Real World Futures

QUT nurtures high school ‘tech entrepreneurs’ to end cyberbullying

Date: 14 May 2018

The next generation of female tech leaders are being tasked with putting an end to cyberbullying in a day-long innovation workshop at QUT, on the eve of Brisbane’s premier innovation festival Myriad.

In a rare opportunity for high school students, 100 girls from Queensland schools are attending Myriad High on Tuesday May 15, 2018 at QUT’s Gardens Point campus.

QUT’s leading thinkers have set the girls a real world problem to solve – by 2025 there is no more cyberbullying.

One in five Australian children are cyberbullied and the number of complaints about the online behaviour increased by 63 per cent between 2015-16 and 2016-17, according to the e-Safety Office.

Many of those are young girls.

During Myriad High, small teams of girls are working together to come up with creative solutions to the complex problem of cyberbullying and online security before pitching their ideas to a judging panel.

Female tech pioneers will be on hand helping to coach and mentor the girls including:    

  • Sarah Moran - CEO of Girl Geek Academy, whose mission is to teach one million women to get into tech and launch start ups
  • Yael Eisenstal - former CIA officer, national security advisor to Vice President Biden and diplomat turned public advocate
  • Shadi Rostami - software engineer and Palo Alto Networks Vice President
  • Nathalie Mezza-Garcia - scientist and leader of Blue Frontiers – a project to build a floating island in French Polynesia
  • Dr Deb Polson - QUT Interactive Designer who will also provide guidance and expertise of STEM fields beyond the lab detailing last year’s GOMA Marvel exhibition.

Girl Geek Academy and former QUT student Sarah Moran said Myriad High was an important case study to provide the girls with professional technical and entrepreneurial skills to make a difference in the world.

“Coding is a skill you are never too young or old to learn. Currently, only 12 per cent of workers building the internet are women,” she said.

“We need to level the playing field for future generations of women to have the same leadership and salary opportunities as our male counterparts.”

QUT’s Chair of the Digital Economy, Professor Marek Kowalkiewicz, said Myriad High was unique in an era when responsible tech needed to be at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship.

 “Myriad High aims to immerse young women in an interactive, inspirational innovation experience complete with storytelling from global role models,” Professor Kowalkiewicz said.

Led by QUT business School, the University has been a partner with the Queensland government’s innovation festival since inception in 2016.

Up to 5000 visitors, including US investors flown in from Silicon Valley, are expected to attend the festival which runs May 16 to 18 at RNA Showgrounds.

During Myriad Garage, a custom-designed exhibition space, QUT’s leading innovations will be on display including the award-winning locally-developed robot Cartman.


Debra Nowland | media officer (Mon, Wed, Thurs) | QUT Marketing & Communication | 07 3138 1150 |

After hours, Rose Trapnell, QUT Media team leader, 0407 585 901,

Content sourced from QUT News Web Service.


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