Swedish musician Robyn partners with the KTH Royal Institute and launches a one-day tech festival scheduled to take place on April 18. Dubbed as "Tekla," the festival is aimed at increasing women's interest in technology and will feature workshops, speakers and a performance from Robyn.
The idea of organizing a festival came as a result of Robyn's recognition by the KTH which had awarded the musician with the annual Great Prize in 2013. Similar to the Nobel Prize, the awarding body of the Swedish university requires that the recipient of the prize holds a seminar at the university premises.
According to Robyn, Tekla is "a festival for girls, in which they get to sample different areas of future technology in what I believe will be a fun and imaginative environment." There will be workshops on robotics, programming, game development, 3D printing, electronic music, and more.
"I thought of KTH's motto, Science and Art, and wanted to do something to inspire girls who are curious about technology, while at the same time highlighting that too few women are applying to KTH programs," said Robyn.
It has been understood that currently and even historically, technology is a male-dominated industry wherein gender balance has showed a slow progress. At KTH, only 34 percent of its new students are women. In the labor market, only one in every four engineers is a woman. Moreover, other areas of technology seem to attract even a lower percentage of women. The result is a low proportion of women venturing into IT careers which is estimated to fall under 20 percent.
The one-day event will run from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. on April 18. The event's partners include Google, Spotify, Paradox Incentive and Valtech. It is also supported by Popkollo, a volunteer-based organization that runs a music camp for girls.
KTH sees Robyn as an important figure in the technology industry and lauds her for using "new technology in IT, audio, and video in innovative and exciting ways." The university's Great Prize award is aimed at honoring "a person who, through epoch-making discoveries and the creation of new values and by ingenious applications of findings gained on the practical aspects of life, promotes Sweden's continued material progress."
Robyn will be joined by other Stockholm favorites, DJ Lap See and Zhala in her performance at the festival. It remains to be seen just how much impact the festival can create and if there is a chance that it will be repeated in the future.