This new publication shows that young people are sensitive and thoughtful and more then willing to contribute to change in their societies. It proves that the common complaint that young people are not interested in politics, is mainly a result of insufficient understanding of the world of youngsters. Digital Natives - youths thriving on digital technologies - are sensitive and thoughtful; it is time to listen to them.
This report ‘Digital Natives with a Cause?’ charts scholarship and practice of youth and technology within diverse contexts and cultures. It displays that digital natives have a potential impact as agents of change. Youth are not as apathetic to political participation as is often believed. They are willing to make a difference, but in a different way: by using ICT for engagement. But the answer is not in the ‘e’ but in the ‘activism’. Engagement with youth should focus on their development as responsible and active citizens rather than on their digital interests.
Why this report? Because Hivos believes that youth have an enormous potential to reshape their societies. By 2010, the global youth population is expected reach almost 1.2 billion of which 85% reside in developing countries. Unleashing the potential of even a part of this group in developing countries promises a substantial impact on societies. Especially now, when youths thriving on digital technologies flood universities, work forces, and governments.