Posted on March 6, 2017 by Rosie Thomas
What happens when you throw 75 experts from 18 countries in the one room to thrash out the biggest challenges keeping young people safe online?
The event? Facebook’s Global Safety Network Summit, a day-long series of conversations around building safety and compassion online. Being a massive #cybersafetygeek, I was pretty pumped to be there!
Spending time in Washington D.C. I couldn’t help but feel like the vision we dreamed up over ten years ago, when we started PROJECT ROCKIT, has never been more relevant:
A world where kindness and respect thrive over bullying, hate and prejudice and all young people are free to realise their potential.
Our goal at PROJECT ROCKIT is to create spaces – on and offline – where all young people have access to respect, acceptance, creative expression and real social leadership.
But how do we help young people to build resilience in a digital world?
This was the question that my fellow panelists and I were tasked with. Here’s how it went.
There is no shortage of literature around fostering resilience and wellbeing in young people so instead I want to share with you three ideas that I think don’t get enough airtime in the digital age.
So, how does PROJECT ROCKIT build resilience and wellbeing in young people?
At PROJECT ROCKIT we practice failure with young people in a controlled, safe workshop environment so they’re prepared with the skills to act if nasty stuff really does go down.
It was a great honour working side-by-side so many inspiring individuals and organisations. I am in awe of the incredible work of those at the coal face. Those who are exposed to the darkest cavities of humanity.
Take the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children who work tirelessly to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization.
And then there’s the Tyler Clementi Foundation, an organisation set up in memory of the smart and talented Tyler, who at 18 years old ended his life due to the cruelty and humiliation he experienced online.
These people are my heroes. A big thank you to the people behind the screens; the team at Facebook. The engineers, researchers, academics and safety experts that devote their professional lives to make the digital space a safer and kinder world for all of us. Thanks so much for having us! 💪🏽
And yep, we do believe that kindness and respect Trumps bullying, hate and prejudice.