View of an Intern

View of an Intern

From our Intern Jacquie Crock

For as long I can remember I have never truly understood what Intersticia is.  I knew that Mum had a friend called Anni, and they would travel around the world and do interesting things.  But I never knew they had a purpose, a common goal and motive that lead them to what Intersticia is today.  As one of the newest members of the Intersticia community, joining in the historic year of 2020, my questions were finally answered.

The first thing I realised was that Intersticia is not a workplace, rather a community of like-minded individuals working together for the future.

Some of my first work was with the new “Brave Conversation” podcasts, a brilliant idea to better know each member of the Intersticia community.  As a kid, still in school, hearing about people literally studying Martian matter, and working in innovative fields from sustainable energy to aid in humanitarian crises to tech and the arts, I found it quite overwhelming to be part of such an incredible group.  However, it only took me a short while to understand that there is not a single member of this community that would ever put themselves on a pedestal.  Of the people I have met this year, each have been incredibly articulate and genuinely kind people, and overwhelmingly intelligent all the same!

Another aspect of Intersticia that, rather excited me, was the mechanisms deployed to ensure sustainable work practices.

As soon as I joined my first Zoom meeting I was refreshed to experience people working through future based concepts, ideas that will benefit the international community, not only for themselves but for generations to come.  Relating to this idea, I immediately noticed how generous the Intersticia community is.  This year has forced us to live online, and although it has had its disadvantages, meeting via zoom and communicating online has lead me to meet so many incredible people.

I am completing my final years in high school and was asked to present a twenty minute presentation on the Gaza Strip, in a brief conversation I mentioned this to Anni, and within hours I was put in touch with an incredibly generous woman who not only took the time to email me and send me articles, but who gave me an hour out of her day to meet with me.  This was one of my first experiences with the generosity this community contains and certainly won’t be my last.

After meeting with a collection of people in 2020, I was grateful to learn that even in times of crisis people can still practice things that they value. This image above depicts Palestinians in Gaza practicing music (Pre-Covid). Those in Gaza are resilient and spirited, and that even though they face some of the most prominent challenges of this century, that they are still able to celebrate life.

Unlike friends of mine, who spend hours stacking shelves or working in shops, the time I spend working is educational and truly beneficial for my future. I have had the opportunity to listen in on workshops and meetings and have learnt so much.  The social depth that humanity is facing with the rise of technology and globalisation is unlike any other time.  Hearing about what these new advancements mean and how to face them has been inspirational and hopeful, knowing about these concepts now has prepared me for the future, however difficult and inconspicuous it will be.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be Intersticia’s newest Intern and look forward to meeting more of you in the future!

Intersticia’s 2020 Year in Review

Intersticia’s 2020 Year in Review

There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.  (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin)

“May you live in interesting times” is an English expression that is claimed to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse

2020 has certainly been interesting.

As we have all been hunkered down in our respective homes around the world locked up in various level of Covid tier we have connected as never before, created new ways of supporting our Fellows and others with whom we work, and truly begun to embrace the world of digital media that has been at the core of our beliefs about what is needed for 21st Century Leadership.

Intersticia exists to develop and promote digital fluency and develop smarter humans in terms of how we proactively create, manage, harness and utilise digital technologies.

We do this primarily through the following activities:

  • We identify, support, nurture and encourage individuals through our Scholarships and Fellowships
  • We work with like-minded partner organisations to support entrepreneurship and innovation
  • We hold public events with a specific aim of promoting conversations and building skills in digital literacy and leadership

In the 2019 – 2020 year we built on the foundations that were laid in our first couple of years of existence and, powered by the opportunities afforded by the Pandemic, we have been busier than ever.  At the end of 2019 I felt that we were completing the work of our first Horizon, developing our Fellowship; clarifying who we are, what we do and how we do it, and creating our partnerships.

As we embark upon 2021 our second Horizon is becoming clearer.

Identify, support, nurture and encourage individuals through our Scholarships and Fellowships

From the outset Intersticia has sought to identify and support emerging leaders who are a little different, are prepared to take risks, are generous of spirit and have a deeply ingrained need to make the world a better place.  I am often asked how we find our Fellows and those we choose to support.

