Today, I am thrilled to join the Board of Directors for The Fund for Public Schools, an incredible non-profit organization that has been dedicated to supporting New York City’s public schools since 1982. The Fund is a partner to the NYC Department of Education (DOE) and facilitates its collaborations with the philanthropic community and the business community.

New York City, with its more than 1,800 schools, is the largest and most diverse school district in the country. Since 2015, and under the leadership of Chancellor Chancellor Carranza (who also serves as Chair of The Fund’s Board), the NYC DOE has…

How do you invent a world that is resilient, because its foundations are strong and its society is fair?

Last week I was invited to give the commencement address at Parsons SDS (System Design Strategies) Program. It was not a responsibility I took lightly: What does design, strategy and creativity mean in a time of global angst? How does one determine the role they want to play in the world when they are not sure what game the world will be playing? I decided to tap into my learnings as a Lebanese citizen and entrepreneur.

Below the full speech (video…

After 105 days, the revolution on the ground is exhausted. If it fails, it will be on us in the diaspora.

88 days ago the Lebanese government resigned.

8 days ago, a new government was formed.

Monday the new government scheduled a parliamentary session to vote on the budget. Clearly 6 days is not enough for any government to develop a budget, let alone one for a country in a state of total economic collapse. So Monday was a confirmation that this is a puppet government.

Citizens (of course) knew, so a protest was planned to prevent the parliamentary session…

Omar Imady

I lay awake at 4am in the morning in Beirut because my heart is beating fast and I cannot contain it.

Yesterday morning I flew from New York (where I live) to Beirut (where I am from) to take part in the anti-government protests. Reports say over 2.5 million people are on the streets demanding the resignation of the government, half of the population of Lebanon, the largest protest in the history of the country.

littleBits first prototype, circa 2008

Today is my last day at littleBits.

When I first invented littleBits in 2008, I had the idea that the power of invention with technology should be accessible to everyone, no matter their age, gender and technical prowess. I believed that learning through play was the surest path to loving STEM. And I knew, deeply in my gut, that modularizing electronics into a new generation of building blocks had the potential to change education and making forever.

What I didn’t know is that the world would agree with me.

Launching Snap the Gap — an ambitious program to close the gender gap in STEM

Today is equal pay day, and another reminder that some of the highest paying jobs becoming available are more likely to be filled by men, and that that the gender gap in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) is alive and well.

Last month, I was involved in a heated online conversation around this topic after a 60 Minutes episode about how to get women into STEM cut myself and other leading women’s organizations working on the issue in favor of a male spokesperson. …

How 60 Minutes cut women’s voices from a segment on . . . girls and women

I must have spent four hours on the phone on Monday. Half of that time with people congratulating me that my company, littleBits, had gotten a mention on 60 Minutes. The other half with people who were upset about the piece.

60 minutes at Marymount School of New York

After the segment aired, Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, wrote an article titled “Erasing Women in Tech: How 60 Minutes Ignored Women’s Voices, Stories, and Expertise.” The piece went viral within a few hours. Critics largely agreed with her…

You know That Kid when you meet them.

That Kid who asks 500 questions and is never satisfied with the answer. That Kid that started a business selling their sibling’s toys in school. That Kid that can’t keep her clothes clean for 30 seconds. That Kid that pulled apart their parents’ furniture so that they could turn it into a rocket. That Kid that refuses to color inside the lines. That Kid who, no matter how much you negotiate, will not wear the uniform.

That Kid is often perceived as too loud, too opinionated, too energetic. That Kid is called…

Photo: Frank Wang/Unsplash

I was recently invited to speak at a conference by the World Bank on “Disrupting the Gender Divide” to answer the following questions: Why are women rarely at the core of a company’s strategy when globally, they control nearly two-thirds of the total overall consumer spending?

My hypothesis was circular.

Women are rarely at the core of a company’s strategy because very few women are in leadership positions at these companies. When it comes to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based companies, the numbers are even worse. There is an abysmally low number of women in these fields, which…

Today, I’m thrilled to share that littleBits has acquired DIY, an incredible SF-based tech startup that’s cultivated one of the largest and most active online communities of kids!

I’m so excited. I’ve always been a fan of DIY’s mission, so when I learned that DIY co-founder Zach Klein was seeking to grow further, I jumped on the opportunity to bring our companies together. For those that may not be familiar, DIY has two really special offerings; together, DIY.org and JAM.com are helping kids to develop future skills.

  • DIY.org is a free, kid-only community with more than 1.5 million projects uploaded…

ayah bdeir

Founder @littleBits , @TEDFellow , Alum MIT @Medialab . On a mission to inspire kids to be creators, problem-solvers and inventors.

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