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IGF 2020 – Day 11 – WS231 Youth&Sustainability: Creating change through collaboration

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the virtual Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), from 2 to 17 November 2020. 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 to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 



     >> MODERATOR: So on my watch it just turned ten after 10:00 UTC so for the sake of keeping our time and getting as much information in as possible I say we will start.

     I see there are still people coming in and our panelists are also at the moment not complete, but I would hope people will join us.  Please excuse if we have to improvise a bit.  This is a challenge, as you know, for people to join across time zones and with the setup that we are in.  But I hope this will all work well.  So once again, welcome to Workshop 231. 

     We are talking about Youth and Sustainability: Creating Change through Collaboration.  My name is Elisabeth Schauermann.  And I'm with the German Informatic Society.  This year, I coordinated the Youth for Sustainability program in which I will elaborate in a second. 

     But before I do so, please let me introduce my co-organizers of the session, Emilia Zalewska from the Youth IGF Poland.  And she is also with Legaltech Polska.  And Emilia, if you want to wave into the camera, now is the time to do so. 

     And my second is Jenna Man Hau Fung, who is with NetMission.Asia.  Jenna, if you are there.  Perfect. 

     Emilia and Jenna will also moderate the chat and the Q&A.  So if you have any input and questions, those are the two who will get back to you. 

     In the next 60 minutes, we want to explore different angles on how we can work together to towards an effective multi-stakeholder collaboration for digital sustainability for and get an understanding of what young people specifically should do to foster the discourse. 

     The premise of this discussion and this question is that we have seen in the past few years especially it has been young people who have left a mark and really opened our eyes to the importance of climate action and environmental justice.

     So this is where I kind of want to -- where we thought we could marry the environmental justice initiative's ideas and the network and the expertise that we have in the internet governance matrix of the IGF. 

     And this was also the rationale kind of for setting up the Youth for Digital Sustainability program this year.  We wanted to extend this momentum and really give tangible input to the internet governance sphere on digital sustainability.

     Last year the German Informatic Society organized the Youth IGF Summit in Berlin, and we saw that sustainability and different aspects of sustainability was something they were interested in, concerned with, and that they had a lot of expertise on.

     And so this year, 50 young experts from all WEOG regions have collaborated across 12 time zones, 32 countries, and came up with 12 recommendations for a more sustainable internet.

     These recommendations also cover several aspects.  They touch upon environmental sustainability but also social and economic aspects and also give input to the internet governance aspect of it. 

     I will link to the recommendations in the chat now.  So if you want to have a look at them and let us know what you think, and maybe have them as an input for questions and statements later.  You can do so now.

     Soon you will also be able to find background papers on all of the messages on our website YIGF.  We were able to hear from several people who were involved in drafting the sessions, but also get outside expertise and perspectives in and we'll hopefully hear from you, too, our participants.  I'm happy to introduce the speakers -- although I'm not sure if everybody is here.

     By planned order of appearance, it is Raphael Reimann, Rasmus Andresen, Edmon Chung, Josaphat Tjiho and Lily Botsoye.  We will hear from all of those. 

     One thing I want to address is while we have the diverse and thematic and regional lineup, so to speak, we are now definitely lacking gender diversity on the panel. 

     Unfortunately, we had some unavailabilities and one of our non-male speakers has fallen sick.  She called me earlier and she is now being tested for COVID-19.  So I hope she will be better very soon.  And we as moderators will try to kind of balance this out with a focus on more gender diversity with the interaction from the floor.

     So yeah, with that -- no, one more thing.  We are also interested in what your background is.  So if you could let us know what your affiliation is, what the initiative is that you are with.  Maybe this has also to do with digital sustainability or to track environment.  So this would be very interesting to as you have more time to fill out this questionnaire or give input.

     The panelists' input shall be five minutes maximum.  So I ask you, my dear speakers, to respect the time count.

     And participants, you can always post your questions to the Q&A and interact in the chat, and we will have an opportunity to exchange on your inputs later on. 

     Our first input comes from Raphael Reimann, who is one of the working group members of the group Greening the Internet of the Youth for Digital Sustainability program.  And he's also an organizer of Fridays for Future in Germany.  So he could really give us some insight on how environmental advocacy and youth work intersect and what we can learn from the future and how we can bring that to the internet governance sphere. 

     So, Raphael, I would like you to take the floor and elaborate a bit on your work and lessons learned, so to speak.

