Elena SinelFounder, Acorn Inspirations

    Elena Sinel is an award-winning social entrepreneur and founder of Teens In AI and Acorn Aspirations, motivated to make a difference in the world by empowering young people aged 12-18 to solve real problems through technologies: AI, VR, AR, MR and blockchain.

    Elena is an experienced keynote speaker and frequently speaks on panels (UN AI for Good Global Summit, EU AI Stakeholder Summit, UN High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, COGx AI Conference, BBC – Flourishing in the Age of AI Conference, General Assembly) about the future of work and AI, future of education, innovation in education, on whether or not robots take away jobs, how to engage GenZ and make them fit for the 21 century jobs, how to equip GenZ with 21st century skills, how to make STEM careers attractive for girls and more. She spoke at London Stock Exchange, Wayra and Telefonica Open Futures events, to name a few.

    Teens In AI is Elena’s latest initiative, spurred by her passion for AI and its ability to create a positive and lasting impact on the world. It was officially launched at the ITU’s AI For Good Global Summit.

    Teens in AI exists to increase diversity and inclusion in artificial intelligence. It aims to democratise AI and create pipelines for underrepresented talent through a combination of expert mentoring, talks, workshops, hackathons, accelerators, company tours and networking opportunities that give young people aged 12-18 early exposure to AI for social good. The vision is for AI to be developed by a diverse group of thinkers and doers advancing AI for humanity’s benefit.

    Prior to this, she worked as international specialist consultant with nine years of experience in poverty reduction strategies, rural livelihood development and poverty alleviation with a specific focus on creation of small and medium enterprise development, product design, marketing and fundraising in Central Asia, the Balkans, Ethiopia and Bangladesh where she worked in international organisations, including ACTED, British Council, UNDP and World Bank.

    Her academic background is in Politics and International Relations (BA, LSE) and Conflict, Security and Development (MA, King’s College London).

    Recent achievements:

    • Finalist of MassChallenge 2016
    • Finalist Women In IT 2018 Awards 
    • 101 Female Founders of Tech 2017, BusinessCloud
    • Winner of CogX 2017 Awards in Using AI for Social Good Projects 
    • NatWest WISE 100 2018
    • 100 Women in AI Ethics


    “My expertise lies in creating immersive experiences such as hackathons, bootcamps and accelerator programmes for young people aged 12-18 where the focus is very much on learning to learn, project-based learning, problem-solving skills, collaboration, resilience, mentoring and utilising cutting-edge frameworks and concepts such as design thinking, scrum, agile, AI Ethics alongside technologies such as machine learning, data science and artificial intelligence. I very strongly believe that the education system is very outdated and has seen very little change in over 150 years. This does not benefit the world powered by constant technological change and something needs to be done most urgently to ensure UK retains its claim as AI superpower. I do hope my expertise is valuable to the APPG-AI Education Task Force.”

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