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No. 34 Empowering Global Youth through Digital Citizenship

Anne Collier



Principles of Multi-stakeholder Cooperation

Where there is governance, there are citizens. So no Internet governance discussion is complete without discussion among the citizens about digital citizenship. This workshop continues a discussion that began at IGF Vilnius and follows our successful Baku workshop in which more than 30 participants spoke, nearly all of them youth.

The goal for the upcoming roundtable is to move from discussing the concept of being a good digital citizen to understanding how youth currently participate as digital citizens in their respective countries and what results they seek. We will uncover how youth use the Internet, mobile technologies and digital media. We’ll examine their role as users and citizens; hear the perspectives of those who are advancing digital citizenship  concepts; and understand the effectiveness  of the current online safety approaches. This workshop will  include a roundtable of participants interacting with participants both on-site and remote to ask and answer these critical questions:

  • Can digital citizenship scale effectively in emerging and developing countries?
  • How would the models be different or alike, and how do participants envision its uptake in their countries?
  • As a concept and a strategy, how does digital citizenship meet real challenges for both young users and the world in which they are growing up?
  • What is youth’s role in supporting and promoting digital citizenship, and what are the obstacles to exercising leadership?
  • What are the Internet Governance issues or questions that should be addressed going forward?
  • What are young people's approaches to developing a safe digital society that upholds participants' rights?
  • What are the most effective ways to teach and model good digital citizenship?
  • Are there digital citizenship programs currently in place in their countries for youth, parents, and teachers? If so, what are they like?
  • How do we move from “digital citizenship” as a concept to implementing good practices and education?
  • What are the roles of governments, industry, and civil society in this journey?
  • How can we reach the most disadvantaged youth in society (digital inclusion)?

Discussion facilitators will guide youth participants to share their regional experiences and expectations of industry, government and civil society to help make our digital society better for all.

Has the proponent organised a workshop with a similar subject during past IGF meetings?


Indication of how the workshop will build on but go beyond the outcomes previously reached

Digital Citizenship is still a relatively new concept. Each year, we learn more from youth and other roundtable participants on what it means to be an effective digital citizen, in general and in different parts of the world. We very much consider this a learning opportunity as opposed to a presentation. As adults (and discussion facilitators), we continue to learn about digital citizenship from our interactions not only with professionals in this field but also with youth as participants and citizens themselves, as well as future leaders in Internet governance. The insights gained in past IGF roundtables have reinforced some previous concepts, but in many cases they have completely upended what was considered common understanding. It is a humbling yet exciting moment when one of your working theories about digital citizenship is quickly but thoughtfully cast aside by a 16-year-old. What makes this workshop well suited to the IGF is the continuing change of locations. While we do have youth participants who travel to every IGF, some of the most exciting opportunities and illuminating insights come from local participants. Having never held this session in SE Asia, we are expecting to hear a whole new set of perspectives we have not heard in previous sessions. Regardless of the location, as professionals who are engaged in designing programs for youth as digital citizens, we learn more and more from youth about citizenship's meaning and potential in a networked world. In essence, we are designing digital citizenship's ongoing discussion and development together with youth.

Background Paper

No background paper provided

Session Type

Open Discussion



Ms. Anne Collier, ConnectSafely.org, Civil Society, UNITED STATES, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOG

Ms. Kimberly Sanchez, Microsoft Corp., Private Sector, UNITED STATES, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOG

Have the Proponent or any of the co-organisers organised an IGF workshop before?


The link(s) to the workshop report(s)


Panellists and Moderator

Invited panellists, individuals and organisations

= panellist or organisation has been confirmed

Please click on Biography to view the biography of panelllist

Net Mission, Civil Society, HONG KONG, Asia-Pacific Group

NetSafe, Civil Society, NEW ZEALAND, Asia-Pacific Group

Childnet, Civil Society, UNITED KINGDOM, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOG

Young & Well Cooperative Research Centre, Civil Society, AUSTRALIA, Asia-Pacific Group

ECPAT Internatioal, Civil Society, THAILAND, Asia-Pacific Group


Jim Prendergast, Galway Strategy Group, US private sector

Remote Moderator

Anjan Bose, ECPAT International, Thailand civil society


No information provided here

Inclusiveness of the Session

Last year we had 65 attendees in our session in Baku with over 30 of them taking to the microphone at least once. A link to the transcript is below, and it clearly demonstrates that our session was undoubtedly the most interactive session of the meeting, and our plan is to try and replicate that. Essentially, there will be no presentations and no panelists. There will be thought-provoking questions raised by the discussion facilitators and a conversation among audience members.

Transcript - http://wsms1.intgovforum.org/sites/default/files/06%20Nov%202012%20IGF%20WS%2062-1.docx

Suitability for Remote Participation

Prior to the events in Bali, we will undertake a global social media effort to publicize the workshop among youth and organizations focused on Digital Citizenship efforts.  We will take advantage of the global resources and relationships of Microsoft and ConnectSafely to ensure that there is sufficient awareness of our session.

However, due to time zone differences and scheduling of the workshop, remote participation from outside the region may be difficult. We expect this to be a challenge for all workshops and not unique to ours.

To overcome this challenge we plan to distribute a short, open-ended, online survey through organizations around the globe that solicit youth insights to the same questions posed in the live discussions. The Discussion Facilitators and the Moderators will be ensuring that the inputs received from this survey are made a part of the discussion. These voices will be represented.

Questions or Comments

Just like last year, there will be no formal presentations – only brief opening remarks for our open discussion from facilitators Anne Collier, ConnectSafely.org, and Kim Sanchez, Microsoft.

Our target audience as well as participation for this highly interactive session is youth. As we are dependent on youth actually travelling to Bali, participation will not be set ahead of time. This should not be a concern because the role of youth in the IGF continues to expand, and we were able to have 30+ youth participants from a number of countries in a similar session we held in Baku, include strong regional representation.

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