As The Dot Project we are proud to champion the role of women in technology. As women our way of communication is different, and we love to see how we naturally drive collaboration, communication and creativity to all that is the world of technology. We are not feminists, what we value and champion is the voices we have, what we can bring to the table.

I (Annie) joined a women in tech group in Bath a year or so ago, and despite all the fear and trepidations that it wasn’t going to be “me” I found that little nudge of the comfort zone to be the start of something so much bigger and better, to stat my journey of seeking like-minded women in technology to collectively strive for something bigger and better. For us this is for social purpose. We see an incredible role for technology to scale social impact, and how better to do this than through a human centred approach to the design and implementation of useable tech. That very group in Bath were the drivers behind ending up here in Lisbon at the WebSummit2017. Alerting me to the early bird women in tech tickets for only 85EUR we had access to a full week of the largest technology conference on the planet.

From that first meet up, to being here in Lisbon I have become increasingly passionate about the role of women in tech. Years ago I was the one sniffed at for daring to suggest project failure was due to people not communicating, not a technology failure. I now proudly shout from whatever platform you give me that after 20 years in tech, yes, tech will only succeed if we design around the needs, aspirations and connection of humans.

In the build up to WebSummit2017 we saw women in tech from around the world start to surface through Facebook, Slack and WhatsApp groups, with an inherent desire to share their knowledge, their experience and most poignantly a desire to connect. A whole host of side events around the summit surfaced, shared interests across UX, blockchain, marketing, and even pre-events in various locations from London to Stockholm. These simple collaborative tech tools enabled conversations that could never have been possible only a few years ago.

Conversations amongst over 6000 Women in Tech started to build momentum in the upcoming weeks of the event, and I felt I was witnessing something truly amazing, truly human, and a truly enabling community. We as The Dot Project were inspired to create our own event to bring together like minded women in tech for good – those in social enterprise and social impact roles to share ideas, collaborate, build networks. A local Lisbonite offered to organise a cafe location in the city, and there we were sharing amazing knowledge and experience amongst over 30 women in social impact projects from ethical fashion through to environmental conservation and virtual reality. There was such energy and overwhelming desire to learn and share experiences, to understand and be supportive to how we as women in tech for good have the vision to change society for the better.

Technology can enable human connections, it will never ever replace the power of physical connections, but lets celebrate the fact it can start the conversation, it can help us get connected to like-minded humans we would never have otherwise had the opportunity to meet. Connected people are the future form of empowered people.

I truly believe that our way of thinking as women, brings this to the fore. We naturally grow the conversation. We are deeply connected and driven by our intuition. We think and feel what is right, and by the very nature of striving for togetherness we drive human centric technology. This is the future, and this is what we feel we can truly pioneer as The Dot Project, mentoring organisations to scale their impact with technology, and guiding peer networks of connected and collaborative communities.