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Access Free Virtual Coding Courses with BDD Academy & Code.org

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Children across Lebanon between the ages of 6 and 18 will have access to free online coding courses in English, French and Arabic. BDD Academy is paving the way for children to step into the world of computer science and coding, through a partnership with Code.org, the global nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding access to computer science to the youth.

By participating in these virtual courses, children will learn how to code through basic games offered for free, from the comfort of their homes. By adding a hint of fun to learning, children can enhance their skillsets and advance in STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).

Studies have shown that learning to code at a young age has many benefits. First and foremost, children will be poised to be more competitive in the future workplace. In addition, by gaining digital skills, children can work towards closing the talent gap in the market.

“As the world continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures have left tens of millions of students at home,” shares Hadi Partovi, Founder of Code.org. “We invite parents and children to explore the world of coding through our online resources. Students can continue learning in a fun and engaging way from the comfort of their homes, while preparing for the future,” he adds.

“Preparing children for the future workplace is our shared responsibility,” says Mouhamad Rabah, CEO of BDD. “Through the BDD Academy, and in collaboration with the World Bank Group and Code.org, we are investing in the Lebanese youth, to become more competitive, and learn the vital digital skills, that leading companies are searching for,” he adds.

Since its founding, the BDD Academy has been committed to incubate and promote educational programs at the intersection of leadership, design and technology. The nonprofit organization covers 3 tracks, which include specialized courses for the youth and graduates, as well as continuous learning.

For more information, visit beirutdigitaldistrict.com/bdd-academy to find out more and sign up now.

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About the BDD Academy

The BDD Academy is a not-for-profit organization, committed to develop the skill sets of individuals from all backgrounds, to fulfill the digital jobs of today and tomorrow. It serves as an incubator of educational programs at the intersection of design, technology and leadership targeting Kids, University Students and Continuous Learners. The BDD Academy supports the new generation of educational programs, by testing and developing their curricula, sourcing participants and scaling.

About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. Its five institutions share a commitment to reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting sustainable development. The World Bank Group is governed by 189 member countries and delivers services out of 130 offices with nearly 16,000 staff globally.

The World Bank Group launched the Skilling Up Mashreq (SUM) initiative which aims at addressing this skills gap by preparing young women and men in Lebanon and the Mashreq region for the local, regional and global jobs of the future and attracting digital technology players to invest in the region. In Lebanon, the World Bank Group has partnered with the BDD Academy to design and implement a national skilling up program to improve access to digital skills learning opportunities for children in school, youth in universities, and active individuals in the workforce to strive and reap the benefit of a digital economy.

About Code.org®

Code.org® is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented youth. Our vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer science, just like biology, chemistry or algebra.

Best Meeting and Event Spaces in Beirut

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Best meeting and event spaces in Beirut

The search for the best location to host a meeting or event is always frantic. Trying to find an unconventional space, complete with amenities, easy access and within a digitized community is an even bigger challenge.  

Whether you need a small meeting space or to host an event with up to 300 people in a state-of-the-art location in the heart of the city… That’s where the Beirut Digital District (BDD) comes in. BDD’s offerings include customizable spaces for meetings and events of all sizes, fully equipped and with access to amenities.

The range of meeting and event spaces include:

–          Main hall: Perfect for big conferences and networking events

o   Theatre style: 200 pax

o   Standing: 300 pax

o   Equipped with: Projector and screen, sound system, internet access and a coffee break area

–          Rooftop: For outdoor gatherings with a view of the city

o   Capacity (Half space):

§  Theatre Style: 50 pax

§  U-shaped: 20 pax

§  Classroom Style: 20 pax

o   Capacity (Full space):

§  Theatre Style: 150 pax

§  Standing: 250 pax

For medium-sized events, with 20 to 80 people:

Room 1Room 2Room 3
–          Theatre Style: 50 pax-          U-shaped: 20 pax-          Classroom Style: 20 pax–          Theatre Style: 80 pax-          U-shaped: 30 pax-          Classroom Style: 30 pax–          Theatre Style: 50 pax-          U-shaped: 20 pax-          Classroom Style: 20 pax
All rooms are equipped with projectors and screens, sound systems, internet access, clickers, coffee break options

Smaller meeting?

Choose from the meeting rooms spread throughout BDD, for an immersive, productive experience. Each room is fully equipped, seating up to 12 people.

The event team at BDD can manage the event for you, or connect you with suppliers for:

–          Catering

–          Furniture Supplies

–          Live Streaming

–          Photographer

–          Hostesses

Check out the video here

How was the Beirut Digital District Community Created?

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The vision of the Beirut Digital District may have seemed like a far-fetched dream when word started to spread. In a country that is already crowded, bustling with sights and sounds, questions arose as to where the space for such an ambitious project would be made in the heart of Beirut.

With a masterplan in place, the blueprint of the community was laid out. Phase after phase, the team behind the Beirut Digital District outlined just how dreams could and would be realized.

