About

How does Better Internet for Kids work for youth?

Under the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) umbrella, many smaller projects, campaigns and initiatives were created, all believing in a better internet for children and young people. Aiming to give youth a one-stop-shop to share their views on how to build a better internet, the BIK Youth minisite was launched! 
 
The main objective? To raise awareness about the importance of involving youth participants in safer/better internet discussions. This BIK Youth minisite provides a space to present ideas, views and experiences from youth, while also reporting on national, European and international youth participation models, practices and success stories. 
 
How did we get here? Each year, a BIK Youth Panel is organised prior and during the Safer Internet Forum (SIF), encouraging a group of youth panellists and ambassadors to voice not just their personal opinions and challenges, but also those of their peers whom they are representing at a European level. Youth panellists work together to come up with principles and activities for a better internet, first debating issues in online meetings and brainstorming over youth participation activities as preparation for meeting face to face.
 

Who plays what part in Youth participation activities?

A co-creation process with young people is behind this project, where ultimately young people develop youth participation activities for online safety guidance, learning, campaigning and/or decision making. Following the launch of this minisite in November 2017, BIK Youth Panellists and Ambassadors continue to be actively involved in creating a number of youth participation activities and implementation models. Check them out in the Participation section of this website! 
 
Who are they addressing? Youth! The outcomes of this work will also provide a structured overview of how BIK Youth Panellists – together with other stakeholders – co-create and implement youth-focussed activities to cover the key principles essential to creating a better internet.
 

Youth and BIK stakeholders

BIK Youth Panellists and Ambassadors aim to voice their opinions to a range of Better Internet for Kids stakeholders while reflecting on, and providing specific guidance for, public sector and industry commitments.  
 
Examples? The Alliance to better protect minors online is a self-regulatory initiative aiming to improve the online environment for children and young people. The Alliance launched its Statement of Purpose during Safer Internet Day 2017, which introduced nine actions under three main strands: User-empowerment, Enhance collaboration, and Awareness raising.
 
All companies taking part in the Alliance have also submitted individual commitments according to their business activity. BIK Youth Panellists had the chance to interact with the Alliance during both Safer Internet Day 2017 and Safer Internet Forum 2017, bringing their input and addressing real challenges on online safety.
 

Meet the Ambassadors

Below you can find out more about this year's Youth Panellists. To meet all our previous and current Youth Ambassadors, visit the Ambassadors page.

 

Andreas (Cyprus)

Hello, my name is Andreas. I live in Cyprus and I am 17 years old. I go to the third class of high school and my interests are politics, theater. I was the president of my town's children parliament. I first became interested in online safety five years ago, when I joined the national Cybersafety Youth Panel. From there, I was inspired to continue helping others with the problems they face online. That is why last summer, with the youth panel, I went to summer camps to inform the children on how they can be safe online. Now, I give presentations and workshops about online violence, cyberbullying, sexting, and more. I was involved in the BIK Youth Panel after a discussion I had with my supervisor and after showing enthusiasm for a project which, in my opinion, has so many benefits to offer to young people.

 

Matěj (Czech Republic)

Hi! I'm Matěj from Czechia, a 16-year-old grammar school student. I invest my free time in electronics, programming, and drawing from which I've partially moved on to graphics. I started working with my national Safer Internet Centre this year. I've joined their youth panel and a conference about internet safety. After that, I was chosen to participate in the BIK Youth Panel 2019. Because I've been using computers from what I would call a really young age, I have a lot of different experiences related to using information technology. I believe that the internet is an awesome invention and I would love to contribute to helping people use it in the safest way possible.

 

Frida (Finland)

I'm Frida and I'm from Finland. Studying and doing volunteer work for Finnish Mannerheim League for Child Welfare is taking most of my time, but I also work on my hobbies like drawing, music, swimming, downhill skiing, et cetera et cetera. I'm interested in online safety because it's an area that can be improved, and because the online world is so omnipresent in so many people's daily lives. That's why it's important to have the possibility for everyone to be safe both off and online, and us young people are needed to help in creating that safer online world. I participated in the BIK Youth Panel because it's a great possibility to work and effect change, a way to make the voice of the youth heard. I originally participated in the BIK Youth Panel 2018, and the organisation I volunteer for offered me the possibility to participate again.

 

Yvette (Finland)

Hi I'm Yvette and I am 15 years old. I'm from Finland. I love playing violin and doing volunteer work. My volunteer work organisations are Plan International and Mannerheim League for Child Welfare. I think that the internet is an amazing place where you can communicate and make new friends. But it's also important to know how to behave and why you should be careful online. I'm so grateful to Mannerheim League for Child Welfare that I had this opportunity to go to Brussels.

 

 

Matas (Lithuania)

I'm Matas. Ever since third grade, when I got my first phone with internet access, I was interested in technology. In fourth grade, I started programming and I still do it to this day. Recently, I started to enjoy drawing and surfing Tor sites too. My undying hunger for new experiences hasn't stopped yet and I don't think it will any time soon. That's why I joined the BIK Youth Panel!

 

 

Sina (Luxembourg)

Hello, I'm Sina from Luxembourg. I am a high school student and I volunteer at BEE SECURE, my national Safer Internet Centre. This was the second year that I participated in the Safer Internet Forum. I have always been interested in coding and computers, so I find it important that everyone is aware of the dangers that can occur on the internet. I really enjoyed meeting the other youth panellists, getting to know so many people from across the European Union, brainstorming on current topics, and organising the panel discussion. It was so fun and interesting to discuss these issues with policy makers and people from the tech industry.

 

Joana (Portugal)

I'm Joana, a fifteen year-old from Portugal, and I've just started high school. Last year, I joined ‘Líderes Digitais' (‘Digital Leaders'), a project that reminded me that the internet is a great tool that we use everyday and that has become essential in our lives, but there are certain things we should do so we are safe and make the best out of it. I wanted to be part of the solution, both as an internet user and as a Digital Leader, constantly learning and advising my peers. When I received an invitation for the Safer Internet Forum from my national Safer Internet Centre, I knew I had to accept it. It was a great chance to learn and share my ideas and to get to know new people and places. I really enjoyed it!

 

Jorge (Spain)

Hi I'm Jorge and I'm 18 years old. I'm from Sigüenza, a Spanish village, and I study Software Engineering in ‘Universidad Politécnica de Madrid'. I love computing and all topics related to new technologies and that's the reason why I'm studying Software Engineering. I have always found it very important that all young people can face the new world known as the ‘internet', so I'm always trying to give advice, from my technological perspective, to help others. Thanks to ‘Plataforma de Infancia', ‘INCIBE' and ‘Cibercorresponsales', I could join the BIK Youth Panel, because these organisations created another youth panel called ‘La Pinza' which tries to show to other ‘cibers' all ‘internet' faces.

 

Jessica (UK)

The internet is a world full of endless and ever-changing possibilities, a place where people, young and old, can be themselves, which is why I wanted to be a part of the BIK Youth Panel 2019. After working with Childnet to inform young people on how the online world can be a positive and amazing place, I was invited to the Safer Internet Forum to be a Youth Panellist for BIK. Of course, the conference itself was incredible, but I think the most life-changing part about it all was how the internet has brought this group of young people together to make a change and share our message with the world!