The first filter is through our values which are those of authenticity, integrity, persistence, courage and grace.  We look for these in how people approach us, how they present themselves, how they interact with the world and the sorts of things they value in life.  These are what drive those of our current Fellowship and manifest in how they demonstrate their individual leadership.

The second is our belief that Intersticia is a community.  We are not a leadership development or training organisation, nor are we a Charity that ‘sets and forgets’.  Our intention is to recruit and embrace individuals who will contribute to and expand the work that we do both individually and collectively, and as a group collaborate to bring about positive change.

The third is the filter of need.  There are many who apply for our support who come with worthy ideas that many other organisations will see merit in, and we often encourage them to find those organisations.  As a small organisation our interest is in those people who often fall through the cracks, who often straddle multiple disciplines and who don’t fit neatly in to one category or another.  These people provide the hidden connections which we see of great value.

We now have 21 people we have supported through Scholarships and Bursaries and of these 19 have been made Fellows (see https://intersticia.org/fellows/).

However, bringing people in to our Fellowship is just the beginning, and one thing that our work thus far has demonstrated is that it is not broadening our reach which is important, but deepening our connection and strengthening our impact.  Of those we support some choose to continue being a part of, and contributing to, our community, others choose not to, which is their choice.

For those who stay with us there are four main areas that we have begun to focus on:

  1. helping our Fellows develop their own Authenticity as emerging 21st Century Leaders
  2. creating our Fellowship as a Community that shares experiences and learning
  3. supporting our Fellows to find their Voice in the stories they tell and work that they do
  4. harvesting these factors to build a collective Resilience in their work and individual lives

This year we have not been able to come together as a group physically but we held our 2020 Retreat online and appended this with Small Group sessions which continue in to 2021.

We have embarked upon a series of Intersticia Brave Conversations interviews with each of our Fellows produced online and available throughout the community.  As a complement to this we have begun working with our Fellow Jess Chambers in her professional capacity as a Voice Coach to give all within our community additional skills in how they present themselves publicly.

Finally we have expanded our group of Advisors with the contribution of key individuals who are willing to help and support our Fellowship group.  These people have been incredibly generous with their time, energy and enthusiasm – without them we couldn’t do all that we do.

Work with like-minded partner organisations to support entrepreneurship and innovation

We also could not do the work that we do without leveraging the partnerships that we have, in particular Goodenough College, the Web Science Trust, Founders and Coders (FAC) and Gaza Sky Geeks (GSG).  It is through these organisations that we have been able to find new opportunities and innovative projects.

Our support of the Founders Programme began our formal partnership with both FAC and GSG and has resulted in three cohorts of Founders from both London and Palestine, and our first cohort of Founders (Joe Friel, Simon Dupree and Ramy Shufara) has created the first spin out in Yalla, “a Web Design and Development agency which helps non-profits and impact-driven businesses drive positive social change in the tech sphere”.

In 2021 we aim to take this to the next level through the development of a pilot Apprenticeship Programme with Yalla employing two Gaza Code Academy Graduates.

Hold public events with a specific aim of promoting conversations and building skills in digital literacy and leadership

From the outset Intersticia has sought to operate within the interstice between society, culture and technology, the space of the Social Machine.

Our flagship activity is our Brave Conversations events which seek to educate the general public about the Social Machine and act as an Outreach activity for academic research of Web Science.  We have now held events around the world, and, with the opportunity afforded by Covid in 2020, online.

Our plan for 2021 is to build on these foundations to further expand the footprint encouraging a greater partnership with the Web Science Trust and its network of Web Science Labs, beginning with our second event hosted by IIIT Bangalore in February 2021.  We will also be an integral part of the 2021 Web Science Conference to be held online in June 2021 and intend to integrate content from the Web Science Untangling the Web podcasts in to our activities.

All of our events are listed below and on the Brave Conversations website.

