Youth Engagement at the IGF 2018 and Ways for Improvements

ABOUT

The IGF community has demonstrated its interest and commitment to enhancing  youth engagement in the IGF. The emerging growth of the existing youth IGF initiatives1 was welcomed as a positive and proactive approach  that  Internet Governance should be discussed among all stakeholders, in an open and inclusive process, following the bottom up agenda setting. The IGF community further outlined this view during the IGF Retreat to advance the 10-years IGF mandate hosted in 2016, noting that after ten years, the IGF is growing and maturing. Many positive engagement efforts were recognized, in particular as far as the youth and NRIs are concerned2.

In addition, alongside the self-organizing, multistakeholder youth IGF initiatives, the IGF community took concrete steps toward ensuring that the long-term discussion process shaped around the core IGF principles is maintained as a response to an increasing complexity of the Internet Governance issues and their direct influence on people’s lives.

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During the 2017 IGF Taking Stock process, the IGF community called on the IGF to support improving youth engagement in the IGF processes, and in the IGF itself. In this regard, the synthesis outcome document of all received inputs to the mentioned Taking Stock process noted that a number of inputs also called for more engagement of youth, including as organisers of IGF sessions, and for supporting them to the extent possible through sponsorship programmes offered by various organisations in the IGF community3.

The IGF Secretariat, within its capacity, responded to the community’s inputs as mentioned above, and conducted several open public consultations on youth engagement at the IGF. This process primarily focused on gathering existing best practices, as summarized in the dedicated publication4, and later continued to facilitate the community’s open consultation during the 12th annual IGF meeting in Geneva5, and post-meeting discussions through online consultations6

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Mentioned publication on the Youth engagement at the IGF, outlined and described four major models of practices present across different communities: 

  • Practice I: Youth Initiatives organised by the national, subregional, and regional IGF initiatives
  • Practice II: Independently organised Youth Initiatives
  • Practice III: Integration of youth in the NRIs' preparatory processes or programmes
  • Practice IV: Additional projects to build youth participation in Internet Governance

These allowed for the community to understand what are the existing mechanisms that various communities implement on the matter, that further helped in mapping the areas where improvements are needed.

Finally, the overall open consultation process mentioned above, resulted in several proposals and recommendations on how to improve the engagement of youth in the IGF, now addressed to the wider IGF community.

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The wider IGF community and all interested stakeholders are invited to contribute to these recommendations with their constructive comments by 6 July 2018, 23:59 p.m. UTC.

Comments added to this platform, should respond to the feasibility of the proposed activities, and to potential entities that could carry the implementation of these.

Please note that comments should be signed, and that no anonymous comments will be taken into consideration, in accordance with the IGF’s practice.

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Profile picture for user Vallarie Yiega

In my opinion i think its

In my opinion i think its important to create awareness among the youth from the grassroots therefore build capacity on how the internet can be used to create change and develop communities and not only for social interaction.

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Profile picture for user Vallarie Yiega

In my opinion i think its

In my opinion i think its important to create awareness among the youth from the grassroots therefore build capacity on how the internet can be used to create change and develop communities and not only for social interaction.

Vallarie Yiega

ISOC - Kenya

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I suggest to sensibilize the

I suggest to sensibilize the youngsters by adding a new subject in schools that stimulate the discussion about internet topics. 

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Stakeholders as well as…

Stakeholders as well as shareholders shouldn't it? Anyhow, it is interesting to have recommendations for the upcoming event.

www.roofingrepairsauckland.kiwi/

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A BRAINSTORMED LIST OF POSSIBLE ACTIVITIES  TO STRENGTHEN YOUTH ENGAGEMENT IN THE IGF

SUGGESTION 1: Developing content materials for youth regarding the IGF process and topics of interest

A set of concrete materials should be developed, in order for youth to have relevant, comprehensive resources to consult in order to build awareness of the IGF; its purpose and core principles, and how to engage. These materials should be focused on the IGF process, including user-friendly materials on how to engage via online participation; and on the substantial topical issues that are being discussed at the IGF.

While the materials that explain the IGF process could be developed by the IGF Secretariat, substantive topical materials could be developed by the relevant experts from the IGF community; drawn from the intersessional work efforts, etc. 

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Profile picture for user shreedeeprayamajhi

Various toolkits and social

Various toolkits and social media interventions needs to be devised in terms of awareness and capacity building. Mostly when we talk about IGF the participation of youths is very less so fellowship for youth needs to be prioritized. Apart from that recognition of youth perspective is a must and should be acknowledge where most of the times during the IGF remote participation goes unnoticed which needs specific actions.

