Agent of Change: Youth Meta-participation at the Internet Governance Forum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperResearch


Youth engagement has been declared a priority by European Union and United Nations policy-makers, and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) faces similar demands. At the IGF 2021, youth called for more youth participation, more representation at the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), and for
acknowledgement of youth as a separate stakeholder category. In order to better understand why and how youth participate - and want to participate - in Internet governance, there is a need for a critical
reflection on their presence, the spaces and activities they engage in. Therefore this paper looks at the
complexity of the youth identity and it looks at youth meta-participation: a process in which young people and facilitators create participatory spaces for youth to reach their political agency and where they do not only seek to engage in existing participation spaces but also to reshape them. The main research question is how the youth want to change their participation at the IGF, specifically, which activities and
mechanisms are being created to improve the ways in which they can exercise their agency. Actors
meta-participate when the existing participation opportunities are not sufficiently reflecting their needs.
Thus, a clearer understanding of current and demanded participation mechanisms may lead us to a
broader set of questions concerning the effectiveness of the current multistakeholder model. This paper,
based on interviews with stakeholders and desk research, argues that youth do not accept the status quo
if it does not represent their needs or does not allow for them to explore their ideas, and they will utilise
processes to build the space they need or create activities bottom-up that allow them to change the
manner of their participation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 GigaNet Annual Symposium
PublisherGlobal Internet Governance Academic Network
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2022
EventGlobal Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) Symposium 2022 - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Duration: 28 Nov 202228 Nov 2022


WorkshopGlobal Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) Symposium 2022
CityAddis Ababa
Internet address


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