2028 is set to be a brighter future with lots of challenges! How you frame those challenges depends on the type of lens you put on it. If you expect it to be difficult or you expect you will find a route to success, then you will be correct in both cases. That's the power of the mindset, the truth is your brain will manifest what you actually believe to be your future.
This question is why we brought in Zoe Philpott and Susan Dolan to collaborate on a project, to look at the challenges of STEM in education and using the past to celebrate what the future could be...
It's about #ADAsARMY, Ada.Ada.Ada and how we are joining forces with people everywhere to address sex inequality, by updating history with the overlooked herstory.
Together we can rewrite history and change culture: creating a shared narrative that values people as equals, as opposed to valuing a person according to their genitals.
It's a big task.
Society celebrates great people by putting them on a pedestal. We see statues of these great people, immortalised in bronze and larger than life, placed on great stone plinths so we can look up at them. These statues are celebrated historical figures placed with pride in our towns and cities as role models, to encourage us to continue in their footsteps and, to paraphrase Isaac Newton, to stand on the shoulders of their greatness.
But. There is a big But. These role models from history are perfect if you are born the same as the, at the time, ruling patriarchy. In the West, as a white man, you have more statues than you can shake a stick at. History is, after all, His Story.
Take a moment to think of all the statues in your town, even beyond your town - how many women are there?
I am not having a go at man, far from it. Today's society is ready to be equal, we are becoming more and more equal with every generation. But, how can we aspire to equality when our shared narrative, our history, is so biased to men? If you were to go by history, compared to men, women didn't do anything to get us here, so logically, why would anyone (male or female) expect women to do anything or be capable of doing anything for our future? This is simply not true though, women make up over 50% of the world's population and contributed in every facet of life. The contribution simply wasn't recorded by the ruling patriarchy.
So, the whole idea behind Adas's Army is to update his story with the missing her story, so it can become our story.
This is a big job though, as the sayings go, Rome wasn't built in a day, one battle won't win the war. We need strategy, tactics and a lot of people, and this is where Adas's Army comes in. We need you to join up.
The world needs more skilled people to be employed in the tech and science industries.
For our first campaign, Ada's Army focused on passion for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) by locating, celebrating and igniting passion for the women that have made a difference in STEM. Past. Present. Future.
This is what we are up against.
Less than 14% of all people working in tech in the UK are women. That is fewer women in tech than 20 years ago.
In the USA, women in tech halved from 38% in the 1980s to less than 19% at the turn of the 21st Century, with predictions that we *might* get to 22% by 2025.
This is a high growth industry, STEM and tech start-ups are big business. Research shows that female founders generate higher growth ratios, yet only 4% of venture capital and 20% of venture capital has gone to women-led startups in the US - the world's biggest financial market.
Tech companies have systemic sexism to get past before they become diverse. Google's notorious ex-employee Damore's memo suggested that women are "biologically" less interested in programming. Sadly, he is not alone in this belief. We can see it is cultural rather than biological by looking to other nations. In India, for instance, there are 42 women for every 100 computer science undergraduates. While in the UK fewer women are taking tertiary degrees for technology, dropping to less than 9% in 2015.
This is where Adas's Army kicks arse.
Ada Lovelace wrote the world's first complex computer programme, in 1843. Yet most people have absolutely no clue who Ada is as she was almost completely written out of the history books.
Ada Lovelace was born in 1815 and she was the only legitimate child of the poet Lord George Gordon Byron. Her bloodline, however, has absolutely nothing to do with why she should be on of the most famous names in history.
Simply put: Ada Lovelace is widely regarded as the first computer programmer in the world; she wrote the first ever-complex algorithm for the Analytical Engine.
Ada had an upbringing that was a bit different to most girls of her time; her mother Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron, insisted that she was taught mathematics and language by a variety of doctors, tutors and astrologists. This was down to the deterioration of her marriage with Lord Byron, and she pushed Ada's logical and mathematical brain to ensure that she ended up nothing like the poet she was fathered by.
At the age of 17, Ada was put into contact with mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage, with whom she formed a close friendship and he became her trusted mentor. In 1842 Babbage asked her to translate an analysis of Babbage's theories from French to English; not only did she meticulously translate the entire document - she also added her own "Notes" and theories that tripled the length of the original transcript.
Extracts from "Taylor's Scientific Memoirs: Menabrea Analysis of The Analytical Engine, with notes" Augusta Ada Lovelace - 1843
In these notes she laid out her computer science theories. She argued that the Analytical Engine heralded machines that would be able to do much more than mathematics. She predicted the use of computers for many things including music and arts. Her 'diagram of instructions', published as Note G, is know as the first complex computer algorithm.: it has line by line instructions, contains looping and conditional branching. Most significant is her visionary insight into the power of the computer, and the extent to which this insight was ignored.
Despite her incredible contribution to technology and the significant information she gave mathematicians and inventors to get where we are today, very few people know about her.
Known in her lifetime as Pidgeon, Fairy and The General, she sparred with the likes of Faraday, Dickens and Somerville. When her Notes resurfaced in Alan Turing's seminal paper on Artificial Intelligence [published in 1950], the readers applauded the thinking but determined that, as a woman, it was unlikely that she wrote the notes, which was ironic, as most of the people spearheading major developments in computer programming in the 20th Century were women.
Ada Lovelace is a great person from history - who just happens to be a women. She is the original woman in tech.
This is why she is the General of our Army that will be accelerating sex equality for 2028.
Continuing the Ada's Army mobilization...