faculty & experts
02 May 2023

Digital Technologies and Youth Empowerment

On 19 April, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, was present at the Institute for an event that looked at the critical implication of the youth in the design of digital technology.

Jérôme Duberry, Managing Director of the Institute’s Tech Hub, explores the subject further. 

Young people are often at the forefront of digital transformation and innovation, acting as early adopters and drivers of technological advancements. By encouraging their involvement in the development and implementation of digital solutions, we empower them to actively shape the future of technology and society.

Educational institutions and organisations can foster a culture of innovation among young people by providing opportunities to participate in technology-focused initiatives, competitions and programmes. This engagement not only helps develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills but also promotes collaboration, creativity and entrepreneurship. Nurturing young innovators is crucial to ensuring a more inclusive, sustainable and technologically advanced future for all.

However, several challenges must be addressed to fully harness the potential of digital transformation and youth engagement in innovation. A significant obstacle is the persistent digital divide, which leaves many young people, especially in rural or low-income communities, without access to adequate technology and connectivity. This disparity hinders their ability to participate in digital learning and innovation opportunities, exacerbating existing inequalities.

Furthermore, the rapid pace of technological change can overwhelm educators and policymakers, resulting in a skills gap that leaves young people unprepared for the digital workforce. The complex digital landscape also presents new ethical, legal, and security concerns for young innovators.

To overcome these challenges,  international organisations such as the ITU, governments, educational institutions and the private sector must collaborate to provide resources, training and support that enable equitable access to technology, foster digital literacy and create an environment conducive to innovation for all young people.

Learn more about the event: “Digital Technologies and Youth Empowerment: A Conversation with the Secretary-General of the ITU”.