The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. 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, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> Please help us to essentially invite people to the session. It's supposed to be an ideathon. There are a couple of sessions, a women in IT session and this one and this is built up on some of the conversations from this morning and essentially just to hear from young people what it is that we need to be meaningfully participating in this space, and essentially to make sure that our voices are heard and we can probably and what we have for recommendations
So just like I said, please put on the pages, invite people to join on the youth pages. On telegram if you're there, just tell people we're in this room so they can join us. Thank you so much
We know this is a very small group and we're supposed to find a way into the space, but what we're going to do is instead of splitting up, we're going to have one big discussion and it will be in a group. What you want to look at is essentially how we can engage youth in this space in a way that is, like I said, meaningful and also ensures that youth are bringing to bear their active selves in the sessions that we have in the intergovernance space.
By background of context. Over the years we've had young people advocating for the need to participate in sessions, and we've seen some work in the space. So, since 2019 we've had what is called the Youth Summit. 2019 in Germany, and 2020 online, and 2021 we went to Poland. This year we're here in Addis Ababa and before all the times the times change. Before didn't have youth sessions, but we were having young people speaking to young people. How about we have the older generation and young generation in the one room to bounce off ideas and say what would our recommendations be and hear us out. We saw some in the session today. We had an older person and younger person speaking at the Youth summit which is improvement of what young people are advocating for
Also in the past the young people are only inviting as youth and maybe not as experts in the field because people were aspects working in different fields and they have very substantial information to contribute to these sessions, so based on what you see now as a group of participation of young people from just being in sessions only for young people to not invited to high‑level panels and rooms where older and younger generation, we're looking at how to have the conversation continued in a way that makes sure we're not just there for performative representation, which means that we don't have young people in rooms only because we want it to look inclusive or we want it to look balanced, but we want tomorrow have it in a way that young people can be engaged and voices are heard, and we can follow through some sort of action beyond the conversations that we have.
So for our ideathon, just like it implies, we're looking for ideas. I was privileged to send of the ideas to EGM this year in New York where there was an Expert General meeting and to see how young people can be engaged. We spoke about having space in the rooms where they were older and younger folks that spoke about how to be represented. Now there is a need to implement. There are more ideas that are needed. In this room we want to start the conversation to say that ideas can be from anywhere and from anyone, but most especially when there is a focus in mind
We know that the engagement is there. We want to build upon it. The first we which we're deliberating on is what does engagement look for in young people in the space. We're just going to deliberate now on what engagement looks like. And then we can look at what can be done better and suggestions and recommendations. We want this to be actionable, so if you have timelines for us, you can say that. If you have, say, a particular stakeholder group that should be leading the effort, you can also say that. So, I've done a bit of talking now and not to make it too formal, I'm going to come down and just have the microphone available to anybody who wants to feed into it. We don't want to hear only from young people. There are people who are young at heart and people who work with youth voices who can contribute to this. So, please, the first question is what does engagement currently look like for young people, what can be done, and what are recommendations? One question and answer in three ways. If you have any input, put up your hand, and I'll give you the microphone. Right.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay. Great. My name is Kashin P, and I'm the Board Member for Foundation so the question is very interesting how, you know, what sort of things mechanism we consider for the engagement. You know, we as thought we recognize this as the youth, you know, has to be empowered, the youth has to come forward to be aligned with the seniors. So that's my like as far as our support programs and all of those things. We have like started an online mission program where we bring up the youth from the various economies and then we train them along with the seniors so they are engaged with respect to the awareness issues. And they can be part of the policymaking process, which they were saying that, you know, there is a distance between the two bodies. There is always a distance that comes.
So, we as part of Net Mission program we're trying to bring or bridge the gap, and so the young leaders, once they come forward, they'll be part of the community. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Spot on. This is super cool in a sense you mentioned the angle of bridging the knowledge gap so young people can participate in places and put forth issues as people who have experience with it. That's very spot on. We first have to bridge the knowledge gap to ensure participation. You have identified the angle of what can be done. I thought that is really an actionable one to bridge the knowledge gap, so ensure people understand what policies are there and how they can participate. That's a good one.
Now the first, what does engagement look like currently, and what can be done? And recommendations? Right.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi. My name is Nia and represent the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, the Caribbean region. Multistakeholder organization. Currently, what youth participation looks like in the Caribbean is we held our 18th Caribbean IGF earlier in August, but we also had our very first Caribbean Youth IGF in August as well, as well as our first SIDs IGF and it was the first time for the youth IGF in the region dedicated to the youth. Coming out of that what we realize is what the youth voices were telling us is that they were yearning for more capacity building and wanted more opportunities to learn and like you said, bridge the knowledge gap, but as more avenues for capacity building. Building off of that, we're now engaging in developing an internship and ‑‑ an internship program for Caribbean youth, and it's going to be very flexible because the Caribbean region involves multiple islands, so it's going to be very flexible, even though the headquarters are based on one island, allow participation and engagement for youth all across the Caribbean region, as well as in moving forward in 2023, what we're trying to do is integrate our youth component in all of our activities regional, international events that we're participating in as well as the events that we are hosting so that rather than having a separate youth activity or voice, the youth component is going to be integrated in the activities that we're doing, whether it's capacity building, whether it's seminars, whether it's policy recommendations, and ‑‑
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. What I've got now is the representation is there, but beyond the representation, what happens? I like that you mentioned that there is more inter‑capacity building around the issues of even internship to make sure people have that industry expertise and are able to learn and the people who are experts in the field, and that is also a good thing because what more to build the skills than doing it, like you're involved. And I love the part about integration. Yeah, integrating and not sidelining youth. Not saying you're just some people and but you're adding them into the sessions so by so doing we're building that future for young people. So, where they actively participate in the space. Thank you so much. Now that's a recommendation that you've given us and told us what the picture looks like, the first IGF that happened this year. That is so cool that for the first time there is a IGF in the Caribbean region for youth that. Is amazing. Thank you for that. That's how it looks like and the recommendation is about moving the representation forward to make it more encompassing when it comes to capacity building. Thank you. I have another question for you, right, in a short while. Let's have another person. This was from the Caribbean region. Let's see from other places. How does youth engagement, and maybe you just came in and I'll have your thoughts. Can you have the microphone and I'll ask your thoughts. What we're looking at is what does youth in IGF look like right now, what does engagement look like? And what do you think can be changed? Given your recommendation, in your region or country, have you seen something and if you've seen it, what do you think can change?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi. I am Diana. I would say, yes, there is youth participation. I don't know if anybody here knows about the African festival that happened in Nairobi Kenya, it had a huge, huge, huge number of youth but just as it has been said, there is representation and participation, but not in the policy spaces. There is participation in events, there is participation in something like this, the IGF, but when it comes to policy then not so much. So that I think would be a recommendation from me, that we can just involve the youth even if policies and not just having them in the spaces and seeing them. Yeah.
