IGF 2021 – Day 3 – YCIG Youth in the decision-making process: hear us!

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> We all live in a digital world.  We all need it to be open and safe.  We all want to trust.

>> And to be trusted. 

>> We all despise control.

>> And desire freedom. 

>> We are all united. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Hello.  Welcome to the session named YCIG Youth in the decision‑making process.  Today you are listening to two speakers.  First, we have Eileen Cejas, who is a criminal lawyer from Buenos Aires, Argentina, currently Regional Engagement Director from Latin America and the Caribbean of the Youth SIG and the Steering Committee Member of the Youth Commission on Internet Governance.  She has been involved in different activities of Internet Governance as sustainability program at the Working Group Internet for Social Cohesion and being part of the coordination of the Project Youth Summit. 

Then we have Ayden Federline, who is a researcher who previously represented the European organizations, the body which sets policy for generic top‑level domains, such as dot-com and dot‑org and was a 2019 Fellow within the foundation. 

Last but not least, we will have Emilia Zalewska, who is a lawyer, actively involved in Internet Governance initiatives since 2017, when she participated in a project and is co‑founder and a Steering Committee Member of Youth IGF Poland, actively involved in organizing the Youth Summit and also is a youth envoy in Generation Connect by the International Telecommunications Union. 

I am also introducing Mohammad Atif Aleem, who will be the moderator of the Zoom room, or online moderator.  And he is a co‑engineering graduate from university in India and has been associated with the Internet Society chapter in India.  Please keep in mind after the speakers' presentation, we will brainstorm together, have an open mic and take a picture together.  So, now let's jump to the first segment of our session.  I will make two questions.  So, please, speakers, stick to two minutes' interventions.  I am giving the floor to Ayden first, then Emilia.  So, Ayden, can you tell us how you got involved in the Internet Governance system and any learnings about this experience? 

>> AYDEN FEDERLINE: Sure.  I hope you can hear me.  I am Ayden Federline, a Public Interest Technologist in Germany.  And it's funny, because I've had this conversation with a lot of people like ourselves over the past eight weeks for a different research project that I've been working on.  So, I've been interviewing a lot of people that, like myself, have tried to enter into leadership positions in different multilateral or multi‑stakeholder forums.  So, I can share some of the lessons that I've heard from a community of voices.  So, these are not all of my own original thoughts, although suddenly, some of them have been my own experience. 

And essentially, what I have heard is that it is so easy to be pulled this way, that way, or the other in this space, and that in order to be an effective advocate in multi‑stakeholder or multilateral fora, you need to have a narrow focus, you need to really hone in on what is a genuine interest to you, because that personal motivation and desire to understand the back story to all of the issues that have taken place is really important.  It is also, perhaps, more of a return on investment to participate at the national level first before you start participating at the international level.  The possibility that someone will speak to you in a language that you don't understand is minimal.  People are more respectful of time limitations.  Issues can be more locally relevant.  Frequency of meetings is tailored to local concerns.  And you also will meet stakeholders who you will then see at international fora. 

So, perhaps it is best to begin your engagement first nationally and then expand internationally.  Again, participate thematically.  Be open to learning.  Be open to making mistakes.  I make a lot of mistakes.  And as long as you learn from the mistakes and you realize not to do that again, or to do that again, that can be very important. 

Finally, it is a bit cliche, from the book of "How to Win Friends and Influence People," but make more friends and allies than enemies.  Do not burn bridges.  It is easy to do that in Civil Society.  Easy to do that as an advocate, but I have certainly learned myself that it could be helpful to have allies that you are able to coalesce with, to discuss strategy with, who will support you, who will motivate you, so that's what I would suggest doing.  Make friends, choose your battles wisely.  Don't chase all of the wins.  And quarantine your ideas to discuss them at the right places.  Thanks. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thank you very much, Ayden.  And just to add information on that, it's also at the Internet Governance nice to meet people from your country, and, like, have the networking affects all these places.  Now to you, Emilia.  We would like to hear more about the Youth Summit, if you can compare between the planning phase, and today, after a whole week of sessions at the IGF, how do you feel about it?  What do you expect for the future of the youth? 

>> EMILIA ZALEWSKA: How do I feel is tire, but it is also a very rewarding experience.  So, let's just start from the beginning.  So, the IGF was supposed to happen in Poland last year, so we had already started some preparations at that time.  But I must say, it was quite fortunate that it actually didn't happen here last year because it gave us more time to start with the project Youth Summit, because we were really impressed by what happened in Berlin in 2019, where almost 100 people gathered together and created new messages that were very powerful, that were the expression of how young people perceive different challenges in the Internet Governance, what changes they would like to introduce.  So, that's what inspired us and also allowed us to go one step farther, because in Berlin, we met in one day and created those messages, which, yeah, it was amazing that we could do that. 