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Profile picture for user davidng

Agree that it is crucial to

Agree that it is crucial to develope concrete materials for raising the awareness of youth engagement in Internet Governance. The materials should be built by the joint efforts from the IGF community, and it is noticed that actually some of the YIGFs have also created various toolkits sharing tips on organizing youth engagement events, we could further work based on that.  

For further steps and broader sense in promotion, I would like to suggest exploring cooperations with different youth related or youth led institutions (for instants: Model United Nations and Universities) to adopt the content materials and to put them into practice. Taking the colloboration with Model United Nations (MUN) as an example, "YIGF Operation Handbook" could be specifically designed to support the organizing work of the MUN committees, given that YIGF has commonality in nature with model UN conferences they are holding. The organizations and institutions, sharing the common goals /objectives with the IGF mandates in terms of youth development and engagement in Internet Governance Discourse, could be identified to serve this purpose. 

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Everybody uses the internet,

Everybody uses the internet, but very few people do it knowing at least a minimum about how it works, how it is organized and governed.

To improve we must spread the knowledge among young people at first.

In my opinion the best way to do that that is through classes to held in schools. If school must teach us what we need to be able to live in our world and to be able to improve it, why shouldn't it teach us how the internet works since we almost cannot live without it?

Our daughters and sons chat continuously with their friends over the internet without knowing what there is in between them. We must make them aware on what is going on, on the risks that may exist in using the internet, on how to improve it.

 

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Reply to

I agree. I think it would be

I agree. I think it would be useful to add extracurricular activities or subjects in school that sensibilize youngsters about internet topics. 

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I agree. It is important to

I agree. It is important to youngsters to know what it's good and what it's not of internet. Internet classes at school could help them approaching it.

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Profile picture for user cassa_4386

It’s also important to create

It’s also important to create a wider network to spread information and teaching materials on Internet and IGF processes. The universities and secondary schools could be a driver to improve capacity building on Internet Governance.

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Profile picture for user Mahamat Silim Moustapha

As youth IGF Africa

As youth IGF Africa Coordinator, on behalf of yigf Africa, I qualify this as a wonderful encouragement of youth to engage on the IG. I would like to add that if the secretariat should think about consulting the youth that has more experience in the domain of IG from different regions so they can bring some add to the development of the materials for having good and knowledgeable tools that can be understandable by the youth.

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Profile picture for user Uffa Modey

Reply to

The core issues of IG varies

The core issues of IG varies in each region. We need to strengthen the youth IG community in Africa in order to bring more visibility to grassroots issues affecting diverse countries in the region. There is a session proposal on African Youth in IG and if we can plan actionable steps to get more African youth to this IGF as yigf Africa, we will be able to promote knowledge of Internet Governance both regionally and globally and how to contribute the solutions as a youth.

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Profile picture for user Abakar Oumar Massar

African youth needs a place

African youth needs a place to discuss and share ideas about ICT, for that we need Youth IGF. The document to be elaborated should be illustrative, especially I focus on documents which have many images. Because some young people understand more when they see the pictures. So i suggest that the documents would be developed and supported by images.

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Profile picture for user Nouradine Abdelkerim Youssouf

This is a better way to

This is a better way to involve young people in the ICT field.
Young people are the future of the community they must take the lead on the international stage and contribute to the development of the IGF in their sub-regions. This noble incentive will allow the young people to move forward.

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Profile picture for user chamsalmarif90_9590

creating a concrete materials

creating a concrete materials for youth to understand more IGF and how to engage is a good initiative that can encourage and improve youth engagement at the IGF. Of course it's not easy but it's possible. I think all my point of vue are mentioned here but I can add that after eleborating the content materials for youth by IGF Secretariat, those materials must be explained each NRI meeting it could help youth to engage more. and also IGF secretariat has to give priority to youth participation. Also each NRI can sensitize youth on how to understand and engage at the IGF with the easier maner. For exemple in my countrey Chad where Internet is very cost coordinators can organize formations or training on how to understand and to engage at the IGF.

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Profile picture for user Noha Abdel Baky

Reply to

Great Point!

Great Point!

I believe Local/National/Regional YCIGs need to be encouraged before even organizing National Youth IGFs to increase the awareness of IG among youth

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Profile picture for user yamani3615_9591

I think that young Africans

I think that young Africans really need to learn the governance of the Internet. Youth IGF must be broad within the limits of its missions. Awareness-raising and consultation must be permanent in order to understand the concept of IGF.