     >> RAPHAEL REIMANN: Thank you very much, Elisabeth. 

     I'm Raphael Reimann, as Elisabeth already said.  I am 20 years old.  I'm a student from Germany.  I worked on the Youth Sustainability Program the last couple of weeks, and I'm also Fridays for Future organizer in Germany. 

     And in my input, I want to give some insight into how the climate and internet governance movement are connected and what the internet governance movement -- especially because I'm new at the internet governance movement than I am to the climate movement.

     What the internet governance movement, and especially the youth part of it can learn from other youth movement such as Fridays for Future.  So I want to show three ways the movements are similar and where they can learn from each other.

     So I think one big achievement that Fridays for Future movement has done is moving a very important topic, which in the Fridays for Future case is climate change, from a marginalized expert group into the public, into the mass media to be discussed in the wider public.

     So the first learning I would take from that for the internet governance space is that the internet governance space should take the respective internet governance topics, find a language which is accessible to everyone, which is also something we have discussed in the Youth for Digital Sustainability program, and we have put some insight in our background papers if you are interested to read them. 

     So the space should take a language that is accessible to everyone, not just tech savvy people or political decision makers, but those people that are essentially affected by the internet and data regulation in the end.  So the end users, if you will. 

     So the internet governance community has to find a way to frame their topics such as data security, accessibility of the internet, the ethics of artificial intelligence or digital privacy so that each and every one of us understands how these developments will affect our day-to-day lives and our society as a whole.

     So the second learning for me is that because of the cost of technological development and whether it is good or bad is often decided by the regulation which restricts the technological development. 

     We have to have experts in the field explain the consequences of certain pieces of regulation to the public and then have a big grassroots movement which amplifies those expert voices.

     So to give an example, with the climate movement and Fridays for Future, what we have essentially done is amplifying the voices of the scientific and expert communities which were already there.  We haven't made up any news. 

     So the scientific consensus on climate change was already there.  But we took the consensus and the scientific voices that were calling for actions against climate change for decades now but were not heard by the media, to the public and made it so that politicians and the public in general heard about what the scientific community had to say about climate change and actions that have to be taken.

     And the internet community needs to find a way to amplify those voices. 

     Another thing important for me in the Youth for Sustainability program, I have seen what great of an impact it has if you have a diverse group of people discussing such a global topic that has implications for everyone.

     So just to connect to the Fridays for Future movement because that is where I am from, we had Fridays for Future global movement, but we still are very European-centric, and we are dominated mostly by white people, which is not good and we are aware of this.

     But it is a reality we have to face.  And we then have to take some mechanisms to actively work against that non-diversity within such a movement. 

     So I think it is important for the internet governance movement that it actively works towards amplifying less privileged voices and also has mechanisms to ensure that it gives a space for people from all of -- from different backgrounds to ensure that this -- that this is not as Euro-centric as we have had in the past.

     And I think that it is not only a question of justice, of social justice, but also the different kinds of views on the same topic can be so impactful, which I have also felt in this program over the last couple of weeks that it is a really positive impact just to have people from different kind of backgrounds instead of just white men trying to have regulations governing the world or the internet. 

     So yeah, those were my three inputs connecting the climate change movement and the internet governance movement, especially on the youth side.

     >> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Raphael.  I hope we can elaborate on some of those mechanisms that we can maybe think towards in the future and how we can extend what we have seen this year working very well. 

     But next up, I would like to ask Rasmus Andresen to take the floor.  Rasmus is a member of the European Parliament for the Green Party, and he has been engaged in politics from a very young age.  So has also knowledge on how we can shape policies as young people from his side. 

     We are very happy to have you, Rasmus as a number of parliamentarians in internet governance is only rising a bit over the past year.  And from our perspective and I think from a lot of people's point of view, it is crucial for effective digital collaboration to have you and other parliamentarians as part of these discussions. 

     So I would like to get your input and your insight on what the like ideal role and responsibility of parliamentarians could be in a common effort from digital sustainability?  Are there any good practices that you can refer to?  And if you have time in your five minutes, maybe you can also touch upon what we have heard from Raphael in terms of what we can learn from youth initiative specifically on this topic.

     >> RASMUS ANDRESEN: Yes.  First of all, thanks to you, Elisabeth, and to all the others for inviting and participating in this discussion.  I think it is the right moment to do so. 

     Though I had some technical problems so I didn't hear everything Raphael said, but I guess there will be possibilities also to discuss our remarks afterwards.  And then maybe I can jump in there and comment also a bit later. 

