Helping young people safely navigate the digital world

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The DQ Institute aims to bring quality digital intelligence education to every child.

The challenge

Increasingly, our daily activities – from socializing to information gathering and shopping – are carried out online.

Youth are the most immersed in this new reality, with their digital footprint beginning during childhood, and their online activities closely linked to their identity, well-being and development. Today’s youth have access to resources that no other generation has known, but also face new challenges. They must manage issues such as screen-time usage and personal data and privacy management, and counter threats such as cyberbullying, online grooming and screen addiction.

With parents and teachers often ill-equipped to help youth navigate their hyper-connected lifestyles, many young people are left to address the complexities of online life with little or no support. Ill-equipped digital media users not only face personal risks, but also contribute to the rise of filter bubbles and echo-chambers, the spread of false news and misinformation, increased cyberthreats, and even distrust in media and the platform economy.

The strategy

The World Economic Forum Shaping the Future Implications of Digital Media for Society project brought together key stakeholders to discuss the need for improving digital media literacy. At a project meeting in 2016, Korea-based digital intelligence NGO InfollutionZERO and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore used the Forum platform to gather support and build partnerships to help realize their innovative approach to digital media literacy. The DQ Institute was born.

DQ Institute
A new coalition

The DQ Institute has developed into a public-private-civic-academic coalition that aims to bring quality digital intelligence education to every child. The coalition provides evidence-based solutions and data-driven policy recommendations to help individual nations ensure every child on the internet can access quality digital citizenship education.

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The World Economic Forum serves in a strategic advisory role for the Institute, helping it tap into its network of experts, multistakeholder community, digital platform, and regional and annual meetings. This support forms part of one of the 14 Forum System Initiatives:

System Initiative
Shaping the Future of
Information and Entertainment

The System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Information and Entertainment aims to enable a viable, innovative information and entertainment system at the leading edge of technology and policy. At the same time, it seeks to increase trust and accountability – ultimately improving social cohesion and societal well-being.

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The impact

A pilot #DQEveryChild study in Singapore improved DQ scores by an average of 14%. The DQ Institute is now using the Forum platform to accelerate and expand its impact across the globe, including partnerships with the Minister of Education of Argentina, the Undersecretary of Basic Education of Mexico and the Varkey Foundation.

During the World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2017, the Institute announced the launch of first-of-their-kind cyber-help hotlines in Australia and Singapore, run in partnership with their governments, and NGOs.

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Ambitious plans

The coalition continues to grow. The Institute is planning digital intelligence capacity building pilots designed to reach children in 30 countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Turkey, Argentina, Mexico and South Africa in 2018. It plans to reach 20 million children worldwide by 2020.