IGF 2021 Day 0 Event #33 Youth Perspectives on Digital Civility

Monday, 6th December, 2021 (08:30 UTC) - Monday, 6th December, 2021 (10:00 UTC)
Conference Room 8

Microsoft and NetMission
Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft, Private Sector, North America Jenna Fung, NetMission, Civil Society, Asia Jim Prendergast, The Galway Strategy Group, Private Sector, North America Janice Richardson, Expert to the Council of Europe (EMEA), Director/International Advisor at Insight SA., Civil Society, Western Europe Larry Magid, ConnectSafely.org, Media, North America


Janice Richardson, Expert to the Council of Europe (EMEA), Director/International Advisor at Insight SA., Civil Society, Western Europe

Larry Magid, host of the twice-weekly Connect Safely Report on CBS News Radio, Media, North America

Nina Fortikova from the Czech Republic

Dana Jarkovic from Slovenia

Diana Kos also from Slovenia

Valgerður Eyja, (Eyja) from Iceland.

Chaimea Bentaleb from Morocco

Felicia Yunike from Indonesia

Ariff Azam from Malaysia 

Onsite Moderator
Larry Magid and Janice Richardson
Online Moderator

Jim Prendergast


Berry Cobb BAC in Black Consulting, Private Sector, North America


Moderated discussion with Q&A from the Audience (in-person and online).

Duration (minutes)



In 2017, Microsoft launched its inaugural Council for Digital Good, a group of 15 teens from across the United States that worked to advance digital civility and safer online interactions. The Council released a 15-point cohort manifesto for life online. They also wrote and released an open letter to U.S. law and policymakers about working together to improve life online. At an event in in Washington, D.C., in July 2018, the teens shared what it is like to grow up online and what they’re doing to advance digital civility in their schools and communities. They also briefed and held a private dialogue on their work with then-U.S. First Lady Melania Trump. After the success of that inaugural program, in 2021 Microsoft again launched a second U.S. based Council, as well as one in Europe.

NetMission has a long track record of facilitating youth participation in the IGF from the Asia Pacific region. NetMission ambassadors have always been active in workshops at the IGF, taking to the microphone to share their perspectives.

Both groups are teaming up to host a moderated discussion with youth from Asia, Europe and North America about digital civility, online safety, and life in the 21st century. Some of the topics we will cover include: • What is life online like these days as a youth? • What pitfalls have you come across and how can others aim to avoid them? • What mitigations can be put in place to help you and other youth feel safe online? • What mistakes have you made online and how have you learned from them? • There has been a lot of talk from adults about the tone and tenor of discourse online. What is your take on it?

We also anticipate questions from the audience (in-person and online).

Outputs from the discussion will be used by the Councils in Europe and the U.S. as part of their ongoing work. We are also exploring developing a “Messages from Youth for IGF 2021 Participants” document to be disseminated online.

Both Janice and Larry are experienced moderators, especially with panels comprised of youth. There will be discussion questions they will use to start the discussion. Equal time will be allotted for in-person and online panelists. After getting the conversation started, questions will be solicited from the in-person and online audiences. Depending on time, we may even “flip the script” and have the panelists question the audience.

Our online moderator has served in the role for several previous IGF workshops and Day Zero events and is adept at ensuring online participants have equal footing.

We are also exploring using an online polling program, such as Slido, to do real-time polling to ensure the session is more interactive.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Research shows that’s gains made towards online civility have reversed in the last year as a result of the ongoing pandemic. See https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2021/07/19/online-civility-de…

2) Youth believe that digital civility can be improved through educational programs, better parenting and peer to peer mentoring. It is something that needs to be taught, not just experienced.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Ensuring a safer online experience for young users is the shared responsibility of multiple stakeholders across civil society, government and the tech sector. More can and should be done by all stakeholders individually and collectively in helping to educate and protect youth from risks online.