>> MODERATOR: Absolutely. Thank you. Not just to be there but to be actively participating and to be in what is happening, actually being part of it also on the issue of integration. Anybody else on what it looks like now and what can be improved? Sure. Yeah.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you for the question. My name is Medor from the Ministry of Women and Youth of Ethiopia. The youth engagement is I can say, is at infant stage. Last time when I search on the website, given the IGF encourage the youth to have an initiative and so on. But of any initiative that would be present under IGF, so the level of our participation, I can say is still infant stage. And the next time I think there is a handbook or a manual on how to be a member as this initiative under the IGF, so we try our best to establish our youth initiative to be a member of Internet Governance Forum.
>> MODERATOR: Right. Thank you. Thank you for taking the action from this room. I think that is spot on. I love that you have been able to mention what you want to do. You know that there is a handbook or a guide and want to move on to establish that for participation. That is really what we're looking for, that people know how to engage and what way. I'm glad that you found that there is a guide, there is a way to establish a youth IGF in country and then see how you can move the voice. Pretty much you're on the road to becoming and doing what we expect should be done. Thank you so much for that.
Any other person want to add to the conversation around what the engagement looks like now and what can be done to improve it? Any other conversations? Right.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi. I'm Fesel from Pakistan, and I'm running software house there. What I have seen is there is ‑‑ I have not seen the existence of IGF in my country back there, but I have seen one issue and that is very common in most of the developing countries, is you can say for the youth, especially the youth that are studying in the different universities, they are not connected within the industry. There is the major issue that I've seen, even with the fresh graduates and we have interviews with them, I came to realize they dent even know how the industry works and they don't even ‑‑ it's either on technical level or higher level how the processes do work. That's one of the issues that should be addressed. And on my own level, what we are doing, we are engaging, we're not a large company, but what we are doing on our own level ‑‑ a speaking session just session similar to this, from time to time to at least engage the youth with us, and that is helping us, but of course I believe there is a lot that needs to be done for this specifically.
>> MODERATOR: Right. Thank you so much. So here again we see the industry knowledge and bridging that gap, which is spot on. You know, IGF usually we see we don't have ‑‑ we don't make reforms here because we come to educate and have recommendations put up. But I like how with the industry knowledge and expertise that young people have, we're able to map certain issues and recommendations from here to industries, and then we can probably in the future measure what has improved. So, if the recommendations are here mapped to say something that will be discovered in countries and industries, then we can say that this is a recommendation that came from the IGF, and based on participation from this industry or this or another industry, we've been able to address the issue that was brought forth. I think that is pretty much what you do. Do you want to add to it?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: In this particular aspect what I've seen is the major issue the students are facing or youth is facing is they're mostly learning after getting the certain number of the CDPA rather than focusing on to learn things. That is one of the main issues in the academy is not understanding that they're producing this people who are just learning things, and I mean rather than understanding them.
>> MODERATOR: Yeah. Right. And there are spaces like this where it's learning outside of class where you can do hands on like listen to what industry experts have to share and also participate in it. I think that is true. Most of us have been very guilty of doing this until we've been able to get the knowledge from the experts here and also to grow in our career. So, if you just joined me, and what you're looking at is an ideathon and supposed to be pretty much relaxed and to fetch ideas from people in the room about how young people can be engaged in this space and generally in policy. So, we're asking what engagement looks like currently and what can be improved. If you just came in and you have any points, please do share from the perspective of your country or the work that you do. What does engagement look like currently, you can put up your hand. Right. We have somebody there.
>> Yes. Thank you. First, thank you so much for putting this together. My name is Krisof, professor of law and technology in Munich, Germany. What we're doing there at the moment is to look at participatory methods for risk assessment, when for example, using social media because we found that, and that's also in the literature that you can understand risks way better when you actually talk to the affected groups and stakeholders and young people are sometimes left out of these discussions the same as old people, but what we found and that would being my proposition is not only to look at risk mitigation, but we've tried to engage them as well in innovative ‑‑ innovative ‑‑ innovations and the ways we take these technologies forward because there are some emerging technologies that are being developed, pretty much from the perspective of the people that do the technology, and we are trying to bring them together with different audiences in order to also help the audiences formulate their ideas, which is great for the people doing the innovation because they can kind of pick on the ideas and my question would be, how can we bring young people also to innovation and give them a voice there?
>> MODERATOR: This is so important, and I love the point. So let me break it down. We've spoken about participation of young people in spaces necessary for just dialogue and recommendations on policy rights. And now what's the score Germany and Munich is doing is bringing up people in a space with innovators so that you're in a space where you can dialogue on ideas and then probably to move it forward. That is like inclusion, so it would build on something that you're in touch with the people that are going to be using it, and uses technical people that can give you ideas on how to probably innovate. Right. That is spot on.
In that way, aside from learning, aside from the young person learning, you're also getting first‑hand data or information on what to do with your innovation and how to go about it relative to what it is you're building. You're buying in or having the insight of the person that's going to use it and that is helpful. It means you're building for the people and with a user in mind. That is good. Now the question is turning to all of us, how can we get young people in such spaces? We've all spoken about how we've come to know the idea. How do we get young people into the space? That's the answer to the question. How do we have ‑‑ should we go to we know now the youth IGF, do you think we should do bootcamps, do you think we should do hackathons? This is an ideathon, great for a few of us, but what else could we do? Please take a turn to answer in that space to have innovators and users in one room or young people in one room, and then we can have people in the room. Karsan Gabriel and then Catherine.
