IGF 2022 Global youth summit

28 Nov 2022 08:15h - 09:45h

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Event report

The Global Youth Summit focused on discussing opportunities for digital transformation, its challenges, and steps to achieve a better digital future. The Youth Summit was organised by a group of Youth IGF coordinators from different regions and countries in close collaboration with the IGF Secretariat. The IGF Youth track consisted of four thematic workshops at EuroDIG, African IGF, Youth APrIGF, and Youth LACIGF held in previous months.

It was noted that youth should be sitting at the table and not ‘on the menu’. However, sitting at the table requires the ability to act and take responsibility for actions. Having young people within governments or businesses does not mean these young people can advocate for their rights.

There are multiple challenges preventing youth from fully benefiting from the digital transformation. It is challenging for youth to pick up on institutional frameworks that are in place and check whether they are still relevant. Many young people are still in rural areas and remote communities and are not included in the global IG debate. Many are also constrained by poverty, unemployment, and other social and economic marginalisation. Additionally, digital threats and risks are constantly increasing.

Ignoring the digital threats and structural barriers preventing youth participation of the most vulnerable is to turn our back on digital natives whose commitment and investment are needed.

A few action oriented ways to ensure a safer, more secure and sustainable digital environment through synergies between the current and next generations of experts and leaders were identified. These include:

  • Building mutual understanding between stakeholders generations in the internet community to make better policies
  • Considering the possibility of decentralised funding and supporting models from the private sector and organisations may be the future of meaningful participation of the youth in internet governance. 
  • Examining the levels of digital and data literacy; and considering adding specific topics at each level of education, starting from primary schools and leading to universities for sophisticated issues.
  • Formulating digital solutions that connect people and building a digital infrastructure that is not harmful to the environment itself.
  • Including a consolidated youth vision in the Global Digital Compact.

By Ilona Stadnik

The session in keywords

IGF 2022 Global youth summit