IGF 2023 Town Hall #150 Criss-cross of digital margins for effective inclusion

Wednesday, 11th October, 2023 (07:30 UTC) - Wednesday, 11th October, 2023 (08:30 UTC)
WS 7 – Room K

Affordable Access
Digital, Media, and Information Literacy
Gender Digital Divide
Skills Building for Basic and Advanced Technologies (Meaningful Access)

Round Table - 60 Min


Youth from marginalized communities face economic and social barriers to accessing the Internet, which hinder their participation in global Internet governance. While 2.7 billion people are still offline, 5.3 billion people, or 66 percent of the world's population, are online as the world welcomes its eighth billionth inhabitant. In this context, understanding the barriers to intersectional inclusion and access is critical to creating effective solutions. This session will explore the challenges of intersectional inclusion in Internet access and participation in Internet governance. It will provide a space to discuss these challenges and propose solutions to foster intersectional inclusion in Internet access and participation in Internet governance. Participants will be able to share their experience, knowledge, and expertise on how to overcome barriers to intersectional inclusion and discuss ways to support youth from marginalized communities to participate meaningfully in global Internet governance. In our session, we want to create a space that can equally provide useful insights and networking for the participants and harness the collective power of experience and creativity to translate the shared knowledge to digital activists beyond the event. To enable participants from diverse backgrounds to exchange ideas in a lively manner and collaborate on session outputs, we seek to use a number of methods and activities. We envision a session design to consist of -A dynamic icebreaker (participants are invited to move around the room and introduce themselves to others by sharing a little bit of bio and answering hypothetical questions, e.g., “If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose to have in order to solve accessibility issue in your community?”); -A brainwriting activity (participants will be able to roam around thematic issue spaces and note their ideas, including questions, recommendations, and action steps); Insight discussion with session speakers on the shared ideas and reflections from the on-the-ground work; -Small group brainstorming on co-creating the session outputs and their format. Each group will be encouraged to have participants from different stakeholder groups; -Debriefing with session takeaways and next steps on co-creating session materials. We also aim to collect all the written session inputs and, with the help of an illustrator, turn them into a series of visual notes that can be shared online in the aftermath of the event.

Interactions from onsite and online speakers will be facilitated by the onsite and online moderators respectively. Equal speaking opportunities will be made available to both online and onsite attendees. The onsite moderator will periodically check in with the online moderator to address any interactions raised by the online participants. Online participants are encouraged to contribute to the discussions using the online chat as well. We use share a QR code which attendees may use to access a soft copy of the Digital Grassroots Annual Report https://digitalgrassroots.org/blog/celebrating-another-year-of-growth-a…


Digital Grassroots
Uffa Modey, Digital Grassroots, Technical Community, Africa Esther Mwema, Digital Grassroots, Civil Society, Africa Hanna Pishchyk, Digital Grassroots, Civil Society, Europe Rachad Sanoussi, Digital Grassroots, Technical Community, Africa


Pavel Farhan, Internet Education and Research Laboratory, Academia, Asia Tatiana Houndjo, Internet Society Benin, Civil Society, Africa Mohammad Atif Aleem, Tata Consultancy Services, Private Sector, Asia and Europe Jaewon Son, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Technical Community, Asia and Europe

Onsite Moderator

Esther Mwema, Digital Grassroots, Civil Society, Africa

Online Moderator

Hanna Pishchyk, Digital Grassroots, Civil Society, Europe


Bendjedid Rachad Sanoussi, Digital Grassroots, Technical Community, Africa



Targets: Digital Grassroots works with young people between 16 and 29 years old to provide quality digital rights eduction to support their digital inclusion. We focus on marginalized youth who do not have clear pathways to engage in internet governance, so our communities are the ones underrepresented in the digital ecosystem at different levels. We make our program accessible to persons from all walks of life - our program participants have ranged from a nursing mother, a political activist being persecuted by their government, a full-time student wanting to switch to a career in tech, and a gender diverse person who needs a safe space to express themselves. All real examples. Our community is a safe space, and we ensure to remove barriers to entry for those who do not think they can participate as shapers in the digital ecosystem. Anyone can be an equal contributor, whether as a newcomer, a seasoned veteran or somewhere in-between - this is what makes it an inclusive and intersectional grassroots movement. The soul of Digital Grassroots is to create systemic change by building our own systems and equipping the most marginalized with the tools to shape this open, equal, and safe digital future.