2020 Brave Conversations Kav Mashve
2020 Brave Conversations Arabic/English
2020 Brave Conversations Southampton Online
2020 Brave Conversations Gaza
2020 Brave Conversations Bangalore
2019 Brave Conversations London
2019 Brave Conversations Boston
2019 Brave Conversations Melbourne
2018 Brave Conversations Kingston
2018 Brave Conversations London
2018 Brave Conversations at the World Government Summit Dubai
2017 Brave Conversations Canberra
2011 Metalounge

Digital Gymnasia Series

In a ‘normal’ year we would usually hold a series of workshops at Goodenough College to promote digital literacy and digital skills to current students of the College.  Given the restrictions on travel we have instead now developed our Digital Gymnasia Series which has been delivered throughout 2020 to students and Alumni of the College around the world. In 2020 we developed and delivered eight workshops which attracted between 20 – 30 attendees each time.  In 2021 we will be delivering an additional four Gymnasia to the Goodenough community in 2021 on the topics of Building Digital Brands, Demystifying AI, Facilitating Online and Digital Governance.  All of these are now being recorded to be made available online to the general public, especially the Boards of Charities and Not-for Profit organisations.

Conclusion

2020 has taught us the value of our networks and connections, whether they be IRL (in real life) or via the virtual medium.  What I have found is that whilst I have been ‘grounded’ in my physical space here up on Pittwater and have connected more frequently with my local neighbours and community, I have been much more active with a broader range of people around the World and my Global community.  I have spoken to my family and friends more often, I have held more meetings and I have been more productive than I have ever been.  Through this I believe we have been given the opportunity to deepen our relationships this year, particularly with our Fellows and Advisors, who have all brought their personal experiences and challenges of negotiating and navigating through 2020 and shared without hesitation.

We have been given the opportunity to slow down and consolidate rather than madly race around looking for new adventures and shiny new distractions, and for that I am extremely grateful.

So what comes next?  We have talked about our planned 2021 Retreat in Devon and following that we plan to take our Fellows to walk through the Sinai Desert led by our Advisor Louise Sibley.  These face to face activities where we don’t have to rely on words but can commune as a group of humans physically together are now more important than ever.  As are our ongoing Brave Conversations events where we ask our Fellows to share their thoughts about the work they are doing and perhaps the theme for 2021 may be “Brave Conversations Unplugging” as the World gradually unfreezes from it’s Pandemic state (thanks to Sam Crock for that idea).

More on that to come!

Creating a 21st Century Literacy

Creating a 21st Century Literacy

Founders Joe Friel, Oliver Smith-Wellnitz, Kristina Jaggard with Dan Sofer and Anni Rowland-Campbell

Founders and Coders started life as “Self Organising”, a MeetUp at the British Library[1] which led to a 6 week pilot at the Camden Code Academy in March 2014[2].   The next step was a crowdsourced 8 week programme in January 2015[3] (FAC4).

Founders and Coders are now about to graduate their 17th cohort FAC17, and have helped to initiate Coding bootcamps in Nazareth, Gaza and Hebron[4].

I met Dan in 2015 and quickly realised that his vision of bringing the ability to code to all those who are interested in developing a ‘literacy for the modern age’, and ours of developing 21st Century leaders, were closely aligned.  This resulted in our support to help him create the Tech for Better Founders Programme[5] and ever since we have been exploring new ways to work together and develop both the technical and social skills required to lead in the twenty first century.

Our first cohort of Founders, Joe Friel, Simon Dupree and Michael Watts[6] have now founded the first FAC ‘spin out’, the Yalla Co-Operative with Gaza Founders Ramy Shurafa and Asala Kamal[7].

Our second cohort, Oliver Smith Wellnitz and Kristina Jaggard[8] finished their Founders work and are co-ordinating the 17th FAC programme.

Tech for Better – Founders 2 Projects 2019

Oliver and Kristina worked with a range of Palestinian Founders on three projects:  Commons, HOWL, Business LaunchPad

The Commons:  Networked City sought to progress work towards their ultimate goal of creating an online platform for supporting the development of communities and networks, both in a spatial (e.g. a local community) and interest (e.g. supporting at-risk youth) sense.

Team:  Kristina-Talisa Jaggard, London Oliver Smith-Wellnitz, London Haneen Shahwan, Gaza, Ali Haj Ahmed, Gaza

HOWL (The History of Women’s Liberation (HOWL) ​group) is a group of aged 60+ women who were active during the Women’s Liberation Movement between the 1960s and 1990s who continue to contribute to the contemporary feminist discourse.   Their central aim is to create a collection of stories, visual documentation and ephemera relating to the Women’s Liberation Movement in the United Kingdom

Team:  Kristina-Talisa Jaggard, London Oliver Smith-Wellnitz, London Orjwan ​Al-Rajaby, Hebron Muhammed Shareef, Hebron

Business Launchpad aims to support young entrepreneurs (16-30) through running free workshops and mentoring sessions with groups and individuals. Part of their work involves collecting and digitizing information related to each individual’s journey in order to both better support them and to inform the future direction of the organization.  They sought to create an app that would help to facilitate their data collection while also providing something that would be useful for young entrepreneurs.

Team:  Kristina-Talisa Jaggard, London Oliver Smith-Wellnitz, London Salwa Mugh, Gaza Shaima Azmi, Hebron

Gaza Sky Geeks Second Cohort Founders

Haneen Shahwan – Graduate Coder

Haneen Shahwan is a software engineer who graduated from Gaza Sky Geeks Coding Bootcamp in 2016.  She worked in the management field for one year then decided to return programming.  Code Academy has challenged her and helped her develop her software engineering skills together with her skills in systems analysis, and her English and communication skills.  She returns to Tech4Better so further develop the skills she began developing during the first round of projects.

Ali Haj Ahmed – Graduate Coder

Alis has a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronics Engineering, from Al-Azhar University, Gaza.  He graduated in 2012 and joined the Business and Technology Incubator (BTI) at the Islamic University (Mobaderoon 2 project) before starting his own business in CNC Zone.  He then decided to learn programming and joined Gaza Sky Geeks in mid 2018.  He is keen to further develop his technical and communication skills as a team and community member.

Muhammed Shareef – Graduate Coder

Muhammad graduated from Palestine Polytechnic University in Aug 2018, with a BA degree in Computer Science.  He joined the GSG Founders and Coders program to strengthen his programming, management, and social skills, and also to make good relationships with people out of his country.

Orjwan Al-Rajaby – Graduate Coder

Orjwan heard of Gaza Sky Geeks after being unable to attend College and then entered the Coders programme after hearing about them on Facebook.  She is now a Fullstack Developer.

Salwa Mughessib – Graduate Coder

Salwa studied Electrical Engineering at Islamic University of Gaza and applied for Gaza Sky Geeks Code Academy shortly afterwards.  She enjoys the community and meeting new and interesting people.

Shaima Ihdoosh – Graduate Coder

Shaima has an information technology degree from Palestine Polytechnic University graduating in July 2018.   After graduation she was unable to find work and then did volunteer work to gain experience before hearing about Gaza Sky Geeks when browsing Facebook.  She was keen to learn programming and communications and work with a team of students from other fields and joined the first GSG Cohort in the West Bank.

All Tech for Better Project GitHub Repositories and Descriptions:

  • https://github.com/techforbetter/connect5
  • https://github.com/yalla-coop/myPickle
  • https://github.com/techforbetter/nightingale
  • https://github.com/founders-programme-2/commons
  • https://github.com/founders-programme-2/howl
  • https://github.com/founders-programme-2/business-launchpad

 

[1] Initial meeting – Self-Organising Meeting at British Library – http://selforganising.org/

[2] 6 week pilot Camden Code Academy March 2014 – https://vimeo.com/88149344

[3] Crowdsourced programme for FAC4 –
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/founders-coders-a-free-coding-academy-in-london/

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/05/wireless-in-gaza-the-code-school-bringing-hope-to-the-strip and https://medium.freecodecamp.org/something-within-me-whispered-be-the-builder-9a47fcc013f

[5] See https://intersticia.org/founders-and-coders-tech-for-better/ and https://www.foundersandcoders.com/techforbetter/)

[6][7] See https://www.yallacooperative.com/, https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/the-most-international-micro-agency-how-two-london-bootcamp-graduates-built-a-remote-3eeda0be1b2a/ and https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/indyventure/founders-coders-software-developer-academy-islington-gaza-yalla-a8907586.html

[8]https://intersticia.org/founders-and-coders-tech-for-better-second-cohort/

Founders and Coders – Tech for Better, Second Cohort

Founders and Coders – Tech for Better, Second Cohort

Founders Oliver Smith-Wellnitz and Kristina Jaggard with Haneen Shahwah and Ali Haj Ahmed

Intersticia is thrilled to announce our second cohort of Tech for Better Coders in partnership with Founders and Coders (UK) and Gaza Sky Geeks.