     But first of all, I would like to say that the topic you have chosen to build a sustainable digital sector is a quite important one.  We had last week in the Industry and Research Committee in the European Parliament a debate with the Commissioner, Vice President of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager, about different digital topics.

     And I asked her also a question about what kind of measures the European Commission would like to take to build a sustainable digital sector, you know, that both fighting climate change and making Europe a digital sovereign is our priorities of the new European Commission.

     And, of course, they also would like to link these different topics together.  As it is right now, we can see that especially with the COVID, share of CO2 emissions coming from the digital sector is much higher, for example, than coming from aviation.  Even in other parts, the CO2 share is reduced.  But for the digital sector, you can see that there is a lot of problems related to that.  The share of CO2 emissions from the digital sector will raise in the next year. 

     So there is a lot to do and my feeling is that even though there are some ideas already in the political discussion, but it is not like you have a plan for how to handle it like you have a plan, for example, to handle the building sector or mobility.  There maybe it is more of a question of to do what we know we need to do.

     But on the digital part there are still a lot of elements where I guess everybody agrees on how important this is, but nobody has a very strong plan for making the digital sector more sustainable. 

     The EU Commission had set the goal of the making the digital sector, and especially the data center climate neutral by 2030 because we know that is one of the most important issues there is how to handle the situation related to the data.  And the data center because we know that they need a lot of electricity, so this is a really important topic.  But there are others as well.

     And for me, it is a combination of regulation where we need to ensure that, for example, companies are doing what they need to do so that we can build a sustainable digital sector. 

     But on the other side, also because we are not there that we are having every kind of good solution already, no.  We also need a lot of innovation, and that means for me that we need also to invest in research, that we need to come up with new innovative solutions where we also can have young startups, for example, working on these kind of solutions.  And this is one of the reasons why I think it's good that you have chosen or that you are discussion this because I mean it's also up to the young generation to ensure that this will happen. 

     And this means that we, first of all, need to raise our voices like Fridays for Future is doing on a lot of different issues when to comes to global warming.  And on the other side, we also need to transform the digital sector.  And for, this also innovative solutions work of researchers but also from startups would help a lot because we can't wait on Google, Amazon, and others handling these kind of problems.

     I would like to mention more thing.  As a member of the Green Party and the Green Group in the European Parliament, we are organizing some events about that.  So we will have a big Congress next week, we are starting a campaign called Digital for the Planet campaign where we actually are addressing a lot of these issues, and where we want to discuss these kind of solutions with experts coming from different areas.  And there I would also like to invite you. 

     We are also trying to start some research projects, some studies with some universities about these kinds of issues.  And there I think we have a lot in common.  And, yeah, we should start with the discussion today, but we should continue with it in the upcoming weeks and months.

     >> MODERATOR: Definitely.  Thank you, Rasmus, for your insights.  And maybe we can share later some links to the campaign and what the Greens are planning. 

     Because with this group there has been a lot of, you know, energy and thinking that went into this topic specifically of digital sustainability.  So I hope we can find a way to follow up there. 

     I also liked how you kind of gave us this trifecta of action that needs to be taken.  Regulation on the one side and then innovation and then also advocacy and campaigning and awareness raising. 

     With this, and also because it was mentioned by Raphael, I would like to give the floor now to Josaphat.  Because we have talked about the European and EU realm, but I think we need to also further the discussion, go a bit beyond our Eurocentric view on digital sustainability. 

     So Josaphat is our next speaker.  He wears many hats.  He has been part of the Youth for Digital Sustainability working group for social cohesion.  And he is the vice president of the Internet Society Chapter in Namibia. 

     And Josaphat, I would like to hear from you in a few minutes how you can see this discourse translated into Namibia, and maybe if you are comfortable to speak on other African countries and regions as well how we can do that.  And as you have a background as an actor and you've been working with art, maybe you can also tell us a bit more about that part of your advocacy and your capacity building.

     >> JOSAPHAT TJIHO: Thank you so much, Elisabeth, for the opportunity.  And good afternoon, everybody.

     As Elisabeth has alluded, my name is Josaphat, and I'm the vice president of the Internet Society Namibian chapter.

     And just to give a bit of a background about Namibia is that Namibia as a country, through the government we have been hosting different types of discussion and dialogue about bridging the digital gap in the country. 

