Meet and Code Awards

The Meet and Code Awards presents and honors the most successful event ideas. The goal is to inspire others to do the same in the next years, because digital education is so important. 

How can I participate in the Meet and Code Awards 2021?


Step 1: Registration 

Every validated Meet and Code event can participate in the Meet and Code Awards. Once your event is complete, you can apply for the Awards.

Registration is possible until 15 December. 

Registration is closed


Tip: Remember that matching the selected category, innovative ideas, inspiring images from the event, feedback from participants and trainers, as well as a timely submitted event report is required for our jury panel.

Step 2: Jury Selection  

After a preselection of best events for each country by the local TechSoup partner, the Jury will carefully choose the three finalists, including the winners, of the five categories according to the corresponding criteria. The winners of the categories will be announced at the Award Weekend. 

Invitation to the Meet and Code Award Weekend and Prize Money 

The top 3 events of each category are the finalists of the Meet and Code Awards 2021. All finalists will be invited to a festive Meet and Code closing event where the winners of each category will be announced. The five winning events will each receive prize money in the amount of 2.000 €. 

Award Categories 2021

The five categories of the Meet and Code Awards 2021 are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Meet and Code is looking for events that contribute to those goals and combine them with the idea of IT and Coding.

Girls do IT!

Gender equality plays an important role in today’s modern and
inclusive society. This award category aims to help close the
gender gap in IT and Coding. We are looking for creative events
that break down gender stereotypes and empower girls in coding.
Events in this category could, for example, focus on sparking the
interest and fun in programming, especially among girls, while
including parents to support awareness of gender bias in tech


Commitment to diversity is critical to individual and organizational success, and by embracing different perspectives we are made stronger by our combination of culture, religious and ethnic origin, age, gender, and sexual orientation. In the Diversity category, we seek ideas that inspire children and young people for a world with equal opportunities. We also extend this to mental and physical abilities and different living and working conditions. For example, this could address juvenile prisoners, or focus on IT for people with vision and hearing impairments.

Code for the Planet

Did you know that you can track bees by means of modern
technology? We are looking for events that combine coding and
actions for the planet. All coding events that improve climate
change education through raising awareness on this topic are of
valuable contribution to SDG 13. Examples of events in this
category could deal with air pollution measurement or tools for
energy efficiency.


A local community is a safety net for its people. Events of this
category take the local aspects and customs into consideration
and think about community-specific needs. The events should
creatively unite and foster cohesion among people and
neighbourhoods with similar interests and goals through the
passion to “meet and code”! Events in this category could for
example work on a platform for your area.

Code for Europe

Working together is extremely important, especially when it comes to overcoming difficulties and challenges posed by EU digitization. Closely linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #17 Partnerships for the Goals this category seeks to initiate cross border collaboration between companies and unite children of different backgrounds and locations through Meet and Code events. Events in this category include; safe and responsible online media use, looking at ways we can bring different nationalities of children & youth together, tackling disinformation and combating fake news, and creative solutions that deal with today’s digital challenges across Europe.

Ali Mahlodji

Founder of whatchado, EU Youth Ambassador, Entrepreneur, Speaker and Author

Ali was born in Iran in 1981 and came to Europe as a refugee where he grew up. Having held over 40 jobs as a school dropout, Ali decided to start and found his own company based on a childhood idea, - a digital handbook of life stories. Today, the business has become a market leader in creating brand videos for companies in German-speaking countries.

As a leader in business and education, Ali inspires and helps executives and HR teams to further develop their skills. He also shares his insights as a keynote speaker, trainer and 4-time author. To date, he has reached over half a million people in more than 30 countries with his 1000+ keynotes.

Ali is a studied expert when it comes to distributed computer systems and held management positions at Siemens and at an international tech company, Sun Microsystems. Among his mentors are neurobiological researcher Dr. Gerald Hüther and human high-performance expert Dr. Markus Jahn. With his experience and mentor’s insights, Ali’s goal is to save the world.

Ali was inspired to become a Meet and Code jury member because he believes that unleashing the digital world’s potential in the hands of young people will empower dreams that can change the world for the better.

He’s looking forward to hearing different ideas - especially those of young people who bring so much insight from their unique points of view.

Barbora Buhnova

Associate Professor and Vice-Dean at Masaryk University (MU)

Barbora (in short Bara) is an Associate Professor and Vice-Dean at Masaryk University (MU), Faculty of Informatics (FI MU) in Brno, Czech Republic. Following her research career in Germany and Australia, she now leads multiple research teams at the Faculty of Informatics MU and Czech CyberCrime Centre of Excellence C4e.