>> GABRIEL KARSAN: Thank you very much. It lies in the inclusive inclusivity. Inclusive policy, what does that mean? We usually wait until it's far too late and see FDX and then policy becomes important. That's just human nature. But in the Internet now, things happen rather fast. And demographically so many people participate and partake in this, but lacking that structure is not that because we don't have the rhetoric to say or pause opinions, but it's rather that we still have areas of entry when it comes to the regulations, or acting to the bodies or institutionizing the right mechanisms where young people can be actually seen as valuable additions in terms of policy. How do we define policy? As a term it's a blueprint of how we engage with particular matters and it has been so formalized that people face a difficulty to engage.
So, first is breaking the complexity that ‑‑ the complex nature of policy through literacy, and through dialogues like this. So young people can actually understand, you know, policy is something that affects me personally on a day‑to‑day basis because if you have, for example, academic for a water source that has been penetrated or something, people actually act out because we see it impacts them directly. So, until we have developed this rhetoric where we see that it impacts people directly and young people have the voice, because at the end of the day, the majority of users who actually engage and create most of the participants of the Internet, then we can start discussing policy.
One of the questions, low tech they said. That is actually something that celebrates the role of lawmakers in creating policy, as it has been such a traditional field where it has to be lawmakers and particular people with government and actually have mechanisms to say and think about policy. But there are some alternatives. I am an ICANN fellow where I'm part of this mission called the Policy Transition Program and they say policy is quite a gradual process, but a worthy one. What they do is they use intergenerational alliances, some of what we see here, where young people are actually given, first of all, the mandate of what the nomenclature of policy should be based on their own terms and the content insight based on the languages that they actually speak.
So, at this it means truly being local to the sense of how it could help a particular demographic, and that's a need where young people actually want because we usually end up in a debate of conflict saying, yeah, maybe the older generation does not understand, or we do this and, but that's not the end goal. The end goal is hue we usually view inclusivity and unity based on the challenge at hand.
And one of the examples that I think Catherine will say because she works on a school connectivity program, which actually sees how engage and operational mechanisms of building and shaping the Internet through actual operational mechanisms can impact and influence policy in terms of saying that we have taught these kids now, they understand the Internet, so how do we create policy based on affordability, boost the Internet for all, because it's already seen and it took action, agencies ‑‑ Catherine?
>> CATHERINE KIMAMBO: Okay. Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Catherine Kimambo, the Executive Director of African Child Project, and speaking on youth engagement. In this space, yeah, I think I have to divulge a little from the subject because I'm not really sure where this is discussed. Most of the time when we speak of youth engagement, the aspect of funding is never ‑‑ it never comes to play. We shy away from that. So, I'm thinking that when we speak of youth in this IGF space, it's usually on the policy discussions and how do we influence policy, and just discussions.
I'm thinking how do we fund also or how do we have I think in the discussion today at the global youth summit, we spoke about inter‑generational collaboration and how do we benchmark or harness the network that is there from the people who have come before us, the MAG members or other members from the IGF committees to empower or to add value to the initiatives that youth are doing. Because by the end of the day, when we speak of youth engagement, it's usually on capacity building. You have the youth, in and out, obviously this is capacity building. They have these burning ideas they want to bring to the table; they want to implement ideas on digital inclusion, ideas on influencing tech as a whole, using inequalities in their communities, but they only receive capacity building, they only participate in policy decisions.
They end of the day I'm thinking how about we have actionable or how do I say, actionable items that let's say we have a youth access fund, something of that sort, where we can really seek out and fund youth initiatives that are there to bridge the digital divide that are there on the ground, because the funding structure again, if I'm going back to policy, when you engage with international organizations, the lack of UN, the funding goes to the government, of discussions they say they only fund government, that's how instructive, policy, and then again you come and see in the context let's say in Tanzania, as soon as the funding gets to the government, you don't see government calling youth initiatives, and we have this type of funding and we want to fund the initiatives. It's really implemented by government and funded by government.
And then you have on the ground, youth who have amazing ideas, locally made to connect the next millions of people who we're speaking of, but they never get to receive that voice or capacity to build and implement. I think at the end of the day if we're really to come here and only speak about policies and go back home and still struggle with finding funds to implement and still we receive only capacity building and nothing actionable, youth, I think we've failed at some point the youth that we're representing because it's only big talk, and I think it's about time we put our money where our mouth‑to‑mouth is.
And then again if I'm to also add on the projects that we do around school connectivity and how we've been able to at least bring or be able to facilitate youth engagement as a whole, so we have a project called School Connectivity Project in Tanzania. This is a multistakeholder project. We work alongside foundations and government agencies, and the lack of universal service access funds, so we have development partners, academic institutions. So as a multistakeholder project, we try to see how everyone can come together to bring ‑‑ to see how connectivity reaches the last mile users.
And then in this project, we saw there is a lot of untapped potential or untapped I would say potential as in universities where you have students who have been studying about maybe network engineering, studying about digital skill literacy and all of that, and how do they get to practice that?
With our partnership with the academic institutions, we bring the youth to implement the school connectivity projects to go and travel to the rural areas in Tanzania and implement and train the people on the ground, so that at least they have a practical skill when we speak of connectivity and what challenges they're able to see themselves. At some point in time, I think that's how we're able from my end to increase or to bring on the youth agenda on board. But then again, our involvement with also the academic institutions, doesn't only end only involving the students. It's also going beyond how do we ensure that we are developing solutions or research projects together with universities, and how do we make sure that we're trying different methodologies in terms of connectivity because I believe when it comes to connectivity, especially in the African Region, we don't have one solution fits all.
