An earnest attempt to increase digital literacy across Europe is what sparked the creation of Meet and Code in 2017, with the aim to ignite interest into the world of technology and coding and empower youth to shape their digital future. Fast forward a few years later and amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Meet and Code continues to connect and engage with children and youth and has successfully delivered 1,325 online events across 35 European countries in 2020, reaching more than 39,500 learners from 500 cities.
Now in its fifth year, Meet and Code returns with an exciting virtual twist. Specially aligned to EU Code Week in October, Meet and Code will support with digital coding events reaching far and wide. Registrations are now open for local non-profits across Europe to submit their coding event concepts for ages of 8 and 24 and could receive a up to 500 euros in funding. Registration for funding is now open until 8 September 2021.
Meet and Code also hosts an awards ceremony to honour the most creative event ideas to get youngsters excited about coding. Once again, this year’s initiative will call upon local non-profits to submit their unique coding events linked to the United Sustainable Development Goals. The most successful workshops will be acknowledged and will also receive prize money for their hard work and efforts.
Celebrating EU Code Week, Fabrizia Benini, Deputy Director of Digital Transformation at the European Commission says, “In October, EU Code Week will again celebrate creativity, problem solving and innovation and bring coding to millions of young people in Europe and beyond. A special focus will be placed on reaching schools, and to empower as many young people as possible, EU Code Week collaborates with organizations such as Meet and Code.”
Digital technologies are a staple in everyday life - they are also transforming European schools and classrooms. Today’s kids need digital skills to be ready for the future. The 21st-century is centred around computational technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) and Robotics - coding is one way to expose youth to STEM-based topics from an early age so that they can develop skills and expertise to fulfil their professional and personal aspirations.
Behind Meet and Code are the founding partners SAP, Haus des Stiftens gGmbH, TechSoup Europe with the respective country partners of the TechSoup Europe network. In 2020, the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) joined as a European partner. Haus des Stiftens gGmbH is responsible for the overall initiative.