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ISC and its partners organised the 9th edition of the Science Summit around the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) on 12-29 September 2023.
The role and contribution of science to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the central theme of the Summit. The objective is to develop and launch science collaborations to demonstrate global science mechanisms and activities to support the attainment of the UN SDGs, Agenda 2030 and Local2030. The meeting will also prepare input for the United Nations Summit of the Future, which will take place during UNGA79 beginning on 12 September 2024.
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Friday, September 15 • 10:00am - 12:45pm
[VIRTUAL] Empowering Youth as Changemakers for Digital Well-Being: A Discussion on Emerging Technology in Teen Social Media Use (151004)

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This session addresses the critical need for comprehensive education and empowering youth worldwide as changemakers for well-being and health. The session will bring together five international expert speakers in the field of research, youth activism, tech advocacy, education, and policymakers. They will start the conversation with the increasingly popular use of generative AI in teen social media. The speakers will discuss their experiences in educating youth about digital well-being, safe social media use, interpersonal communication and mental health/self-care skills. We will discuss the barriers in interdisciplinary research of studying youth social media/emergent technology use and its developmental, psychological, and neurological/physiological impact. With youth activists/influencers as speakers, we will explore the impact of emergent technologies on their day-to-day lives and the challenges of advocating for change themselves and with their peers. And we seek to produce an actionable agenda on what needs to be done and what the best pathway is in achieving it.

  • Convenor & Moderator: Bailey Parnell, MA, EdD Candidate, Founder & CEO, SkillsCamp & #SafeSocial; Digital Wellbeing & AI Researcher (CANADA)
  • Convenor & Speaker: Marx Wang, Positive Psycholgy & Wellbeing Reseaarcher, Executive Director of ForYouPage.Org (HONG KONG)
  • Dr. Gemma Galdon-Clavell, PhD, Founder & CEO of Eticas Consulting (SPAIN)
  • Dr. Justin O. Thomas, PhD, Experimental Psychologist and Senior Research Specialist, Sync Digital Wellbeing Institue (SAUDI ARABIA)
  • Yoelle Gulko (Youth), Director of "Our Subscription to Addiction" and Founder, A Concerned Human (USA)
  • Maddie Freeman (Youth), Founder of NoSo November and Suicide Prevention Activist (USA)

By exploring these perspectives, this presentation will foster insights into the advancement of SDG Goal 3 Good Health and Well-Being and Goal 11 Sustainable Cities & Communities, UN Global Digital Compact, and Local2030, and a deeper understanding of how to effectively educate youth about the implications of social media on their health and well-being, enabling them to make informed decisions and contribute to a sustainable future where young people can use this as a tool to thrive. This learning will also help youth be better prepared with the same skills to navigate the public dissemination of generative AI.

How the session is related to Sustainable Development Goals
  1. Goal 3 Good Health and Well-Being - The presentation directly contributes to Goal 3 as its guiding goal is to improve the mental health and overall well-being of youth in the context of social media and emerging technologies. By providing insights into the implications of social media use on mental health and discussing strategies for empowering youth, the session aims to promote good health and well-being among young individuals.
  2. Goal 4: Quality Education - The presentation also relates to Goal 4 by emphasizing the need for comprehensive education on social media and health for youth worldwide. By discussing research findings, teaching practices, and the role of non-profit organizations, the session aims to improve education methodologies in this area and equip young individuals with the knowledge and skills to navigate digital spaces responsibly.
  3. Goal 11 Sustainable Cities & Communities - The topic of empowering youth as changemakers for digital well-being has implications for creating sustainable cities and communities. The key to sustainable cities and communities lies in the robust interpersonal connections we and, especially youth have with our communities. And technology and social media have become an innegligible mediator between individuals and communities. By seeking actionable solutions to the challenges posed by emerging technologies, the presentation will promote safe and inclusive digital environments and contribute to the overall sustainability of cities and communities.
  4. UN Global Digital Compact and Local2030 - The presentation aligns with the UN Global Digital Compact, which seeks to ensure that digital technologies are used responsibly, ethically, and inclusively. By discussing the educational needs of young individuals in the context of social media and emerging technologies, the session contributes to the goals of the compact. Additionally, the focus on empowering youth as a grassroots force for change aligns with the Local2030 initiative, which aims to empower local communities to achieve the SDGs.

avatar for Gemma Galdon Clavell

Gemma Galdon Clavell

Dr. Gemma Galdon-Clavell is a leading voice on technology ethics and algorithmic accountability. She is the founder and CEO of Eticas Consulting, where she is responsible for leading the management, strategic direction and execution of the Eticas vision.  Her multidisciplinary... Read More →
avatar for Maddie Freeman

Maddie Freeman

Founder and CEO, NoSo November
I founded NoSo November, a social venture aimed to provide an educational resource to students in middle/high schools and universities that spreads awareness about the manipulative attention-for-profit business model utilized by popular social media apps that is fueling the mental... Read More →
avatar for Yoelle Gulko

Yoelle Gulko

Director, Our Subscription to Addiction LLC
Yoelle Gulko is a filmmaker and entrepreneur whose stories center on the power of human connection. She is the creator and director of the upcoming film "Our Subscription to Addiction," which documents her raw experience of phone addiction and how she found her place in the emerging... Read More →
avatar for Bailey Parnell

Bailey Parnell

Founder & CEO, SkillsCamp & #SafeSocial
Bailey Parnell is the Founder & CEO of SkillsCamp, a soft skills training company, and was named one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women. Bailey is a 2x TED speaker with over 4 million views, an award-winning and internationally-recognized entrepreneur, an active humanitarian... Read More →
avatar for Marx Wang

Marx Wang

Executive Director, For You Foundation
Marx is an Activist, Entrepreneur, Designer, and Researcher, advocating Equity, Wellness, and Authentic Connection For All.At the age of 16, to advocate for better space for teenagers' after-class activities and emotional skill development, he founded a city student org coalition... Read More →

avatar for Marx Wang

Marx Wang

Executive Director, For You Foundation
Marx is an Activist, Entrepreneur, Designer, and Researcher, advocating Equity, Wellness, and Authentic Connection For All.At the age of 16, to advocate for better space for teenagers' after-class activities and emotional skill development, he founded a city student org coalition... Read More →

Friday September 15, 2023 10:00am - 12:45pm EDT