As for Tanzania, our country is huge and vast and we cannot have one solution for every region, and you have regions in the peripherals that are hard to connect, regions in the center hard to connect, and these regions require different solutions. So, I think through our partnership with the academic institutions, we're able to develop different research projects on how can we connect within the peripheral regions, and how can we connect people at the center of Tanzania and how do we make sure connectivity reaches everyone in the comfort of their home. So, for me, I really advocate for the youth agenda, and not all about talk. So, I think if we are to come again and sit next year, we could have best practices and say these are the amount of youth that we've assisted in terms of funding, we have been able to fundraise and raise this amount of funding, and we have supported youth initiatives. These are the results. So, I think it's about time we move from the policy discussions and go to really actionable and implementable items that can be seen in results. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. That is spot on. Let me break it down and have all of us aligned on what is next. So, Catherine brought us from we're trying to answer the question of how to bring youth into the space. So, she mentioned funding, and the idea of funding I think comes to me in two ways. There is funding needed to actually get people in the space, if you ask me. So, this initiative that is working, this has student rights or young people so would be some support in a certain way. It can be said Internet support or support for stipend or something because they're in the program. So even bringing people into the space, we need funds to do that.
And then she mentioned something that I think is also very helpful. Beyond the IGF, what is next? I think that's what we're going to go into. Just mention that we have to walk the talk, and essentially to see because we're giving recommendations from here, but how we have support that taps into a certain fund and can have so of the things move forward before any other thing happens. As IGF, can we have a youth access fund like you said, and can we have support for, it could be tiny support run by a certain period and that would deliver a metric based on what has been discussed in the year, but IGF and all of that can record back and say having results. That is also important. She comes back also to say about the ‑‑ the next one was about collaborate rigs between schools and work she's done. That's also pretty much in line with what is in there. We have things that are discussed via the IGF via policy discussions, and our friend from Caribbean talked about how they're dealing with tensions. Can there also be aside from the funds, yes, talk about the fund, access fund and what can be done about it. Can we have a repository where young people can be mapped on to certain projects and can be worked on to get hands‑on skills or expertise in the various discussions that are usually happening here. It can be policymaking, it can be implementing a community network, it can be how to do some of these. So now the two things I will send here by way much asking of what is next is walking the talk and funding, and walking the talk enhanced with capacity building which has been done probably in collaboration with skills and young people.
Now the question is for you, our audience, after the IGF. What next for young people? You can put up your hand and add to the conversation. Anybody with an idea for the IGF of what next? Do you want to pass on? You can speak actually if you want to.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: The question is what should happen next?
>> MODERATOR: After the IGF. We discussed what engagement for young people looks like now and told about what can improve. After we'll hear in the discussion of what can be a way to sustain the discussions or move things forward to see some results? So, after engagement in this space, what is next? What can we do?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I mean I think so what I hear from the discussions we're talking about empowerment, real empowerment. I took the policy discussion as being ‑‑ also maybe going into the direction of self‑governance, so people don't only partake in the discussion but as learn how they can behave and what consequences are for them, so that's what I got from you.
But I think the central empowerment concerning also being an actor in this whole sphere, I think what we could do is try to pool resources. Yeah. So maybe universities could pick up on those ideas, so we could find ways to communicate over that or to have spaces for the ideas, yeah, and I think this might be a first step.
I completely agree with the kind of motion that we need funding. I think the first step is showing for what, showcasing ideas and having a space where people can refer and say there is great work on the ground in Tanzania and basically, we need this fund and know why we need it. It might also create trust and then kind of developing partnerships, communication, and from there hopefully soon having the resources as you said to really also implement things and take things more seriously. Because that's also what I got from all of you. There is a kind of structural imbalance and we have to ‑‑ that's not good or bad. It's just the way it is. As young people, you don't have the same power, for example, as an important company, although you should have. Yeah. And we need to kind of rebalance that, and that's kind of the past, but you already gave, I think, very good ideas yourself. So, if he we form a partnership in small steps and also find ways where to put ideas and to showcase them, I think this would be a good first step.
>> Thank you very much. Just to add a simple question, professor. I academia creates a society that embraces change because academia creates all the policymakers, either you have to fix all the policy gaps it should begin in academia.
Climate change and activism has taken a lot of change and young people like Greta Thornburg are pushing for breaking structures in the new reform. What do you think, is it rather an informed citizenry perspective or active engagement from young people actually understanding and creating coalitions that is important in creating policy in the tech space, or how do you think we create some sort of social structure that will help in implementing policy that actually represents the change that presents in walking the talk?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: That's a very difficult question, obviously, but if we're aware of the resources we have and importance on the academic side, I think it's knowledge and leadership, and also academia does a lot in tech as well, as you pointed out, so I think that's something that we can offer, and I think academics understand very well that they need to open up and that this kind of participation has to ‑‑ participatory methods open knowledge and ways to involve all kinds of stakeholders, and specifically stakeholders where there is a kind of structural imbalance is super important. And I think that would be actually quite an easy sweet spot to, for example, take in things. If I can translate ideas to my colleagues who work op connectivity and these things and then maybe they're inspired by that and that could for me be a natural sweet spot because the resources are already there, but I would also say academia has to change. Yeah. It has to open more to society in some respects, especially also when we talk about technical universities like my university that are developing these technologies, they also have to be aware.
But I think that's really ‑‑ that's really something that could be done quite well with the formats like the one you put into practice.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. A hand?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you so much. This is Asher from Bangladesh. Leading Bangladesh IGF Internet and primarily human resource. My question is very simple. We're talking about empowerment, but as you know talking to future leaders, then when to contribute more in the IGF process or for the IGF community? But for the next we have any initiative to do something for not yet community to develop capacity development? Just want to know there is the initiative? What do you have?
>> For the youth IGF mostly, we have an institutionalized coalition that's actually accepted and represented in the multistakeholder approach, but in terms of empowerment, if I might speak, in reality of the matter, it really needs to begin with I youth seeing themselves in these spaces. Youth see themselves speaking in these spaces and actually taking the change that they want because in the end we want to create operational purpose, and this is gained through actionable engagement such as this. The youth IGF is one mechanism that tries to bring capacity building and direct interaction, and as well as direct engagement with the whole multistakeholder approach here where everybody can be hard and change can be implemented, and that's good. But it still has to be self‑started and personal agencies and that's how you create a partner. It's still quite a personal thing. To add more on what the quite structure of youth does.
