Youth Panel Mitglieder Luca und Lennart beim EuroDIG im Auswärtigen Amt in Berlin

Bericht des Youth Panels: My day as a speaker at the EuroDIG in Berlin

Taking the voice of youth into account in internet governance issues is extremely important. Here, we hear from Lennart, a German youth panellist, about his opportunity to take part in the recent EuroDIG (European Dialogue on Internet Governance) conference in Berlin, Germany:

“I am Lennart and I had the great possibility to participate in the EuroDIG conference in Berlin in June 2014, together with my fellow Youth Panel colleague Luca. It was a valuable experience for us and I want to say thank you again to klicksafe (the German Safer Internet Centre) for giving us this chance.
“Our trip started on Thursday, 12 June 2014, when we travelled to Berlin by train. Our hotel near Alexanderplatz was very nice, and we got the feeling of being somebody important. In the evening we went to the city and started to discuss the messages and arguments we wanted to convey at the conference.
“On the morning of the EuroDIG there was a tension inside of us but, after having breakfast and talking with our YP coordinator, we started practicing the interview situation we would have later during the conference. That was a good idea and we both felt better prepared. After this we travelled to the Federal Foreign Office and went through security controls and enjoyed the special atmosphere in this important and impressive building. We walked around and met many interesting people. We realised the situation in general that everybody, including ourselves, had the objective to make children’s and youth’s use of internet services more secure and safer. We talked to many people from different countries, institutes and companies, and we were surprised how effective and friendly these different actors were in interacting with each other.
“At 11:30am our workshop, titled ‘Intelligent risk management for children and youths in the digital age’, started. We were a small group of about 30 people and we started listening to a few speakers who talked about the situation on this issue from different positions. Luca and I both felt at home because we were able to identify with the opinions most of the participants had. We all agreed that the use of the internet is important especially for the younger generations, but there should be possibilities for parents and other older people to react to dangers and problems coming with the increasing use of the internet by these generations. We both tried to include our positions in the discussion on how the developments of internet safety for younger people should be further continued. It worked very well and, after the general discussion, we started to talk in small groups about different sub-topics within the general theme. We talked about how far parents should control their children’s activities on the internet, and we all agreed that there must be a framework for children, but there also needs to be a fixed part of freedom which increases with them growing up.
“After this very interesting workshop which took about two hours, we went to lunch where we talked about the possibilities of companies helping to secure children on the internet, and we created the idea of a ‘time viewer’ that shows the user how long he has already used the electronic device. This is an idea we definitely want to concrete for the future. In the afternoon, we travelled back home to Ludwigshafen.
“We both enjoyed our trip and agreed that this conference is positive for the future development of our youth. I again want to say thank you to all the actors there and I hope I was able to let you think about this issue a bit - maybe you can also visit the EuroDIG the next time.”