The digital transformation, particularly, in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light an increased interest in and awareness of the potential of enhanced youth sector participation in inclusive, robust, transparent and sustainable digital transformation and digital governance.
On the one hand, effective digital cooperation requires multistakeholderism. On the other hand, digital governance calls for broader and more meaningful digital youth participation in governance processes, by empowering young people and enriching frameworks for representative democracy, thus making digital governance more democratic, effective and fair.
With this in mind, the youth sector as a stakeholder has a key role to play in ensuring that the sector’s needs are reflected in all topics concerning the digital transformation of areas that directly impact the youth, such as
- Civic Tech
- Digital Governance
- Digital Inclusion
- Policy Development
- Participatory Digital Transformation
- Societal Change & Automation
In this way, the youth sector can create opportunities for the development of innovative and value-based perspectives on digital transformation, and become a co-creator of a robust, inclusive and sustainable digital future.
Can the youth meaningfully participate in a multistakeholder digital governance ecosystem?
Essentially, youth sector engagement fosters a sense of citizenship and makes policy processes more transparent and accountable towards young people. With this in mind, youth work plays a key role in contributing to active citizenship and youth participation by providing opportunities to acquire the values, attitudes, skills, knowledge and critical understanding required for meaningful participation in democratic processes.
Catch the momentum to become a distinct and rightful stakeholder!
Disregarding, as well as excluding the youth sector from the emerging digital governance debate translates as a denial of the right to participation, which in turn impedes a whole sector from co-shaping the discourse about digital human transformation.
Therefore, now is the time to safeguard and promote quality and meaningful youth participation in all digital governance processes, recognise and position young people as rightful
stakeholders that stand on the same level as other
stakeholder groups representatives.
To this aim, we need to
- ensure access and include youth in digital governance processes at all levels;
- support the establishment of new forms of youth participation;
- propose evidence-based policies that consider young people as a specific category;
- include specifically the youth sector in public consultations on digital transformation design, deployment and regulation.