Swedish pop star launches festival for girls in tech


Swedish pop star Robyn is pushing to get girls interested in technology – by launching her own tech festival.

She may be best known for pop hits such as “Dancing on my Own” and “Show me love”, but Robyn, whose real name is Robin Carlsson, is also a long-time promoter of gender equality, not least in tech.

Free festival for teens

On Tuesday, she announced her latest step: the upcoming Tekla Festival in Stockholm:

“Tekla will be a festival for girls where they get to try out tomorrow’s technology in different ways in what I think will be a fun and creative environment.”

The free festival will be held on 18 April at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and is directed at 11-18-year-old girls.

3D printing and games

Visitors can join workshops on everything from 3D printing and robot programming to designing games and producing music. And – as befits a festival launched by an international pop star – there’ll be live performances throughout the day, including one by Robyn herself.

Paulina Modlitba Söderlund from Tekla, Robyn and Sophia Hober, dean of KTH

Paulina Modlitba Söderlund from Tekla, Robyn and Sophia Hober, dean of KTH. (Photo: Sara Arnald)

Several companies have already got behind Robyn and KTH’s mission of getting more girls into tech, with sponsors including Google and Spotify.

Combining creativity and tech

Today, only one in three students at KTH are female. Robyn and KTH hope that Tekla Festival will get more girls interested in pursuing technology, by showing the creative side of tech.

“Technology itself isn’t the goal, it’s just a tool to solve problems that our society, organisations and people face,” said KTH’s dean Sophia Hober in a statement.

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