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Wednesday, December 20 • 10:10 - 11:40
Equipping populations with the skills to shape and secure their digital future (WS141)

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Proposer's Name: Ms. Sophie Tomlinson
Proposer's Organization: ICC BASIS
Co-Proposer's Name: Ms. Timea Suto
Co-Proposer's Organization: ICC BASIS
Mr Virat Bhatia, Private Sector, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry
Ms Cristina Cárdenas, Government, Government of Mexico
Mr Lorenzo Pupillo, Civil Society, Centre for European Policy Studies
Ms Sophie Tomlinson, Private Sector, ICC BASIS

Session Format: Break-out Group Discussions - 90 Min

Country: France
Stakeholder Group: Private Sector

Country: France
Stakeholder Group: Private Sector

Speaker: Kenta Mochizuki
Speaker: Virat Bhatia
Speaker: Jianne Soriano
Speaker: Lorenzo Pupillo
Speaker: Samar Baba
Speaker: Udoh Moni
Speaker: Cristina Cardenas
Speaker: Jon Chippindall, Barefoot Computing Project
Speaker: Edward Choi, Netmission Ambassador

Content of the Session:
Internet Governance issue:
Information communication technology (ICT) is recognised as an important tool to facilitate many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, yet there is also recognition that populations must be equipped with the necessary skills (literacy, technical, soft) to meaningfully use and reap the benefits of ICT. As ICT becomes an innate aspect of daily life for many, cyber awareness and online safety are also becoming increasingly important.

In developed countries greater use of digital technologies increases demand for new skills and fuels new and traditional occupations’ growing reliance on ICT skills. At the same time, the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills suggests that more than 50% of the adult population in 28 OECD countries can only carry out the simplest set of computer tasks, such as writing an email and browsing the web, or have no ICT skills at all. In developing countries, digital technology is creating new learning opportunities for local communities by providing access to education and enhancing basic literacy skills. However, a report from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics has found that, despite the development of ICT in education policies, the integration of technology in classrooms across sub-Saharan Africa remains insufficient to meet the needs of the 21st century labour market. This workshop aims to address these paradoxes which are leading to an increasing global interest in encouraging digital literacy to help manage impacts of digital dislocation.

The purpose of this workshop is to take stock of the activities different stakeholders in developed and developing countries are pursuing to empower populations with the skills needed for success in the digital economy. By surveying the global trends which are impacting and amplifying the growing need for a broader digital literacy culture, participants will analyse where opportunities lie and gaps persist to help overcome challenges.

Session format:
Through break-out group discussion, by answering the question: How can we equip populations with the skills needed to shape and secure their digital future?, participants from business, civil society, technical community, government, youth groups and education will evaluate how initiatives by different stakeholders can support the development of skills and promote a culture of tech literacy and cyber awareness so citizens of both developed and developing countries can meaningfully participate in the digital economy, reap the sustainable benefits of ICT and shape their digital future.

• The workshop will open with an ice-breaker which will involve all participants (10 minutes). This will entail polling participants on short questions related to the barriers/stereotypes social groups face in equipping themselves with the skills to use and apply ICT. The game aims to create an inclusive engaging environment and raise some of the key issues for discussion.
• Following the interactive ice-breaker, participants will hear insights from a diverse range of experts from civil society, education, business, government, including youth speakers from developed and developing countries on their experience managing or participating in initiatives that promote digital literacy and or use of ICT in education (20 minutes).
• The third part of the workshop will involve break-out group discussion and participants will form several groups (amount dependent on participation numbers). Diverse experts will be assigned to each break-out group and an activity sheet will be prepared in advance with questions for the groups to discuss. The questions will be related to the overarching workshop question and how stakeholders can work together to equip populations with the skills needed to shape and secure their digital future (30 minutes).
• Following the break-out group discussion the groups will report back on discussion and the workshop will conclude with interaction between all participants to define key takeaways (30 minutes).

Relevance of the Session:
The workshop will explore the challenges and opportunities developing and developed countries face when seeking to empower their populations with the necessary skills to reap the benefits of ICT and excel in the digital economy. The workshop relates directly to the main theme of IGF 2017 as it will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss how proactive efforts can equip populations with the skills required to shape and secure their digital future. The workshop will hear from youth speakers and present examples and lessons learnt from initiatives around the world that are driving education, supporting digital skilling and promoting online safety/security awareness to help young people and underrepresented groups succeed in a digitalized environment. 

Tag 1: Digital Literacy
Tag 2: Digital Future
Tag 3: Digital Work

Kenta Mochizuki of Yahoo Japan will share private sector perspectives on steps business can take to encourage digital skilling. Mr Mochizuki has experience working with youth participants in Internet governance and other spheres to bring to the discussion.

Virat Bhatia, Chair of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry digital economy committee, will share updates on efforts in India to drive digital literacy and share his experience in the private sector of opportunities and challenges faced.

Edward Choi  is a Youth representative from NetMission.Asia based in Hong Kong and will share unique perspectives on how young people are equipping themselves with skills for their digital futures.

Lorenzo Pupillo of the Centre for European Policy Studies with share perspectives on activities undertaken by civil society and the opportunities and challenges the Centre for European Policy Studies have noted when providing education initiatives on security and cyber awareness skills.

Samar Baba is the president of the Tunisian section of the Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT). The Tunisian programme seeks to leverage technology for sustainable development in underserved communities. Ms Baba will share her experience managing projects that support use of ICT in schools in Tunisia.

Moni Udoh of the Government of Nigeria will share her experience of the opportunities and challenges faced during the implementation of programmes in schools and use of ICT to facilitate education in Nigeria.

Cristina Cárdenas of the Government of Mexico will share Mexico’s experiences in encouraging the population to be computer literate and prepare citizens across age groups on the skills and knowledge needed to participate in the digital economy.

Jon Chippindall, Barefoot Computing Project,  is one of the Barefoot Computing Teaching and Learning Resource Developers currently on secondment to the project. Prior to this he was a Year 5 teacher and the Computing Leader at Crumpsall Lane Primary School in North Manchester. Jon is a CAS Master Teacher working to support other teachers across the region in developing and delivering their computing curriculum and works with trainee teachers at The University of Manchester.

This workshop aims to gather a variety of perspectives to address the question: How can we equip populations with the skills needed to shape and secure their digital future? Each stakeholder group will be represented and speakers will represent different geographies (including developing countries), cultures and policy perspectives.

Organizers will also make an effort to secure participants from youth and the education sector who may not be involved in Internet governance activities but to whom this topic relates. This will ensure introduction of new perspectives which have not been heard previously at IGF.
For example, ICC BASIS is working to identify a speaker from the BT Barefoot programme which is a programme set up by British Telecom (BT) and the British government to provide training for primary school teachers on computer classes for children. The barefoot teacher will provide unique and important insights into the experience of an education practitioner working in computer science and directly with children to build their digital skills. ICC BASIS is also in the process of identifying a speaker from a user company to


Session Organizers
avatar for Sophie Tomlinson

Sophie Tomlinson

Assistant Policy Manager, ICC BASIS
Sophie Tomlinson is the Assistant Policy Manager for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Commission on the Digital Economy and Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) initiative. In that capacity, she manages ICC's policy development from the global business... Read More →

Wednesday December 20, 2017 10:10 - 11:40 CET
Room XXII - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)