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Profile picture for user Sivasubramanian

Even ahead of any orientation

Even ahead of any orientation by way of Capacity Building programs, IGF could draw wider insights from youth, if the issues are paraphrased with Illustratiins. It requires a Cartoonist's expertise to percolated down complex policy issues down to suit a level of comprehension that would draw a wider spectrum of youth to Internet Governance. The question "Do you agree with cameras in your classrooms and corridors?" would bring more youth participants to the table than the hypothetical question: "Do you agree with the new parliamentary directive on privacy exceptions?" The insights from the paraphrased question would valuable feedback into the complex IG debate. We need utterly simplified content.

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Profile picture for user Sivasubramanian

Reply to

typo:  "The insights from the

typo:  "The insights from the paraphrased question would valuable feedback into the complex IG debate"  to read as "The insights from the paraphrased question would valuably feed into the complex IG policy debate. "

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Profile picture for user amritachoudhury8_1459

It is very important to build

It is very important to build and maintain a repository of  all content relevant to IGF processes; information of past meetings; topics of interest including  upcoming topics, which the youth can refer to whenever required. This will not only help in easy access of information but also help to build awareness and capacity of the IGF process.

It would also be helpful if the content is available in different languages so as to enable non english speaking population to also benefir from this initiative.

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Profile picture for user Vallarie Yiega

In my opinion i think we need

In my opinion i think we need to build capacity for the youth in the internet space by creating awareness that change can be driven online just as how we start topics and tweet about them and they make an impact. this can only be achieved by providing the resources to reach out to the digital grassroots and educate the youth on the benefits of the internet and how it can be used for development and not only for interaction.

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Profile picture for user MSCade

While I  support this

While I  support this suggestion, I would also recommend  a recognition that age appropriate materials are needed, for instance, materials suitable for high school age youth are different from college age, or those already in a ph.d program/or employed. Materials regarding general processes can be generalized, of course.  But for engagement modalities and topics, it is important to recognize that there are unique aspects, depending on the age group of youth/young persons and certainly, children.  Addressing the topic of Internet governance with school age children may require parental permission, if children are attending or speaking where they are going to be viewed by media, or even video taped.  So far, most of the discussion seems to center on young people who are between 21 and upward... and some of whom are already social or civil activists.  Young people are also employed in government agencies, in businesses, and in the technical community and are not only IGO interns or 'ambassadors' of special programs although that may be where they first encounter awareness of the IGF.  I am not being critical of such initiatives -- they are essential -- but it is important to think about how the various youth initiatives also reflect a commitment to engaging the different stakeholders -- from youth participants.  To ensure that there is breadth to the engagement of young people/youth, materials need to respect the imprtance of the multi stakeholder engagement and not be supported or developed only by those who are from one stakeholder group or two who have been funded to engage.  This presents a unique challenge in the development of materials and discussion about opportunities for engagement but is essential to meet the objectives of the IGF to be inclusive of all stakeholders. 

I have a concern about hte development of the "substantive" topical materials -- yes, it may be very useful to consider inviting relevant experts from the IGF community, eg, drawing from the intercessional work, but any materials that are asserted to be affiliated with the IGF Secretariat need to have some kind of review for neutrality and present all views.  That could be supported by a sort of peer review approach, which is used heavily in such esteemed organizations as IEEE and others. In addition, perhaps development of 'suggested' reading lists that present materials that present different views might also be an approach to consider and would be less time consuming versus developing new materials. However, we should avoid being WEOG centric in the presentation of the materials as many of the materials online are dominated by a few academics or perspectives funded by entities from WEOG countries. I am not suggesting that this work be ignored, but that the perspectives from different regions and social/cultural issues are different, when we consider the breadth of potential interest from youth in Internet Governance, if they understand it is relevant to how they use the Internet at a national and global level. 

 This might mean that a survey of 'what would be helpful' might be a first step, before jumping in with topic specific materials. We also need to always remember that there are lots of useful materials already online, but perhaps there is a lack of awareness, or the field of available materials are overwhelming to a newcomer/youth.  

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Profile picture for user Yannis Li

The substantive topical

The substantive topical materials might be could start with the Best Practice Forum and the current DCs. To draw from the publications of the BPF and DCs to produce a one to two pagers for each substantive topics as a starter for youth with reference links to extended reading materials. 

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Profile picture for user mahas015_2645

Dear all

Dear all

I would like to recommend the participation of experts from the IGF community in the school curriculum, especially the development of textbooks for different levels on Internet Governance. Thus, the Internet and its governance will be taught in schools and hence in youth associations.

Since, the internet has become everyone's daily life, surfing the internet without knowing the minumum of data protection exposes the youth a lot. It is a way to make young people understand the stakes of the Internet.