     This has also been alluded into different strategies and plans within the country of where one of them is the National Development Plan of Namibia which also encompasses a component on how we as a country can leverage and try to really make technology as advanced as possible.

     Our government through the current president has come up with a five-year strategy which is called the harambee property plan, and that also touches on some of the key indicators and some of the key issues that we as a country needs to go in terms of digital and also in terms of technology. 

     And discussion has also been there through the Namibian ICT Summit and also through the Namibian Internet Governance Forum on the importance really of digital sustainability and how we as a country can work and leverage on that.

     But, however, to be quite frank, and I think it was also alluded by the previous speaker is that there is not much of strategies and not much of information on how we as a country or how we as a world can also try to really leverage on this and have clear strategies and way ahead to address these. 

     Specifically in Namibia, some of the barriers that we have been having or also that we currently have is the fact that even though we have as much ideas and see the importance or really having digital transformation in the country, we unfortunately also do not have a digital strategy or a digital plan in Namibia.

     And also in terms of moving digitally, there are other components that we also need to encompass and also need to think about.  And these components need to serve some sort of policy and deals to sort of like guide and protect us.

     And in Namibia, other factors that has also been hindering this is the fact that as a country we do not have the data protection deal which makes it quite difficult for an individual to sort of like protect your data online. 

     We also do not have the cyber security bill.  We also do not have other components such as the access to information law.  Also, these are some of the things that we are also struggling with as a country because how do we move digitally if we do not have the access to information law data, or how do we move digitally if we don't have the data protection bill and so forth.

     Moving into the continental wise is that through the African Union, we came up -- or Africa as a continent there are bills or there are some sort of information that sort of like guides or have indicated some key strategies and areas on how we can move as a continent.  And some of this is the Agenda 2063 Plan, where by the year 2063, which we as young people foresee it as way too long far to go, there are indications around that of where they have been trying to really see how can Africa become self-sustainable in terms of digitally also. 

     And then number four of one of the points on the Agenda 2063 is that we aim to have an e-university talk which aims to accelerate development of human capital, science, technology and innovation through increasing access to tertiary and continuing education in Africa.

     The Pan-African E-University also aims on working on that.  And some of the key indicators or some of the key action plan that came around that was, first of all, of creating of an annual consultative plan for policy dialogue.  And the aim around it was really to bring together once a year the African political leaders, the private sectors, academia, Civil Society, women, youth, media as well as community and faith leaders to discuss development and constraints as well as measures to be taken to realize the Agenda 2063. 

     And I think these are some of the things that -- where digital transformation should really be encompassed in and also to be discussed in.

     Moving also in terms of we or me as a performing artist, besides my passion for technology and engaging on issues of technology, also the fact that of art plays a crucial and very important role in conveying information. 

     A lot of people see art as a tool to really try to engage on, to really try to convey the message.  That has been through poetry where you talk about real issues of digitalization in poetry in a language that a person can be able to relate to emotionally, intellectually and so forth. 

     Performing arts also plays a crucial role, especially here in Namibia, because it is one of the element that is being used to sort of like convey the message.  First of all, we try to convey in our own dialect languages because not everybody is conversant in English and so forth.

     So how do we then convey real critical issues real issue in continent, be it COVID-19, be it digitalization in a performing art manner so that people cannot not only be entertained but also be educated at the same time. 

     And another element that has been or working quite clearly in terms of the young people, and specifically in Namibia.  Because as young people, we are more accustomed to seeing visual in terms of reading books.  You know, when you look at your Tik Toks, when you look at your Pinterest, and when you look at all of these other social media platforms you see there is an element of art associated around it. 

     And I as a performing artist in Namibia have also been trying to really use my art in terms of poetry, in terms of performing art to try and convey information. 

     And I think that is one of the components that we really want to try and work around to convey information and also to be included in such platform, in such initiative of digital sustainability and so forth so that we can also try to see where are the different avenues that we should work around and use in conveying as well as also having a digital strategy moving forward not only in Namibia but globally as well.  So I think for now, I will stop here, and we can engage further.

     >> MODERATOR: Thank you, Josaphat.  You know, the notion that we need to effectively and accessibly communicate and convey information on the climate crisis and environmental issues has also been one of the recommendations of the Youth for Sustainability working group. 

     We need the internet because, as also Raphael has mentioned, and Rasmus has touched upon, the information output is one important aspect of it. 

     Rasmus has to leave soon so I would like to maybe do a quick round, and I would like to go back on one question or one idea maybe that has also came out of our discussions with the representatives of the European Commission is that there has been steps taken by the EU, for example, the export of e-waste has been banned. 