This builds on the very successful first round which resulted in the creation of the Yalla Co-Operative providing ongoing opportunities for the team from our first cohort to continue their collaboration in a commercial environment building real products and services.

Our second cohort consists of two London coders who will work on three sprints over three months helping to develop Tech for Good projects.  They will be complemented by six Gaza coders who will work in pairs for one month each.

The Course Faciliator is Charlie la Fosse.

London Coders – Second Cohort, 2019

Oliver Smith-Wellnitz – Graduate Coder

Oliver Smith-Wellnitz is an Australian-born international Circus Artist turned Web Developer. After spending twelve years training, performing, and teaching as a trapeze and hula hoop artist, Oliver turned to coding as a means of finding not only more stability, but also opportunities to make a meaningful impact with his work. Founders and Coders, with their peer-driven and community-oriented structure, offered the perfect opportunity to achieve these goals, and Oliver was quick to accept when offered the chance. He is extremely excited to be able to take advantage of the skills learned throughout the course and apply them to projects for Tech For Better clients.

Kristina-Talisa Jaggard – Graduate Coder

Coming from a background in visual art, Kristina-Talisa Jaggard developed an interest in programming after being introduced to web design through her job within the charity sector. Noting a disparity in online accessibility for those with disabilities, Kristina decided to learn to programme for herself. It was the core values of social impact, inclusion and cooperation that drew Kristina specifically to the Founders and Coders course.  Kristina applied to the subsequent Founders Program because she wished to continue to develop her programming skills while working on real-world projects that push for a more inclusive World Wide Web.

Gaza Coders – Second Cohort, 2019

Haneen Shahwan – Graduate Coder

Haneen Shahwan is a software engineer who graduated from Gaza Sky Geeks Coding Bootcamp in 2016.  She worked in the management field for one year then decided to return programming.  Code Academy has challenged her and helped her develop her software engineering skills together with her skills in systems analysis, and her English and communication skills.  She returns to Tech4Better so further develop the skills she began developing during the first round of projects.

Ali Haj Ahmed – Graduate Coder

Alis has a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronics Engineering,from Al-Azhar University, Gaza.  He graduated in 2012 and joined the Business and Technology Incubator (BTI) at the Islamic University (Mobaderoon 2 project) before starting his own business in CNC Zone.  He then decided to learn programming and joined Gaza Sky Geeks in mid 2018.  He is keen to further develop his technical and communication skills as a team and community member.

We are very excited that our ongoing partnership is providing such fabulous experience for young coders, and for the opportunity to continue working cross-culturally between London and Gaza.

Founders and Coders Tech for Better

Founders and Coders Tech for Better

In November 2018 Intersticia UK began supporting the Founders and Coders Tech for Better programme.

The programme seeks to design, test and build new digital service ideas using developers in London and Gaza which not only gives the opportunity for graduate coders to gain experience working on real, needs based client projects, but also for those clients to take their initial ideas and turn them in to a testable pilot service.

Founders and Coders aim to encourage and develop diversity in coding, focusing not only on the coding itself, but on the entrepreneurship and community building.  They seek to be an early stage incubator and accelerator for Tech for Good through actively providing education and experience, as opposed to Venture Capitalists who provide funding.  It is very hard to build a business model through the learning process itself, and therefore F&C are encouraging graduates to work on real projects aims to draw key lessons from early stage projects, as well as develop intercultural skills and team processes.

This is precisely why Intersticia is supporting the Tech for Better programme, to both enable the development of prototype services that will have social benefit, and to support the graduate coders in working on real challenges.  In addition the cross-cultural learning between London and Gaza is a unique learning experience for everyone.

Finally, Intersticia is keen to work with Founders and Coders and their graduates to help develop much more of a contextually driven social conscious around the business of building technology.  By bringing coders from different cultural backgrounds together in a deliberate way the participants have to learn to understand differing viewpoints, value frameworks and norms of acceptability in the work that they do.  We will work with them to further consider the ethical and moral questions that underpin their work, and interrogate the business models that accompany and support any technology solution.

This is just our first group of graduates and we are excited about the potential they have to truly become better leaders through the work that they do.

