IGF 2021 WS #87
From school to workplace - ensuring a cyber talent pipeline

Organizer 1: Janice Richardson, Insight
Organizer 2: Wout De Natris, De Natris Consult
Organizer 3: Sávyo Vinícius de Morais, Federal Institute of Education, Science, and Technology of the Rio Grande do Norte State (IFRN)

Speaker 1: Jacqueline Beauchere, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Raymond Mamattah, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Emilia Zalewska, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 4: Rafał Prabucki, Government, Eastern European Group


Janice Richardson, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Wout De Natris, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Sávyo Vinícius de Morais, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Break-out Group Discussions - Round Tables - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

Economic and social inclusion and sustainable development: What is the relationship between digital policy and development and the established international frameworks for social and economic inclusion set out in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in treaties such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Conventions on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, on the Rights of the Child, and on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities? How do policy makers and other stakeholders effectively connect these global instruments and interpretations to national contexts?
Promoting equitable development and preventing harm: How can we make use of digital technologies to promote more equitable and peaceful societies that are inclusive, resilient and sustainable? How can we make sure that digital technologies are not developed and used for harmful purposes? What values and norms should guide the development and use of technologies to enable this?

The creative, innovative potential of young people is currently not being fully tapped at present due to considerable gaps between what is being taught in school and tertiary institutions and what is required to ensure a sustainable cybersecure future for all. The session will bring youth together with influential actors from education policy, businesses and cyber experts to present their perspectives, debate solutions and mechanisms in groups, and strengthen the work already being done by the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Standards, Security, Safety (DC-ISSS).



Targets: The workshop will discuss the mismatch between current education & tertiary curricula, to spark ideas on how to streamline the transition to meaningful employment and enable citizens to access lifelong learning opportunities (SDG 3 – Quality Education). The professional status of the influencers involved in the debate are able to carry forward to outcomes and solutions in their national context to improve Work opportunities and Economic Growth (SDG 8). Bridging the gap by placing focus on appropriate skills, strengthening links between businesses and tertiary institutions and fostering exchange of best practices will in turn strengthen optimise innovation and cybersecurity, both levers for economic growth (SDG 9).


Effective internet governance depends largely on the security of the internet, the accountability of the humans leading its evolution, and a pipeline of qualified cyber experts able to respond to emerging digital needs and keep a step ahead of the challenges. However, the business sector cites time and again the huge gaps encountered in terms of hard and soft skills when young people enter careers in digital technology and cybersecurity. When the global Covid health crisis moved education and work online in 2020-2021, almost half the world’s population was excluded and network integrity severely challenged, due largely to a widespread lack of competences to meet heightened digital needs. If the rapidly increasing spread of AI, IoT and DLTs/blockchain is to result in sustainable progress and not undermine the fundamental human right to equal opportunities in education, work and privacy, then it is for policy makers to chart the way forward in implementing equitable standards that will ensure online security and safety. Such standards apply not only to normative specifications in technology and methodology, but also to the knowledge and skills young people are equipped with in preparation for the transition to the workplace. This is economically non-viable for society in the long term, and hampers secure, sustainable progress in digitally-related fields. Bridging the gap and levelling the playing field across geographically and socio-economically diverse environments, depends on the capacity of policy makers to align school and tertiary curricula with the requirements of our cyber future. Young people have a key role to play in putting behind us
the education sector’s generally analogue past and enabling it to contribute to a more secure, safer and trusted digital future.

This session will bring together members of Youth IGF Poland and young students, representatives from national education and curriculum reform bodies, tech industry entrepreneurs and cybersecurity experts. It will build on work conducted by the Dynamic Coalition for Internet Standards, Security and Safety (DC-ISSS) on the gaps that need bridging. Brief presentations will set the context; participants will then break out into 3 groups (i) to outline a road map for capacity building, (ii) to propose practices that can be developed or scaled up, and (iii) to consider innovative strategies for collaboration between stakeholders.
Related issues
Cybersecurity, career, cyber industry, skill requirements, education, economic and social inclusion, digital cooperation, sustainability, national strategy, global strategy, COVID-19 impact, awareness and accountability, cybersecurity and education

Expected Outcomes

The three key outcomes - a roadmap, a set of proposed practices, and strategies for collaboration - will be taken forward by the DC-ISSS in the coming year. The outcomes of the workshop will be published in a report that will be disseminated to key stakeholders in the education and tech business sector. This will likely also help to stimulate increased stakeholder engagement in the ongoing work of the DC-ISSS on education and skills conducted in its monthly online sessions.

Pre- and during the session, on-site and remote participants can respond to an online questionnaire to rate importance and prevalence of the skills deemed by industry to be crucial for the cyber future. The session will begin with brief (max. 5 minutes) presentations from a YouthIGF.Pl representative, an education reform specialist, and cyber experts from industry. Four break-out groups will each take one of the previously cited questions to discuss for 40 minutes, with a moderator and a rapporteur per group to prepare a 5-minute presentation on the way forward, including 1 question for online voting (e.g. via Mentimeter). One or 2 of the total 4 groups (depending on remote/on-site numbers) will work online with on-site moderator(s). Groups will rejoin a final plenary of 30 minutes to present and debate group findings. The session will be followed up by a written report sent to all participants registering their mail address at the session, with an invitation to an online meeting in January 2022.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: An interactive online form to seek opinions before session begins; Mentimeter to vote on group findings.