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Meet and Code is a citizens’ initiative on digital education in Europe aligned with European Code Week. Through diversity and inclusion, Meet and Code aims to bridge the digital divide across Europe by making digital skills learning accessible and inclusive for all. Introducing children and young people aged 8-24 to technology and programming, Meet and code teaches them how much fun computer programming can be and how it can support and foster innovation in everyday life.

Since its launch in 2017, Meet and Code returns for its 8th year in Europe as a key initiative to enable and develop the digital skills of European citizens. Meet and Code has funded over 8,000 digital skills workshops, empowering over 300,000 participants. This year, Meet and Code runs from 17 June to 31 October 2024. Non-profit organisations can apply for grants of up to €500 to organise events in 13 European countries. Events can be in a variety of formats such as hackathons, coding workshops, conferences, film events, competitions, coding nights, robotics courses. The Meet and Code inspiration library provides resources to help support events.

Amazon is the main donor partner, providing financial support and expertise as part of Amazon Future Engineer, enabling the initiative.

Behind the Meet and Code initiative are the organising partners Haus des Stiftens (TechSoup Partner in Germany) and TechSoup Europe, as well as the respective national partners in the TechSoup Europe network. The Benelux partners are SOCIALware for Luxembourg and Belgium and TechSoup Nederland for the Netherlands.

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Any organisation with ASBL/SIS/Fondation status that is involved in developing these activities can apply for grants by submitting event proposals and can receive funding to support the organisation of workshops on digital skills.

By engaging in support for like-minded organisations, Meet and Code aims to widen access to the digital skills of the future through hackathons, workshops, competitions, courses and more.

Find out more on the SOCIALware website here and on the Meet and Code Luxembourg website here.

Why is this a best practice?

Meet and Code has been active for a few years with an ever-growing number of events and participants taking part in events. In 2022 alone Meet and Code had 33 792 participants, 1685 applications, and 1056 funded events. The majority of the attendees at these events were between 8 and 16 years old. The 2022 edition of Meet and Code also saw over 3600 refugee participants of Ukrainian origin take part in events across Europe. The 2022 events took place across 21 European countries with a mix of events in both big and small cities. Additionally, 68% of Meet and Code funding recipients stated that their events were only possible because of the funding provided.

Throughout its various editions, Meet and Code have gone beyond being an educational or skills initiative. Rather it has become a way for different stakeholders to explore how they can play their part in supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and improving society. This initiative helps support SDG 5 and SDG 17 while also supporting other SDGs and ensuring that the twin transitions are supported by a workforce with robust digital competencies.

Meet and Code was a finalist in the European Digital Skills Awards 2018 edition, in the category “Digital skills in education”.