Alumni Activity: Why I started D4C and Girlsforcs?

January 24, 2017

By Trinity Donohugh from Hong Kong

TIE was truly a life changing experience and the one thing I will never forget from this program is what Professor Jensen taught us in our first lecture: a business is only successful if it solves an existing problem. The program has encouraged me to make use of every opportunity I get; it has motivated me to be more willing to take risks and pursue my goals even if I face challenges and setbacks.  

One problem that TIE has inspired me to address is the relative gender disparity in STEM fields like computer science. As an avid coder, I have noticed that there are few girls who are interested in programming – a trend that is statistically evident across much of the world. Using what I’ve learnt from the TIE lectures, the youth entrepreneurship panel and the stimulus TechCrunch disrupt activity, I decided to start the non-profit GirlsforCS organisation to encourage more girls to study computer science especially in developing countries. We currently run a computer literacy podcasts program at schools in Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Throughout the program we were encouraged to harness the power of technology and innovation to solve social issues. Through our seminar sessions we looked at algorithms used by social media sites to fill our feeds with information and views that are only shared by us and our friends, meaning that there is a lack of exposure to opposing opinions surrounding an issue, thus preventing such issues to be fully explored. Furthermore, we noticed that there is a lack of discussion amongst our generation about such issues, and the misconception that as students we are unable to bring about positive changes to the world. Therefore we came up with Discuss for change (D4C), an initiative that aims to educate and encourage discussions and cooperative action around global issues, especially at a time of increasing divide around the world.

YYGS has given me the unique opportunity to learn more about topics which are not normally discussed at school. The skills and knowledge that I gained from my fellow scholars as well as our lecturers and seminar teachers has been invaluable in giving me the opportunity to inspire more students to harness the power of technology to make the world a better place.