GirlCon Chicago 2018 (READ BELOW)


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Northwestern's Norris Center


10:00 AM-4:30PM on June 16th, 2018


Anyone entering 8th-12th grade in Fall 2018

Time Activity
9:30 - 10:00 AM Check-in
10:00 - 10:50 AM Opening Ceremony and Keynote Speaker
11:00 - 12:00 PM Breakout Session #1
  • Tech + Law: Hershman-Cohen Law
  • Tech + Artificial Intelligence: IBM Watson
  • Tech + Medicine: Baxter
  • Tech + Design: IBM
  • Tech + Cryptocurrency: Blockchain Institute of Chicago
  • Tech + Wildlife: Computational Population Biology Lab, UIC
  • Tech + Wearables: IBM
12:10 - 1:25 PM Lunch with mentors, tech panel, and keynote speaker
1:35 - 2:35 PM Breakout Session #2
  • Tech + Surgery/Medicine: Baxter
  • Tech + Economics/Business: Leah Neustadt, Software Engineer at Tock
  • Tech + Security: IBM
  • Tech + Politics: The Democratic National Committee (DNC)
  • Tech + Art: Katie Duffy, Professor at NIU
  • Tech + Social Media: Sprout Social
  • Art + AI: CreAIte
2:45 - 3:30 PM Design Thinking with IBM!
3:30 - 4:30 PM Closing ceremony and keynote speaker


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Allison Robinson

Allison Robinson is the Founder and CEO of The Mom Project, the leading technology platform for Enterprises to connect with female talent. Under Allison’s leadership, The Mom Project has grown its reach to serve more than 500 customers, including executives of many of the Fortune 500 who’ve long sought a turnkey solution for attracting gender diverse talent.

Prior to founding The Mom Project, Allison spent eight years with Procter and Gamble managing Enterprise relationships and building consumer-led market strategies. Allison has received coverage in print and broadcast outlets around the world, including the Today Show, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and CNN and has received numerous distinctions such as the P&G 40 under 40 and Chicago Innovation Awards. Allison holds a BS in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Dayton.

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Sarah Eva Monroe

Sarah Eva is the Director of Digital Operations and Strategy for the Obama Foundation and is an alumna of President Barack Obama's 2012 digital team. Her approach to solving business challenges is to create beautiful communication experiences that achieve functional goals, following a process that flexes the creative work in response to analytics and user data. She has a track record of exceeding recruitment, marketing, and advancement benchmarks and her career has spanned roles such as creative director, digital marketing director, and designer.

Sarah's worked for a number of boutique agencies leading digital strategy for Harvard School of Education, McCormick Place, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and dozens of others institutions. She's also the co-founder of Snail & Crab, an e-commerce retailer. Sarah Eva holds a bachelor of arts in studio art (photography and glassblowing) from Tulane University and a master’s in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University.

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Juan Hindo

Juan Hindo manages World Community Grid (, a global IBM philanthropic initiative that enables anyone with a computer or mobile device to donate unused computing power to accelerate scientific research on health, sustainability and poverty. Through the contributions of over 700,000 volunteers and 460 organizations, World Community Grid has enabled important scientific advances in childhood cancer, solar energy and water filtration.

Juan began her career in the UK as a management consultant delivering large system implementation projects to retail banking clients. Motivated and inspired to apply her expertise to the non-profit sector, she joined IBM Citizenship and has since led several philanthropic programs including data-driven urban planning tools, and online resources to drive small business growth in emerging markets.

Juan has lived, studied and worked in Europe, Middle East and US.

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Miriam Ballesteros

Miriam Ballesteros is a former teacher turned journalist turned Marketing & Communications expert with focus on the Personal Finance and FinTech industries. She’s now the Head of Communications at Strands, a software company that helps banks offer better personalized digital banking experiences. As a passionate advocate for financial empowerment, she started blogging at to share ideas, tools and resources that encourage people to make better money & career choices, and ultimately, live a better life. Accolades include a spot on the Women in FinTech Powerlist and a nomination for the Women2Watch Program 2018. Born-and-raised in Barcelona, she’s travelled to 14 countries and lived in 3 of them: Spain, UK, and US.



Chicago lawyer, Leslee Cohen, who works in the sector of business law, will share about how to navigate the legal world as a female, combining your passion for the courtroom with technology.

Tech + Artificial Intelligence (IBM)

IBM will show us about the incredible word of AI and how powerful machines are becoming. From predicting weather to creating robots that understand our words, come learn about the incredible world of artificial intelligence!

Tech + Design [UX] (IBM)

IBM web design specialist Jill Sherman, will take you through an interactive module of how technology merges with design in order to create beauty on your screens everyday.

