The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Catalui Daria: The youth factor in the digital world

Executive summary

This paper focuses on crowdsourcing for educational development and in this paper I will develop on my empirical observations of youth participation in civil society organization and in the public policy life-cycle.

Technology is foremost an enabler of participation and in addition to that the digital environment is the most suitable for gathering data to fed rapid policy changes. Traditionally the policy cycle is set in terms of 3-5 years, but with the appearance of big data technologies, it can be that real time feedback is fed into the policy cycle generating rapid long lasting changes. The question that I would like to answer is whether if in a rapid process that gives results on a short to medium term, youth is more motivated to take part in the societal change to set a new agenda based on the needs form grass root levels. My empirical observations to sustain the development of this paper come from two different sources. The peer production and microwork for local community activities,implemented in the regional organization Danube.EDU in Romania. On the other hand, the crowdsourcing of an European advocacy initiative, the deployment of European Cyber Security Month 1st fully fledge edition within 27 European countries. Basically the common factor is the youth factor and its behavior towards ICT use. The methodology used is focus group and trageted survey.

The results of the study can be formulated in the following statements:

Youth participates in the peer production of educational activities due to its rapid life cycle implementation and fast results. They do see the benefit of giving their time resources, since they also receive more and they become part of a community. An important effect of crowd sourced projects. 

Young professionals from European countries participate openly to the common effort or crowd effort for putting in place a highly visible tool for communicating the objectives of the digital agenda for Europe. Once more the benefits are numerous such as powerful magnet for achieving multiplied results and building bridges between communities. 

In both cases the traditional way of thinking about policy is proven to inflict changes due to technological developments. 

Key words: local action, youth participation, policy, advocacy, digital agenda. 

Catalui Daria