     So, Rasmus, can you maybe with what we have heard from Josaphat, the agenda that has been discussed in a multi-stakeholder way in Africa, albeit not being very ambitious in terms of the time frame, where do you see opportunities for interregional exchange and policy development in terms of digital sustainability?

     >> RASMUS ANDRESEN: You mean in a global context between the EU and other parts of the world?

     >> MODERATOR: Yes, if you can elaborate, that would be great.

     >> RASMUS ANDRESEN: Okay.  I mean for me there are two things. 

     First of all, we need to know which way we would as European Union we want to go.  And then, of course, there is -- there are lot of elements like you mentioned e-waste and others on the prospective of a circular economy, which we know that there will be some action.  And there had been some strategies already which also from my perspective always have to include a global perspective. 

     And I mean you can't address these kind of questions without having a global perspective.  So this is obvious.  And then, of course -- and there I think also the European Union should be better is that we need to cooperate and do it together. 

     So as European Union we shouldn't just have it in mind what it means for the world, but we need to develop that with stakeholders like you have here now.  Not just within the EU but coming from all over the world.

     We need to address all of the different kinds of Civil Society because we know that maybe in some countries we are collaborating with, should collaborate with, maybe their Civil Society is not included in the discussions like we would like to see them included.

     And, of course, we also need to address the industry.  Not in a way that I think we should do what the industry wants, but we need to ensure that the industry is part of the discussion.  Because without the industry and also a global role and global responsibility the industry has, we won't solve the problems, let's say it like that.

     And there, for me, next year will be key because from the perspective of the European Union we have negotiated our budget in the last weeks.  We are having a lot of possibilities to spend some money on fighting global warming, but also on the digital sector for upcoming years.  And now we need to specify it much more. 

     And this is what will happen in the next months basically where the Member States and the Commission and the Parliament, of course, will do the work.

     And there we need to come up with, first of all, maybe formats where we can develop on that together and where there also is space for some innovative solutions so that we can ensure that we are doing something now where we know that we need to do that, or where we can agree on that we should do that.  But that we also need to have some space for innovative solutions. 

     And yes, of course, we need to do this together with other parts of the world because we know that the way we are handling the digitalization has a big effect on many parts of the world. 

     And maybe now there is also the transfer -- I'm also thinking a bit about the political situation in the U.S. where we at least will have an administration in the future which is, yeah, ready also to have some international collaboration.  Which doesn't mean that we are agreeing with them on everything, but still now there is a possibility again to discuss it.  And that is I think also very important.

     >> MODERATOR: Thank you, Rasmus. 

     And I'm totally with you when we are talking about maybe we need to change things up a bit and the way of finding solutions has to be in an innovative way to so that we can find innovative solutions.  And the multi-stakeholder exchange that is really built into the Internet Governance Forum with the Civil Society and the private sector and governments coming together could maybe foster some exchange on that.  So thank you very much.

     >> RASMUS ANDRESEN: There is a question in the Q&A.  I don't know, should I write it, or should I answer in written or should I answer it?

     >> MODERATOR: Yeah, maybe you can answer it in written because it is a specific question on the EU.

     >> RASMUS ANDRESEN: That's okay, I will do so.

     >> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. 

     Because with that, I would like to go on and give the floor to Edmon Chung, who is the CEO of the DotAsia organization. 

     And Edmon, I'm hoping you can give us a bit of insight on the discourse on digital sustainability in the Asia-Pacific region and also specifically internet governance as this is something you are familiar with and active in.

     >> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you. Thank you, Elisabeth, and thank you for having me on. 

     Definitely a very timely and important topic.  At the -- just I guess starting off with the AprIGF, the Asia-Pacific Regional IGF, we have a session on sustainability.  But I want to say that this is definitely a very new topic to be discussed.  And many of the issues that were touched upon by other speakers are very pertinent.

     In terms of the session that happened at AprIGF, it is called the internet environmental impact and action-oriented dialogue.  A lot of discussion focused on data, not in terms of data centers, but actually collecting data.

     So one of the interesting things is that this is a community that would have the means and the technological means to perhaps help develop better environmental data, sensor networks and other types of collecting more data for addressing the environmental issues. 

     And then also touched on a very interesting topic, which is algorithms, I think different people mentioned about AI.  Algorithms that need to be cognizant of environmental impact when sort of decisions are being suggested, especially with AI and so on.

