Youth is the main driver of digital development

Youth is the main driver of digital development

“Youth at any times is the engine of progress and innovation, therefore many international organizations pay great attention to the development of youth tracks, including in terms of the digital agenda and the promotion of technical professions. For example, suck tracks exist in ASEAN, APEC, and, of course, in the International Telecommunication Union, where a separate area of ​​work "Women and girls in ICT" has been operating for ten years. The purpose of this track is to promote STEM professions among women, as well as to motivate girls to choose technical specialties for their future education’, said Vadim Glushchenko, Director of the Center for Global IT Cooperation, on June 5 at the session ‘Expanding the possibilities of digital development for the youth’ at the XXIV St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

The discussion was attended by the Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of Russia Bella Cherkesova; Yulia Mikhaleva, Deputy Head of ANO Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo); head of the department for the introduction of new technologies and budgeting of the Federal Passenger Company, JSC Sergey Shershen; Chairman of the Youth Council of the Bank of Russia David Monastyrsky; youth digital ombudsperson Dmitry Gulyaev and founder of DrugMedics Healthcare Chimaku Jibaku (Nigeria). The session was moderated by Roman Chukov, the representative of Russia in MAG IGF.

The speakers discussed how young professionals from Russia can participate in the development of the digital economy and global IT cooperation. Particular attention was paid to how to ensure broad education and awareness of young people about the opportunities and risks of using digital platforms.

“The Internet has become an integral part of our life, and today we are witnessing how digital technologies are changing various traditional relationships: between society and business, between society and the state,” Bella Cherkesova began her speech, outlining the problems of such a rapid development. “If before we didn’t know where to get information from, now there is so much of it that we often do not have time to digest it. And it is not always clear which source to trust, how to check and asses information to which we have access. Increasing digital and media literacy raises the level of trust of what we see on the Internet and helps to separate fake from the truth. 

The Ministry of Digital Development recently approved an action plan for 2021-2027 to increase digital literacy among young people, which includes, for example, a unified Internet security lesson and lectures on the protection of personal data on the Internet.

“Digital literacy should be promoted both from above and from below,” said David Monastyrsky. He emphasized the importance of development of financial literacy as well, because in the modern world, almost every person, especially young people, has at least one banking application installed on their smartphones. “If there is no trust, then people leave entire segments of the financial market. We need to develop financial literacy so that they understand what they are buying. By 2023, we will have 100% of our students enrolled in financial literacy programs”.

The development of financial literacy among young people is definitely an urgent issue because during the pandemic, as Yulia Mikhaleva noted, the volume of Internet commerce in Russia experienced 44 times increase. At the same time, according to her, the level of digital literacy of young people has not increased: they do not always know how to weed out useful content from malicious. In the first half of 2020, the number of cybercrimes committed through social networks and fake websites has increased, and, unfortunately, young people are becoming the main victims of scammers. “Quality should not be controlled, but ensured. We must form an environment of enlightened consumers,” Yulia Mikhaleva concluded her speech on this note. 

The session did not forget to mention the results of the First Youth Russian Internet Governance Forum, which was organized by the Center for Global IT Cooperation at Skoltech in April this year. There for the first time in Russia, the youth digital ombudsperson Dmitry Gulyaev was selected, who also took part in the discussion. According to him, one of the most ambitious tasks facing ombudsperson’s office at the moment is to lay the foundations for a unified network of youth digital ombudspersons not only in Russia, but also in the other countries of the world.

SPIEF was held on June 2-5 in St. Petersburg. The main audience of the forum is the heads of the largest Russian and foreign companies, government officials and politicians. Over the past years, the Forum has become a leading global platform for communication between representatives of the business community and discussion of key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets and the world as a whole. This year, 13 thousand people took part in the event.