The CoderDojo Foundation is to be headed up by new a CEO, Mary Moloney, and is changing its structure to a membership model. CoderDojo founder James Whelton will remain a director but will mainly focus his energies on his programming career.
CoderDojo said the re-branding of Hello World Foundation to CoderDojo Foundation was to clear up any confusion surrounding what the Foundation is and to foster better alignment as the CoderDojo movement continues to grow.
One key step in this is new direction is that the organisation is altering the structure of CoderDojo to become a membership organisation.
“This will allow Dojos that meet certain criteria to join as a member giving them certain rights in the running of the Foundation,” CoderDojo told its community.
“We are committed and accountable to the CoderDojo community and have taken this step to further demonstrate this to community members around the world. We will have an open consultation period for the CoderDojo community to have an input on specifics of how this will work.”
A global spark first ignited in Ireland
CoderDojo was formed three years ago by James Whelton, just weeks after he completed his Leaving Cert, with the help of entrepreneur Bill Liao. Whelton started up non-profit organisation CoderDojo on a Saturday morning with the simple idea that kids would show up and with the help of mentors learn how to code. Within weeks, CoderDojos began happening in community halls and office canteens from Arranmore off the coast of Donegal to major cities like London and New York.
Today, more than 16,000 children worldwide are taught to code every Saturday in more than 120 dojos in 22 countries, including places such as LA, Silicon Valley, Tokyo, Africa and the Caribbean – all on a voluntary basis.
Whelton has decided to focus on his programming and entrepreneurial career but will remain a director of the CoderDojo Foundation.
The new CEO Mary Moloney is an experienced senior executive, having held a number of lead positions at Accenture and clients of Accenture’s, including partner, managing director and multiple C-suite positions.
She is also involved in a number of non-profit initiatives such as the Dublin Fringe Festival, Dress for Success, Institute of International & European Affairs and the European Women’s Network.
Familiar with CoderDojo, through her nine year-old son attending the Science Gallery Dojo, she is also in the process of setting up a Dojo where she lives in Sandymount, Dublin.