So, this year, we just wanted to have more time, so that's why we started the summit in the summer.  We had an open call for applications.  A lot of, hundreds of people from all around the world applied.  It was a very hard choice, like, the applications was on such a high level that we were really sorry that we could have like only 80 participants.  Then they worked in the groups on points of action.  The more complex with targeted to the specific stakeholder groups.  So, these are the solutions, proposals, but also ideas in how to introduce them.  So, we wanted to deliver those points of actions to people, to organizations that could actually help in implementing them.  So, I think that after this part of the meeting, we will have a jam board, yeah, if I'm right?  So, we will share how you can access those points of action.  So, we would love to hear your opinion because our participants have put so much hard work into them, and they are just, I think, something very, very ‑‑ they are, like, a breakthrough in many aspects.  So, yeah.  So, that would be from my side.  For now. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thank you, Emilia.  Inspiring, for sure, but also rewarding to see it happening afterwards, the results that we get from it.  Last, but not least, Eileen, you have been participating in both Dynamic Coalition's and NRI's meetings.  Could you give a quick glimpse in your participation in your case from the Latin America and Caribbean region? 

>> EILEEN CEJAS: Thank you very much, Pedro, for giving me the floor.  And hi, everyone.  I will comment quickly on the Youth Coalition, because we will have more time to talk about it.  Basically, the Youth Coalition Internet Governance has been around the idea for already 11 years ago, so it's an old, if you want to call it, Dynamic Coalition.  And we want to explain it.  We are not an organization, but we have a lot in the Youth Coalition a lot of organizations.  We also do much more things with other initiatives and organizations.  I will talk a little bit about the Youth IGF.  This year we made the second edition on line, but it was our sixth edition.  We have had the chance to access to funding from the Internet Society Foundation, so that allowed us to have an open course in Spanish, this year, last year in English, and we have several webinars with experts from the region, and we are very happy with the results, because also, young people also was brave enough to apply for sessions, so they conducted their own sessions.  They also partnered with other young people in the region to speak about different topics, like, for example, gender.  They also talk about remote work in education and what other topics.  I will try to stick to the time as much as possible. 

A few words on the Youth IGF Argentina.  This year, we are also conducting our meeting online, and it is happening on December 18th.  So, if you want to join, I will gladly share with you the links so you can check.  This year we are having mainly two topics.  One is going to be about the environment and the effects of the digitalization on the environment.  And the other topic is going to be about youth engagement, not only on the national level, also on the regional one.  Yes, I think that's all from my side.  Thank you very much. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thank you, Eileen.  To those that do not already know Eileen, she is one of the most active youth on Internet Governance that I know.  She is absolutely amazing on the amount of things that she can do.  So, I would like to thank you three and proceed to a quick question, but really important one about the thoughts of you three about the MHLB and the Leadership Panel, if you'd like to say a few words on it.  So, first, Ayden? 

>> AYDEN FEDERLINE: Sure.  I'd be happy to comment on it.  So, I've had an evolution of thinking on the MHLB, which is the Multi‑stakeholder High‑Level Body, sort of the IGF‑plus and the associated leadership panel.  The IGF is broken.  The current status quo of having this discussion forum and nothing else to go to action the items just doesn't really seem to serve purpose for me.  I don't know if it was ever fit for purpose.  I can acknowledge 16 years ago, perhaps it was the political reality of the day was that this was all that was suitable.  I don't really think it's appropriate anymore. 

And so, what this office is really an acknowledge of the problem, I don't think it proposes the right solution, but it is something, and something is better than nothing.  And whether it is a good or bad thing, whether you like the proposal or not, there is no other proposal out there.  No one else is suggesting anything different.  So, I think that we should participate in it.  I think that it is better to have a leadership panel that has strong Civil Society advocates, a leadership panel that includes youth on it, than to pretend that this is not going to happen when we see where all of the political capital is going. 

So, I think that we just try to support the initiative, to become involved, and to try to become very involved in shaping the participation, because again, there is no other proposal on the table.  And certainly, my fear is that if we do not participate in something like this, if we reject it, there are two things that can happen: One, this forum will continue to lose its relevance, and stakeholders that want to have important conversations are simply going to either go to a new forum that may not be multi‑stakeholder, that may not include our participation at all, and then we will not have a voice at all.  So, that would be my primary danger.  So, to the extent that we can, I am trying to be very positive about it, and I would encourage everyone in the room to submit nominations for who should be on the Leadership Panel and to ensure that we have really robust, strong Civil Society participation on that.  Thanks. 


