More than 56,000 Children and Young Adults Participate in Coding-Events Across Europe

Posted on 14 Nov 2019

Taking place from 5 – 20 October, Meet and Code empowers 8 - 24-year-olds with 21st-century skills they need to participate in tomorrow’s digital world. This year’s Meet and Code highlights saw more than 1,200 code events across 25 European countries, with female participation reaching 47 per cent for 2019.

Making Europe More Digital

Born in 2017, Meet and Code spark the interest of children, teenagers and young adults in digital skills. Co-created and supported by SAP in partnership with Haus des Stiftens gGmbH and TechSoup Europe network of partners, this year’s program totalled 1,221 code events with support from non-profit organizations together with teachers, parents and libraries. Funding of up to 500 euros per event was also provided, enabling free participation to students and children.
“At SAP, we believe in the power of business to solve social issues and trigger systemic change through innovation. Through the Meet & Code initiative, children and young adults have the opportunity to immerse themselves into the digital world from a young age. The program creates an experience that fosters group learning in a fun, interactive and inspiring manner. A key highlight for this year was the female participation at a healthy 47 per cent, seeing the initiative making inroads into gender equality in ICT education,” says Alexandra van der Ploeg, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP.

Empowering a Generation

Before the Meet and Code events, 30 per cent of participants rated their coding knowledge skills average to high, however, this dramatically increased after the event to almost double, at 60 per cent. While 80 per cent of participating non-profit organizations felt they became more aware of new technologies. Throughout Meet and Code 2019, creativity from the organizers was limitless, proving the impossible was possible with scouts in the UK coding a digital compass for navigation and learning how to make a morse code transmitter, children from Italy learnt how to program with their elders and grandparents, and 12-year-old students from Poland mastered the art of designing and printing a 3D coral reef.

Coding for Good

Meet and Code also encouraged organizers to participate in a friendly competition by coordinating events that illustrated how tech can improve lives through the following categories; Community, Diversity, Girls do IT, Code for your Planet (linked with the Sustainable Development Goals). All finalists will be invited to an Award Weekend in early 2020 and shortly after, the Meet and Code jury will select the winner who will receive 2,000 euros in prize money.

van der Ploeg adds, “Bearing in mind that 70% of this year’s participants rated their coding knowledge as low, it’s incredibly rewarding to see that 80 per cent of Meet and Code students would like to visit again next year – showcasing that code is fun and that Meet and Code really does spark the interest of our youth. Together with our partners, the initiative is a shining example of how we can accelerate our commitments to the UN SDGs, specifically, goal #4 – Quality Education, goal #8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth and we embrace goal #17 – Partnerships for the Goals through collaboration and working together to conquer Europe‘s digital divide.”

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Media contact: Katarzyna Zwolak-Szwechowicz, TechSoup Europe | +48 22 102 21 34