World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2022 starts today

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum, a global United Nations (UN) multi-stakeholder forum facilitating the implementation of Action Lines for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will run from 15 March until 3 June 2022. 

Date 2022-03-15 Author BIK Team Section awareness, news, youth Topic media literacy/education Audience media specialist, organisations and industry, research, policy and decision makers
Logo of the 2022 World Summit on the Information Society

The event kicks off on Tuesday 15 March, with an inauguration ceremony, including opening remarks by the co-organisers of the WSIS Forum and a panel discussion with high-level partners. The forum will once again have a virtual format, with the final week (30 May – 3 June 2022) taking place physically at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) headquarters in Geneva. 

The forum represents the world's largest annual gathering of the community working for ICT for development and is co-organised by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, in close collaboration with all WSIS Action Line facilitators and co-facilitators. According to the organisers, this edition of the forum will provide structured opportunities to network, learn, and participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations. 

This year, the theme of the forum is ICTs for well-being, inclusion and resilience: WSIS cooperation for accelerating progress on the SDGs. Among other topics, the forum will also include a special focus on youth, on how to include youth perspectives and engage young people in discussions where they can offer their insights and understanding of the information society, its challenges, and opportunities, and where they can raise questions but also propose solutions. 

This is at the core of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) project as a whole, and it is especially relevant this year as 2022 has been declared the European Year of Youth by the European Commission. Youth participation is actively encouraged within the BIK agenda, with opportunities and spaces provided for young people to express their views and exchange knowledge and experiences concerning their use of online technologies, as well as tips on how to stay safe. Some recent specific actions include: 

  • The BIK Youth minisite explores how youth are getting involved in the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) agenda, in Europe and beyond, in designing a better internet experience for all. 
  • A series of videos were published on Safer Internet Day 2022 featuring BIK Youth Ambassadors and youth panellists from different countries in Europe exchanging views on their priorities online, the importance of digital skills, and their perspective on how to ensure better online experiences in the future.  
  • A Safer Internet Day Summit was organised and held by Twitter on 10 February 2022, discussing how to stay safe on the social media platform, and wanting to hear more about the participants’ online safety concerns. For the occasion, 24 BIK Youth ambassadors from all over Europe participated in the event. 
  • In summer 2021, the #DigitalDecade4YOUth consultation work collected views from young people themselves on what could be done to ensure that the digital world is fit for the future, and how to ensure that we promote, protect, respect and fulfil the rights of all children and young people when they go online. The consultation report is available on the BIK portal. 
  • The 2021 edition of the Safer Internet Forum (SIF), which took place online on 6-7 October, highlighted the priorities that different groups, including parents, carers and teachers, have identified to fulfil children’s rights in a digital world, while allowing them to engage, create and contribute within safe, ethical and inclusive online spaces. It also featured a special pre-event on 5 October with BIK Youth Panel 2021 participants discussing their views on the digital environment and presenting the results of the #DigitalDecade4YOUth consultation. SIF recordings are available. 

To learn more about the WSIS Forum, check out the website of the WSIS Forum 2022.

Find more information about youth involvement in the BIK agenda on the portal.  

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