>> EMILIA ZALEWSKA: Yeah, thank you very much.  So, I think my comment would be just very quick.  Personally, I think that, as I could agree with what Ayden said, that if there is no other proposition on the table, you can absolutely believe it will go into this direction.  What we, especially as young people, should really focus on ‑‑ and this is also something Ayden mentioned and I totally support that ‑‑ is how to get involved and how to get meaningfully involved. 

Like, over the few past years, we can observe that the youth involvement is growing.  We are being treated more and more seriously.  I think that involving the Youth Summit into the IGF structure is the best evidence that it's happening.  So, what we really need to focus on is how we are also involved in the future initiatives and that our role will be, you know, that ‑‑ because sometimes, youth events are a bit like a bubble.  So, there are young people speaking for young people.  Young people are listening.  But, you know, it's staying in this bubble.  So, what we need is to get also to the people outside of this bubble, to get to the high‑level representatives, to decision‑makers, and to get involved as an equal participant of this process.  So, that's from my side. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thanks, Emilia.  Thanks, Ayden, as well.  So, Eileen, please? 

>> EILEEN CEJAS: Thank you very much.  I agree with both Ayden and Emilia that it would be worse not to have anything at all.  But however, on a personal level, I don't agree with the position, for example, of the (?) coalition, which, basically, they say they don't support at all.  Because in that way, if, for example, you are saying you shouldn't apply for a spot, for a place there, you are also excluding yourself from the conversation.  So, as Ayden was saying, I think it's important to apply for a position there. 

I also want to mention, I think at least one positive thing that we can get from the Leadership Panel that will definitely help to amplify the reach of the IGF, because as you know, there isn't a lot of coverage from news on the events.  This is, sadly, because it should deserve more highlight, and also, it could increase the inclusion of other participants.  But on the other side, I think it's worrying to have that, for example, decisions are going to be made through the Chatham House Rules, and in that way, it would be very difficult to understand from which stakeholder is coming a certain position. 

Another aspect that I want to mention quickly is about that there is no mention to youth at all.  And as we were saying that the Working Group of Inclusive Internet Governance Ecosystem Digital Cooperation that is part of the Youth Summit, that there should be the inclusion of youth.  Even we should consider the possibility that youth is considered as a recognized stakeholder, because in that way, we can guarantee a place at the table. 

Something that's also got my attention is if you see the nominations, how it's explained on the Terms of Reference of the Leadership Panel, it says that it's going to be comprised by, for example, the UN Tech Envoy, and we are not seeing the UN Youth Envoy, so that's something that we should also consider.  Thank you. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thanks, Eileen.  Thanks, again, to you three for your valuable opinions.  And now we are passing to the second part of this session, which is the "Map to IG Mechanisms and Youth" and we ask for you to look at the boards that show historical events and how youth envoys are presented.  Look at the Zoom chat and we will read out or raise your hand.  For onsite participants, please also use the raise hand function on Zoom or let us know here.  We will discuss for 20 minutes and we will give you five minutes to read out, and then we can begin.  I am sharing the link at the Zoom.  And I am also sharing on the screen so we can see it.  Technical team, can you please give me co‑host? 

I think it's a little bit too small to see, so I will be zooming on each card at a time. 

>> EILEEN CEJAS: Pedro, I can jump in a little bit.  So, to explain a bit of context on this map, we gather all the inputs from all the Youth Coalition sessions, and we are not seeing it ‑‑ okay. 

So, for example, it says about when youth, the recommendation of creating a Coalition for Youth.  That was one mention.  It also says about other problems like access to the internet.  You can see on this map many more of the things that we have been discussing on the past meetings.  Maybe you can zoom out a bit.  Yeah. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Two minutes to go.  A bit more than one minute to go.  30 seconds.  So, time is up.  Our questions now for participants are how to increase youth participation.  Do you have any reflections on this matter related to digital cooperation mechanisms?  So, please, let's start there, with the same order.  Ayden? 

>> AYDEN FEDERLINE: Sure.  Thanks.  So, this is the first time that I've seen the mirror board.  I'm not sure who put it together, but it's very detailed, so, thank you.  That was really fascinating. 

I think, so, the question that you asked is really, how do we increase youth participation?  And I think we want to be talking about active and meaningful participation, and how you measure that, I don't know.  I think we need to have some sort of way to understand who is participating, who are the missing stakeholders.  Youth, of course, is not monolithic.  We have different ideological perspectives.  We have different people.  We have a lot of youth to capture.  So, we do need to reflect a bit on what are the perspectives that are missing from discussions that involve youth? 

I think that we also need to focus on making sure that youth are trained in the right soft skills.  People need to be taught how to negotiate, how to work with others, public speaking, story‑telling.  Effectiveness ultimately starts with how you conceptualize your work and your ideas.  To have a loud voice, and to be able to give a speech, though, when you don't have the problem statement and you don't have the solutions and you barely understand the issues, can really undermine you.  So, we also need to get into a position where we're able to support our community in understanding the issues, understanding the conversations that have taken place in corridors that have shaped discussions in the past that we were not privy to. 