It was in 2012 that the first part of the unique cluster of innovation became a reality. Gathering the digital and creative community, the Beirut Digital District’s mission began to spread, attracting companies and individuals to be part of a groundbreaking movement.

Mouhamad Rabah, BDD’s CEO, shares the driving force behind the development, intended to serve as a community where dreams could grow and companies could flourish. “The objective was for Lebanon to become a production hub, to ultimately reverse brain drain,” he shares. “By building a sustainable community, we aimed to create employment opportunities and fuel growth, both locally and globally,” he explains.

Today, the Beirut Digital District has taken on a life of its own, powered every day, by over 1,500 community members. The energy that flows from the growing district to neighboring, areas cannot be missed.

“We have created a bubble of hope,” says Rabah.

Check out the video here.


Preserving Heritage, the Renovation of St.Georges Church

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The Bachoura District was ravaged by the Lebanese Civil War, with bullet holes and visible destruction changing the landscape of the area, that once buzzed vibrantly with life and business ventures. Today, the face of the Bachoura District is buzzing to a different beat – that of the Beirut Digital District (BDD). 

Existing on the demarcation line separating East and West Beirut, BDD is rebuilding the area, while preserving national heritage. This project is part of BDD’s core values to preserve and restore existing Lebanese heritage while integrating modern and sustainable construction concepts. 

In their latest collaboration with Live Love, BDD showcases the restoration project of the historic St. Georges Church, that was devastated by the war. Built in 1878, the St. Georges Church will be completely renovated by the end of 2020 (construction works were kicked off in 2017). Its unique architecture has already received international acclaim, awarded by ‘The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles’.

Enjoy the video.

Coworking Spaces at BDD Offer Breeding Ground to Thrive

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Traditional workspaces have taken on a different form in recent years, due to increased connectivity and the rise in popularity of coworking spaces. According to a recent Research Gate study, people that opt to work from coworking spaces thrive more – averaging a 6 on a 7-point scale. This is one point higher than people working in traditional office environments. 

At the Beirut Digital District (BDD), coworking spaces have been buzzing with creativity, new ideas, conversations, and brainstorming sessions, since they were founded. Defined as a “unique cluster of innovation for the digital and creative community”, the district is the sole of its kind in Lebanon. Walk past the allocated areas with hot desks, and hear the chatter of enticing conversations, ideas exchanged, the clicking of keyboards and the odd entrepreneur gazing out the window to take a break. 

Beyond the desks and laptops, the coworking spaces at BDD were built around a grander vision. Firstly, the community of professionals is diverse and includes over 1,500 people, from different companies and industries. However, the team behind the masterplan went one step further, to offer people a space where they can work, but also enrich their lives. At any time during the year, sports and leisure activities are available on a schedule, for community members to take part in. In addition, social and chill zones offer professionals a break from work, with ample social spaces, a central garden area, a gaming area, and a Little Free Library, for book sharing and swapping.

Every month, events are hosted, marking national holidays, and catering to hobbies and ambitions that the BDD community shares. The networking and specialized events agenda is even more jam-packed, with international speakers and experts visiting BDD on a monthly basis, to bring global expertise to the local market. 

At the core, however, coworking spaces offer people a platform to thrive, and BDD finds that it is primarily due to the diversity of people, companies, and projects that exist. Research shows that people feel freer to express themselves and allow their true personalities to surface, due to the lack of internal politics and confined cultures in these spaces. Everyone, it seems, has an interesting story to tell their coworking peers, and relationships between strangers can be fostered in this space. 

To further delve into the popularity of shared spaces, individuals behind the brightest ideas and aspiring ventures at BDD’s coworking spaces were interviewed, to uncover the perceived benefits of coworking at BDD. Here are the top three findings:

1) An overall sense of wellbeing 

The primary finding was that people in coworking spaces felt that the setting provided them with a healthy work/life balance, with the right amenities just a short walk away. In addition, the efficiency of the spaces, along with the spirit of collaboration helped fuel their projects.  The trend that was apparent, is that people are spending less time working alone, and more time collaborating, socializing and learning.

2) Networking & collaboration top the charts for startups and freelancers

For startups and freelancers, the reason they choose coworking spaces was tied to two factors. Firstly, to collaborate with others and secondly, to network. The support activities provided at BDD and other coworking spaces aided in their growth trajectory. 

3) Ideal coworking spaces mix open & quiet environments

However, not all coworking spaces are created equal. The BDD team asked individuals in the coworking facilities to envision what ideal spaces should be like.  The majority were in favor of open environments but also wanted private spaces to focus. The availability of hybrid settings was a core requirement, which offers both amenities and a workspace beyond the traditional desk. This includes work cafes, quiet zones and of course, innovation hubs to be inspired. 

Their happiest moments, however, were outside the office space, during organized happy hours, social events and sports competitions at BDD.

Since the BDD coworking space opened its desks to entrepreneurs and freelancers, like-minded people have gathered, sharing knowledge and expertise, and business opportunities have been created as a result. The masterplan is currently being realized, one phase at a time, to accommodate over 10,000 creative individuals, to live, work and play.

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