Yesterday saw the launch of our 24 hour Hackathon, it was a long night for the young computer programmers, designers and coders who took part, but there was a lot of energy in the room and some great ideas presented during the initial brainstorm that gradually morphed into an application as the night went on.
Day 2 began with an offsite visit to the Estadio Nacional – the National Stadium of Costa Rica for activities relating to the theme Be Healthy. To kick-off the session, Amb. Sylvia Poll, Costa Rica’s first Olympic medallist, opened by saying that although the use and growth of ICTs has been largely positive, they have arguably had a negative impact on healthy lifestyles of young people.
We are not as active as previous generations before us, which could have long term implications for our health, however, ICTs could be used to overcome these and other health issues through initiatives such as m-health apps.
The opening discussion finished with a challenge: How can we use technology to improve youth health? What messages do we want to send to the UN and WHO? This is our opportunity to share our ideas for the future, our future, and more importantly, this is a chance to have our voices heard by world leaders.
After the dialogue there were several demonstrations from young Costa Rican Olympic athletes and Olympic hopefuls to inspire the delegates watching, these included:
These demonstrations were used to encourage the delegates to want to get active, and to think about the way that ICTs could be used to help them get healthy. There were lots of fun activities for everyone to get involved with:
The second half of day two focused on the theme be smart, be safe about online behaviour and safety. Laura Chinchilla, the president of Costa Rica said these issues affect all of us on a global scale, and something we need to understand as young people is that; with the greater freedom that the internet offers us, we must acknowledge the greater responsibility that goes with this freedom.
Following this discussion, there were lots of interactive workshops including sessions that highlight key themes for a joint video concept competition between the ITU and UNICEF, the topics include; cyberbullying, self-exposure, grooming, information privacy and a session called smart it up: social networking in a smart and safe way. Disney, one of the BYND partners, ran a packed workshop training young people on how to promote safe online behaviour to younger children.
During the wrap up session, we also connected with a hub live from Monterrey, Mexico who told us that a key concern for them is the fact that young people view digital and physical citizenship differently, they suggested that a solution to this could be through early education.
From the wrap up session, the delegates suggested that collaboration, such as the Disney club penguin initiative, is a great example of the work that must continue, in order to encourage digital citizenship and to inform young people about how to behave online, including what is and is not acceptable. They further suggested the need for governments, NGOs and the media to work together to create, promote and implement campaigns centering on child online protection.
Stephanie Su – a delegate from the Georgia Institute of Technology – spoke on behalf of her delegation and suggested that the key concerns for them surrounding be safe, be smart is the way young people are educated about ICTs. They suggested a solution the encourages young people to use ICTs from a young age under the supervision of parents and teachers so that their interactions can be monitored and then they can be told what is and is not appropriate, they continued by suggesting that age appropriate platforms are key to this solution.
The final hours of the Hackathon saw all groups presenting their ideas, the majority of which focused on m-health and m-education initiatives, tomorrow will see the official wrap up where winners will be announced and prizes handed out. Good luck to all of the shortlisted teams!
Keep tuned for more highlights and a full round up of tomorrows activities!
By Felicity Theaker – Reporting live from the #BYND2015 Global Youth Summit in San José, Costa Rica.