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.
These position papers were prepared for the Digital Natives with a Cause? Thinkathon which took place 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 these papers.