So, stakeholder analysis, power analysis, understanding the content.  We need to work on that in order to be able to ensure that our participants are effective.  And you need to be able to package issues in a way so that others care.  And I think sometimes when I look at how youth present issues in different fora, you come from a place of victimhood, and it sounds like you don't have any agency.  Oftentimes, these people actually are victims, but that is not an effective way or the time to present your arguments. 

In my experience, for others to work with you, you need to appear to have agency.  Otherwise, you might get a very short‑term solution, or you might be tossed some empty words, but no change will actually happen if people don't believe you will follow through and follow up on what you're demanding. 

So, it's a difficult question.  How do we meaningfully increase youth participation?  Well, we obviously need money.  We obviously need some kind of organizations to step forward that are a bit more professionalized, who are able to invest deeply in capacity‑building, more so I think in soft skills, rather than those hard skills around subject matter expertise.  You can learn those.  So, yeah, I don't know.  One of the difficult questions, but we definitely need to think about who is missing, to think about how to measure what our skills gaps are, and we need to find a way to channel those conversations to those who can make it rain and can potentially get us the resources we need.  Thanks. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thanks, Ayden.  Exactly because it is a hard question, there are only hard answers.  So, that's the point of this panel.  So, Emilia, please. 

>> EMILIA ZALEWSKA: Thank you very much.  I would like to say that I really hope that many participants of this session will take the floor after us, because I am very curious about your suggestions and your ideas, especially that I spent the last year trying to get more youth involved.  So, yeah, I have tried out quite a lot of that.  So, I would really love to hear from you.  And yeah, it's a difficult question.  And what came to my mind is also something that we have talked a lot already at this summit, at this IGF, is that there are already plenty of youth initiatives, youth organizations, and they are sometimes doing quite similar things, but separately.  So, I think that here this year we are having a very good start that in organizing this Youth Summit we joined the forces of three organizations, Youth Coalition on Internet Governance, youth observatory From the Internet Society and IGF Poland.  And I think that's what helped us to do such amazing things, such to prepare it so well to this summit. 

Also, we are in touch with youth policymakers from German Informatic Society and we are also talking with other initiatives.  So, I think what is very important is to have this conversation to exchange experiences, and not to treat each other like a competition, but like potential partners.  So, I think it is something very important in increasing youth involvement is just to cooperate together among the existing initiatives, because I think that joining the forces, it makes it much easier to reach out to new people. 

So, also the second thing is also reaching out to people, especially merging allies groups, who sometimes, they just don't know how to start, they don't know how they could speak up for their group.  So, I guess it is very important also to remember about these groups that are sometimes left behind by the rest of the society.  So, I think that's also very important to include those voices, and we should remember about those groups and create a space for them where they could actually feel that they can share and that somebody will listen to them, will listen to their perspective and who will treat them as equal partners to have a conversation with.  So, that was from my side.  Thank you. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: I couldn't agree with you more, Emilia.  Excellent considerations.  So, Eileen, the floor is yours. 

>> EILEEN CEJAS: Thank you very much, Pedro.  Okay, I will go, and then I will pass the floor to Jenna.  So, what I was thinking when I was building this map is that throughout all the history of the Youth Coalition, we kind of have, like, very good ideas, and they are kind of repeating sometimes, but we can see that some of them have been ‑‑ make concrete ‑‑ not sure how to say in English. 

So, for example, we were asking for a mentorship part, and, well, at least the ISO Youth Ambassadors Program offered that possibility to have some mentorship and get involved in the IGF with enough time to learn how to participate there. 

Also, I think Ayden was mentioning about resources.  That is also something we are asking as part of the Dynamic Coalitions, to have access to some funding, because for example, we would love to have a lot of young people attending the IGF Forum, but unfortunately, that is not something that we can do right now, but it's something that could be considered for the future.  I think that's all.  Thank you. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thank you three for your contributions.  Now we are opening the speaking query for our youth all to speak about your youth initiative organization.  And please, also leave your comments on the sticky notes and the mirror boards.  It's there on the chat of the Zoom so people can reach you out. 

Firstly, I would just want to check if (?) is there to share with us the message and the Youth Policymakers?  And stick to two‑minute interventions, thanks.  Then we will open for the open mics.  Just let me check here.  Idil Elizabeth Dimetra, are you there?  Oh, she's there. 

