About BIK youth participation scenarios

Youth participation scenarios are at the heart of the new BIK youth programme.

Using co-creation methods, young people will work with other stakeholders to develop online safety guidance, learning and campaigning materials, and contribute to decision-making processes to help create a better internet.

Over time, we'll build and publish a collection of youth participation scenarios on the BIK Youth site allowing you to both see the outputs of the youth panellists' work, and adapt the methodologies followed for use in your own youth participation settings.

Please check back often for the latest scenarios.

 

Developing a first youth participation scenario

In previous years, European youth have put forward a Youth Manifesto, identifying key principles essential to creating a better internet for the future:
 
  • Young people want support and education about the internet – for everyone. 
  • They want to be able to protect their data and privacy online. They want terms and conditions that are simple to understand.
  • They want access to good quality and reliable content online.
  • They want an online world free from bullying, racism and intolerance, while being able to express themselves freely online.
  • They want young people to be able to participate in the internet and have an equal say in how it is shaped and what services it provides.
As part of the ongoing Better Internet for Kids (BIK) Youth Programme, European Schoolnet is exploring various youth participation scenarios, enabling young people to highlight priorities and co-create possible solutions. 
 
Let us know if you have your own youth participation scenario you would like to share!

 

Scenario 1 – Campaigning for an online world free from bullying, racism and intolerance

In preparation for the 2017 edition of the Safer Internet Forum (SIF), youth panellists from across the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs) in Europe were invited in to:
 
a) identify one key safer/better internet principle;
 
b) work together, shape and implement one youth-driven solution.
 
In response, the youth panellists decided to create a peer-to-peer campaign, with the aim of promoting an "Online world free from bullying, racism and intolerance".
 

Why? 

In devising their campaign, the youth panellists identified a number of gaps in existing awareness-raising programmes – most importantly, they felt that campaigns tackling bullying and/or hate speech often lack authenticity – they are not built around a "true" story and hence have limited appeal to youth.
 

How? 

When discussing how they could deliver their campaign, the youth panellists felt that they could best make a difference as follows:
 
  • Use a peer-to-peer approach – the youth panellists will address their peers through videos "sharing their stories"; which "real" online experiences do they have to share? How is the digital world affecting them in social and psychological terms? Which concrete steps can be taken to improve how young people interact online?
     
  • Keep it visual – a set of videos (including a teaser video to be launched/shown at Safer Internet Forum), with testimonials from youth panellists, will be uploaded to YouTube and disseminated on social media via a #togetherforrespect hashtag. Known YouTubers and others will be invited to share their stories and ideas on how to work together for an online world free from bullying, racism and intolerance. The hashtag will be used to promote the campaign across various social media platforms.
     
  • Critical reflection – the campaign aims to also trigger discussion and reflection on some of the challenges and opportunities of using social media to address online safety issues in a peer-to-peer manner.

When? 

The youth-led campaign will start on 23 November 2017 at the Safer Internet Forum and will run until Safer Internet Day 2018, which takes place on Tuesday, 6 February 2018. Young people from around Europe and beyond will be invited to share their stories and ideas throughout the campaign period.
 

Scenario 1 – Key decisions and lessons learned

In designing and implementing this first youth participation scenario, the project facilitators (the BIK Coordination Team at European Schoolnet) have followed a number of youth participation principles. Below we reflect on some key decisions and lessons learned during the process.
 

The aims of the project

Before signing up to the project, youth panellists were clearly briefed on the overall aims of the project and the processes which would be followed, namely:
 
a) to select a number of key safer/better internet issues;
 
b) to explore and design a youth participation scenario drawing upon a range of possible engagement tools and strategies deemed suitable for young people.
 
While some of these elements were initiated by adults, the views of the young people were taken very seriously. As the project progressed, the youth panellists became more actively involved and were encouraged to further develop their ideas more independently.
 

Roles and responsibilities

The project facilitators gradually delegated decision-making powers to the youth panellists. As such, the process of defining the roles and responsibilities in this youth participation scenario has been specifically one of drawing out the experiences, wishes, creativity and skills of the participants through a relaxed facilitation via online meetings and the use of a collaborative platform:
 
  • Most of the communication took place using a combination of online tools, with synchronous chat facilitated using an online meeting tool. In these sessions, youth panellists were invited to put forward possible scenarios, debate the issues, and chose one which resonated with the whole group to develop further.
     
  • Using English as a common language, youth panellists met regularly online to enable them to develop a specific scenario, with a clear focus and output, and a realistic timeline.
     
  • On the specifics of implementing the chosen scenario within the available timeframe, the youth panellists agreed on the specific skills, roles and competencies needed, who could provide them, and what additional support was needed from the project facilitators.

 

Disseminating the message through peers and hashtags

Once roles and responsibilities were properly distributed, with a clear timeline set, discussions on the specifics of the peer-to-peer campaign took centre stage.
 
While the role of the project facilitator continued to be important, the youth panellists really started to work with autonomy at this stage: they put forward and agreed on key messages, the target audience for the campaign, the dissemination tools to be used, and the overall communications strategy. To ensure that the message would really be "out there", youth participants decided that the involvement of their peers was essential and that the best way to reach them was via the places they already are – that is, on popular social media platforms. Hence, a peer-to-peer digital campaign was born, evolving around a set of youth-led videos and a #togetherforrespect hashtag.
 

Process versus outcome – how will we report and evaluate results?

While developing and running a campaign can seem like all "fun and games", the process of involving young people in devising safer/better internet approaches is at least as important as the actual outputs of the campaign.
 
Therefore, reporting on this youth participation scenario will be twofold:
 
a) The youth panellists will drive much of the output – of course, they will share their views and ideas as part of the peer-to-peer campaign, but they will also report on how they have found the process overall, further enriching our understanding of youth participation methods and practices.
 
b) In addition, the project facilitators will help to spread and multiply the campaign –on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) public portal, on social media and via other dissemination channels – while providing further insight based on our own expertise and available campaign analytics.
 
This will all feed into a final evaluation of both process and outcomes, in dialogue with the youth participants themselves.
 

Key lessons learned

Young people thrive when their views and experiences are being taken seriously and it's no surprise that they decided to reach out to their peers using the social media platforms they inhabit daily in delivering their campaign. And, of course, meeting each other in online and offline meetings is great and indeed has been a key facilitator in helping them to share and develop their ideas. In this respect, however, the use of our own online platform for internal communication has been sporadic, as it felt too remote from their day-to-day experiences. Our advice would therefore be to stay close and true to your youth audience, not only in terms of focus and content, but also in terms of the communication tools and devices you use!