     So these are kind of interesting topics that were discussed.  And then engaging the citizen data initiatives, that was brought in from Taiwan.

     And then also the collective action part will come back, which I think to me is the most important part is how do we have really a multi-stakeholder approach in this. 

     But before this session, actually back in 2016, DotAsia supported, we worked on a project called Ajitora which is a tiger project.  That was -- that also held a session at IGF which looks at a very different aspect of sustainability and the SDGs. 

     Actually, the Ajitora project was created right in 2015 when the UN adopted the SDGs and 2016 when it was put into action.  The Aji project was launched in 2016. 

     And what we talked about at the AprIGF in 2016 is the impact of the internet on illegal wildlife trade, which is a surprising topic.  You know, most people would be quite surprised to know that tiger consumption worldwide is actually increasing rather than decreasing because of the convenience of the internet. 

     And that brings another type of aspect.  Of course, Aji program doesn't stop there.  It's really more of an education program for kids on SDGs, and that is why the cute tiger that was adopted.  But it spans not just education but also policy because illegal wildlife trade also requires policy address, and I guess the aspect of energy.

     And that is where I think personally I see more -- most important in terms of responding to climate change with respect to digital sustainability is how we power the network itself.  The network has proven to be quite, you know, resilient under COVID but the power that a lot of parts of it might still be using pretty dirty energy.  And that is an issue that we need to address.

     And this brings me to the last part, which is another initiative that we have been supporting which is  Which -- you know, it's looking at the multi-stakeholder approach for other issues.  Because if we look at the pandemic that we are in, we know almost, we are pretty clear, it's pretty clear that the UN system or the government-driven system just doesn't work.  Just doesn't work for something that is global in nature like climate change. 

     Because if the countries select their leaders properly, the leaders are supposed to take the country's best interests as the priority.  So if every country takes only their country's own best interests in priority, we won't have a global agenda, we won't be able to solve climate change. 

     And that is why I think to me really the multi-stakeholder, the global multi-stakeholder approach can make an impact and hopefully starting the conversation here is the right step towards the right direction.  Thank you.

     >> MODERATOR: Thank you, Edmon.

     It is really fascinating to see how things appear in my personal sustainability discourse doesn't come up a lot, which is wildlife trade and illegal destruction of wildlife is fostered through the internet also.  So thank you for giving us this insight.

     And looking on the time, I would now ask our next and last speaker in the lineup, Lily Botsyoe to take the floor who has graciously accepted very last minute to join us to get us out of an all-male panel, which I touched upon earlier.

     Lily also is very active on different spheres, wears many hats.  She is one of our Youth for Sustainability working group members.  Also the organizer of the Youth IGF Ghana and has been the youth voice in the main session on environment during the IGF. 

     So the perspective I would like to get from you, Lily, is really how different youth initiatives in the IG space can work together and collaborate to foster this topic? 

     Because leading up to the IGF and the Youth IGF Summit 2020, there was a survey put out by the IGF Secretariat on what are the key things that young people would like to see.  And environment actually ranked very low with many of them. 

     So maybe you can give us an estimation of how we can raise the interest of the young people.

     >> LILY EDINAM BOTSYOE:  Right, hello, everyone.  Apologies, I joined a little late, and I had to commute and find a way to make it to this session because it is as important that we are having this now. 

     So we know that from my part of the world really what you are getting to understand about the internet and the environment is that it is not more from just the issue of the usage online and trying to connect the last billion and trying to connect the unconnected in my part of the world. 

     What We are seeing now is that the internet is as important -- its usage and development is as important in our offline activities because inasmuch as you are reaping the benefits online, there are some things that are certainly happening that we have to be conscious of.

     If you want to -- like from Ghana where I'm coming from, I normally talk about the e-waste situation in a place called Agogo Shi, and I talk about how there is so much happening that people are not aware of.  And I think that is the conversation.

     Maybe from times past have been what have been the issues and why people are not hearing the awareness you are creating.  I think it has to move from making people scared that the world -- something is happened to the world to equipping them with skills on how to contribute. 

     So if you tell a young person that look, you are having greenhouse emissions and this is happening and that is happening, it's so farfetched.  But if you let them know that look, as a matter of agency we are able to do this to change what you are seeing, so it moves from the fear, moves from instilling fear in people to giving them hope that there is something that can be done.