>> Hi, I'm Demitrias from the German Informatic Society with the Youth Policymakers Program and published four policy papers on four of the topics of the IGF.  We published this earlier this week, Monday, on yigf.ed, if you want to check it out.  Our initiative was essentially that we had four competency‑building workshops on inclusive Internet Governance ecosystems, access and accessibility, security in vulnerable groups and content media and illiteracy, and then we had about 45 young people meet with policymakers from all over the world, and the outcomes were the four policy papers that I mentioned earlier at yigf.ede. 

And I actually wanted to present a question to the three of you about, sort of what you said about the follow‑up after publishing something like this, right?  It's cool, we all got together.  We brought all of these young people together and had a lot of things that we discussed and a lot of these presentable outcomes, but then how does that actually translate, you know, into something besides just a list, you know?  Like, I found what you were saying interesting, is essentially what I wanted to follow up on, unless you have any other questions about the initiative from our side. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Actually, we just got Idil Kula in the room.  So, Idil, you have the floor.  And then we can proceed to questions. 

>> IDIL KULA: Thank you, Pedro.  I was unable to join the meeting.  Sorry for this.  And now I'm going to present and share the Youth SIG message 2021 for all of you.  As part of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance, it is a yearly event for youth engaging in Internet Governance digital policy and cooperation.  This year, as a group of 30 passionate and dedicated young experts, we have gone through an exciting events interface in which we shared perspectives to each other and refined our impulse for the youth message 2021. 

Putting our efforts from the early days of this spring, we have built our message on four thematic sections of, one, the digital technologies within government bodies, platforms, the digital (?) and digital literacy, and finally, disinformation. 

Jumping to the messages, under the section of governments' use of digital technologies, we upheld the need for accountable between digital and also analog access to governmental services.  Secondly, while pointing out inclusion by design with regard to the innovation and digitalization, we suggested solutions to increasing the accountability of governments in the path to digital transformation.  We also remarked the importance of human involvement and policy experimentation concepts, such as regulatory sandboxes throughout the design, application, and use of AI systems by governments. 

In relation to the platform section, considering the disruptive trends on data analytics, we insisted on fair, reasonable, and non‑discriminatory accessibility to rural data for especially start‑ups and SMEs. 

Secondly, we went in depth with the cruciality of creation technical norms on interoperability and data portability.  Thirdly, we also demand more granular transparency to standards on data processing, business models, and targeted systems. 

On digital determination and digital literacy part, pointing out to the proliferation of digitalization and surveillance practices, we raised the importance of the preservation of our authentic identities, democratic institutions, and values in our society.  Likewise, we claimed an open and fairness of the internet for self‑determination rights, not to be overshadowed by states or private sector interests.  In this respect, we raised the implications of user anonymity and preservation of personally identifiable information on the notion of digital self‑determination. 

On behalf of the promotion of digital self‑determination, we highlighted the benefits of increasing digital literacy levels amongst society, and also, we referred to practices and tools, such as impact assessments and also internal and external audits. 

Finally, on misinformation parts, we upheld the importance of critical thinking and creation of the division of information in society.  Moreover, we recommend creation of capacity‑building and training programs on digital literacy that's targeted to rural portions of society.  And finally, while given due rights and importance into the protection of freedom of speech rights, we raised the necessity of collaboration between media, governments, private sector, and also Civil Society in order to combat the spread of disinformation. 

And this is a very brief wrap‑up of the Youth message 2021.  Thanks a lot for listening to me.  Yeah, it's to you, Pedro.  Thank you. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thank you.  Those two last expositions are exactly why there is diversity and a lot of people approaching the same issues through youth lenses.  So, we get these amazing results, this amazing points, the amazing deliverables, things that really reinforce the discussion of youth participation.  So, I'm giving the floor to Ayden.  He wants to make a few comments. 

>> AYDEN FEDERLINE: Thanks for that, Pedro.  And I just wanted to respond to the great comments that you were making.  I'm sorry, I forget your name.  I think it was Demetrius?  Perfect.  So, Demetrias, great question.  And I think one role that the German Informatic Society might be able to do is help engage in a very targeted way in network‑building between youth and policymakers and industry actors, and perhaps, regulatory bodies or the principals within regulatory bodies who are actually considering some of these issues and are in a position to be behind the scenes working to advance regulatory interventions, for example.  So, it's going to depend on the issue.  And so, I would be doing some stakeholder analysis and trying to understand who has the leverage here.  It's never Civil Society, but it's, you know, the muscle is always with financial interests or government, of course, state powers, very helpful, and Civil Society only ever gets wins when we can sort of see some common ground with someone else. 

So, I think it would be great to help build those networks, connect Civil Society, connect young people to the right people so that when we do have some opportunities to be able to advance a legislative proposal or something else that is of mutual interest, we can.  I think that also helps reminding people to quarantine their ideas into some of the right forums.  It's very easy to go to the wrong place and then feeling you were ineffective because that forum was never in a position to be able to advance the issues that you discussed. 

