIN GAVIN: Good afternoon, welcome to the summit. On behalf of Qualcomm I’m very honored to be here today. Whatever device you’re tweeting off of, I sure hope it’s one with a Qualcomm chipset. We’re one of the cohosts of this event, and we’re extremely proud of the efforts being made by NCWIT and all of you to increase the participation of women and girls in computing. If you’re not familiar with Qualcomm, we’re a leader in next generation mobile technologies. We’ve been innovating for over 25 years, and helped drive the evolution of wireless communications. Qualcomm has almost 30,000 employees today, many of whom are here for these sessions. We’re focused on making wireless more personal, affordable, and accessible to people all around the world. We believe that access to advanced wireless technologies improves people’s lives. This is why we’re determined to create change for women and girls through our actions and commitments to the community. We do this in multiple ways, such as our Qualcomm Women in Science and Engineering program, our Qualcomm Women Influencing IT group, our global inclusion and diversity, and wireless reach initiatives, and our newest program, the Women Enhancing Technology program. I’ll describe these in a moment, but first I want to talk to you a bit about our partnership with NCWIT. We’ve been a member and active partner since 2007. Our Qualcomm team members participate in the Workforce Alliance, the Affinity Group Alliance, and the Pacesetters Program. We’ve participated in previous conferences, and continuously promote the extraordinary work that’s done by NCWIT in both our company, and within the broader community. Qualcomm is especially proud to support the NCWIT Pacsetters Initiative, which is the first fast-track program of it’s kind aiming to move the national needle of women’s participation in computing. Company and university leaders work together across corporate and academic boundaries, committed to increase their organizations’ numbers of technical women at an accelerated pace. As I mentioned just a moment ago, we have several programs that we’re focused on for women and girls. A few of those include, one, our involvement in the NCWIT Aspirations Awards in Southern California. This is something that our Qualcomm Women in Science and Engineering, or QWISE group, and our global inclusion and diversity team have been leading proponents of. We’ve hosted the awards program with our academic partner, UC San Diego, for the past three years. It has made a positive impact on the lives of some exceptional young women. This year in San Diego we’ve already recognized 24 girls, and in the Bay Area, 25. We’re now in the process of inviting those girls back to our campus for a workshops, lab visits, and other activities that will give them a sense of working in STEM related fields. Regarding our wireless reach initiative, we’re bringing advanced wireless communications to underserved communities, globally, by investing in projects that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of healthcare, enrich teaching and learning, and improve environmental sustainability. For women and girls, specifically, we design programs that accelerate the ownership of mobile phones to help close the mobile phone gender gap. We also provide life changing services for those in the developing world, which ultimately helps stimulate the economic ecosystem, and ultimately benefits women and their communities. Lastly, our newest program, which is called the Women Enhancing Technology, or WeTech program, which came out of the Clinton Global Initiative, is a public private collaboration that aims to build a healthy pipeline of girls and women in STEM education ICT careers. It includes a summer camp for pre-sixth-grade girls, and soon pre-seventh and pre-eighth, as well as involvement in STEM related competitions for high-school girls, and mentoring for college women. All to try to get them into this area where we have the need for their additional talents. In closing, I’d like to thank you for attending, and NCWIT for organizing yet another fabulous lineup of speakers and workshops. There is an amazing agenda planned, and I know that you’ll all derive value from the summit. Those of us here from Qualcomm look forward to being inspired by the innovative ideas that will be shared, and I know you all will as well. Thank you. [applause]

RONNIE CAROPRESO: I’ve already failed as the MC because we’re already off schedule, that’s not good. We do have a very important guest speaker to bring up. I’d like to introduce Dr. Farnam Jahanian. Dr. Jahanian is currently the associate assistant director of for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering, CISE Directorate, as we all know it, from the National Science Foundation. National Science Foundation, as you all know, is critical to the program we have at NCWIT. He guides CISE in it’s mission to uphold the nations leadership in scientific discovery and engineering innovation. He oversees the CISE budget of over eight hundred and fifty million dollars, directing the programs and the initiatives that support long term research and innovation, fosters all of our broad inter-disciplinary collaborations, and contributes to the development of computing and information technology in the workforce. He’s also the author of over 100 published research papers, and has served on dozens of national advisory boards and panels, and is a member of the National Governors Association on cybersecurity advisory council. Dr. Jahanian, we’re really happy to have you here with us, and thank you for all the support you’ve given us over the years. [applause]

