Who is Leïla Méziane?

Leïla Méziane is the educational coordinator and digital mediator of the Fablab Mobile Brussels project, a platform that introduces and trains young people in digital technology. Fablab Mobile uses a lorry that has been kitted out with equipment (robots, PCs, 3D printers, and so on) to travel to young Brussels citizens between 10 and 18 years of age, and meet with them in their schools and community centres, at events…

Keyword

Creativity. Creativity fosters autonomy, curiosity, the ability to manage projects. It is everywhere: in problem-solving, keeping your cool, developing innovative methods and tools. It means innovating together, based on different points of view, using your brain in different ways to find alternatives.

A job at the heart of innovation

Discovering tools, creating objects, customising robots… Fablab Mobile raises young people’s awareness about digital and manufacturing technology, in partnership with educators and non-profit organisations.

Fablab is innovative because of the tools it uses: digital technology is the theme of our workshops but it is also a tool to produce, to create, to go further. On the other hand, our educational approach is also innovative, because it is dynamic and active. It is geared towards practice, fun, motivation, eliminating young people’s fears about these disciplines. Fablab Mobile is available to everyone, but it mainly targets disadvantaged young people, whose first introduction to digital technology was a bad one. We show them, in a very hands-on way, that they can be active users rather than passive consumers of these tools, which offer them a future and a job.

Project in the spotlight

Fablab Mobile participated in several events geared towards the promotion of digital technology to young people.

If I had to select one, it would be the I Love Science festival. All the stakeholders joined forces to promote science, to enable young people to experiment. The energy and the creativity was palpable.

Brussels, City of Innovators

Leïla finds Brussels innovative because it offers so many opportunities to take initiatives and develop them.

You have public projects, funding that allows for new ideas to emerge. Obviously, you need to ensure that they can continue to develop in the long term, to maintain a public service.

What she likes about her job

Leïla mainly likes the encounters and the discoveries.

We meet young people, teachers, and creative organisations that are our partners in the field. I like helping to develop these networks, the creative and educational dynamics of it. Every day, I discover and think of new digital tools. I find it so exciting.

Her career

After having studied fine arts in France, Leïla obtained a Master in graphic design and typography from the École nationale supérieure des Arts visuels de La Cambre, in Brussels. As she took a keen interest in pedagogy, she subsequently followed teacher training for secondary education. Events, teaching, design, digital technology… Leila has always sought to combine her two passions, namely education and creativity, in the work she does. From 2016 until 2018, she worked for CASTII (Centre of Arts Technologies Innovation & Inclusion), a project was financed by the European Regional Development Fund ERDF. She went to work for Fablab Mobile in 2018. In 2020, she will join the Scientothèque of the Université libre de Bruxelles, a non-profit organisation that promotes equal opportunities through science, as its educational coordinator.

3 tips to Brussels innovators

1)  Develop your network, go find existing projects, work with others.
2)  If you don’t have the budget, then rely on your energy and your desire to make it work.
3)  Focus on your initial objective, make sure you take the time to think about your project, and occasionally take a step back.

The figure

In just two years, Fablab Mobile has already introduced 10,000 young people to digital technology.

 

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