And I think it can also be really helpful to provide mentorship.  And by mentorship, I see what some organizations that try to build capacity in the youth space consider mentorship, and it's different than what I think we need.  So, sometimes, mentorship is done internally.  It's sort of an afterthought.  It's just, you know, I received some mentorship from the Internet Society.  Didn't think it was very helpful.  I didn't think that, you know, the mentors I was provided had any knowledge of the issues, but I think they were simply the only person in the organization that was told to mentor 40 people.  So, this is back, you know, over five years ago now.  So, I don't think that's the kind of mentorship that we really want.  I think by mentorship, we want high‑profile individuals with a rolodex of contacts who are able to connect us to the right people in the corridors of power.  I think we need mentors who are very aware of the institutional politics of how decisions are made who are able to sort of brief us, off the record, of course, on how to intervene effectively in that environment. 

And you have to pay these people.  And that is the thing, that the people we want as mentors are not cheap.  And so, we do need ‑‑ but I do think that there would be a lot of value in organizations making these mentors available to us, who are available on call, who it's not sort of a weekly thing or something, but just sort of on an ad hoc basis.  Maybe we need five hours of time with someone who has left government and is now at, you know, Covington or somewhere, and who is able to help us deeply understand how we can advance this proposal in a way that we're effective.  So, this is what I'd love to see, more stakeholder analysis, more help in understanding which forums to take our ideas to so that we can actually implement it, and access to mentors that are high profile and high impact.  Thanks. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thanks, Ayden.  I agree with that as well.  Mentorship that is able to do some one‑to‑one engagement is something that really makes much more of a difference.  We have Jenna Fung here in the Zoom room with her hand raised.  And I read a note that there are some people here that want to give some comments afterwards.  So, Jenna, you have the floor. 

>> JENNA MAN HAU FUNG: Thank you.  Thank you so much.  After hearing all the speakers sharing, now my thoughts over everywhere.  It is actually my fourth year joining the YCIG meeting, since I am a coordinator with, and I was joining in Berlin in 2019.  That was the one year that I realized that the youth community and Internet Governance community is getting stronger, because that was that one time where youth leaders from all around the world get together and make action plan together.  And so, I think that kind of meeting is really meaningful.  But unfortunately, because of the pandemic, that was something we can't really do. 

But in the past one year, and also 2021, I've been observing the great work this community has been doing, especially in the Latin America and euro region.  You guys have been doing different, new projects in an initiative, including working groups that actually produce actual output from youth.  And in Asia‑Pacific, when we execute similar projects, that might be a little bit difficult, because to be honest, to some extent, different countries in Asia‑Pacific had a different understanding and awareness about Internet Governance.  And when we want to do something similar, that might be a little bit challenging. 

But I just want to also give an update about the Asia‑Pacific Internet Governance scenes, is that this year, even though we've been doing the second year virtually for our youth IGF, we have around 100 participants joining our activity this year, even without financial incentive.  So, we could understand that young people from Asia‑Pacific are also starting to get more interested in Internet Governance and want to get more involved.  So, I think when we are trying to pop the bubble and try to get more involved in Internet Governance in general, we should also consider how we can continue engaging those who are already active in their own region and make them become even more active in the global region, because young people are the ones who can make a difference and make changes to the world in our cyberspace, in the future.  And I think what we stand together to do now will be really affecting the coming years. 

So, I guess, while we are putting so much effort, which, of course, I appreciate a lot, including all the proposals of having different initiative or mentorship or activity we could have, I think we could also think of how to make our youth community, I mean, youth global community, more inclusive so we can produce something more together in terms of, you know, breaking the boundary of our region, because as simply as when we're having different coordination call, maybe having a friendly time for all members of different time zone would be really helpful.  That's one of the ways to make things more inclusive.  Because friends from the Pacific always complain, even to us in Asia‑Pacific, by saying we're having late calls, so they can't really join, even though they're highly interested.  So, I think we should also take smallest things into consideration when we make plans, especially, I think, in 2023.  IGF will be going to Asia‑Pacific.  And after all this year, finally, IGF is going to Asia. 

And so, I think while we are continuing to do the great work, I think it's also important that we could do something new so we can create synergies between different initiatives of different regions, so we can make our plan bigger and greater and our network stronger in just a few years.  So, I think I'm going to stop here.  Thank you so much, everyone. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thank you so much, Jenna.  So, we still have a little less than five minutes here to onsite speakers.  So, if anyone wants to say something, you have the word.  Please?  And please present yourself as well.

