A Happy Day at the IBM Client Center in Casablanca


On Mar 5, 2019, we celebrated International Women’s Day early in the IBM Client Center in Casablanca with wonderful guests: professors, students, and representatives from institutions in Rabat & Casablanca as well as IBMers in the region – and others who had traveled from the US, Europe and the Middle East. The program was made up of a mix of tech talks on topics like trends in AI open source, and informational sessions about programs such as Digital Nation Africa & IBM Skills Academy (Mohammed Benhouman), IBM Corporate Service Corps (Sidi Ali Maelainin), Call for Code, and open source. Leaders Kaoutar ElMagharoui and Taida Taida Buljina-Prohic presented on innovation in AI and Healthcare. Working in partnership with Jawad Jari, Manager of IBM Client and Innovation Center in Casablanca, the day was a huge success.

If you scroll down this blog entry, you will see Pepper (a resident at the client center – and accompanied by Dana Abu Ali) introducing the agenda to Hassan Bahej, the Country General Manager of IBM Morocco and guests.

Developer Advocates Younes Berrada, Romeo Kienzler, Wissal Laassilia presented and stepped through creating chatbots, Watson Studio, and deep learning neural networks. Sabine Holl Director – IBM Cloud Technical Sales and Solutioning, discussed the availability of software at the client centers such as “IBM Cloud Private for Data” for developers and data scientists in the community, to get easy access to try out various features.

Many of the attendees were also going to participate in the upcoming Women in Computing conference on March 7-9, 2019 in Rabat at the Mohammadia School of Engineers – with a very rich agenda. And the presenters encouraged the participants who had not planned to attend to join the Women in Data Science portion of the conference which is open for all https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-in-data-science-wids-rabat-tickets-55076534397. The day includes a call for code orientation accompanied by an introduction to Github from Anita Borg Institute.

Panel “From beginner to boardroom, and taking breaks along the way”

Just before the lunch-break, there was a panel : Whether you’re new in your career, mid-way through, just taking a break or driving initiatives in the boardroom, everyone benefits from advice, support, sponsorship and guidance to help them progress and succeed personally and professionally. This session talks about how the perseverance & enthusiasm of the panelists, and with the support of people around them, have helped them navigate successful careers and love what they do.

The inspiring panelists were:
Mona Arishi – Client Centers Leader
Stephanie Cleijpool – Marketing Manager Developers
Sabine Holl Director – IBM Cloud Technical Sales and Solutioning

The session was full of advice for people starting in the careers and those who are more established, who are looking for a change, or a promotion. People from the audience also engaged in the panel, asking questions and offer their recommendations too. Tips included:

  • always ask for what you want
  • support your manager and ensure her success – then you can negotiate more easily for what you want
  • have mentors, sponsors, advisors (coaches)
  • make sure you are clear why you want a change, when you embark on a transformation

Pepper Introducing to Hassan Bahej, and the Community

The Agenda for the Morning

With Thanks and Materials

Heartfelt thanks to you all for joining us – and for the fantastic team at the IBM client center who hosted us, led by Jawad Jari, and including team members like Imane Benchat. Many thanks to Country General Manager IBM Morocco and to General Manager IBM MEA who hosted and sponsored our activities.

These are some slides from the sessions:
– Futures & Innovation in AI at IBM Research  
– Watson Health: Applying AI to Healthcare Applications
Confessions of a Coursera Instructor – Trends in AI, ML, DL
Call for Code – Responding to Natural Disasters 
Open Source : What’s happening in AI & why it matters
Digital Nation Africa
– IBM Corporate Citizenship at work
– How you can Engage with IBM :  AI Journey Workshop
We’ll add more slides from the sessions over the next few days.

Scenes at the IBM Client Center in Casablanca

Remarks from the Attendees & Participants

These are some remarks from the attendees:

  • The topic and all the speakers including you were great
  • I really appreciated sharing with you this event. The organizer team was great. I appreciated the presentations quality. “Bravo”.
  • I love to know more about everything and meeting all the women here today
  • To meet a lot of exciting women in STEM
  • I always want to continue learning
  • It’s my first experience in tech
  • I want to have some fun too
  • I want to hear what IBM is doing in AI
  • Interested in all topics clear examples of AI
  • I want to understand how AI is implemented in business and how market is evolving
  • latest trends and application of AI in other domains

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