Internet Governance Activating and Listening to the Voice of Tweens

16 November 2009 - A Workshop on Internet Governance for Development in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt


This session would aim to amplify the voice of youth with a particular focus on the themes of the IGF. 

Both the Cyber Peace Initiative (CPI), and Childnet International are running projects designed to engage with young people about Internet governance to make sure that the voice of tweens is heard at the IGF. Both projects aim to ensure that children and young people are equipped use the Internet safely and responsibly, but also believe that it is important to discuss the ethical issues associated with the Internet at a young age to help shape young people to grow up as responsible and pro-active e-citizens. 

The workshop is an hands experimental session, aimed at highlighting how to achie Internet governance and safety awareness among tweens. The workshop philosophy rests on the belief that informing tweens (particularly 8- 15 years old) on the basic principles of Internet governance and safety is not only a positive and challenging experience, but an unavoidable one, in view of the increasing role of Internet in society.

The session would address how to promote internet governance and safety awareness with teens through analysing the processes adopted in the two national projects, featuring two different models of tweens participation and engagement, and would model best practice sharing key observations so other delegates could replicate similar projects in future years.

The workshop would offer the opportunity to hear the voice of the tweens on the topic of Internet governance, with the inclusion of young people as speakers and through video presentation. It would detail the processes of engagement utilised, offering the opportunity to talk with young people about their views and how they were engaged. Through including young people in the session this way, delegates would not only be able to learn from them but would also be issued with a series of challenges from young people reflecting their experiences and thoughts on Internet Governance. Young participants will be offered the opportunity to consider what their rights are online and to express these thoughts, alongside an insight into international documents and treaties protecting their rights on line.

The workshop will examine training for tweens, and will include an interactive discussion on how to engage with tweens on this topic, designed to aid replication of the model, including the opportunity to interact with tweens. Through a participative, organized forum, tweens will be invited to express their thoughts and dreams about IG and Internet safety

Panelists would include the project co-ordinator for the Youth IGF Project from Childnet International, a representative from the CPI of the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement, Egyptian tweens and the voice of tweens from the UK which would be captured in film and shown as an integral part of the session. 

This session is a merged session combining and adapting proposals 119 and 121 from The CPI of the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement and Childnet International.
a) Provide the names and affiliations of the panellists you are planning to invite. Describe the main actors in the field and whether you have you approached them about their willingness to participate in the proposed workshop.

Panelists will be drawn from both national projects. Panelists will include a senior representative of the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement’s Cyber Peace Initiative and Will Gardner CEO of Childnet International, alongside youth delegates from both organizations. Members of the CPI and UK IGF Initiative have been consulted with regards to this session and have been approached and have indicated a willingness to participate in the proposed workshop as have the Parliamentarians who will be in attendance from the UK. 

b) Describe how you will take steps to adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including geographical diversity.

The partnership between the Cyber Peace Initiative of the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement based in Egypt and Childnet International, based in the UK typifies the commitment to the multi stakeholder principle of both partners. Both partners will work closely together in the coming months to ensure that each of the two national projects are as inclusive as possible, thereby reaching out to national multi stakeholder audiences, and also to ensure that the final product will be relevant and accessible for the envisaged multi stakeholder attendees of the workshop.

c) Does the proposed workshop provide different perspectives on the issues under discussion?

The proposed workshop clearly provides different perspectives on the issues under discussion. At a local level in the UK, the Youth IGF Project has sought to reach out to different communities and user groups across the UK in different geographical locations targeting children and young people with different experiences of Internet education, access to the Internet and family backgrounds. Through the use of social networking channels, the project aims to inform the widest possible user base as to the aims of the project and to encourage as many young people as possible to have their say on openness, access, security and diversity. 

Similarly, the Cyber Peace initiative of the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement aims at empowering tweens and ensuring that children use the Internet safely and responsibly. However, the initiative also believes that unless core facts about Internet governance are implanted in children and young people since their youngest age, it is impossible to raise pro active e-citizens. It is essential to start "internet ethics" education at the young age of 8.

By merging two similar projects from the UK and Egypt, the workshop would also demonstrate different cultural perspectives in raising awareness of Internet Governance, and what the priorities are for each. It is anticipated that feedback from the young people in the UK and also in Egypt may vary upon different points. By highlighting and showcasing best practice, the workshop would also feature the most successful elements of each project, and would aim to highlight differences in approach, understanding why each has been successful as well as similarities in approach and the merits of these. This workshop would be a truly representative and informative workshop.

Lucinda Fell –
Mohammed Fathy -

The proposed speakers are: 
Will Gardner, CEO, Childnet International 
(Lucinda Fell, Policy and Communications Manager, Childnet International/ Ellen Ferguson, Education Manager Childnet International) 
Rt Hon Alun Michael, MP 
Mohammad Fathy, Cyber Peace Initiative 
(additional/alternative CPI representative - name to be confirmed shortly) 
Youth delegates from UK and Egypt -exact names still to be confirmed