>> Hello.  I'm Deputy Attorney from Office of Nepal.  It is the Government of Nepal.  I am representing from the South Asian country.  In Nepal, there is an illiteracy rate of 91%.  So, basically, youth are engaged in the digital engagement so that for capacity‑building of youth in the decision‑making process, I think that presenting skills and sequencing is important as one of the areas I see due to the language barrier in different parts of the country, as in my country also. 

If there is a language barrier to speak in English so that we can make idea of an interpreter to interpret the local languages into English languages and other languages so that new, innovative ideas can be created, new ideas can be shared as well as audio stories and video stories, so that the global peoples can be achieved and global peoples can know the ideas of other countries, share the ideas of other countries, which can be useful for Internet Governance and making youth in the decision‑making process.  So, we should have to make a collaboration with the youth organizations.  Because in every (?) I think there are youth organizations targeting to the youth only so if we make a collaboration with youth organizations of different countries who are recognized as working in a digital governance, digital literacy and other issues relating to the youth so that we can build our capacity through these youth organizations in their own states and in a globally, also, so that we can share our experiences in a digital medium and make our ideas.  Because people can share their own ideas in local language better than other languages. 

So, I want to tell that these forums would make collaboration with the different organizations targeting to the youth so that we can collect the information and audio stories and video stories in local languages and make interpretation and translating of other international languages and other local languages so that the global leader countries of youths and other stakeholders and other people can benefit from it.  Thank you. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thank you.  So, we have time for one last, a bit short comment.  So, if anyone wants to speak?  And I would like to thank ‑‑ it's always interesting to have input from policymakers.  So, the mic is open. 

>> Okay, so, I would like to highlight a program that has been in Brazil since 2015 and could be used as a success example of youth participation.  This program was created by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee.  And the main goal was to improve the youth participation in Internet Governance.  Since then, the program already sent more than 200 youth participants to both national, global, and regional IGFs, and also teached about Internet Governance for more than 1,000 youth members.  So, this has helped a lot to strengthen the IG ecosystem in our country.  And if anyone wants to know more about and what are the lessons we learned there, please reach us.  Thank you. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thank you.  So, we are on our time here.  So, I will ask participants if they want to be part of a group photo.  There will also be a group screen online in the Zoom room.  So, if you want to, please open your camera on the Zoom room.  And those of you who want to take a fast photo here, if you can assist me with that, then we will proceed for the remarks on YCIG and the closing moment of our session.  So, one minute for this photo. 

So, thanks.  I believe that we have already taken it in the Zoom room as well.  And now I would like to thank everyone for sharing with us about the participation in the Internet Governance Ecosystem.  It's really inspiring to all of us that are trying to be more active in these spaces.  And now Eileen will give us a short introduction to the work done by YCIG during 2021.  Eileen, you have the floor. 

>> EILEEN CEJAS: Okay.  Thank you so much to Pedro.  I will comment very quickly that we shared on the Zoom chat a link, so our friends can connect with Net Mission Asia. 

And now I am going to share screen very quickly.  Oh, I cannot share the screen.  Okay, I will just speak.  So, as I will say, the Youth Coalition Internet Governance is 11 years old.  We are very proud to see more young people getting involved in the IG ecosystem, and we believe that youth supporting youth is the best way to achieve this.  Just to give some highlights of this year ‑‑

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Eileen, sorry, you have co‑host if you want to share.  They are giving you co‑host.  There you go. 

>> EILEEN CEJAS: Okay, awesome.  Awesome.  So, just give a quick overview of the things that we have been doing this year, we launched YCIG questionnaire to understand about the needs of our community.  From that questionnaire, we received a lot of responses to have webinars.  So, we facilitated webinars, one on environmental sustainability and the other one on inclusive IG ecosystem and cooperation.  For the webinars, we have the coalition of other Dynamic Coalitions.  So, we are really happy to have this space to discuss with people from around the world. 

We also co‑organized with the Youth Short working groups to submit workshop proposals.  So, if you are seeing a lot of youth sessions this year, we made that happen altogether.  So, we are very happy to see, I think more than eight workshop proposals conducted by youth.  Several of them also have this interconnection with youth and youth people, which I think is a very interesting experience to have.  We also partnered with UN DESA and the Group with Children and Youth to create a policy brief on digital public goods.  We are expecting that to get on internet in a couple of weeks from now.  We also conducted a mentorship for the Internet Society IGF Youth Ambassadors program.  And this is our second year conducting this mentorship.  For us, it has been a very rewarding experience, because as we are always saying, the mentorship is not just that the youth person learns from the old person, let's say, but also on the other way around, because I think it is very enriching to have these perspectives on the different topics. 

