new speakers | September 25, 2013

Why We All Need to Know How to Make Tech: New Speaker Heather Payne

New speaker Heather Payne is asking some essential questions about our relationship with technology. Why should we care about how technology works—not just how we work it? Why aren’t more women and youth learning how to code? When Payne visited our Toronto office recently, this is the answer she gave us: "If software is created only by a small portion of the population—typically white dudes in their 20s—how is it going to be reflective of society's needs, and an entire population's needs?" We need a more diverse group of people contribution to the technologies that impact and affect us all. That, and we need to better understand how these technologies work so we can use them to their full potential.

Since 2011, Payne has already expanded her non-profit organization, Ladies Learning Code, into a national venture, has started HackerYou, a for-profit company that offers courses taught by industry-leading professionals, and is the founding director of Toronto's Mozilla-backed youth digital literacy initiative. She's also spoken at many conferences, including 99U in New York, meshmarketing, and EdInnovation, and has been featured on CBC’s The National and in the Globe and Mail. All that, and she's only 26!

In her keynotes, Payne focuses on technology education, entrepreneurship, and women in tech. She addresses major issues such as why children aren’t learning about technology from a making and maker perspective at school, and why women are still underrepresented in the tech industry. She draws on her experience with Ladies Learning Code to give real-life examples of teaching methods that inspire students and provide innovative, hands-on learning. She tells young people and recent graduates how learning how to code can make you a more valuable and desirable employee. And, she gives us insight into how we can work to create technology that will serve us individually, as well as the much broader population. With grace, optimism, and experience seemingly beyond her years, Payne not only changes the way we view our relationship to technology and the web, she inspires us to see what each of us is truly capable of.

To book Heather Payne as a speaker, contact The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau.

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