Next to her academic activities, she is passionate about tech education and being a Co-Founding and Governing Board member of Czechitas, a non-profit organization aiming at making IT skills more accessible to youth and women (with over 30,000 graduates).

Bara is a member of multiple initiatives engaging more women in tech, such as Informatics Europe working group: Women in Informatics Research and Education (WIRE), and EUGAIN: European Network for Gender Balance in Informatics, which reach across the European continent. Furthermore, she is a devoted speaker and author of multiple research studies on gender-sensitive tech education.

Bara was inspired to become a Meet and Code jury member because she enjoys seeing new talent in tech and making sure everyone feels encouraged to give it a try. She is not only inspired by great ideas, but the actual idea-makers.

Clemens Frede

Managing Director, Haus des Stiftens gGmbH, Munich

Clemens Frede has been establishing the Corporate Engagement & Non-Profits business unit at Haus des Stiftens gGmbH since 2008. In cooperation with more than 100 partners, the unit supports over 80,000 non-profit organizations via digital platforms and programs. He works closely with key players in the IT industry and has many years of experience in the non-profit sector. Clemens was born in Ravensburg in 1978 and studied sociology and political science at the University of Mainz. He is married and has two children.

For over 13 years, Clemens has worked in the civil society space as well as with innovative digital education initiatives. When it comes to being a jury member, Clemens says that the creativity and diversity of the European-wide events, as well as the commitment of the participating nonprofit organizations inspires him. He believes that these workshops bring out the full potential of the next generation who will be instrumental in shaping the future of Europe.

This year, he’s looking forward to reviewing the submitted applications, the collegial exchange with other jury colleagues as well as the special Meet and Code spirit that shapes the selection process of the final winners.

Gabi Zedlmayer

Board Advisor and former VP & Chief Progress Officer at HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Gabi Zedlmayer is an award-winning social innovator who has worked with numerous global organizations to solve social and environmental issues in collaboration with non-profit organizations, governments, customers, and partners. She is also exploring how technology is changing how we live and work and is advising companies on how to implement critical strategies to successfully compete in the digital world. In her last corporate role, she served as Chief Progress Officer for Hewlett Packard Enterprise with worldwide responsibility.

Gabi is currently Advisor to the University of People, Georgia State University, and a member of the “Hochschulrat” at the University of Bayreuth. She also serves on the Board of MS. AI Nemes Ventures and is a member of the prestigious Münchner Kreis. Previous Board roles include the HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Board Germany, Junior Achievement (JA) Europe, EU commission e-Skills Leadership Board, and the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Agenda Council of Social Innovation.

As a Meet and Code jury member, Gabi is looking forward to being inspired by the great ideas submitted by NPOs across Europe.

Dr. Markus Richter

State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community and Federal Government Commissioner for Information Technology, Berlin

Dr. Markus Richter was born in Münster/Westphalia in 1976. He has two children.

After studying law at the University of Münster, he received his doctorate in 2003 and completed his practical legal training at the Regional Court in Hamm with the second state examination in law one year later. Since 2005 Dr. Markus Richter has held several positions at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). There he is involved in human resources, organization, the office of the President and policy issues regarding integration and migration. In 2014, he was appointed Head of IT units at the Federal Office of Administration. From 2015, he returned to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees as head of the Infrastructure and IT Directorate-General and became Vice-President of the office in 2018. Since May 1, 2020, Dr. Markus Richter has been State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community and Federal Government Commissioner for Information Technology.

Anna Sienicka

Vice President of TechSoup Europe, Warsaw

Anna is responsible for the strategic direction of TechSoup Europe. The company forms part of the TechSoup Global Network comprising 63 capacity-building organizations that serve over 1,200,000 registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with over 12 billion euros in technology tools and philanthropic services.

Her background includes capacity building for social enterprises, employability, social and digital inclusion, civic technology, and the establishment of civil society-friendly policies and legal frameworks. Anna holds a master’s degrees in both Law and Economy and Society from the Universities of Warsaw and Lancaster. She served on the Public Benefit Work Council of the Minister of Labour and the Polish Prime Minister's Social Economy Task Force in Poland (under the administration of D. Tusk). Anna is the Chair of the Grantmakers East Forum's Steering Committee, at the European Foundation Centre.

When it comes to selecting winners for this year’s Meet and Code awards, Anna will apply the experience she’s gained over the course of her career in the non-governmental sector. She’s served on juries for a variety of competitions and awards including the European Commission's European Social Innovation Competition.

As a Meet and Code jury member, Anna says that it's incredible to witness young people's creativity and their ability to use technology to make the world a better place.

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Meet and Code Awards Virtual Gala in May 2020