Helping young people safely navigate the digital world

#DQEveryChild is a global movement that seeks to empower every child to become a successful and responsible digital citizen.

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 children have access to resources that no previous generation had growing-up, but also face unforeseen 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.

It is often difficult for parents and teachers to help youth navigate their hyper-connected lifestyles, and many children are left to address the complexities of online life with little or no support. Children in this predicament not only face personal risks, but also contribute to the growth of filter bubbles, echo-chambers, the spread of false news, misinformation, increased cyber threats, and even a generalized distrust in media and the platform economy.

Child cyber-risk pandemic

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The 2018 DQ Impact Report studied over 38,000 children in 29 countries and identified a cyber-risk pandemic among children. The report found that 56% of 8-12 year-olds are exposed to at least one cyber risk. The situation is even more serious in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) emerging countries, where children are exposed to 30% higher risks compared to ICT advanced countries, largely due to the fast adoption of mobile technology without adequate preparation for online lives. Over 725 million children aged from 8 to 12 will be online by 2020, and more than 90% of these users will be from ICT emerging countries.

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 and digital intelligence (DQ). At a project meeting in 2016, the South Korea-based digital intelligence NGO InfollutionZERO and the Singapore-based university Nanyang Technological University 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 is 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 build ethical digital ecosystems through multistakeholder collaboration.

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Visit the DQ Institute webpage

A global movement

The DQ Institute launched #DQEveryChild, a strategic global movement to provide children aged 8-12 years with comprehensive digital citizenship skills. It does this by offering nations an evidence-based online platform for education, assessment and protection. It works like a vaccine against cyber-risk by helping children develop into successful and responsible digital citizens who maximize their potential and minimize the negative impacts of hyper-connected lifestyles. The movement also provides a research platform from which to collect data about children’s cyber-risk exposure and digital citizenship levels. On the back of this, the 2017 DQ Study was conducted – resulting in the 2018 DQ Impact Report, which provides myriad recommendations to help create a brighter digital future. Watch this video for more information.

The World Economic Forum serves in a strategic advisory role for the Institute, helping it tap into its network of experts, multi-stakeholder community, digital platform, and regional and annual meetings. This support includes the Internet For All project and one of the Forum’s 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

The DQ Institute is using the World Economic Forum platform to accelerate and expand its impact across the globe. Since #DQEveryChild launched as a global pilot in March 2017, the movement has:

• Become active in more than 30 countries
• Enrolled over 100 partner organizations
• Translated its content into 15 different languages

As a result, it has reached 600,000 children around the world to date.

In 2017, children who completed the programme increased their digital intelligence (DQ) scores by an average of over 10%, which helps to reduce cyber-risks and enhances such future-readiness skills as global awareness, empathy and self-efficacy.

Results among children who participated in the #DQEveryChild programme

The DQ Institute has also developed the world's first and largest database and analytics system for online safety and digital citizenship for children.

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

Ambitious plans

The Institute plans to reach children in 100 countries by 2020. Additionally, it is working to further build its coalition of partners during 2018.