The Risk-Opportunity discourse is broken: Rethinking responses

[Summary: Slides and paper given at EU Kids Online Conference yesterday

Yesterday I rather hurriedly (last presenting slot of the workshop at the end of a long day…) presented at the EU Kids Online conference around the draft model that emerged from the Youth Work Online Month of Action and other prior work to use the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as the core of a model for broader and more effective research, policy and practice thinking about young people’s online lives. Below you can find a copy of the slides, annotated to explain what would otherwise be a series of rather uninformative words and images, and the working paper based on this can be found here (of follow this direct link to the PDF).



I’m speaking again around this idea of rethinking responses to young people’s online lives, and about the need to reframe the discourse and debate (something danah boyd has just this week again reminded us of the need for with a deeply insightful paper and article), at the EU Safer Internet Forum conference in October, and yesterdays brief presentation has already giving rise to some good suggestions of ways to refine the above – so I’ll blog some more on it soon.


8 thoughts on “The Risk-Opportunity discourse is broken: Rethinking responses”

  1. This feels like progress. I found your notion of adding a third pillar (protection, provision, participation) to be a really useful way of moving beyond risk/opportunity dilemma, and I like linking that to the external gravitas of the UNCRC. As you say, Tim, risks are concrete, and they have extra weight because they are filtered through memory to mean “the bad stuff that happened” rather than the “the bad stuffed that happened along with all the potential bad stuff that didn’t actually come to pass”. Whereas opportunity is hard to link to future events that by definition have yet to occur and so are much easier to dismiss. Insisting on the third side of your triangle model feels like a promising departure from the usual duality, and could move us comfortably beyond risk without dismissing the vital area of protection.

  2. Tim – i believe that this model is REALLY helpful and as you say in the presentation really helps us keep a balanced view of all 3 elements which interplay.
    The participation angle is especialy relevant in an age of Web 2.0 (and the rest). I’m going to trial using this in my work in parts of the world where YP’s participation is not as open as ours (supposedly!) and I’m sure that it will really help policy makers embrace aspects of Web2.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us I’ll tweat and send it on to those in the IGF this week in Nariobi. Steve

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