Tech + Crypto (BIC)

You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin and Blockchain (unless you live under a rock). In this relevant and engaging presentation, learn about the future for crypto, how it works, how it’s traded, and how you can be a part of the industry of blockchain that’s revolutionizing technology.

Tech + Wildlife (Berger-wolf)

We know we wanted to be vets when we were younger. Here is your chance to learn about how furry creatures can be a part of your career! Technology is becoming a huge aspect of protecting animals and engaging our society in understanding the importance of conserving our ecosystem. Learn from Dr. Tanya Berger-Wolf how machine learning and data analysis is being used to help and protect our beloved wildlife.

Tech + Surgery/Medicine (BAXTER)

Enter the operating room with Baxter and learn how technology is becoming more and more ingrained in medical fields! Baxter engineers will show us how technology is used to digitize the human body, helping create safer and healthier lives.

Tech + Social sciences (Leah Neustadt)

Leah Neustadt, recent grad from Case Western Reserve University, will show us how technology can be used to social data using modeling and introductions to Game Theory in economics! Our everyday interactions with humans can be explained with the art of social science and Leah will illustrate how technology can be used to predict and analyze.

Tech + Security (IBM)

Join forces with IBM’s security specialists to learn how they defend systems from the over 1 million cyber-attacks that hit our nation’s infrastructure everyday. Can you believe that only 11% of specialists in the field are females? We are teaming up with IBM to change that, and help girls turn into white-hat hackers for the future.

Tech + Politics (Mica A, DNC)

Politics may look all debate, but have you ever thought about the data of it all? Come hear from Mica Alaniz, Full Stack Engineer at the Democratic National Committee, about how code is used to run campaigns and using design and data science to make elections come to life.

Tech + Art (Katie Duffy)

Feelin’ artsy? Come to Tech + Art to learn how technology is advancing our arts and creative visions. Katie Duffy will show us how she uses technology and computer science to create beautiful artwork! Her work can be found on

Tech + Social Media (Lorena Mesa, Sprout Social)

You’ve probably used social media...but how does it feel like to work behind the scenes with all your data? Learn from Lorena Mesa, Software specialist at Sprout Analytics about how data science can be used to predict the future using data from Twitter, Instagram, and more! Lorena has worked at the Obama for America foundation for two years and has firsthand experience of how our social media usage is beneficial in gauging public views and predicting outcomes.

Art + AI (CreAIte)

AI is transforming the world we live in, but it can also be an incredible tool to generate beautiful, inspiring artwork! In this breakout session presented by CreAIte, learn how to use the latest AI+Art tools to bring your creative fantasies to life! See our website ( for examples of artwork created at past workshops!

Tech + Wearables (IBM)

Want to learn more about the engineering that goes behind making your Apple Watch? Your Fitbit? Come learn about the data and design, launching your journey in making your own one day!


How much is GirlCon?

GirlCon is FREE! Registration, swag, food, and everything else is no charge - we want this event to be open for anyone to attend.

When is this event is taking place?

GirlCon will be held at Northwestern’s Norris Center on June 16th, 2018 from 10:00am - 4:30pm.

What should I bring?

Please bring a laptop to GirlCon. Water jugs will be provided so feel free to bring a water bottle. Meals, snacks, and drawstring bags will be provided. You can also bring a notebook if you wish to take notes! Otherwise, all that is required is a smile and your passionate strife.

Can parents/guardians come?

Though this event is for high-school girls, if parents would feel most comfortable accompanying, the more the merrier! We will have several volunteers from an array of Chicagoland companies at the Norris Center the day of the event.

What forms do I have to fill out?

In order to come to GirlCon, before filling out the registration form, liability forms are attached from the venue, Northwestern University, and from our organization, GirlCon Chicago. You will not be able to come to GirlCon without the consent of your parents or guardians. Please read through these forms before registering.

Do I need any previous technology experience for this event?

No experience is required - GirlCon is for everyone.

Who can come to this event?

Though this event is aimed at anyone who identifies as female/non-binary, anyone is able to attend GirlCon, regardless of gender!

Have another question?

Please email us at

Our Supporters

Interested in sponsoring us? Find out more here.



Our Team

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Kyla Guru


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Molly Graton


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Shreya Kapoor

Activities Coordinator

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Isha Puri

Activities Coordinator

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Grace Baddeley

Activities Coordinator

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Jordana Hozman


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Xinru Li


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Carrie Jeffrey

Northwestern Venue Coordinator

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Kailey Bertram

Booth Coordinator

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Blake Shelist

Social Media

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Grace Bloom

Social Media

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Ashley Chu


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Nikki Agarwal


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Jorie Lazarus

Venue Coordinator

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Alex Dumitru

Venue Coordinator

For questions, please email us at