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The session began with an introduction by Ms Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner in charge of Digital Economy and Society. In her introduction, Gabriel referred to the importance of preparing young people for the digital future. In this context, she mentioned the Digital Opportunity project which provides cross-border training for students who are not IT specialists. She also highlighted the importance of incorporating young people within the IGF while attending to their dreams, visions, and concerns.
Dr Michal Boni, Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of Delegation to the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee, explained why young people should become active within the IGF, not only because they are the largest number of Internet users but also because they are tomorrow’s citizens. As such, they will have to know how to use technology to make a better society.
Finally, Ms Yuliya Morenets, leader of the NGO TaC, Together against Cybercrime International, addressed the history and the development of the IGF youth movement which was born in 2011 in Strasbourg, France. Today, it operates in Europe, the African region, Asia, and Latin America. The movement has three objectives: to raise awareness of IT issues and Internet-related aspects among the young, to transfer knowledge, and to have a training platform for young people.
Afterwards the floor opened for questions and comments to participants, including young activists from all around the world. These questions touched on issues such as educating young people on cybersecurity issues, the difficulties young people experience when trying to engage at the IGF, fellowships programmes for young people at the IGF and ICANN, and training young people on how to use their technological knowledge and skills for participation in the political sphere.
By Efrat Daskal