Digitalisation affects in many different ways the lives of young people today, whether they are or not digitally active. In many fields, digitalisation has brought many advantages, for example in relation to communication, access to information, education, leisure and fun, activism, economic development, time management and working, etc. At the same time, digitalisation came also with risks, related to working conditions and environments, the digital divide, security and data protection, health and well-being, media literacy and so on.
The European Commission and the Council of Europe have agreed to include in the 2018 work plan of their partnership in the youth field a Symposium on young people and digitalisation, connecting the themes of social inclusion and digitalisation.
About the Symposium
The 2018 Symposium of the EU-CoE youth partnership will focus on exploring the crossing between social inclusion of young people and digitalisation, reflecting especially on how digitalisation affects young people’s lives, and what the role of youth policy, youth work and youth research can be in this respect.
Firstly, the Symposium will be articulated around young people’s lives, experiences and how digitalisation has an impact on them, especially in relation to young people’s social inclusion.
The thematic focus of the Symposium will be on how social inclusion of young people is or can be affected by digitalisation on questions such as:
- Access to services, youth-friendly services, services for social inclusion;
- Reaching out to young people and the digital divide;
- Resilience and empowerment for social inclusion;
- Discrimination in the digital space, hate speech, cyber-bullying and harassment.
Secondly, the Symposium will also explore some possible ways ahead for the youth sector, looking in particular at
- YOUTH WORK: smart youth work (including digital youth work), competences needed from practitioners; the role of youth work in developing young people’s media literacy; using digitalisation for youth empowerment;
- YOUTH POLICY: the role of youth policy in taking up the theme of digitalisation as part of different programmes aimed at curbing inequality, using new channels to reach out and involve young people (for example, through gaming or apps), acting as a regulator or as a support; and the role of digitalisation in shaping youth policy in all its phases;
- YOUTH RESEARCH: the role of youth research, identifying further areas of research and the use of data-driven developments for research.
The Symposium will also mark the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the EU-CoE youth partnership, and it will be organised in cooperation with the Youth Affairs Department of the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia.
The Symposium will gather up to 120 youth policy makers, researchers, practitioners from youth NGOs and youth work from across the signatory states of the European Cultural Convention, as well as actors from the digital field, that, through their work, combat inequalities.
The Symposium is intended as a mutually beneficial learning and updating opportunity for those involved. Through this Symposium, ideas about the role of the youth sector in relation to digitalisation will be explored and different approaches to digitalisation shared. More knowledge on the Symposium themes will be developed and disseminated. Synergies with other sectors will be developed, especially the sectors related to technology. Key messages for a future agenda for the youth sector in relation to the intersections of digitalisation and social inclusion will be elaborated and serve the youth field as inspiration for further action. The Symposium will also contribute to the strategic developments in the field of youth of the two partner institutions.