The Youth Internet Governance Forum (Youth RIGF), which gathered the most creative, talented and progressive young people in the IT sphere in Skoltech, has completed its work in Moscow. 200 young people took part offline and over 5 thousand more joined the online broadcast of the Forum, the registration for which was available until the last day. Young people not only from Moscow, but also from many other regions of the country signed up for the online format. The greatest interest in the Forum was shown by young people in the Rostov region (over 550 participants), the Ryazan and Chelyabinsk regions (over 200 participants). The Forum also attracted young people from St. Petersburg, Smolensk region, the Republic of Dagestan, Krasnodar Territory, the Republic of Mordovia, Vologda and Samara regions. Each of those areas was represented by more than 100 participants who signed up for the Forum. The online sessions were conducted in two languages, which ensured participation not only of Russian, but also foreign audiences from different parts of the world: USA, Serbia, Austria, Bangladesh, Japan, Zambia, Ghana, Italy, Egypt, Pakistan, Poland, Cuba and others.
The guest moderators and speakers
from among leading Russian and international experts spoke at the four panel sessions of the Forum. The panel "Digital Economy: Utopia or Anti-utopia" discussed the future of the Russian IT industry; brain drain and career prospects for Russian youth. Legal regulation, control over data collection and processing and consumer privacy violations were the subject of discussion in the section "My Personal Data: Whose Is It Really? The participants in the "(Non)Virtual Reality" section examined the issue of digital addiction and analyzed the Internet's impact on everyday life and the automation of human consciousness. Section 4 of the Forum «2020 – the Year of TikTok: Hype or a New Youth Platform" focused on the future of social media and prospects for new emerging social platforms.
At the closing of the Forum, prizes were awarded to the most successful IT-projects in 6 categories, and Sergey Kiriyenko, First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, participated in the award ceremony. "These guys are very young, but their projects inspire our utmost respect. The role of youth in the development of the Internet is of paramount importance," said Sergey Kiriyenko. - The projects that young people are implementing today can equally compete with, or even win over, those of their older and more experienced colleagues. This, in fact, determines the competitiveness of Russian companies and Russia as a whole. For example, among the winners we can mention the "Free Lunch" project, an automated system for remote registration for hot meals for students at secondary vocational educational institutions, and the software product that makes it possible to communicate with people suffering from motor disorders, neuromuscular syndrome and other CNS diseases and enables them to control a personal computer with eye movements.
One of the main Forum events was the appointment of the Youth Digital Ombudsman team, which included Dmitry Gulyaev, a student of the International Law Institute, Kutafin Moscow State Law University, Irina Trapeznikova, a student of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, and
Alexei Starikov, a student of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The participants of the Forum initiated the creation of similar institutions in UN member states and the holding of a global Youth Digital Ombudsmen forum in 2022. The Russian team of the Youth Digital Ombudsman not only presented its detailed program on the first steps to be taken in the new position, but also voiced the Forum's Youth Message, formulated on the basis of proposals that came from young people. At the end of the Forum, the Youth Message will also be made available to the Russian and international community.
In addition to the business program, Youth RIGF also had fan zones with educational master classes and IT sites where it was possible to visit a 5G laboratory, VR/AR zones with virtual immersion technology and to look at the Internet projects of the Russian Historical Society and "gadgets" of the "good old days" from the Yandex museum.
The organizers and participants expressed their desire to hold the Forum on an annual basis in order to meet again and give an opportunity for young people from Russia and all over the world to engage in dialogue and discuss new ideas and project implementation.