     So you are able to let even the lay person who is not even schooled know that your activities if changed from this angle to another one is able to help us in a certain light.  So you're telling someone who is going crop hunting in Ghana that look, we know that you are getting this for a living, but are you able to use this in a way that is more sustainable so there can be more work for you to do and thus having more income for your family that you are trying to feed by the activities that they are doing. 

     It has to as a matter of agency move from the instilling fear to where we are letting people know that there is something that can be done about the situation.

     So in our communications we have to use a very varied approach so that you can reach all.  You can use the infographics, you can use audio, you can use video, you can even role plays, you can have examples that are happening elsewhere and show to people so they can understand. 

     And in our deliberations in our Youth for digital Sustainability program, we've come to understand that communication in greening the internet is as important as the actions that follow. 

     So what are we communicating, first off?  How are people understanding it?  And what is the opportunity to contribute to shape it? 

     Now it moves professional the individualistic approach to more systemic.  So you want people to know what they can do as a person.  Might also reach out to the institutions that formed the stakeholder groups and let them know that this is what we can together even as a system so we can rewrite the story from the very grassroots and people can understand fully. 

     Now in having this conversation out there, we want people to be aware and continue even in their home countries this conversation.  It shouldn't stop here on the IGF.  It shouldn't stop here in our various conversations and groups. 

     And the reason is this:  In Ghana alone, the informal sector contributes to 90% of e-waste recycling.  And they're not given the right to it.  So the informal people who are outside the very formal systems are those who are setting the stage for us.

     And we have to start from that angle to rewrite the story so people can understand that once you have the informal sector and the formal sector in solidarity and working around a certain aim, everybody is onboard and you are able to understand the conversation from not just the technical bit, from not just the conference bit, but on what is on the ground. 

     So in order to get traction, the communication bit is important, and moving the conversation from just -- just the fear part about what is happening to now the action-oriented part which says what can be done?

     And that is what we are seeing happing the IGF with young people during Youth for Digital Sustainability and all the other sessions that have happened.  So the story has been changed, but it shouldn't just be in the speaking, it should go to the grassroots where the informal people are and whose activities are really relevant in the fight for sustainable internet usage.  Thank you so much.

     >> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Lily.  And thank you also for pointing out an old motto, so to speak, which I want to second is that we need to think globally but act locally and regional when we think about digital sustainability.  Although it is a global issue and there is cross-border inequalities that we are seeing here and cross-border effects of our actions, we really need to meet people where they are in their circumstances and from their different sectors and backgrounds.

     So maybe we can elaborate a bit more on that with our other speakers as well. 

     Raphael, how do you reach people where they are in your work with Fridays for Future?  What are some tried and true strategies on advocacy, environmental advocacy? 

     And while you prepare your answer, I would also like our participants to share with us what has worked for them in the Menti and posting to the chat.  You should be able to see the questions what are the strategies for sustainable advocacy and what works for you.  Now over to you, Raphael.

     >> RAPHAEL REIMANN: Yes.  So because we are working mostly towards -- so we have like two groups we are trying to address. 

     One, because we are a youth movement, we are trying to address young people to join us and join our movement.  But then we have a different group we are trying to address which is basically all of society. 

     In a way that we are saying climate change is here, it's happening, and we have to do something about it.  Mostly we are addressing politicians.  So those are two different groups we are addressing. 

     The first group, young people to instill hope in them and to instill the feeling of what Lily has said, which I think is very important, to give them that feeling that something can be done about it because we are all just a movement of young people here we are.  Most of the know about us and what we are standing for, come join us.  This is really about what Lily said about positive communication, about hope.

     But also about this main thought of grassroots movements in general which is that we don't need powerful people to join us.  We -- if we are a lot of young people and we don't have power, each person for themselves.  But if we are a large enough group, we can be powerful, we can go to the streets, and we can demand changes.  So this is the communication for young people. 

     Now if we are talking to politicians and we are meeting with politicians regarding specific regulations, then obviously we are communicating quite differently.  We are not going to the politicians and saying hey, climate change is happening, but we together can be hopeful, and we can change it.  But we go in there and tell them that they have the tools to change it.

     The science has said it for the last couple of decades.  And we communicate with them in a more demanding way because it is essentially what we are doing, we are demanding a future.  And we are demanding political action.  And that is how we are talking to politicians differently than to those we want to get behind our movement.

     >> MODERATOR: Thank you.  Those are, I think, also quite accessible ideas, right, for how to engage with different stakeholders differently. 

