Kodcentrum (Code Centre) is a Swedish nonprofit that was founded in 2014 based on the belief that learning to code should be a possibility for all kids regardless of who their parents are and what they can afford. They introduce children and young people to the the wonderful, creative, problem solving world of programming and digital creation.
The association has 11 ‘kodstugor’ (code cottages) located in eight cities around Sweden, where children and youngsters between the ages of 9 and 13 years are given an introduction to programming and digital creation, completely free. The young coders are led by professionals or student programmers who are committed to the concept. They guide, support and encourage participants as well as serving as role models to show what is possible with coding.
From the get-go we were asked if we would be main sponsors to this truly awesome initiative and of course, being who we are and having the passion we do, there was no hesitation whatsoever.
So, we’ve been working with Kodcentrum from the start, frequently turning our offices in Gothenburg and Stockholm into Code Cottages, with many Spotifiers help out as volunteers. Our experience is that this brings a lot of joy, pride and also energy in to our day-to-day mission.
Spotify joined Kodcentrum and 400 Stockholm fifth-graders for a huge hackathon in the Blue Hall of the Stockholm City Hall (most famous as the venue for the annual Nobel Banquet).*
It was a great hackathon (superhero-themed!) and as always it’s a huge inspiration to see what kids create when they get a chance to come together and be creative.
Dancing hero polar bears, dusty environmental heroes, and heroes with super-competitive characteristics all appeared on the participants’ screens. The students had already discussed heroes everyday, in games, movies and books and worked on sketching her own hero. These heroes were then brought to life in City Hall by the students telling the story via the Web-based Scratch programming tool.
Helping to guide the event, coding role models were provided by us and the other main sponsors; Microsoft, Informator, Sigma and Ericsson.
Our passion. Our purpose
Working with Kodcentrum, and publicly pushing for the early introduction of coding in Swedish schools, is all about large scale inclusion. We want to give every child the same shot at becoming a coder. It’s a matter of democracy and it’s also a matter of making sure that we’ll have new kick-ass coders to hire in 10 years or so. And it’s vital if Sweden as a country is to keep its innovation hub status.
Kodcentrum also educates teachers, so they can have coding classes with their students. And they’ve developed a new teaching aid to make it easy for teachers to introduce coding and digital creating to primary school kids. Spotify is one of the companies pushing hard for the new primary school curriculum that will be implemented in 2018, where these subjects are included from an early age. So, it is with careful confidence we look forward to the new government decision that programming will enter the curriculum in 2018, the City Hall will be a starting point for long-term work where teachers have an incredibly important role and are in need of support and inspiration.
The City Hall Hack was nothing but magical. We thank all the youngsters taking part, the super heroes and Kodcentrum for a day nothing less than amazing!
*Read more about Stadshushacket here: