2015 IGF Brazil was the first time the youth program, Youth@IGF, was introduced to the IGF conference. Young people from LAC region were invited to attend the program, empowering the next generation of leaders and increasing the participation of young leaders in the region in the Internet Governance debates.
The ecosystem of youth empowerment work in Internet Governance is developing. In the Asia Pacific region, there are various next generation engagement initiatives organized in the past years, such as NetMission.Asia, YouthIGF, APIGA, APILP, APSIG and APNG Group. Other regions have established youth groups /networks such as NERDY (Network of EuRopean Digital Youth) in Eurpoe, and Youth Observatory in Latin America.
Therefore, it is an important discussion to have now on how we can better achieve the goal of youth inclusion to the Internet Governance discourse. Given the fact that youth is one of the main stakeholders of Internet, they should be able to participate in the Internet Governance discussions on equal footing. Meanwhile, capacity building work should also be provided for constructive and meaningful participation to the discussion. Whether the approach of capacity building or direct engagement in policy discussion is a better way is the discussion focus. Creating a youth track, adding the category of youth in the resource person list or introducing index of youth participation rate in sessions are also the possible implementation plans in the upcoming IGF – this is worth considering for the sustainable growth and development of Internet Governance. Effectiveness and feasibility of the plans will also be reviewed in the session.
Speakers provisionally confirmed:
Adela Goberna, Youth Observatory, LAC
Martin Fischer, Network of European digital youth, Europe
Joachim Kind, German Safer Internet Centre, Europe
Jianne Soriano, NetMission.Asia, Asia
Haoran Huang, Asia Pacific Internet Governance Academy, Asia
Jonathan Ssembajwe, Rights of young foundation, Africa
Olga Cavalli, ICANN - Governmental Advisor Committee, South School on Internet Governance, LAC
Rodrigo De La Parra, ICANN, LAC