Empowering Young Minds: Insights from the EU Youth Design Jam
On 26-28 April 2023, Meta - in collaboration with Think Young - organised an EU Youth Design Jam in Brussels, where young participants from across Europe gathered to address digital safety and privacy concerns. The event offered an invaluable opportunity for youth to collaborate, learn from industry professionals, and contribute their perspectives to shaping a safer online environment. Among the passionate participants were two Better Internet for Kids (BIK) Youth Ambassadors: Adrian from Spain and Molly from Ireland, who shared their experiences and insights gained during the Youth Design Jam.
What was young people’s role at the Youth Design Jam?
Adrian embraced the role of a mentor, drawing upon his past experiences to guide and support fellow participants, while actively engaging in group discussions. Molly assumed the role of a peer mentor during the Youth Design Jam. Their primary task involved providing support and sharing her knowledge on specific topics, particularly during the ideation and prototyping sessions. Leveraging their experience with BIK and Webwise (the Irish Safer Internet Centre), Molly emphasised the importance of their work and demonstrated how it could be applicable to events like the Design Jam.
Young people’s perspectives on the event format and the opportunity to collaborate with Meta
Molly appreciated the well-structured format of the event, which fostered inclusivity and enabled every participant to voice their opinions, especially in the ideate and prototype session. Collaborating with Meta presented Molly with an invaluable opportunity to interact directly with industry professionals, enabling them to ask questions and gain insights directly from the source.
Adrian expressed his appreciation for the event format and the unique opportunity to collaborate with the company that has such an impact on the industry. The chance to engage with diverse perspectives, both from fellow young participants and industry professionals, allowed him to reflect on his own opinions and broaden his understanding of the issues at hand. While pointing out the well-planned format, Adrian highlighted the need for additional time, particularly on the second day, to dive deeper into discussions and avoid any time constraints that might have affected the final outcomes.
Main takeaways from the event
For Adrian, the Youth Design Jam served as a powerful reminder of the importance of youth involvement in decision-making processes, making sure that companies and governments are listening to youth, not only because the voices of the young deserve to be heard, but also because - with their help - they will be able to make a better future for everyone. Adrian encourages young people to defend their rights more than anyone else, starting with sharing their ideas and opinions with those who can change things. The Youth Design Jam provided Molly with a profound educational experience, immersing them in topics they had never explored before through interactions with industry leaders like Meta. Molly valued the opportunity to gain insights on Meta mapping out new ways to get people to effectively learn how to protect themselves online and feel more confident online.
Learn more about youth participation and BIK Youth more generally at www.bikyouth.eu.
- Type: youth
- Author:BIK Team