Microsoft established last year the "Council for Digital Good Europe", which consists of 15 young people from ten different European countries, who were chosen after applying. At first, as we've been informed, the members knew very little to nothing about the topic, but after a series of sessions with various specialists from around Europe, they talked about and learned a lot about digital safety issues. They brought their newfound knowledge back to their home countries, where they met with schools and communities to discuss these crucial issues and teach them how important it is to stay safe online.
After a small introduction and some remarks regarding BIK Youth, we were questioned about the Safer Internet Forum (SIF) 2022, more specifically why it is essential, how we were involved, and the main learnings for young people. We explained the roles and the work of the BIK Youth Panel and the SIF Youth Advisory Group during this year’s edition of SIF. Afterwards, we were asked to share any advice and future guidance we might have for the CDG-E members as youth ambassadors for digital safety. Briefly, we mentioned that they shouldn’t be afraid to express their opinions, ideas and thoughts. Furthermore, we think great chemistry and cooperation are essential for working as a team and having meaningful interactions.
We took away from this session significant ideas and principles regarding the subjects we covered. Through this meeting, we were even more conscious of the need for young people to voice their opinions about what they believe should be changed or added to make the internet a safer place for them. We strongly believe that initiatives like Microsoft's CDG-E and BIK Youth can significantly contribute to the development of a safer digital future and give young people a powerful voice.
Overall, the discussion with the Council was eye-opening and intriguing since it allowed us to understand different organisations' perspectives and priorities on online safety. We are glad that we were able to come together with another group of young people and express our thoughts, and ideas as well as about BIK Youth, as representatives of it.
Find out more about the work of BIK Youth more generally at www.bikyouth.eu.
About the authors:
My name is Dimitris and I’m 16 years old. Starting in 2017, I began to get involved in activities regarding internet safety through my school’s participation in programs of the Cypriot Safer Internet Centre. The following school year (2018-2019), I was invited to participate in the Cyprus Cyber Safety Youth Panel, of which I've been a member and have been involved in many activities since then. Finally, I was a participant in the BIK Youth Panel and Safer Internet Forum 2021, representing my country, and I’m currently a BIK Youth Ambassador.
I am Yevgeny and I am 16 years old. I will be starting my post-secondary education in the autumn. I am really into history and politics and I am fond of the french language. I started my involvement in BIK in 2020 after I represented the Maltese Youth in the BIK Youth Panel. Following that, I was made a BIK Youth Ambassador and have been involved in advisory groups, workshops and other meetings, the most recent being in an advisory group to create the agenda for this year’s (2022) Safer Internet Forum. I love travelling and getting to know people, their cultures and lifestyles.