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Youth involvement in Internet Governance

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No. 173 Youth involvement in Internet Governance

Nadine Karbach

Youth IGF Germany

IGF 2014 sub theme that this workshop fall under

IGF & The Future of the Internet Ecosystem


The European as well as global youth organisations so far are failing to provide for the youth to participate in the digital policy debate on global level of the Internet Governance. Due to complexity and exclusivity of political IG processes, lack of institutionalised framework for participation, lack of capacity building on the mass scale and civil society bubble, current models of participation are not feasible for the digital policy debates.
The aforementioned factors create barriers and problems for the young people to participate in global Internet Governance fora. They raise concerns if youth participation is fulfilled and working in the digital policy field of global Internet Governance.
Youth involvement in the Internet Governance Discussion e.g. IG therefore appears to be stunted, and remains a field of further development. The workshop aims to map the status of youth participation in a two-folded approach: firstly, current barriers for young people to get involved directly in the IG Discussions shall be identified. Complementary, the workshop aims to share good practice and map opportunities for young people to get involved in IG Discussions (e.g. how to attract young people, setting up a hub, preparing material).


1. Introduction (5mins)
- Recap of the foundlings from WS.119 at IGF Azerbaijan (http://wsms1.intgovforum.org/content/no119-defining-successful-factors-different-models-youth-participation-internet-governance#report)
- Setting the scene and workshop aim: How can we promote the youth participation in internet governance on the national/international policy making level?

2. Policy Making Bodies/IG-related Institution Representatives (~15mins)
- What are the current practices for engaging youth in your policy discussion within your organisation/country? Any future plans?

3. Youth Representatives Sharing (~25mins)
- To share the current youth programs they joined and the achievement
- To share their challenges on participation in Internet governance field and actual policy level

4. Open discussion (~40 mins)
- Mapping the gap: what is lacking? (a platform, resources or promotion? etc.)
- Exploring gap fillers: what do we need to bridge the youth, NGOs and governments/policy making bodies?
- How to foster collaboration between the civil society and the policy making bodies to enable youth participation in Internet Governance?

5. Wrap-up (5mins)

Name(s) and stakeholder and organizational affiliation(s) of institutional co-organizer(s)

Nadine Karbach & Lorena Jaume-Palasi
Civil Society, Youth IGF Germany

David NG
Civil Society, Netmission.Asia

Martin Fischer & Anya Orlova
Civil Society & Academia, Network of EuRopean Digital Youth

Has the proposer, or any of the co-organizers, organized an IGF workshop before?


The link to the workshop report


Type of session

Other - Roundtable combined with capacity building session

Duration of proposed session


Subject matter #tags that describe the workshop

#youth participation, #inclusion, # equal participation, #digital policy, #youth, #involvement #outreach #goodpractice #borders

Names and affiliations (stakeholder group, organization) of speakers the proposer is planning to invite

Md. Nazrul Islam Khan, Secretary, ICT Division, Government of Bangladesh, Government
Chaturvedi, Subi, The Multistakeholder Advisory Group, IGF
Nora Abusitta, VP Development and Public Responsibility Programs of ICANN (Remote)
Julia Reda, Member of European Parliament, Government
Agnes Fong & Enoch Cheng, NetY Amabassadors, Civil Society
Vincent Ho, NetMission Amabassadors, Civil Society
Silke Sorensen, Save the Children Denmark, Civil Society
Nina Devani & Grace Kelly, Insafe network, Civil society
Lorena Jaume-Palasi, German Youth IGF, Civil society
Deniz D. Aydin, Access, Civil society
Farzaneh Badii, Academia & Persian Youth IGF, Civil society

Furthermore we promote this participatory and open workshop to all who are interested in this issue and are motivated to share and contribute. This includes an open call for participation for all stakeholders of the IGF.

Name of Moderator(s)

Bianca HO

Name of Remote Moderator(s)

David NG

Description of how the proposer plan to facilitate discussion amongst speakers, audience members and remote participants

After brief workshop presentations we want to start a round table discussion on obstacles to youth participation in the Internet Governance, effective outreach mechanisms and sharing good practice on youth involvement.

Description of the proposer's plans for remote participation

We are planning to set up the following remote participation possibilities:
- dedicated Facebook group
- Twitter hashtag
- collaborative writing tool (e.g. Pad, g-doc)
- preparatory & online voting space, e.g. ypart.eu
- dedicated email address for questions in advance & afterwards

Involved organizations are asked to promote the workshop through their (social) networks in advance and collect questions and remarks for the workshop. During the workshop we set up a storify to collect all social media contributions. Those as well as the notes will be added to the final report of the workshop.

