Will.I.Am Davos CoderDojo
Will.I.Am visited CoderDojo at Davos, image via Wikimedia Commons

CoderDojo teaching Davos – and Will.I.Am – how it’s done

21 Jan 2016

You may all be aware that the World Economic Forum in Davos is underway. You may not be aware, though, that CoderDojo is there in force.

What do Will.I.Am, Mika Hakkinen and Marc Benioff have in common? Well, they are all enjoying CoderDojo’s showcase at the World Economic Forum in Davos, of course.

Occupying its very own building for the four-day summit, CoderDojo has set up a teaching camp right at the heart of the largest economic meet-up of the year.

Teaching local school kids the basics of both coding and internet of things projects, the dojo has already welcomed numerous celebrity drop-ins, with Will.I.Am clearly counting his lucky stars that he got to meet EU Digital Girl of the Year, Niamh Scanlon.

Niamh, actually, sent us this quick video of how things are going over there in what seems like a busy, acoustic guitar-filled hub. She’s speaking at Inspirefest this summer, too.

We’re all over Davos!

“We aren’t just at Davos, we’re all over it,” laughs Mary Moloney, global CEO of CoderDojo. “This is the place to be at Davos!”

Taking in 60 schoolkids today, and hosting several one-on-ones with dignitaries, celebrities and business people from all over the world, Moloney says plenty of people are already asking when they can start up dojos of their own.

Salesforce is helping CoderDojo out by supplying all the hardware needed to host such an event, with the laptops provided actually being left behind when Moloney and co pack their bags and come home – making for a new Swiss dojo.

Suzanne DiBianca, president of Salesforce’s philanthropic arm, has been helping run the project along with Moloney, while Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been tweeting about the programme constantly.

Leaving a legacy

“We’re leaving behind a dojo here in Davos. It will be our third in Switzerland and, in a year’s time, we can come back and see what the kids have worked on,” says Moloney.

Another dojo to add to the list, so, with more than 900 already dotted around 63 countries across the globe.

“We’re everywhere,” says Moloney, noting Uganda, Uzbekistan and Madagascar as three such locations where dojos have recently emerged.

Madagascar, by the way, has a CoderDojo bus that drives around, stacked with working laptops, so children can learn to code as they commute around. How cool is that?

“Everything is going brilliantly,” says Moloney. “A lot of big name people are popping by, thinking ‘this is quite cool’. Everything else is big adults talking about big ideas. This is very practical.”

Practical, popular and pretty brilliant.

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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