Our sincere thanks to Dan Sofer for inviting us to be a part of the team, and to Jo Kerr for her ongoing participation as one of our Intersticia Fellows.

Tech for Better projects 2018 – see Connect 5, My Pickle and Nightingale

Connect 5 is a UK-wide mental health promotion training programme developed from a unique collaboration between Public Health England (PHE) & Health Education England (HEE). It is designed to increase the confidence and core skills of front line staff so that they can be more effective in having conversations about mental health and well-being, help people to manage mental health problems and increase their resilience and mental well-being through positive changes.

Connect 5’s system is highly reliant on ongoing monitoring activities to ensure trainings are effective, and one crucial element is to collect and evaluate participant’s feedback. After each training session participants are supposed to fill out a survey form and this process can be cumbersome and difficult.  The Connect 5 App aims to tackle this by creating a tool that focuses primarily on trainers to easily share survey forms with course participants and to collect results. Moreover the App shows and visualises individual and overall average survey results.  Finally trainers can export and download all of their results. Using the app Connect 5 trainers can gain insights about their teaching outcomes over time.

My Pickle is a new social enterprise platform that helps people find support and in doing so, funds are raised to help more people access the services they need & support VCS services.  Cat Divers’ (My Pickle 5 Founder and Product Owner) basic aim was to create a platform related to integrated wellness which addresses multiple health & well-being factors rather than a single issue. It is an holistic, person-centred approach and uses a combination of services, activities & technologies across all eight dimensions of wellness.  The objective was to help My Pickle develop to become a Minimum Viable Product.

Nightingale is an innovative analytical software tool for the early identification of mental health and wellbeing concerns in schools.

2018 Tech for Better Graduates London

Course Facilitator:  Michael Watts

Michael is the course facilitator for FAC15, who started their cohort on 29th October. In previous lives he has been a musician and teacher, and discovered his love for coding through teaching coding to children using Scratch. He was drawn to Founders & Coders as a place to train because of the emphasis on social impact projects and is now overseeing the Tech For Better programme to help develop it into a consistent and sustainable pipeline of meaningful projects for students in London and in Gaza.

Graduate Programmer:  Simon Dupree

Simon comes from Berlin, Germany. Having studied politics, economics and natural resource management he has determined work towards improving social and environmental conditions through the use of technology.

“Having recently graduated from Founders and Coders I am very eager to use my software development skills within the Tech for Better programme. I am sure that together we can make huge impact and I am very excited about the chance to work together with like minded developers in Gaza and the UK.“

Graduate Coder:  Joe Friel

Joe worked in media and digital advertising where he helped build the children’s radio station, Fun Kids, into a national award-winning brand and set up an influencer marketing division for one of the UK’s leading advertising agencies. Having spent most of his career working where technology and young people intersect, Joe is keen to develop technology in a responsible way that will help drive positive, sustainable change. 
“Tech for Better is a truly unique and fantastic opportunity that connects like-minded developers – across the UK and Gaza – with people looking to address important social issues, to bring to life solutions through technology that can deliver real impact. I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a part of Tech for Better and help it to continue to grow so we can help many more non-profits in the future.“

A major outcome of the Tech For Better programme thus far is that five of the coders (Michael, Simon, Jo, Ramy and Asala) have formed a Co-Operative to take their collaboration further as The Yalla Co-Operative.

2018 Tech for Better Graduates Gaza

Gaza Sky Geeks is the leading co-working space, pre-seed accelerator, and technology education hub in Gaza which brings together online freelancers, outsourcers, and startup founders together under one roof.  It is one of the most women-inclusive startup communities in the world (42% of the community is female) and was founded in 2011 in partnership with Google and the international NGO Mercy Corps.

Graduate Coder – Connect 5 – Ramy Shurafa

Ramy was born in Gaza-Palestine. and attended Islamic University – Gaza where he studied Science and then both Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering.  He graduated as a Civil Engineer and then received the Surveying and GIS Diploma before working as an engineer.
“I applied to work on Tech for Better so that I can have the opportunity to improve my technical skills. Working with remote clients and remote developers are invaluable experiences that will allow me to see how other developers think and to learn new techniques.“

Graduate Coder – Connect 5 – Marwa Jomaa

Marwa is from Gaza and having graduated from the fourth cohort Code Academy is now a Javascript web developer working on community projects.
“The thing that made me like programming is that it doesn’t believe in boundaries and constraints, while it enables me from home to communicate with people from different parts of the world, and this is my dream, which I found in Tech for better, where I can communicate and work with talented developers and clients remotely, share ideas and do great work as if we are in the same place. Also to have the chance to enhance my technical and communications skills, so I think I’m lucky to be a part of this community as I’m looking for working with such talented developers from the UK.“

Graduate Coder – My Pickle – Haneen Shahwan

Haneen studied software engineering before working in management and has returned to programming.  The experience of working on the Tech for Better programme has enabled her to focus on both her technical and communication skills, and to gain experience working remotely as part of the team where people think differently.
“So far the code academy is one of the most challenging things and the best experience for me. It’s really helped me to become a good software engineer because this experience is not just focusing on the technical side, but also involves your (English) communications skills and how to analyze any system.  GSG encouraged me join to Tech for Better to learn more and know how different developers are thinking. It also created the first remote client experiences and also supports me to build my portfolio.”

Graduate Coder – My Pickle – Ismail Al-Salehail

Ismail attend Al-Azhar University-Gaza, initially studying software engineering before moving to computer science in the third year.  Ismail is excited by the challenge and reward of writing code and building something to solve problems and brings this to work on new projects and enhance his technical and communication skills.
“The main thing that makes me love programming are the challenges and the competition that faced me when trying first how to learn to programme. After I finished university and learned the basics of programming I felt that it is not enough for me to reach my goals. Friends advised me to come to GazaSkyGeeks and join their program and being a part of the Founders and Coders community. It was the most amazing thing in my life. It’s a great community and they are a great people.  Joining Tech for Better was an amazing opportunity to learn new things and also to meet great people from the community and clients in London.”

Graduate Coder – Nightingale – Asala Kamal

Asala is a 2018 graduate of E-business management from Khan Younis Training College, and part of the 5th cohort of the Gaza Sky Geeks Coding Academy.
“My top interest in work and learning is work in teams, faced challenges, work in complex projects which offer opportunities for gaining new experiences and have fun 😄. So, I applied to work on Tech for Better so that I can have the opportunity to improve my technical skills. Working with remote clients and remote developers are height experiences that will allow me to see how other developers think and to learn new techniques. I also thrive on challenge. I am motivated about new challenges and tasks and always attempt to take original approaches to achieve success in all project..”
Intersticia UK – Registered Charity Number 1181435

Intersticia UK – Registered Charity Number 1181435

After months of hard work on the part of our Trustees, Fellows and wonderful legal team of Abbie Rumbold, Suhan Rajkumar and Darren Chin of Bates Wells Braithwaite – who have patiently shepherded us through the process – we are thrilled to announce that the Charity Commission has now determined that they are satisfied that Intersticia UK is established for charitable purposes only for the public benefit and ‘mankind’ in general.

Our objects are:

The advancement of education for the public benefit by:

  • Providing support and funding for the benefit of emerging leaders in their chosen fields of expertise, including in particular grants and scholarships for their tuition costs and/or their living costs;
  • Providing support and opportunities for emerging leaders to experience and develop leadership skills in the interstice between technology, culture and society by creating learning opportunities, including through the provision of access to  digital resources, conferences, retreats and workshops;
  • Promoting the development of digital literacy and leadership skills, including through public events such as conferences and workshops.

For the purpose of this Article 2, ‘emerging  leaders’ means individuals aged 18 – 40 with leadership experience or an ambition to gain experience in leadership, including without limitation postgraduate students attending universities.

We will fulfil our object by:

  • Making grants to individuals
  • Making grants to organisations
  • Providing services, advocacy, advice and information
  • Sponsoring or undertaking research
  • Acting as an umbrella or Resource body
  • Identifying and undertaking other charitable activities that help us achieve our objects.

A core part of this will be working globally as we continue to develop our Fellowship, our work with partners, and our Brave Conversations global footprint.

A huge thank you from us to everyone involved and from me especially to Tris Lumley, Alison Irvine, Hamish Laing and Berivan Esen, all of whom shared the highs and lows of the experience along the way.

Now to put theory in to practice!