Digital Natives with a Cause? Thinkathon: Position Papers

The Digital Natives with a Cause? Thinkathon conference co-organised by Hivos and the Centre for Internet and Society is being held from 6 to 8 December at the Hague Museum for Communication. The position papers are now available online.

The emergence of digital and Internet technologies have changed the world as we know it. Processes of interpersonal relationships, social communication, economic expansion, political protocols and governmental mediation are all undergoing a significant translation, across the world, in developed and emerging Information and Knowledge societies. These processes also affect the ways in which social transformation, political participation and interventions for development take place.

The Digital Natives with a Cause? research inquiry seeks to look at the potentials of social change and political participation through technology practices of people in emerging ICT contexts. It particularly aims to address knowledge gaps that exist in the scholarship, practice and popular discourse around an increasing usage, adoption and integration of digital and Internet technologies in social transformation processes.

The programme has three main components. The first is to incorporate the users (often young, but not always so) as stakeholders in the construction of policies and discourse which affect their lives in very material ways. The second is to capture, with a special emphasis on change, different relationships with and deployment of technologies in different parts of the world. The third is to further extend the network of knowledge stakeholders where scholars,practitioners, policy makers and the Digital Natives themselves, come together in dialogue to identify the needs and interventions in this field.

In the late summer of 2010 two workshops, in Taiwan and South Africa, brought together 50 Digital Natives from Asia and Africa to place their practice in larger social and political legacies and frameworks. The ‘Talking Back’ workshop in Taiwan looked at the politics, implications and processes of talking back and being political and the ‘My Bubble, My Voice and My Space’ workshop in Johannesburg looked at change, change processes and the role of Digital Natives in it.

For the Digital Natives with a Cause? Thinkathon that will be held in The Hague, The Netherlands from 6 to 8 December 2010, Digital Natives from the workshops in Taipei and Johannesburg have provided us with their take on social change and political participation in the following position papers. They look at issues of: what does it mean to be a Digital Native? What is the relationship of people growing up with new technologies and change? What are the processes by which change is produced? Can you institutionalize Digital Natives with a Cause Activities? How do you make it sustainable in each context?

We hope you will find the Digital Natives with a Cause? position papers inspiring, thought-provoking and challenging.

Download the position papers here [PDF, 1173 KB]