HoHoTO, Inspiring young women with the future of design and technology: a YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Centre expedition to FITC Toronto

November 15, 2017 by Caroline Dinnall

Known as the creativity and design conference, FITC—the Future of Innovation, Technology, and Creativity—welcomed thousands of attendees to Toronto from April 23-25, 2017, including creatives, technologists, executives, and marketers.

This year, FITC Toronto also opened its doors to future digital professionals, welcoming fifteen girls from YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Centre for the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by the brightest creative and innovative minds while exploring new technologies throughout the conference.

For some, this was a fresh, first-time experience. The girls explored the latest technology, a favourite being VR stations on the show floor. Each group of girls took turns stepping into the fascinating future of virtual worlds.

“I like how everything is hands on. We don’t really get access to do stuff, so I like how we can come here and try new products to give us a better understanding of technology,” said Niaz from the Centre.

Exploring VR on the show floor at FITC.

Although most of the talks were focused on the tangibles of technology and creativity, speakers brought their presentations back into the perspective of real life circumstances and experiences.

“I really enjoyed the Why Looking at Failure Leads to Success talk by Victoria Evans because people fail so many times in their lives, but turning it into success and seeing it in a different way is really interesting,” said Sarah from the Centre.

Most girls attended FITC with the belief that the technology world was only for geniuses who were hyper-specialized in creating hardware and software, but they were caught by surprise when they saw artists, marketers, and designers in passing and during presentations.

For Lena—an aspiring teacher—attending FITC Toronto motivated her to consider how she could broaden and modernize her future teaching curriculum.

“It’s really interesting how technology can encompass so many different fields of study, not just the IT field,” she said, “There are so many different uses of technology and in the future as a teacher I could implement them.”

Radia—who wishes to have a career in technology—says FITC Toronto was an open and honest environment where she felt connected to the innovators, designers, and creatives she admires.

“What I liked most about FITC was how involved all of the presenters were with their projects. They know so much about their topics and they are so open. It’s inspiring to know that you might be able to do the same things too,” she said.

Radia and friends at FITC.

The girls left the conference with a new perspective on the world of technology, and with new inspiration to pursue their dreams wholeheartedly.

“If I have an idea, I shouldn’t be limited based on what I have or don’t have. I should just get out there and use my passion and creative skills to make it happen.”

~ Erum Hasan

On behalf of YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Centre, HoHoTO would like to thank FITC for partnering with us in providing more opportunities for the next generation of digital professionals.

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The YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Centre in east Toronto is the only centre of its kind in Canada. This centre serves girls ages 9-18, of all ethnicities and belief systems, by providing a safe space, food, activities, and learning programs, 7 days a week.

With our collective efforts, we can inspire young minds across Toronto with new opportunities in business and technology.

Help us continue with our Girls’ Tech Tour and other inclusivity programs throughout 2018 by joining us at this year’s HoHoTO, happening Dec 8, 2017.

Dec 8 2017 HoHoTO Tickets start at $30 at http://weare.to

Thank you for your ongoing support!