Yesterday I was fortune enough to attend an event with Katie Bacon of Online Youth Outreach. This event was titled “Ideas for how digital technologies can support young people to participate in society” and it was nice to see some people that i’ve worked with previously at the VIK project; Tim Davies and Alex Farrow.
It was an interesting morning and after getting to know each other we sat down the tackle the issue of identifying challenges in engaging young people in local issues; a pretty big challenge in itself!
We looked in particular at youth unemployment; a situation that is currently reaching (and some would say has already surpassed) crisis level. There are currently over 1 million unemployed young people and it looks like next week will bring the news that this number has risen even further.
But it wasn’t all negative, even in a climate of austerity where the cuts are certainly being felt. We looked at how digital innovation may be able help the problems of unemployment and look at how we start to re-engage young people who feel excluded and disillusioned. I feel that this is an area with such incredible potential. Technology is racing forward at breakneck speed and with young people spending large amounts of time online and using social media it seems downright negligent to ignore the impact it has or fail to harness some of it’s potential to help young people.
It was fantastic to attend an event that was based not only in the physical but also the online world, especially as someone who blogs and also helps run the VIK Twitter feed. Throughout the day a hashtag was used on Twitter (#DTYE) and the event was part of a crowd sourced research project for the Nominet Trust. You can also read more about this at www.socialreporters.net
First published April 1th 2012: