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Girls Who Code CEO to deliver 2015 Iscol Lecture

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Reshma SaujaniReshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and prepare young women for jobs of the future, will deliver the 2015 Iscol Lecture on October 7. In her groundbreaking new book, Women Who Don't Wait in Line, Reshma advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting one's own course — personally and professionally.

After years of working as an attorney and supporting the Democratic party as an activist and fundraiser, Reshma left her private sector career behind and surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman in the country to run for U.S. Congress.

Following the highly publicized race, Reshma stayed true to her passion for public service, becoming Deputy Public Advocate of New York City and, most recently, running a spirited campaign for Public Advocate on a platform of creating educational and economic opportunities for women and girls, immigrants, and those who have been sidelined in the political process.

A true political entrepreneur, Reshma has been fearless in her efforts to disrupt both politics and technology to create positive change.

Reshma is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School. She was recently named a WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year, one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in New York by the New York Daily News, CNBC's Next List, Forbes's Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People, Crain’s New York 40 Under 40, Ad Age's Creativity 50, Business Insider's 50 Women Who Are Changing the World, City & State's Rising Stars, and an AOL/PBS Next MAKER.

news-2015iscol-inpost2Girls Who Code programs work to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. In 1984, 37% of all computer science graduates were women, but today that number is just 18%. Twenty percent of AP computer science test-takers are female, and 0.4% of high school girls express interest in majoring in computer science, expressing a puzzling disconnect .  Girls Who Code believes to close the gender gap in technology, we have to inspire girls to pursue computer science by exposing them to real-life and on-screen role models. The organization engage engineers, developers, executives, and entrepreneurs to teach and motivate the next generation.

Their unique pairing of high quality instruction in programming fundamentals, web development and design, mobile development, and robotics with exposure to technology companies is unmatched by any other program. Their vision is to reach gender parity in computing fields, believing this to be essential to the economic prosperity of women, families, and communities across the globe. Girls Who Code aims to provide computer science education and exposure to 1 million young women by 2020.

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2014 Iscol Lecture: Maria Pacheco, Monday, October 6, 2014

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WAKAMI: A Value Chain that Connects and Transforms People and the Earth
Maria Pacheco, General Manager and Owner, Kiej de los Bosques

Monday, October 6, 2014
Statler Hotel Ballroom

In this talk, Maria Pacheco, co-founder of Wakami, will share how this value chain is transforming people and the environment. Wakami is a lifestyle brand of fashion accessories that invites people to Create, Design, Enjoy . . . Be their dream!

Wakami currently works in 17 villages in Guatemala, providing sources of income to 450 people (90% women), and exporting products to 20 countries in the world. With increased income, women invest in opportunities and make the purchases they need to improve the lives of their families and communities.

To enhance the quality of life and make the villagers’ dreams come to life, the Wakami Village Program partners with other social businesses and NGOs to improve education, health, nutrition, and the environment.


Maria Pacheco is the founder and CEO of Wakami Village Partners. Born in Guatemala City, Maria and her family moved to the United States at the age of 12, returning home at 16 when she began working at a refugee camp.

After completing her undergraduate studies in Guatemala, Maria studied Biological Agriculture and received her Master's degree in 1993 when she again returned to Guatemala determined to address her homeland's perpetual famine.

In 2004 Maria founded Kiej de los Bosques S.A., a business dedicated to connecting rural villages with local markets. The program’s success convinced Maria to expand into international markets, and eventually create opportunities for rural communities in other countries around the world. In 2006 Maria joined with her cousin Queta Rodriguez to create Wakami, and the dream was born.

“My dream is my destiny.  I dream of a world in which the sound of the wind against the trees, the songs of birds from their nests, the jump of a lizard from one twig to another, the footsteps of a tiger in the soil, the breeze of spring in the home, and peace between brothers and sisters are everyday events.”

Today, Maria Pacheco is the guiding inspiration behind the Wakami brand, the lifestyle it promotes, and the values by which it operates.

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2013 Iscol Lecture: Leila Janah, Monday, September 30, 2013

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Samasource: A Sustainable Solution to Global Poverty
Leila Janah, Samasource

Monday, September 30, 2013
7:30 PM
Kennedy Hall, Call Auditorium

Samasource in Kenya

Come hear the story of how the award-winning  non-profit Samasource was founded and find out how Samasource survived during its most rapid and tumultuous period of growth: the start-up years. Learn from Leila Janah, Samasource Founder and CEO, who went from being a student of international development and budding travel writer to a world-renowned technology leader. Beyond the media hype and the awards Samasource has received in its relatively short existence for their global poverty solution, Leila will share with us her experiences of the fast and furious, iterative process of building a company with real revenue streams. Beyond inspiring to be driven by social mission, Leila will delve into the fundamental secret of social entrepreneurship: survival hinges on getting things done and never giving up. And because there is no road map, recognizing that getting lost along the way is usually when you end up finding yourself… and your product.

Leila Janah is the founder and CEO of Samasource. She serves on the boards of CARE, OneLeap, and TechSoup Global and as an advisor to mobile shopping app RevelTouch.

Prior to Samasource, Janah was a Visiting Scholar with the Stanford Program on Global Justice and Australian National University’s Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. She was a founding Director of Incentives for Global Health, an initiative to increase R&D spending on diseases of the poor, and a management consultant at Katzenbach Partners (now Booz & Co.). She has also worked at the World Bank and as a travel writer for Let’s Go in Mozambique, Brazil, and Borneo.

She is the recipient of a 2011 World Technology Award and a 2012 TechFellow Award. She received a BA from Harvard.

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10 Years of the Iscol Family Program

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10 Years of the Iscol Family Program
November, 2011

A brief video overview of the Iscol Family Program and the first 10 Iscol Family Program for Leadership Development in Public Service Lectures

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