     I would like to hear from you, Josaphat and Edmon alike, as you are both very much part of the internet governance spheres in your regions and globally. 

     How do you see that working out in the internet governance spheres?  Do we need to maybe adapt certain strategies that were mentioned?  Can we learn something from the idea of if there is only enough of us advocating for a certain topic maybe it doesn't matter so much who is in the group, or do we really have to think this differently and maybe find ways to address different stakeholders in the internet governance sphere?

     >> EDMON CHUNG: This is Edmon.  I'll just jump in first, I guess.

     Just building on what Raphael was saying, I think this -- we are looking at transformation, we're not looking at service providers or content providers to wake up one day and say okay, I'm going to use clean energy, right? 

     I mean so the grassroots part is important for both politicians and governments in my view.  And especially sitting here in Hong Kong and at the -- well, at the -- at a different kind of a social movement, it is very important to get to the critical mass and allow people to be willing to voice out the concern.

     And the way I see it is that whether it is big corporations or governments, they are usually more conservative.  And conservatives don't really see transformation that way.  I mean a way that I like to describe it is that the conservative can never see how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly because it is impossible to gradually turn. 

     But what the movement helps, and that is why we need to talk about it here in youth, is that when the butterfly comes, it means that the critical mass is there supporting those ideas.  And suddenly government or big businesses, they would see oh, it was a butterfly all along.

     And that is where I think, you know, we need to build, we need to know that as much as we can talk to governments and big business, without the social and kind of movement support, we will never get it done.  That's sort of my view.

     >> MODERATOR: Thank you, Edmon.  Josaphat, do you want to share as well?

     >> JOSAPHAT TJIHO: Sure, yes. Thank you so much. 

     I totally agree with Edmon know that there is really need to be a bigger movement for different stakeholders to come onboard and really engage on these issues.  Because, for one, to really try and address these issues, that we need as many people with the same mindset and the same passion to address the issues. 

     There's also a high need for stakeholders, for public and private partnership because this whole thing requires a different dialogue.  It requires not only idea sharing, not only a movement of people moving up and down, but it also needs resources for this to be able to become effective and working out well. 

     Another thing was that discussing like this in open dialogue, you know, to really talk realistically, physically, and also come up with tangible result, not only result on papers but result that can be able to bring about change is one of the things that is needed. 

     Lastly, what I wanted to touch on was as countries, as continent and so forth, we have different treaties and different conventions and so forth that we made agreement to.  So we need to try and make sure that we hold our governments and our citizens and all these people engaged and to also be accountable. 

     One of the biggest ones which we as internet Society of Namibian Chapter has also made  a submission to in the current universal periodic review of which it's a United Nations mechanism where UN Member States review other UN Member States on different issues and human rights issues.

     And through the Internet Society we did come up with some of the recommendations on how Namibians should be held accountable or how some of the issues that are not being addressed by the Namibian government when it comes to human rights issues are being addressed at not just a national level or a continental level but at a global level where other UN Member States can also be able to know, understand, and also see how they can put pressure and how they can be able to amplify to make sure we have the needed outcome for the development of not just human beings but also sustainability.  So yes.

     >> MODERATOR: Thank you, Josaphat.  And thank you to everyone. 

     we are two minutes away from the end so I would say we can wrap up now.  I have also seen a few inputs to the Menti, this is still open so if you want to formulate ideas and strategies on how you advocate for digital sustainability and environmental justice in the digital sphere, let us know because this will go into our report and our follow-up work. 

     Because the one thing I think that became very clear is that it doesn't -- it needs more than just a few IGF sessions, and it also needs more than having an environment track once and then kind of fizzling out.

     What we can really see is the momentum and a lot of interest from different stakeholders to come together and also get decision makers in a political level, the private sector, see where we have to be global and where we then have to transfer to more specific context. 

     So I'm really happy that we got to have this discussion and this exchange. I hope we can follow up on that and also get those involved that have not been here in this room now but who are maybe distant and working in their respective contexts because this is really what the multi-stakeholder approach is all about, that we address each other when it makes sense and when it is relevant. 

     And I think digital sustainability should be a very relevant topic going forward for all of us. 

     So thank you for joining.  Thanks, everyone, who was listening in as a participant and also on the livestream.  We will keep on working on this.  And if you want to learn more about the Youth for Digital Sustainability program, you can find information online on

     And with that, I would like to close right on time and wish you all a wonderful day wherever you are.  Goodbye.  


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