Insafe Youth ambassadors, Kathrin and Florian, attended the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) which took place on 4-5 June 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Kathrin participated also in the New Media Summer School (#nmss15), an event preceding EuroDIG, which aims to prepare young people to get involved in the discussions on internet governance. At the same time, Florian was part of a panel on Youth Empowerment that considered the notion of empowerment from different points of view and tried to find the connection between them. Here is what Kathrin and Floarian shared with us from these events:
Kathrin: “The panel in the session about ‘Media in the Digital Age’ included only experts and, while I really appreciate their expertise, my problem was that no young person was on the panel to represent the youth voice. So I decided to start tweeting about it, which was a successful way to get attention as there were three huge Twitter walls in the plenary room. Attention shifted to young people in the room and so we got the chance to share our opinions as well.”
Florian: “Youth Empowerment is not an easy and simple topic. Nevertheless, I was really excited and happy to talk about my views on how to empower youth. During the Youth Empowerment session, I drew upon the Youth Manifesto, an initiative driven by youth to select 10 principles that encompass the views of young Europeans on how to make a better internet, to show that empowering youth will often lead to a great outcome. “
Kathrin: “EuroDIG was not only about sessions, it was about including everyone and having meaningful discussions. It was about multistakeholderism and how to ensure that all participants are part of the debate, independent of their background.
In 2013, the Web We Want: a handbook for teenagers, developed by and for young people, was launched. The handbook provides exercises and tips on a range of different online issues such as online rights and responsibilities, online identity, privacy, and so on.
Having in mind the need to teach online issues at the classroom, the Web We Want handbook for Educators, designed by and for teachers, was launched today, 18 March 2015 at the Google offices in Brussels.
Our Youth Ambassadors, Grace and Kathrin, were present at the launch event. Grace was part of the panel called ‘Skilling European citizens for the future’ where the Youth Manifesto initiative served as an example of youth-led initiative that engages young people to voice their views on the future of the internet and encourages them to promote active citizenship and participation skills. The digital version of the Youth Manifesto publication, which outlines the ten key principles that European youth have identified as essential to creating a better internet for the future, is now available at www.youthmanifesto.eu.
Lubos, Youth Ambassador
Since 2004 a lot has changed. Services like Snapchat or Instagram have spread widely and today a huge group of young people uses them. These services focus on spreading moments and emotions in real time with your friends.
I believe that these apps have significantly changed the way young people think about privacy and safety online. What was once considered as inappropriate to post is now OK. The boarders between inappropriate and appropriate shrank a lot.
So let me repeat a sentence you have heard probably thousand times: Think twice before you post! And in these times, think three times. I can guarantee you; you will appreciate these tips, when you will be applying for a job or university.
I will celebrate Safer Internet Day, because I believe everyone should think once again about his or her behavior online.
João, Youth Ambassador
“Certainly 10th of February will not have more hours than the rest 365 days of the year. Despite that, I believe it will be a better day. Its symbolic aspect means that everybody can take action creating a positive internet environment.”
“When 28 per cent of young children until the age of 12 access the internet through smartphones, according to an EU Kids Online report, it is more important than ever to guarantee their safety. These children can be misled by the risks they are up against and days like Safer Internet Day (SID) will allow parents and teachers to alert and support them. ”
“As in former editions, SID 2015 is a European initiative that is aimed at drawing everyone’s attention to the online rights and responsibilities. This year is no different, with the launch of the Youth Manifesto, the declaration where 10 key principles on how to make the Internet better are stated.”
“Maybe I am just a teenager from Portugal, but I know I am not alone. Causes like this deserve to be fought and I want definitely to be an example. Do like me and join your country initiatives, spread the word and take the most from the day! “