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“Innovation, in the end, is not something that’s given but a force that’s unleashed.” That was the key message from Girl Effect’s CEO, Farah Ramzan Golant, who spoke at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on 2 March 2017.

Talking alongside some of the most influential people from mobile network operators to technology companies and handset manufacturers, Farah explained how Girl Effect is using mobile technology to transform girls from public “recipients of aid to innovators and co-creators of change.”

Farah highlighted the success of Girl Effect Mobile, a global digital platform connecting girls to inspiring content in over 60 countries and in 26 languages. By “providing the knowledge that they need to transform the world they live in”, GEM is helping build girls’ self-confidence and ability to overcome negative social norms.

Farah also spoke of Girl Effect’s work on TEGA, a research methodology which is putting mobile technology “in the hands of girls so they can surface real issues” from the hardest to reach girls in the world. She described TEGA’s offer as an alternative to conventional research methods: “typically a research cycle in the development industry takes six months – TEGA is directly viewable and actionable in six hours.”

Farah joined speakers including Alexey Moiseenkov (founder and CEO, Prisma Labs), João Barros (founder and CEO, Veniam), Paul Hainsworth (CEO, Open Garden), Brian Pallas (founder and CEO, Opportunity Network), Julia Puig (founder and chief commercial officer, Opportunity Network) and Raviv Melamed (co-founder and CEO, Vayyar Imaging).

Girl Effect live tweeted throughout Farah’s talk at Mobile World Congress. You can find us on Twitter @GirlEffect to see more and watch a video of Farah’s keynote speech here.