We also have some Youth Ambassadors here, and I want to thank you for joining us on this session today.  I also want to mention that we participated at Eurodig Day 0 with a session and we were also part of YouthDIG, where we had a very interesting conversation with young participants.  As Emilia was sharing a couple of minutes ago, we also partnered with the Youth IGF Poland for the organization of the Youth Summit that just happened on December 6th.  But before that, we have a lot of preparation.  We have these working groups where we prepared different documents, policy background papers, well, the ten points of action for each Working Group.  We also conducted some roundtable webinars to know about the feedback from the youth community and so on. 

We also participated in the YouthLACIGF Open Course last year and this year, as I was saying.  And it was a great opportunity to also highlight the work of the Dynamic Coalitions, that as we always say, every meeting, it is very important to have more light on the intersectional work, not only the Dynamic Coalitions, but also the best practice forums.  And by this year, also, the policy networks. 

Yesterday, we presented the DC Main Session in collaboration with other DCs.  That's something very important also to share about the youth voice in these many sessions. 

Let's see.  I think that's almost all, because I don't want to forget this announcement that every year, we have elections.  This is very interesting for all the youth community, because when they nominate themselves, they also nominate other people to represent the five regional groups.  So, we want everyone to check on our social media and website and everything.  I will drop the link on the chat so you can check.  Hopefully, we like to continue our discussion. 

For me, this is my last year at the Youth Coalition for Internet Governance Committee, so we are very looking forward to new faces.  And I think that's it.  And of course, if you want to make questions, the floor is yours. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: I'll give around ten seconds to see if anyone has any question.  And if they don't, we will proceed to concluding remarks by our speakers.  So, if anyone has a question online or onsite, please, just manifest yourself. 

I think we can then proceed to concluding remarks.  Keeping our order of speakers, please, Ayden. 

>> AYDEN FEDERLINE: Thanks, Pedro.  Hi, again, everyone.  I'm Ayden Federline.  I will end by saying, it would be great to see more of you participating in the agenda‑setting and decision‑making processes related to the issues that you care about.  So, knock on doors, try to get involved, and I hope you all have a lot of success. 

At the moment, there is big pressure, especially within the UN system, to make UN processes much more outcome‑oriented, so there is a lot of opportunities at the moment.  So, clearly, the UN is acknowledging that digital issues are getting out of their hands, either because of self‑regulation, because national governments are regulating, regional trade agreements that escape UN control.  The UN is really cognizant of this.  It's under pressure to regain authority.  Whether they do in in a multi‑stakeholder way that includes youth in society remains to be seen. 

Many governments, of course, are opposed to multi‑stakeholder participation.  They don't understand it.  But they might be open to it on some issues that they don't understand themselves, gender issues, for example.  There's a lot more willingness from governments to accept participation from Civil Society and youth on issues of gender.  So, if there is an issue you're really passionate about, this is a really great opportunity and moment in time to get involved, knock on doors.  Just try, and who knows what will happen.  But I wish you good luck and I hope to see more of you advocating for our collective interests.  Thanks. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thanks so much, Ayden.  Now, Emilia asked me to share this on the screen.  So, I'm asking the technical team to give me permission to do that.  And Emilia, the floor is yours. 

>> EMILIA ZALEWSKA: Yeah, thank you very much.  Hopefully, in a few seconds, you will have the possibility, because you will share the screen?  Okay.  You will see the QR code on the screen.  This will, if you scan it, you will get an access to the results of our work, the points of maybe not my work, the work of our participants, the points of action.  And if you will have any comment, because we just freshly published it yesterday, so it is a very new thing, it's kind of like a premiere.  So, we are interested in getting your comments, your thoughts, and definitely answering the question. 

Definitely, we want to continue.  We don't want this work, those contacts, those networks that has been created to stop at this IGF happening in Poland.  We would really love to continue the work and continue it to the IGF in Ethiopia or then IGF in Tokyo, or even farther.  So, we would really like to invite you to join us and to share your thoughts, share your comments, because we just want those points of action that will be also soon published in the form of the report, because here this is only a sneak peek of this work. 

So, just you feel welcomed to join us and to cooperate with us farther.  It would be wonderful if you would like to.  Thank you very much.  And thank you very much, Pedro, for sharing. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: Thank you.  So, now for our last minute, Eileen, you have the floor. 

>> EILEEN CEJAS: Thank you very much, Pedro.  I think it was very interesting also to see you there.  I really want to thank everyone for joining our session, and I hope that it could allow you to reflect a little bit about the youth participation and what we can do from now. 

I want to thank also my colleagues from the Steering Committee, Noha and Atif.  I'm not sure if you want to say something else.  I want to thank Pedro, Emilia, Ayden, Stella, also, for helping us.  I think that's all, and I hope to see you next year. 

>> PEDRO de PERDIGAO LANA: So, thanks, everyone, and hopefully, see you around in other Internet Governance events and initiatives. 


(Session concluded at 1645)