Youth corner: Networking in IG for creating opportunities
Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2020
9 Nov 2020 09:00h - 17 Nov 2020 19:00h
10 Nov 2020 15:00h - 15:30h
‘Young people need to be included and can contribute meaningfully to IG discussions.’
During this informal discussion among a small group of youth participants, everyone shared their journey into youth engagement at the UN IGF and their experiences so far attending IGF2020.
Most young participants stated that their engagement levels at IGF2020 was much higher; compared to previous years where the forum was always held in situ with remote participation available. The – first ever – entirely virtual global IGF allowed a much more diverse crowd to participate in discussions; by removing barriers such as travel costs, visa issues, and other physical factors that traditionally hinder youth attendance. Youth appreciated the opportunity to engage on the same footing with all other stakeholders since everyone was participating via videoconferencing, chatting with interested and like minded people of all age groups.
Youth needs more co-operation from national and regional IGFs (NRIs) and other stakeholders to: create more platforms and processes for youth, find ways to formalise and consolidate the work and opinions of youth sustainably, understand youth’s challenges as stakeholders when participating in IG processes and find solutions together.
Further, the need to understand in what ways youth can take an active part in shaping the evolution and future of IG by co-operation and building capacity of youth in underdeveloped countries was stressed.
Investing in connecting people so that no young people are left behind was emphasised and the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation was referred to.
Moderator, Mr Roman Chukov (Russian IGF and IGF MAG member) stressed that young people should explore opportunities (fellowships, courses, internships, career, etc.) and continue to be engaged in IGF processes.
Ms Anja Gengo (NRIs Coordinator, UN IGF Secretariat) stressed that the secretariat was continuously working to create more opportunities for youth to participate meaningfully in sessions and workshops. She concluded by encouraging session organisers to consider youth more active roles such as speakers, facilitators, experts, and researchers.
Youth were also urged and encouraged to participate more actively in sessions by sharing their opinions, views, and work and by giving feedback to the secretariat and the overall IG community helping make all IGF processes more inclusive for youth.