For several years, multiple stakeholders in Europe and beyond have been discussing and subsequently shaping policy with regards to Internet Governance and New Media Technologies and Services, looking for ways to meet the challenges posed by ever evolving New Media. Governments, private sector and industry actors, scholars and civil society representatives are all providing their unique and sometimes conflicting perspectives on these key issues. In recent years, other stakeholders have started to recognize the importance of youth opinion on these matters and have included young people in their discussions, with youth delegations taking part in the European Dialogue on Internet Governance EuroDIG and the Internet Governance Forum IGF.
The New Media Summer School 2011 gathered 30 young European experts on new media prior to the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) in Belgrade to develop inspiring ideas on future Internet policies and shape the discussions at the major EuroDIG event, hosted by the Council of Europe and the Serbian government in cooperation with companies such as Microsoft and Google, and representatives from civil society and academia. The issues elaborated at the New Media Summer School followed two main thematic strands, both emphasising the core approaches of empowerment, education and inclusion:
I. Democracy, participation and human rights
1. Data retention and preservation: Finding a balance between cybercrime, cybersecurity, and cyberfreedom.
2. The Great Firewall: How feasible are protected, encapsulated spaces of higher morale on the Internet?
3. Open data: The best, the only or a stupid response to Wikileaks?
4. e-participation: Hope or dilemma for our withering democracies?
II. Tomorrow’s Internet: Web 3.0
1. A two-class infrastructure: A better Internet for those who can pay?
2. Digital identities and online privacy: When will the internet learn to forget?
3. Digital literacy: Education of digital natives and digital migrants.
4. What is the next web: Semantic and social, or entrepreneurial and commercial?
Lee Hibbard, Coordinator on Internet Governance, Council of Europe, Strasbourg
Ludo Keizer, Blogger and trainer, Amsterdam
Peter Matjasic, President of the European Youth Forum, Brussels
Marco Pancini, Policy Team of Google, Brussels
Vladimir Radunovic, Coordinator of the Internet Governance Programme, DIPLO Foundation, Belgrade
Dr. Matthias Traimer, Austrian Federal Chancellery, Head of the Media and Information Society Department, Vienna
Aims and objectives of the New Media Summer School 2011:
The New Media Summer School 2011 aimed to take stock of the status quo of internet governance policies and to identify the needs of, for and by young people for future policy action related to new media developments with a focus on participation, education and human rights. To fulfil its aim, the event had the following objectives:
- To bring together young people to exchange experiences, perspectives and needs related to new media
- To weave a multicultural European network of youth with an understanding of new media issues
- To empower young people to actively contribute to new media policy discourses, debates and decisions
- To explore various ways of youth participation in the online world and how to use them effectively
- To identify the specific needs and channels for education through online media for young people
- To discuss the importance of human rights in relation to new media for young people