>> MODERATOR: He mentioned the youth IGF which is pretty much what we're in now but cover in Civil Society group what trains people and builds capacity, we have training with parent institutions that are pretty much in line with like building capacities, we've seen those comes up with the IGF, and a good example is the Internet Society and they want the fellowship programs and Internet Society ambassadors right now in IGF are undergoing development on different IGF topics. There is one partner. There is ICANN with fellowships, and you have ICANN fellowships and ICANN next Gen fellowship for students and then access now which they fund people to go to the event, to learn and contribute to issues to, and that is pretty much what people are doing to building capacities. In this room we've had people in Pakistan bridges gap between industries and also between innovators instead of in the same room trying to bridge the gap with expertise.
Another angle that we think this can go is like he said, where more people come aboard and say this is what we're doing and underlines of this particular topic so you can sign up to get trained, get learned, or be a veteran, get taught or be in internship. Should be very diverse approach so people with different styles should also benefit. Shouldn't be by just listening or attending, but as that this training is happening and internship is also helpful. Those are ways right now that we see there is capacity building and empowering that is having, and probably you want to have some of these happen in your countries, and I would advise that we have conversations on ‑‑ not conversations but advise that you have contact with some of these partners and usually run trainings and funding. For example, Internet Society runs training on community networks and funds people to build community network and that's also by way of getting people to have the change or create the change they want to see or be part of it. Yeah.
>> Great. I hope it will be more effective in the future. Thank you.
>> Thank you. I think before I informed since you are Asia‑Pacific region, I represent the region and we have very specific programs especially for youth and youth of Internet, and program called Net Mission Ambassador Program and we are like all governance issues, whatever like the youth participation for policymaking and engagement and all, we cover that. It's a couple of months program. And youth register for that. From there like we run this program for a couple of months, and then from there we take them to Asia‑Pacific IGF, and from there they come to the global IGF. It's like the tools where you build step by step and then become part of this knowledge community.
>> Thank you so much for the update.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi. Samia from Kenya, a technical practitioner and I wanted to mention the issue of funding, that was the only thing in my mind. So currently, I'm part of a youth‑led campaign that is funded by amnesty International and B foundation and I'm about to say when it comes in the policy space, a lot of what we also are interested in is never funded, so one thing is to fund this funding number one and giving us access, but as funding that matters to us, right. So currently what Amnesty and Kenya International and Botnia Foundation are doing is created a certificate he's of digital campaigns around the world, and so currently a previous cohort in Nigeria and now one in Kenya, Philippines and sadly Ukraine and that didn't go on because of the ongoing war, right. So, what we do is look for the structures, give a budget, let them decide what they want to do. So, you literally, what we have done so far is literally do the research, do the ‑‑ it's supposed to be a campaign both on young people and children, so also children are way forgotten in this discussion and who else can represent children apart from the youth who are former children. Yeah. Or current ‑‑ or current children, yeah, we're still kids. But basically, so what they do is literally give you a budget, chosen account, different specialties, lawyers, IT guys, and you basically create your own campaign from scratch, evaluation, do the research, find out what matters to youth right now. In Kenya we found out most young people care about data and what's happening is consolidation of data and most of this data is ‑‑ it stems from uses of data and for example the country has details and months later you find text messages and things like that. Young people really care about that and now we're working on a campaign that has to do with that. Not only funding, but making sure it's independent funding, but lets young people decide what area they want to work on, what areas matter to them, and giving them the space to go ahead and do it.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, my name is Alket from the Open Institute in Kenya, and I'm having a lot of fun in this, listening to this conversation because I was in a similar conversation but with people who are from my youth like myself. And they were talking about youth participation. The observations that I have made so far is that, so policy has a structure, it has a way that it is done. There is the knowledge creation that is done around it and the understanding of what the issues are, and the implication of a policy, and then there is the formal presentation of the policy to the people with the capacity to make the change, and then now policy is made.
Young people care about some things that are really important, not just to them but even to the rest of us, they care about ‑‑ she talked about they care about data. They care about climate change, they care about jobs, they care about livelihoods. But in all of these things, the question often that occurs to me is that there is a part organization, or to the organization of people that young people are able to do that sometimes they're not doing, either because of the fact that they are waiting to be invited to some of the stables, or because they are not understanding the process that it takes. Young people are not homogenous. There are young people like yourselves that are already way ahead of the curve in terms of understanding how to converse with former youth and understanding how to discuss policy and so on, but there are also young people I saw on Tik Tok the other day being asked about the SDGs and have no idea what the SDGs are or there is such a thing as the SDGs. I think there is a spectrum.
The value that might come is from young people who are like yourselves to begin to organize, even these are the young guides, figure out what it is that they care about, and find a way to translate it because they might not translate it and former youth are not on Tik Tok or social media, so the one thing you want to do is make sure that you have organized young people, structured the conversation that they are having in policy speak. You poke a little bit about languages and policy, you know, language formulation. Translate that information into language, and then find your way because of the fact that you can show numbers, because the fact that you can show the process, the methodology that you went through in terms of collecting the knowledge and so on and so forth, and bring it out now to spaces where you have already been invite sod that then change can happen.
The biggest challenge is that a lot of youth activities that I see have been organized by us. Right. So, what happens is ‑‑
‑‑ it is that we have ‑‑ it is that former youth have come with an agenda, and they're saying also guys, I think I need to bring 15 of you, I'll fund you, I'll take you. So, at the end of it, it happens that youth conversations happen kind of like how or where this conversation is happening. The main conversation is happening upstairs in the main auditoriums. We're downstairs, all the way down in a room somewhere discussing youth affairs. This is what generally happens because of the fact that there hasn't been enough of a mobilization and organization so that the power of that voice can be properly heard.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi. Everyone. My name is Ushakar from Nigeria forum and want to touch on main point on level we have on Internet policy and issues as whole. What I will add is most of us here at this kind of orientation about the Internet and that in some way has brought us to this point where we are now. There is this group of people that are usually marginalized or ignored most of the time when we talk about things like youth participation, and that thing is the first line of easy attack or ensuring that the new generation are brought up with kind of orientation that will make them want to participate in the Internet, and those groups of people teachers, parents, guardians, it's very important that we do not overlook the fact that these three groups of people or this one group of people have a very important role to play in ensuring that the next generation can actually influence and fit if the shoes that we were not able to fill. And you agree with me that when we look at stages of former youth, youth, and the community youth, there is this gap of, I'm looking to the best way to put it, what they know, we do not know some of them, but what we know do not know some of them. It's going to be the same way with the next generation. It's very important that we look at bringing those groups of people that can instill that kind of orientation that will make you naturally click into opportunities, click into solving these problems or challenges that we're facing, and ultimately, have youth participation that will be way better than what we have now because I think we're doing on our way. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay. In order to encourage the youth participation with regard to policymaking, the first thing should be changing the scenery of formulating policy. As already has been said. Most policies in Africa are formulated behind closed doors and then shown to the community which is at the lower level. So, changing this scenario is an important point to encourage participation of youth in policymaking.
