Symposium 'CONNECTING THE DOTS: Young People, Technological ...

Feb 12, 2018 - conditions and environments, the digital divide, security and data protection, ... and the Council of Europe have agreed to include in the 2018.
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Symposium 'CONNECTING THE DOTS: Young People, Technological Developments and Combating Inequalities’ Tallinn, 26-28 June 2018



Background Technological developments and digitalisation affect in many different ways the lives of young people today, whether they are or aren’t digitally active. In many fields, technological developments and digitalisation have brought many advantages, for example in relation to communication, access to information, education, leisure and fun, activism, economic development, time management and working, etc. At the same time, technological developments and digitalisation came also with risks, related to working conditions and environments, the digital divide, security and data protection, health and well-being, media literacy and so on. The European Commission and the Council of Europe have agreed to include in the 2018 work plan of their partnership in the youth field a Symposium on young people and technological developments, connecting the dots. Both the European Commission and the Council of Europe have developed, in recent years, programmes and initiatives that testify of their growing interest in relation to how technology affects young people and how the youth sector can play a role in relation to the opportunities and risks that technological developments present. In the EU-CoE youth partnership’s work, questions related to digitalisation were at the core of the Symposium ‘youth participation in a digitalized world’, which focused on four aspects related to digitalisation and participation: communication, education, economic sphere and working life, and democracy and political participation. Furthermore, in 2016 the EU-CoE youth partnership’s Symposium ‘(Un)Equal Europe? Responses from the youth sector’ explored questions of inequalities in young people’s lives. Finally, during the Symposium of 2017, which focused on youth policy responses to the challenges faced by young people, participants brought up the question of technology as a key domain which deserves more attention also from the youth field. In 2017, the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU explored “smart youth work” as ways through which youth and youth workers are able, based on existing experiences and seeking new connections and new means, to create innovative solutions (including digital solutions) to coping with both current problems and new challenges. Such reflections constituted the basis of the Council Conclusions on ‘Smart Youth Work’, adopted on 20 November 2018. On the basis of these institutional developments, the 2018 Symposium of the EU-CoE youth partnership will focus on how digitalisation and technological developments affect young people’s lives, especially those at risk of marginalisation and of social exclusion, and what the role of youth policy and youth work is in this respect. The Symposium will take stock of the outcomes of the Estonian Presidency’s work on smart youth work and will consider the Study of the European Commission on ‘Impact of internet and social media on youth participation and youth work’, and the publication on youth participation in internet governance, resulting from the seminar on the same topic held by the Council of Europe Youth Department Education and Training Division in 2017. 2

Symposium ‘Connecting the Dots’ The Symposium will create a space to learn more about the role of technological developments and digitalisation in young people’s lives, especially in relation to the advantages and risks it poses to social inclusion of young people. As technology affects many different sectors, the Symposium will not only bring together actors from the youth field, but also from other sectors, to learn from their work and build synergies. For example, the event will involve stakeholders active in the digital governance field (EuroDIG, No Hate Speech Campaign, DigiComp and EntreComp frameworks). Firstly, the Symposium will be articulated around aspects from young people’s lives that technological developments and digitalisation impact, such as 

ACCESS AND DIGITALISATION: access to information, participation, leisure, education and work; reaching out to and working with young people who are socially excluded; possibilities for specific groups to advocate for their rights; EQUALITY AND DIGITALISATION: the digital divide; digitalisation and identity formation, gender equality; discrimination and exclusion in the digital space, hate speech; fake news; platforms providing space to fight against inequality; WELLBEING AND DIGITALISATION: pressure to be connected, private life, data protection and safety; cyber-bullying and harassment; health and addictions.

Secondly, the Symposium will also explore some possible ways ahead for the youth sector, looking in particular at 

YOUTH WORK: smart youth work (including digital youth work), competences needed from practitioners; the role of youth work in developing young people’s media literacy; using digitalisation for youth empowerment; YOUTH POLICY: the role of youth policy in taking up the theme of digitalisation as part of different programmes aimed at curbing inequality, using new channels to reach out and involve young people (for example, through gaming or apps), acting as a regulator or as a support; and the role of digitalisation in shaping youth policy in all its phases; YOUTH RESEARCH: the role of youth research, identifying further areas of research and the use of data-driven developments for research.

The Symposium will contribute to the reflection on the new EU Youth Strategy and the future EU Youth Programme. It may inspire the future Youth Agenda of the Council of Europe, inform the way ahead to the next European Youth Work Convention and assist the implementation of the relevant Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to Member States: on youth work, access to rights and young people’s from disadvantaged neighbourhood access to rights, as well as the Resolution 3

on the EU’s Work Plan for cooperation in the youth field 2016-2018. It will consider the EU DigiComp skills framework and the Competences for Democratic Culture and Intercultural learning of the Council of Europe, alongside its Internet governance strategy and the follow-up to the No Hate Speech movement campaign. Last but not least, it will be one of the outcomes of the conclusions on ‘Smart Youth Work’ adopted by the Council of the EU during the past Estonian Presidency. The Symposium will also mark the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the EU-CoE youth partnership, and it will be organised in cooperation with the Youth Affairs Department of the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia. Target group The Symposium will gather 100-120 youth policy makers, researchers, practitioners from youth NGOs and youth work from across the signatory states of the European Cultural Convention, as well as actors of the technological field, that, through their work, combat inequalities. Special attention will be paid to ensuring an adequate representation of the Eastern Partnership countries. There will be possibilities of contributing through online tools for those who won’t be able to attend the event in person. Expected outcomes The Symposium is intended as a mutually beneficial learning and updating opportunity for those involved. Through this Symposium, ideas about the role of youth work and youth policy in relation to digitalisation will be explored and different approaches to digitalisation shared. More knowledge on the Symposium themes will be developed and disseminated. Synergies with other sectors will be developed, especially the sectors related to technology. Date and place The Symposium will take place on 26-28 June 2018, in Tallinn, Estonia. Call for two facilitators The EU-CoE youth partnership is looking for two facilitators for this event. Profile of the facilitators: • Experienced in facilitating and moderating conferences, seminars, Symposia or similar events; • Knowledge of and experience in working with young people using digital tools, digitalisation of youth work, and inequalities would be an asset; • Competent in using innovative online tools for preparing and running conference and events; • Able to develop the methodology of the event and to ensure a dynamic and participatory process (based on the programme elements); 4

• Used to cooperating with stakeholders from different professional, political and cultural backgrounds; • Very good command of the English language. Tasks envisaged • Contribute to the design and preparations of the programme; • Prepare and facilitate the different sessions of the Symposium; • Cooperate with the rapporteur on providing material for the report. Applications should include a CV and a short motivation letter of maximum one page, including information on the experiences and knowledge in the youth field. Facilitators must be present on the 1.5-day preparatory meeting on 20-21 February 2018 in Brussels, and for 2 days on 5-6 April 2018 in Tartu (Estonia), as well as participate in the Symposium, arriving to the venue on 25 June in the morning and departing on 28 June after the end of the event. Fees The foreseen fee for each facilitator is 2100 EUR. Accommodation, travel and board for the facilitators to enable them to participate in the preparatory meetings as well as in the Symposium will be covered by the EU-CoE youth partnership. Applications Interested experts are invited to send their applications by 12 February 2018 at 9:00 CET. Applications should be sent by email to the address: [email protected] Applications from pairs are also welcome. Successful applicants will be informed by 14 February 2018, end of business day. For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the secretariat at the above e-mail address.