The WebDays project encourages young people to actively explore issues such as digitalisation, consumer protection, media education and internet policy, and contribute their own ideas and opinions to the political debate.
The political challenges of digitalisation can only be overcome if all generations engage in the debate. Young people, being digital natives, play a vital role in this regard. WebDays shows them that their concerns are taken seriously and that they can make change happen as members of a democratic society. The project consists of three core elements.
First, an annual youth conference where around 60 young people discuss a range of matters relating to digital consumer protection, build networks, and interact directly with experts and policymakers in the field. In the conference workshops, they debate issues like Open Data, Big Data and digital ethics and produce a set of demands that is discussed in a panel debate at the end of the conference and handed over to the Federal Ministry of Justice for consideration. To encourage young people to sign up for the conference, the project team regularly interacts with selected YouTubers and influencers that share news about the conference on social media.
The annual conferences are complemented by the second core element, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), that give the conference outcomes a wider reach. The idea behind the WebDays MOOCs is to teach as many young people as possible about data privacy. They deliver the information on digital consumer protection that is gathered during the conferences and are also an information source for young people who are unable to attend. The first MOOC was held in autumn 2018 for young people aged 14 and over on the oncampus platform.
Third, WebDays functions as a platform for ideas developed in peer projects, namely projects that young participants develop during the conferences. Some receive microfunding so they can be implemented in real life, such as the youth participation project bujupa e.V.
WebDays is run by IJAB – International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany and receives funding from the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. The project partners are the Klicksafe initiative, the German Federal Youth Council, Chaos macht Schule, and the "jugend hackt" project. WebDays will run until April 2020.
WebDays and Young Consumers for Sustainable Development