In relation to this, I want to say the other thing that is important to encourage the youth participation with regard to policymaking is encouraging them to organize. Under the organization, they should discuss ‑‑ they should not discuss most of the time politics, you know, to keep the interest of the government. That should be avoided. Politics is important ‑‑ they should take some of the time to discuss on the issues of politics with regard to their country. But most of the time, youth should discuss their own interests, especially starting from their sexual reproductive health up to their engagement in their technology. This would be very important.
With regard to this also, the parents should keep our way, their control from the generation because teenagers most of the time, they are in a position to decide their own thing, ultimately. Therefore, the parents should keep away their control from youth generation. They keep free, but their control should be regulated and should not be tightened. This is what I would like to say in order to encourage the participation of the youth in the policymaking.
>> GABRIEL KARSAN: Thank you very much. That's true. The autonomy and liberty to have them create their own right in their own setting and vision is important. Immanuel Kant once said that politics without policy is blind, and policy without politics is quite empty. These things have could be quite intertwined to create as you said the change. I commend you coming from government and actually having that frame of thought, it shows that there is a loophole where young people can actually engage and make the changes that we want.
I just want to ask each one of us here, what do you think is the most important thing in policy today, to increase more inclusion and diversity so that we really have a young generation that will take the world to the next phase where we want? If I might begin with you sir for your remarks and then we'll pass it to the room.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you very much. I have heard all the very constructive discussion about policy and policymaking and inclusion of the youngsters. That's very encouraging and motivational to hear. I think I would second my senior sitting back there. In terms of when you think about making of policy, you need to have in‑depth knowledge of the processes, of the implementations, and also the impact of that policy. It could be backwards and forwards, so you have to consider both sides.
So, I would say if we kind of really want this inclusion, let's say start to plan it, we should have mechanism where we must admit there are so many youngsters out there who have like really good knowledge of the implementation in the field in the different areas, and also in terms of they know more technologies in this era than the previous generation, so they can be really good part of that policy. But how. So, they should kind of give their recommendation, and those should be considered on a senior level, where someone is there that can put up or add up to their experience to what is being suggested, what is being put on to the table, and then that could definitely go and get an approval for a policy. That is a way of ‑‑ one way of getting it done, rather than I mean, it is easy that even forums like IGF or Asia‑Pacific IGF or EU IGF, youngsters can be recognized that who are the potential youngsters who could really become a policymaker or write the policies. And then those should be presented to a senior forum where those youngsters are also present to defend. And they should also have an understanding of what they are saying, why they are recommending it, and what this policy can add up as an impact to in the future.
So, there has to be ‑‑ I mean this mechanism can be established very easily. Obviously, when it is brought up in the discussions, then there could be a structure which could do that, be it the policy in the parliaments like for the regional approvals or country‑level approvals, or be it an international policy over the Internet, or even if you take it further, be it like a policy to call it this is a cybercrime and this is not a cybercrime. This is the, for example, in EU you must have heard of GDPR, yeah, or other data protection policies across the globe. So those policies obviously have some pros and cons with them. They have implementation implications when it comes to ‑‑ I mean you are going to implement a policy, and let me quote an example of banking. So, you are putting up a policy and you certainly cannot just announce it and the next morning it will be implemented. No. You have to change your infrastructure, accordingly. So, it doesn't just happen overnight. And this is where the youngsters need the experience of their previous generation to learn, okay, how this is going to be implemented. And if it is going to be implemented. What are the consequences? How much pressure it could put on the economy of the country, how much problems it can create? So, all of these things need a structure. I mean I really appreciate that youngsters are coming up and they are saying that we should be part of the policy. That's really nice and encouraging to hear, at least at my young age, I was even unable to think of it, to be very honest. But now if you are taking this initiative, then think of a process. How could you be part of it? And then how you could be part of ‑‑ how you could learn that with some smaller implementations, like she said that they are working on creating stakeholders on activity in Tanzania. That's a good learning curve for the youngsters to get exposure, and then learning about the problems and then thinking about the solutions, and then ending up saying that okay, we should propose this as a policy to the Government of Tanzania to the Internet Governance Forum and all of these big forums. So, this is what I wanted to add. Thanks.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I would like to add two words of how you can involve youth. It's only about just give them ‑‑ appreciate them and encourage them. That's what all I believe youth needs.
I would like to add one thing that there is a suggestion on my mind that why not in the next IGF, you or someone plan to have a session, something like an award ceremony of what are the young people who present something in this IGF that have achieved something. They should be representing it. That would encourage them and certainly encourage new young people to get involved.
>> MODERATOR: Okay.
>> CATHERINE KIMAMBO: Yes. I see most of the generation clapping hands when you say appreciate and encourage them. I feel like IGF is the place where we come to get high and then when we go back home, we get our dreams crushed. (Laughing).
I've been there and done that. I think when we're implementing the co‑connectivity project, it took us a full year of 2020 to have a contract signed, and the project implemented. A full year of lobbying the government and different stakeholders to come together and see the importance of connectivity. From my side in the experience of Tanzania, the policy discussions are never top down, like the government involving us on how to create better policies or how to have better regulations. It's never that. We have taken the initiative to at least ask us a I approaching them on how to have better policies, how to have policies that are friendly.
