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Future Digileaders


Future Digileaders is a yearly event for selected early career researchers interested in the broad area of digitalization who identify as women or are non-binary. The event consists of a career workshop with talks, panels, and sincere discussions. We cover professional development and provide opportunities to meet inspiring role models and to network with each other. This year, the event was online on November 11, 2020. You can find a press release of the 2020 event here.

Picture of a group of peoepl visitng Ericsson Studio Unboxed

The group of 2019 visited Ericsson Studio Unboxed.

Picture of woman talking to another woman at last year's eventThe event is a part of the Digitalize in Stockholm, an annual conference and meeting place for global thought leaders and rising stars engaged in transformation through digitalization in academia, industry, government and civil society. The Digileaders also have the opportunity to take an active role in the Digitalize in Stockholm conference, promoting interactions with researchers and industry players.


After these events, we expect that the Future Digileaders will:

Further career networking opportunities

Once travel restrictions are lifted, participants of the 2020 edition will be invited to visit the Digital Futures cross-disciplinary research center in Stockholm, Sweden (travel and accommodation costs for 2 nights will be covered by Digital Futures). The program will include research visits to KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and the Research Institute of Sweden (RISE), as well as excursions to industry to further establish networking opportunities in Stockholm.

Application for Future Digileaders 2020

Eligibility: We welcome applications from early-career researchers who identify as women, or are non-binary, and have obtained their PhD degree no earlier than 2016, or are expected to graduate no later than 2022. The eligibility window can be extended by career breaks, such as parental/adoption leave, long-term illness, or national service during or after PhD studies.

Applicants are expected to be interested in pursuing a research career in digitalization, especially related to research themes trio Trust – Learn – Cooperate. These themes encompass basic as well as applied research in areas including, but not limited to, security and privacy, human-technology interaction, systems and data science, artificial intelligence, robotics, networking, or communication and control.

Deadline: Applications must be submitted by October 26, 2020 (anywhere on earth).

Application material merged into a single pdf should contain:

Apply here:

While submitting your application, you will be required to provide author information, title, and keywords. As the title, please use the (tentative) title of your PhD thesis, and select keywords that best characterize your research area.

Selection: We aim to select a diverse and dynamic group of 30-50 Digileaders based on the application materials.

Schedule for Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020

If you are participating in the event, you should have received an email with the Zoom link. If you missed it for some reason, please send us an email.

Central European Time (CET)
13:00 – 13:15 Welcome
Organizers (Iolanda Leite, Viktoria Fodor, Madeline Balaam, Chiara Rossitto)
Marina Petrova, KTH
Staffan Ingvarsson, Stockholm Business Region
13:15 – 14:00 Keynote talk
“From super chickens to superpowers: leadership through kind connections”
Geraldine Fitzpatrick, TU Wien  
14:00 – 14:10 Break (10 mins)
14:10 – 14:30 Ice-breaking activity
14:30 – 15:20 Panel A
Alternate Career Paths
Jill Lehman, CMU
Sahar Asadi, King
Stella Riad, Elekta
Rebecca Steinert, Amazon
Laura Dal Col, Scania
Elena Fersman, Ericsson
Moderated by
Iolanda Leite
15:20 – 15:30 Break (10 mins)
15:30 – 16:20 Panel B
Leadership & Re-thinking the Academic Life
Ginevra Castellano, Uppsala University
Virginia Dignum, Umeå University
Anna Herland, KTH
Alex Taylor, City University of London
Azimeh Sefidcon, Ericsson
Moderated by
Madeline Balaam, KTH
16:20 – 16:30 Break (10 mins)
16:30 – 17:20 Panel C
What to Expect From an Academic Career? 
Marynel Vásquez, Yale University
Jana Tumova, KTH
Alexandra Weilenmann, University of Gothenburg
Karinne Ramirez-Amaro, Chalmers University of Technology
Sonja Buchegger, KTH
Moderated by
Katie Winkle, KTH
17:20 – 17:30 Break (10 mins)
17:30 – 18:00 Networking activity
18:00 – 18:10 Closing

Future Digileaders 2020

Aisling Ann O’Kane, University of Bristol
Qianwen Xu, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Maryam Sharifi, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Mareike Glöss, Stockholm University
Nandhini Giri, Indiana University Bloomington
Katie Riddoch, University of Glasgow
Ola Michalec, University of Bristol
Dilrukshi Gamage, University of Moratuwa
Reem Talhouk, Northumbria University
Laura Nicklin, University of Wolverhampton
Katherine Herbert, Charles Sturt University
Dena Hussain, Lecturer, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Camille Nadal, Trinity College Dublin
Karey Helms, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Claudia Núñez Pacheco, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Maria José Ferreira, Universidade de Lisboa
Ayushi Tandon, IIM, Ahmedabad
Katta Spiel, Human-Computer Interaction Group — TU Wien
Franceli L. Cibrian, Chapman University
Jeanette Falk Olesen, Aarhus University
Helena Anna Frijns, TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology)
Ana Tanevska, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Jessica Linker, Northeastern University
Lakshmi T G, IIT Bombay
Arthi Manohar, Brunel University London
Carla Viegas, Carnegie Mellon University
Sofia Broomé, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Rosemary J. Thomas, University College Dublin
Ronit Feingold Polak, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Minna Saariketo, Aalto University
Neziha Akalin, Örebro University
Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Arzu Güneysu, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Merel Jung, Tilburg University
Glenda Hannibal, TU Wien
Cristina Ghita, Uppsala University, Department of Informatics and Media
Kristina Milanovic, Imperial College London
Elizabeth Phillips, George Mason University
Emily Öhman, University of Helsinki
Leysan Nurgalieva, Trinity College Dublin
Desirée Colombo, Jaume I University
Irene Brusini, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Andrea Geissinger, Örebro University
Shadi Ghiasi, University of Pisa
Rebecca Stower, Jacobs University
Meeri Mäkinen, Royal Institute of Technology, KTH
Ida Larsen-Ledet, Aarhus University
Elmira Yadollahi, Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Eva Szekely, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Deepika Yadav, IIIT Delhi
Ting Bai, EECS, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Jana Goetze, University of Potsdam
Jennifer Manuel, Open Lab, Newcastle University
Miriam Cabrita, Roessingh Research and Development
Asreen Rostami, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
Ilaria Torre, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Reshmashree Bangalore Kantharaju, Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique, UPMC
Néna Roa Seïler, Mälardalen University
Melinda Mathe, Stockholm University
Indu Prasad Bodala, University of Cambridge
Melissa Bliss, Queen Mary, University of London
Shruti Chandra, University of Waterloo
Simran Chopra, Northumbria University
Giulia Belgiovine, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Marianela Ciolfi Felice, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Anis Hamidati, UH Manoa
Anupriya Tuli, IIIT Delhi
Franziska Burger, TU Delft
Yumei Gan, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Patricia Alves-Oliveira, Univ. of Washington
Yinan Li, University of Waterloo

Organizing committee

Iolanda Leite, KTH

Viktoria Fodor, KTH

Madeline Balaam, KTH

Chiara Rossitto, Stockholm University

Katie Winkle, KTH

Marie Louise Sondergaard, KTH


Links from previous years

Website of the 2019 edition

KTH media coverage of Future Digileaders 2019