One Summit - Two Days and Two Different Approaches:
Cyberbullying is a growing problem throughout the world. It affects large percentages, ranging from 20% to 85% of middle-schoolers, based on poll results and estimates. Middle-schoolers told StopCyberbullying that only 5% of them would tell their parents if they were cyberbullied. In a 1000 student poll, 70% of the respondents admitted to having cyberbullied others.
It has become a silent epidemic, stalking our children on social networks, messaging, interactive games and cell phones. While the more dramatic stories have made the headlines most cases are less newsworthy, but no less painful. When asked to guess how many cyberbullying victims have taken their own lives, they typically guess in the hundreds of thousands and even millions. The fact is, not more than a few hundred young people have taken their own lives after being cyberbullied, globally – ever. And that is probably a high estimate. But, even one student suicide is too many.
Cyberbullying has many stakeholders, from families whose lives are shattered by the loss of teens who chose suicide rather than face repeated torment, to students who are afraid to check their e-mail, to teachers being attacked online by students, mental health professionals trying to stay ahead of their patients, to the media trying to grapple with covering a story without further exploiting the victims, to regulators who are seeking answers and the industry who is struggling in its effort to identify and manage risks while attempting to herd cats. More, perhaps, than any other single issue, cyberbullying takes a village to address it. In this first Global StopCyberbullying conference held outside of North America, every member of the village will have a voice. Together we can fashion solutions and encourage change. And by the end of the two days, all stakeholders will know about being part of the solution, instead of part of the problem.
What do we need to know to address the problem and help frame meaningful solutions? What is the role of the Internet industry, media, government, advocacy groups and schools? Over two concentrated days, StopCyberbullying will help all stakeholders understand the problem better and find manageable solutions and collaborations. It will give community participants a chance to be heard, and the industry, media, advocacy groups and regulators a chance to listen and share their own viewpoints.
At a large community “town meeting” hosted in Limerick, Ireland on May 7, 2015, hundreds of students, teachers, parents, law enforcement officers, mental health experts and community leaders will join forces to examine the problem from all perspectives and determine what they need from the important stakeholder leaders and influencers. Check out the goals for the Limerick Community Day and the draft program (subject to change).
On the second day, in Dublin on May 9, 2015, the leaders of the industry, media, regulators, advocacy groups will join students, teachers, parents and other key stakeholders for the “industry day” portion of the conference to address the “wishlist” and issues identified during the first day, look for solutions and identify industry best practices. The community will meet the leaders.
Together we will all understand, from the youth and multi-stakeholder perspective, that cyberbullying hurts and everyone must take it seriously!
On the first day a town meeting format will be used to bring together students, parents, teachers, librarians, school and technology administrators, governmental representatives, law enforcement, members of the media, Internet and digital technology industry members, mental health experts, community groups and safety advocates.
They will work “UN expert meeting” style, to learn about cyberbullying and determine what each of these groups expects from government, education, the media and the industry.
During the plenary sessions hundreds of participants will learn and share with each other. They will interact with panels of experts and cyberbullying victims and their families. Then, breaking into three groups, based on demographics (teachers, parents and school administrators in one group, law enforcement, mental health experts, community organizations, medical experts and governmental representatives in another and industry and students in the third) the participants will work with facilitators and come up with their wishlist for media, government, schools and advocacy groups and the industry. Everyone will learn what the stakeholders, especially the youth participants, think needs to be addressed to help stop cyberbullying.
The plenary will review each of the breakout findings and discuss each group’s overall expectations.The entire first day is devoted to framing the issues on cyberbullying and sexting and creating questions for the second day panels. Should media stop reporting cyberbullying and related suicides? Or does their coverage bring needed attention to the problem? What about government? Do we need more laws or just better enforcement? How can schools and mental health professionals help? And what is the industry’s role in creating safer technologies and adopting best practices? How important is that?
The first day identifies the issues and prioritizes them. They identify the relevant stakeholders and directions. They frame the questions for the second, industry, day.
Both Days' Proceedings:
Awards will be given to a select group of outstanding individuals and programs that are playing an important role in stopping cyberbullying around the world.
In addition, “Cyberbullying Thoughts” kiosks manned with video cameras will be placed at both conference venues to allow participants and experts to share their thinking, experiences and opinions. Select videos will be used in creating documentaries and to post at stopcyberbullying.org to help spread awareness. Exhibits will be available to certain sponsors to demonstrate their products, technologies and programs.
Students are welcome, accompanied by parents or teachers, and must be 10 or older to attend (and able ot sit through a long day of cooperative learning). Participation is by invitation only. If you are interested in joining us, fill out an invitation request form. We will let you know if you have been selected to attend. We are seeking a diverse group of stakeholders in the cyberbullyng issue. Experience, passion and the commitment to make a difference are the most important factors in our selecting participants.
The programs may be webcast and will be recorded, along with audience participation and scan of the audience. Video releases will be a requirement of participation.
At the conference conclusion, WiredSafety will be creating a network of interested stakeholders to continue the work of framing the issues and forming solutions.
May 9, 2015
The Industry Day
draft Program to come
The second day brings the industry, government, media and other important stakeholders to the table to join the others. The facilitators for the first day will report the results to the second day plenary and three panels of experts and influencers will address the questions framed for them. They will also describe their current efforts to address the problem of cyberbullying.
Beginning with students and victims and their families, the heart-wrenching stories and inspiring messages will be shared, compelling action. Then panels of Internet industry leaders will address the questions posed for them by first day participants. They will share their perspective and the role they believe they should play in framing solutions.
This process is followed by a panel of governmental and policymaker leaders to address the wishlist from the town meeting and explain their efforts to address cyberbullying.
The conference participants will break into one of three groups, each designed to attract a varied group of stakeholders. Registrants are asked to select one upon registration. Since we will have limited space, participants will be limited to the one workshop they select upon registration (unless the topics are changed).
While not yet finalized, the topics covered will include:
Cyberbullying and the Law, Law Enforcement and Policy:
What are the laws governing cyberbullying? How does cyberbullying and sexting result in more serious crimes? What are the parents’ legal responsibilities? Do we need more laws? When should law enforcement get involved?How should violent postings of videos be handled? Does the age of the cyberbully or target make a difference? How does free expression and hate speech fit into this? What do we want and expect from law enforcement agents, prosecutors and judges?
What should the networks and app developers be doing to address cyberbullying? How do we protect kids from each other and themselves? How do you design safer networks? How do you nurture good behavior and discourage bad? How does cyberbullying work in gaming communities, on social networks and using mobile technologies? What resources are out there to help guide risk management and best practices for the industry? Can young people be brought in as subject-matter-experts to help industry do a better job?
Luncheon Program - Teaching Kindness:
Can we teach kindness and positivity? How can we deploy POSTitPositive and the Amanda Todd Pledge – promising to be part of the solution. What similar programs are out there and working? Have some fun getting to know each other and building something to remember.
Making It All Work:
What educational programs are working, and which aren’t. How can industry and governmental agencies collaborate with cybersafety experts. How do peer-counseling programs help manage cyberbullying? How do you write a cyberbullying policy that includes youth-centric codes of conduct? What do students think works?
Where do we go next? What do we know and what do we need to find out? After the Summit's two day are completed, an action plan will be developed using the recommendations and findings made of the two days.