I think the big example has been when we had a meeting, I think, and after all the discussions, this he called us to the ministry and then we were there sitting with the ministry of education ‑‑ am I allowed to say that ‑‑ okay. We're sitting can the ministry of education, they say what do you have? We start explaining about the project, this is what we had in mind, I thought previously as you were saying, I thought as a youth, if you have good ideas, and they implement, and people will just hold your hand and say this is a very good idea, let's implement it, but that's a different process when you're engaging the government. Like they just ‑‑ they sit there in the board room looking at us, a bunch of youth sitting somewhere, asking us all of these different questions; questions of how do you think this is going to work, do you have the funding, do you have this, do you have that? After a full day of meeting, they say go ahead and implement. There is no any like this is a very good idea, let's implement it together. It has been like from top down and it was never from bottom up, but never from the top down. So, I think if we are to really have friendly policies, because at the end of the day, we have good ideas as youth which could benefit our societies, that's still my standing. But we do not have that right, I think, involvement from the government because they're the ones who make policies, yes, the right encouragement, I would say, because they're the ones who make the policies.
So, by the end of the day, we have a very good project on hand and then we have a lot of projects against us in the scope of project. First of all, ICT subjects in school are still optional, so you have all of the infrastructure in place, you have everything from the capex, donors donated devices, skills are there, the policy says ICT subjects in school are optional. You have only five students opting to take computer science. And then you're building a generation and you're saying a generation, you're bringing digital skills and digital advancement but stills against you because you cannot force us to force students into the computer labs to study computer studies, basic computer skills.
Then on the case of sustainability of the project, you have different ministries, and then for a project as ours, it cuts across three different ministries, so you have the ministry of finance, you have the ministry of ICT and ministry of education because it's ICT project. You go to the ministry of education because it cuts across education, they say oh, this is ICT project, go to the ministry of ICT. You go to the ministry of ICT and you tell them, oh, this seems like education type of project which means ministry of education. You're being bounced around between different ministries and you don't know who is accountable or at the end who to take over once the loan funding is over. You're still struggling with availability of projects. All the poll you have, the policy is still backing you up in the corner. There is still no involvement. You have good ideas as youth, but the policies are still working against us I believe in most.
>> (Speaking off mic). (Laughing).
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I just want to say something ways based on the story that you have given. I work in a sector that is difficult for governments. Governments don't like to be transparent, and that's the job that I do. I try to get governments to publish data and publish open data and tell us what they're doing with our money and so on, which is difficult. When we started the open data journey and we went to present it to government, we have the similar experiences you're having. No, I think you should go to treasury, I think this is attorney general story, I think this is parliament story, and you know you kept doing that over and over again.
And what happened was eventually we found one champion who was prepared to do something small, and we were able to get something small done and make sure that they're well‑written reports and lessons learned out of it, and moves into policy speak, so it's taking that little success, little victory, because I know even you guys have that little victory, so taking that little victory and documenting in policy speak so that then they can begin to listen to it. They will listen to something when it is framed in their language. When finally, we got a new President and got a chance to present open data to the President, we understood that the government cared more, they didn't care about transparency. I have not yet to this day, met a government that says you know what, we want to be transparent. I haven't met one. They say it in speech, but I haven't met one.
But they care about other things. They care about job creation; they care about so on. So, when we went to see the president, we said open data is useful because it will create jobs because young people will use open data to build apps like Google Maps and so on and so forth, and we showed him how Google Maps comes from Ministry of Lands information and the president listened and said yes, go ahead and do it. It's not about transparency but about creating jobs. Framing of an argument is really important. Even though this is what you're trying to do, get transparency done. If you frame as transparency, it doesn't move anywhere. If you figure out creatively a way to align whatever it is that you're trying to do with something that will make them shine, then you'll find that they come a little bit further to the table.
Second short story. 2015, the world has promulgated the Sustainable Development Goals, and one of the things that we started asking ourselves is how do you get ‑‑ how do you track the Sustainable Development Goals and how do you track that we're succeeding? And the way that you do that is if you can count, instead of being the general statistics that are being done since 1954, how do you go and count every single household? Because technology allows us to be able to do that now, and know how many households don't have water, and therefore provide water to the households that don't have water and you have achieved sustainable development goal relating to water, isn't it?
So, when we presented that to statisticians, African statisticians from across the continent, Dr. So and so on, whatever it is. They said these young people are idiots. In words, they didn't imply it, they said, you know, this is a thing that you can't come and present such things to us because we know the science of statistics and so on and so forth. When we left that room, we went to one location in the county, we went and counted every single household, we went and did the census in every single household, and then made sure that we understood what the priorities are, what the citizens were to make sure they advocates for themselves to have a hospital and then water filter in every kitchen, and once they had done that and knew that there was a watt filter in 5423 kitchens then which were able to that I can that in report form and put it in lessons learned format in policy speak and then took it back to the same guys and told them that citizen data is actually possible and here is proof. They said oh, you were lucky because you went to one village. So, we did it in ten villages and then 20 villages. Once we had to know that, because of the fact that we were presenting the success of one, the funding followed the project. We didn't have money when we started. In fact, we were having meetings with the villages, and we were waiting in the houses because of the fact that we couldn't afford beyond taking ourselves to the village, we couldn't afford more than that. But the money followed that report and people said, well that's interesting. We'll give you a little money to see whether you can do it again. So, when we did it again, and it succeeded, more money followed the project. And so now, we have been able to do citizen data across a full county, and based on that, now Kenya has a citizen‑generated data policy, but it's a long process and has to be something that you care about, do it creatively, and you decide that you're going to do it regardless of whether government supports it or not.
One of the biggest challenges that I've seen with people, especially from those of us like yourself, like myself in Civil Society, and especially those of us who are not from big organizations, is that a lot of times we wait until we have the funding to do whatever it is. We wait until we have convinced government before we move, and so on and so forth.