Background paper

No background paper provided

Brief substantive summary of the workshop and presentation of the main issues that were raised during the discussions

Workshop Background
With the collective effort of Youth Coalition of Internet Governance (YCIG), came up with this workshop on discussing youth involvement in Internet Governance. Back to 2012, Workshop 119 was hosted on Defining Successful Factors of Different Models for Youth Participation in Internet Governance. The workshop focused on effectiveness of format to successfully engage youth in the Internet. As civil society already devoted a lot of effort in terms of capacity building, the focus of this workshop is on how to bridge the gap to engage youth in real policy discussion.

Workshop Format
The format of discussion is including the policy makers (including Government representatives, representatives from Internet regulatory bodies including IGF, ICANN etc.,) to speak about how they engage youth on the Internet policy discussion. We also have youth to comment on how to move forward. It is followed by open discussion, which maps the gap and finds measures to fill the gaps.

Discussion Summary
View from Policy Makers:
● Bangladesh Government officials commented they first needed to look at accessibility and affordability, and has yet to engage youth in real policy discussion.
● Subi from IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group noted that IGF is not doing enough, and requests for best practices to engage youth
● Nora from ICANN, mentioned youth program e.g. NextGen@ICANN co-organized with Youth organization letting young people experience the discussion environment is another way to engage youth in policy discussion
● Julia Reda, Member of the European Parliament commented youth should not wait for adults to include them in the discussion and should take a more proactive role. Number of people in powerful positions who are actually willing to listen to our opinions and our concerns about Internet Governance is still sadly lacking. Moreover, young people should be represented not only in youth panels but also in topic discussion

View from youth participants:
● Their voice are not be heard, and not really reach the level of the policy making
● They want to put together an official statement to be heard
● Not enough awareness around the Internet Governance events
● The awareness is not only among youth, but also among the carer including teachers and parents
● Needed training on participating in the workshop prior to the event, could start with regional or national events
● Youth involvement in Internet Governance should be based on the regional needs
● Capacity building is not just in terms of funding and content, but also about language making it easier and formulating a strategy
● Language barrier is another issue, they call for an easy-to-understand workshop and discussion
● Best particles should be shared

Conclusions drawn from the workshop and possible follow up actions

The workshop is about gathering the ideas from both sides, policy making body and youth leaders on how can the two groups work together to engage youth on the Internet policy discussion. Suggestions have been made in two period, respectively, before conference and in the conference.

Before the conference, youth and policy makers both agreed to enhance a regional platform for youth engagement, example including strengthening the regional IGF, putting the IGF efforts in respective language according to regional level. Enhancing capacity building is also another issue that was agreed by both policy makers and youths to let their voice reach the policy making level, suggestion including youth training and facilitation in order to enable them to speak on the panel. Youth participants also agreed that raising the awareness is another key for youth engagement in Internet governance issue, suggestion made including better utilization on social media, as well as resources allocation on Internet governance issue since child education.

To better facilitate youth during the conference, most of the youth agree that authorizing IGF and letting it make statement is a possible solution to put the ideas and good points discussed in IGF forward. Youths and policy makers also agreed that to let youth easier to approach the hot topics in IGF, easier languages can be used for youth panels, and causal youth involvement outside of the conference can also be done as a support for youth engaging. To enhance the impact of IGF to other youths, some youth panelists also suggested using social media as a channel to do so.

Consensus on bring forward the youth participation to the next level with the implementation plan:
○ Creation of resource pool for bridging the developed and developing countries Internet Governance policy discussion
  ■ For youth to register their profile and expertise, and organizers can find youth for relevant panels
  ■ Feedback tool to the organizers
  ■ Toolkit for preparing youth to be ready for the Internet Governance discussion
  ■ Twitter Blog for related news and content
○ Encourage adults to listen to youth
  ■ Come up with measures for the organizers to keep track of:
    ● Percentage of youth participation
    ● Youngest person in the room
    ● Average age of participants
  ■ Campaign next year on “Yes, I want to listen to youth!”
    ● Distribute rubber handband to adult participants, participants who are ready to talk can wear it, that youth can easily identify and actively approach one with handband for short chat in the IGF venue
○ Come up with Official Recommendation from youth
○ Having youth member on the Multistakeholder Advisory Group in IGF

Estimation of the overall number of participants present at the workshop


Estimation of the overall number of women present at the workshop

about half of the participants were women

Extent to that the workshop discuss gender equality and/or women’s empowerment

it was raised by one or more speakers as an important aspect of the workshop’s theme

A brief summary of the discussions in case that the workshop addressed issues related to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment

No information provided

Reported by

Ambassadors of Netmission.Asia, Civil Society

Workshop transcript


Youtube video




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