DR. FARNAM JAHANIAN: Good afternoon. On behalf of my colleagues at the National Science Foundation, let me welcome you to this incredibly important and inspirational summit. I’m thrilled to see more than 500, actually, more than 700 now attendees here. I’m especially thrilled to see NCWIT celebrate its tenth anniversary. I think it’s fair to say that this organization has far exceeded what NSF hoped was possible when it provided support at the very beginning. I think we all recognize that the remarkable pace of advances has brought computing and information technology into the forefront of science, medicine, commerce, arts and entertainment, in ways that we could not even imagined it 20 years ago. These advances have transformed the way we live, the way we work, play, learn, communicate. The computing discipline forms a pervasive intellectual fabric that connects all other disciplines. It’s a very creative, highly interactive, with enormous possibilities, as a discipline, for changing the world. In fact, computing is at the core of our response to societal challenges, problems that we face as humanity, and it’s crucial to achieving those global priorities from environment to sustainability, healthcare, on to education and learning, public safety, and cybersecurity. Furthermore, today, advances in computing information technology underpin our economic prosperity and our national security. Consider that 62% of all projected job growth in science, technology, engineering, and math from 2010 to 2020 will be in IT. Yet, we estimate to produce enough degrees to fill just about 2/3 of those projected openings every year. Challenges, of course, remain, particularly in the under representation of minorities and women. Moving forward, these issues are going to become even more important as our demographics change. Consider for a moment, in 1960, the population of the United States was 85% white. It will be only 43% white by 2060. In 2012, over 50% of births were to families where at least one parent is a minority. Though it’s not clear that these racial categories, if you will, will even make sense in the near future, it is, however, clear that we must include people of all races in computing. As for inclusion of women in computing, our discipline continues to have some serious challenges, huge challenges. We’ve made a lot of progress, partially through the work that you folks have done, and NCWIT has done. Even when you compare us to other sciences, we continue have some serious challenges. In 2012, for example, women got just 15% of IT bachelor degrees, 27% of masters, and only 18% of PhDs. We must include more women in computing. By 2030, half of the people in the western world will be over 50, a quarter of them are gonna be over 65. Seven billion people on Earth now, eight billion by 2025, 10.6 billion by 2050. 95% of the population growth will be in developing nations. We must find ways where we can be more inclusive of age, life experiences, and perspectives. How we see the world is informed and influenced by our values, our identities, and our culture. Inclusion often translates into diverse perspectives, and solutions. The colleagues who are here from the private sector would attest to this, that competition for talent and specialized skills will, of course, intensify. Companies must respond, managing diversity and inclusion will be a core leadership competency in the coming decades. These changing demographics will demand transformative changes in education and learning. Today, computer science is taught in only 10% of high schools across the U.S. In 36 of our 50 states, computer science does not count toward math or science graduation requirement. Yet, computational and data intensive competencies are key for just about every 21st century job. Without access to rigorous computer science in most high schools, our discipline isn’t reaching most populations. NSF, of course, is working with all of you to change that with our CS10K project, and NCWIT has been a strong ally in that effort since its inception. The lack of diversity is a loss of opportunity for individuals, and a loss of talent and creativity to the discipline. More importantly, this directly impacts our economic prosperity. It’s also a matter of our national security. NSF is committed to growing the participation of all groups in computing. The broadening participation in computing alliances, of which NCWIT is a part, is one strategy for doing so. The alliances serve as a national resource for achieving transformation of computing education, to increase the number and diversity of college graduates in computationally intensive disciplines. We at NSF see NCWIT as an exemplar among our alliances. NCWIT fosters a strong community providing support for women across the education pipeline, as well as those in academia and industry. Provides a comprehensive approach, disseminating a wide range of high-quality interventions to many points along the pipeline. Serves as a single point of dissemination of research and best practices. It empowers it members. It’s a successful example, as was mentioned earlier today, of leveraging public and private resources. And, of course, it brings together an incredibly engaged and committed membership, that’s you, to catalyze change. NCWIT has done a tremendous job in the last ten years, we look forward to what’s coming ahead for the next ten years. On a very personal note, this is my last year of service at the National Science Foundation. I want to take a moment to acknowledge my friend and colleague, Jan Cooney, for her vision, her persistent, her commitment to our community. I learned a lot from Jan, and she will tell you that, and I know I’m going to miss working with her. Let me close by adding a word of thanks to Lucy Sanders and her three co founders for their inspiring vision and hard work over the years. To the board members, I met them this afternoon, it was a tremendous experience for me to meet them today, for their leadership and their commitment. And to all of you for your participation, for your efforts to empower future generations of women in computing. Thank you again, and once again, congratulations to NCWIT for a remarkable ten years. Thanks.

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