We realized when we still had no money, that if we do the thing that we need to do, regardless of what is there, there are now. What continued to happen is money continued to follow the idea. Money always follows good ideas.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Just want to echo some of the things that were said. I'm listening to everyone. I think if we're going to change governments and the way policy is done, there needs to be ample participation with youth. We need to have big engagement, otherwise, the strength of youth will not be as big as it could be if we actually get people involved. So, I think I'm going back to a point that was already made, but I think it's really crucial that before we think of how we're going to bring young people and teenagers and children into the spaces, we think about how we're going to actually change those spaces to accommodate for more young people, to speak to them in a way that makes sense to them, and just you know having a thought that it's almost contradictory because we want to listen to you, we want to listen to teenagers, but as long as be they behave like adults, dress up like adults, see it on the table like adults, act in a certain way, and that already alienates like 99% of youth because this is not how they speak, not how they act, not how they feel they can be a part of anything in this life. So I think, again, the first step if we're going to have actual change regarding the importance of youth in these discussions is to actually not empower youth to be in the spaces, but how are you going to empower adults to ensure they are able to communicate with youth and able to actually rethink the format of this very event, for example, to actually be more inviting and more accessible for every young people and not just those who are already, you know, already have a certain degree of knowledge about how policymaking works and how, you know, what are the issues related to privacy and to technology, et cetera, et cetera. So just to make the point.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you. Actually. A couple of my points were already made. To reiterate, it's going to be going back to the open mindedness that is very important when we're talking about policymaking. And when I say open-mindedness, I don't necessarily mean the us as young people. We also have to be open minded enough to actually wait because like our colleague here mentioned, it takes so long. For us, we have to get one document approved, and it took us three years. In those three years, the first two years was the development of it, and that one year was just it sitting on a shelf somewhere, just hanging out. So having that patience from our perspective is also something that I had to learn the hard way.
And then, of course, from our policymaker aspect, it would have been very important to have that one champion, that one person. We always have a youth champion that will be the speaker when it comes to health aspects. A youth champion that will be the great one that will talk about youth employment. We don't have the adult champion, the one that will talk about the youth issues in those spaces. That already has the voice, already has the opportunity to get our ideas passed through. We need that one champion that can open the doors for us, so that was a very important learning that I wish we could have all had.
The next point that I wanted to share was a gentleman upfront was talking about having the processes. If you want to be part of this discussion, design your own processes and be part of it. That document that I mentioned that took us three years to get launched was a youth engagement guideline for Ministry of Health, it took three years, but we had one champion that said to try it. I want to see you develop something when it comes it how young people engage and helps the administrative decision‑make progress. We did get it. You have it. It's open, it's online, anybody can reach it. If you want to take it up, if you want to ‑‑ you don't have the reinvent the wheel, try it. It's called the youth engagement guideline, on the Federal Ministry of Health website if. You want to have a look, take it up, make it something that's replicable in your own context, of course, please have a look at it. I wish even our ministry of information and technology could actually have a look at it and take it up because, you know, this is the IGF and it would be an amazing opportunity to learn from another ministry within the country.
We have the resources and it's a matter of getting that confirmation of somebody actually spending those three years that is needed to actually do it. It's a two‑way street with the open‑mindedness. The champions also we need adults and we have resources that we don't necessarily have to replicate. Thank you.
>> GABRIEL KARSAN: All the champions here who took the time to come with us and give us so much insight, I plowed for them. Please. Yeah.
And that's important what you said, it's important where young people can actually speak in a way that's actually respected in their own narrative, you know, the liberty of being yourself. That's important because when you're yourself you can solve that problem because it has a meaning to you, that's how we should start. Thank you very much for making that. Catherine, would you like to proceed with some imperfections of the matter? What do you think?
>> CATHERINE KIMAMBO: Okay. So for me, I think I love the idea of that we need to speak the language that youth speaks. I think in the global summit, we said youth, we have to know the interests of youth, Tik Tok and all of that, why are we not speaking that language. I think for me it was still for me, it was very hard at the beginning because people would want you to look a certain way, be a certain way, and we knew nothing about protocols. We just had passion about education and people would want to be about protocols and how did you approach from this and that. You know, but it was hard and also a rewarded process. The idea of a two‑way street if you're open minded. I love that. I think that's what I'll take home. Emphasizing it has to be a two‑way street and cannot only be from youth to the government. It has to also be from the government to the youth. How do they create the safe environment for us to be able to share our ideas, because we have plenty of ideas, we have ways that we can improve our communities, but how do we do that if we're not give than safe space to exercise those ideas.
But still I'm still on that access fund for youth, and I think really, we really need to sit and see how we can have a platform, and I'm really advocating for this, a platform where youth ideas can be seen, and I think the biggest challenge has been to be seen because we have youth who are averse in ideas of ideation and different projects that are out there, but how do we have all of that in one place for us to know there is a youth in Ghana who does this, youth in Tanzania who does this, and how do we at least see how we can fund some aspects of these ideas and come up with actionable items in the next IGF and not only have big talks on policy but as have something tangible to show that we did this and it has proven to be effective. Thank you.
>> GABRIEL KARSAN: Thank you, Catherine. I would just like to tell a story about education policy. Back in the days after independence in Tanzania, it became of how we tried to create a community of literate individuals, and young people were educated and everything, and in the end the policy stood for one thing because there were so many older folk who did not know how to write or read or do anything, but it was within the agencies or the roles of the young people to actually go and teach the older people basic knowledge and literacy skills, and this created the inter‑generational alliances that showed a structure could be made within the two factions creating change. That's the same thing that we see here. Inter‑generational alliances that actually has meaning, and we see how we exchange that impact and it's important. This is viewed by as I said, having a core representation where people are free with in‑depth knowledge, with equal access, and importantly, where each and everyone's voice matters in the way that they make it. That's my end reflection.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. I essentially, all has been said. Just to say that we had ‑‑ we've taken some notes and we're going to put together a sort of one‑pager that outlines what we gathered from the session. It's an ideathon, and we wanted to have the ideas from the room and then see how we can move on with it. Thank you for your participation. We're going to move on to have this written out so that we can all see what is next. We tried to answer the question, and I feel like a good place to answer it is after we've seen what we discuss, and then see this is where we're starting off and where we can go. We've had good ideas of pulling resources together, putting ideas in one bank to reflect on how to move on from our engagement as young people. So please expect to read back from us on the one pager, that is if you signed up for the session online, we should be able to contact you. Thank you so much for engaging today.
We know it's supposed to end at 5:00, but we've had a great conversation and we're going to give you back some time. Yes. You can have the conversation also continuing in other sessions. Thank you so much, and see you in other sessions tomorrow and today. We can connect afterwards. Thank you so much.