Youth IGF Chad, Mahamat Adam Seid
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Profile picture for user Maria Korniiets

SUGGESTION 1 - I totally

SUGGESTION 1 - I totally support it. I believe the materials should be developed in a form of so-called «edutainment» - «education» + «entertainment», and be as approachable as possible.
Moreover, as discussed in our community, we see that number of materials in Russian is extremely low. So we suggest expanding a number of materials in Russian.

Thank you!

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Profile picture for user peterkingq_2370

As discussed , this is very

As discussed , this is very vital to do , and beyond this is to build capacity of youth in this area - the future of the internet govenrnance rely on the youth and as we are the future generation capacity to sustain the pressure or movement -our capaity building is vital to knowledge transfer to the youth and this should be taken seriously intor consideration and l am hereby call on all stakeholders who make decision on the future of the youth in the internet governance space to ceate fund or make available funds o ensure that aactive youth at their locl evel are supported to be part of event of this natre especially from less developing countries like Liberia , Sierra Lone ,Gambia , l mean countries in West Africa ,who play active role in bring their voice of th fellow youth to the world . Developing these material will help but the Africa narrative must be told by Africa ,so Africa youth will help in developing content materials for fellow youth regarding IGF process and topics of interest to also share at such event of IGF .

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The youth generation really…

The youth generation really plays important role, it is vital to train them for the future since they will be the next in line. We can't let legacy just die down without successors.

Yang, 

residential electrician

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SUGGESTION 2: Organize info-webinars to explain the IGF process and annual meeting structure 

Prior to the annual IGF meeting, a set of webinars could be organized to explain the IGF process, and annual meeting structure, to help in preparing participants for the annual IGF meeting.

It was advised that the IGF Secretariat facilitates the process.

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SUGGESTION 3: Establish a mentoring or coaching  programme

To establish a programme for making possible for youth to be connected to more experienced stakeholders from the IGF community. It was suggested that the MAG members, the Dynamic Coalitions (DCs) coordinators and the National, Regional and Youth IGF Initiatives (NRIs) coordinators could be a good starting point source for implementing this activity. 

It was proposed that there could be online meetings between the mentors and mentees prior to the annual face to face IGF meeting. An online webinar between all mentors and mentees could be organized prior to the annual face-to-face IGF meeting. 

Mentors would advise on how to integrate and benefit from the IGF, and potentially, on topics of interest to mentees.

Alternatively, the mentorship programme could be organized as a peer-to-peer concept.

 

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SUGGESTION 4: Online observatory of available resources

The IGF Secretariat could facilitate coordination activities with various formations focused on youth engagement at the IGF, and have these connected with other stakeholders of relevance who agree to a specific youth dialogue. 

The community noted that there are many available opportunities for youth engagement present globally, but that there is a lack of unique searchable resources. It was suggested to create an online observatory of relevant informational resources and opportunities.  

The Internet Community Wiki Platform could be a potential partner for developing this platform, where all stakeholders, independently, could upload information of relevance for the youth community.  

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SUGGESTION 5: Dedicated sessions on the topic of youth engagement to be organized during the annual IGF meeting

During the 13th IGF, a dedicated session focused on different models of youth engagement at the IGF should be organized. The session should allow for an exchange of good practices.

It was noted that there are at least four existing models, including involvement of youth activities/initiatives within existing NRIs, thus session facilitation is proposed to be organized in a bottom up process, facilitated by the IGF Secretariat.

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SUGGESTION 6: Facilitating IGF related updates

It was suggested that a dedicated mailing list for announcing IGF related updates is needed. A 'news announcements from the IGF' online section could be developed and moderated by the IGF Secretariat.  

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LIST OF REFERENCES

1List of recognized Youth IGF Initiatives. Available at: https://www.intgovforum.org/content/youth-initiatives

2IGF RETREAT PROCEEDINGS: Advancing the 10-Year Mandate of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Available at: https://www.intgovforum.org/filedepot_download/3367/711, page 13, section 3.

3Synthesis Paper: Contributions to Taking Stock of IGF 2017 and Looking Forward to IGF 2018. Available at: https://www.intgovforum.org/filedepot_download/5915/1068, page 9, paragraph 33.

 4Youth engagement at the IGF: looking at existing examples of practices. Available at: https://www.intgovforum.org/filedepot_download/4874/800 

 5Work Meeting with Youth Initiative at the 2017 IGF annual meeting: summary report. Available at: https://www.intgovforum.org/filedepot_download/4874/1065

 6Youth engagement at the IGF and ways for improvements: Open Consultations with the Youth IGF initiatives and other stakeholders: summary report available at: https://www.intgovforum.org/content/igf-2018-nris-preparatory-process

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