Robyn, the Swedish musician known for her deeply sincere and eminently danceable pop songs, is putting on a one-day festival meant to support girls who are interested in tech. Called Tekla, the festival will be held in Sweden's capital and include workshops on programming, robotics, 3D printing, game development, electronic music, and more. The event is meant for girls from the age of 11 to 18 and intends to encourage them to further their interests in STEM fields, which are still overwhelming dominated by men. "Tekla is a festival for girls, in which they get to sample different areas of future technology in what I believe will be a fun and imaginative environment," Robyn says in a statement. Robyn will also perform at the festival, which is a pretty good bonus for those who show up.
"[I] wanted to do something to inspire girls who are curious about technology."
The festival is being thrown in partnership with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, which awarded Robyn its Great Prize in 2013. Recipients are required to hold a seminar at the university, but Robyn is instead choosing to throw this day-long event. "I thought of KTH's motto, 'science and art', and wanted to do something to inspire girls who are curious about technology, while at the same time highlighting that too few women are applying to KTH programs," Robyn says. KTH says that only about 34 percent of its new students are women. Google, Spotify, and other tech firms are partnering for the event. It'll be held April 18th. It's not stated whether the event will recur in the future.
Tech isn't the area you'd expect to see Robyn working in, but KTH still views her as an important figure in the industry because of what it calls her use of "new technology in IT, audio, and video in innovative and exciting ways." And throwing an event like Tekla is important. An interest in these subjects too often isn't fostered in girls throughout school, and introducing it to them through a dedicated festival could help to change that — even if it starts with a small number of people.
If you want to hear more about Robyn's views on tech, you can listen to her singing about robots below.