“Young men are fitter to invent than to judge, fitter for execution than for counsel, and fitter for new projects than for settled business” – Francis Bacon. Though there is a scope of debate on it, but it can not be denied that young people are always in the forefront of any revolution, whatever it is, wherever it is, however it is. Technology revolution, which is the driving force behind the global emergence and evolution of the information and knowledge-based society, has also come to the forefront, holding the hands of youth.
World Youth Report 2005 has mentioned that “The terms cyber-participation and e-citizenship are indicative of a growing trend towards ICT-based social action and community development among young people. ICT and new media are becoming core components of youth activism and civic engagement.” But it must be kept in mind that there are still great disparities in the distribution and use of many forms of technology and the important concerns surrounding the global digital divide apply as much to youth as to any other age group.
Proper measures to improve Internet access and increase ICT literacy across the world may promote youth participation more into ICT activities and the effective use of technology will help to strengthen various forms of youth engagement. The World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis may show a way towards that goal. “The main objective of the summit is to give the poorer nation, the means to take advantage of the new information and communication technologies for their economic and social development” as stated by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in his very recent speech. The expected outcome of the Summit will be to prepare a clear statement of political will and a concrete action plan for achieving the goals of the Information Society while taking in full consideration all the different interests at stake.
The intention of WSIS to narrow the digital divide, to set up an open, non-exclusive information society, which will make people wealthier and more autonomous, might be successful if and only if we work together to find out a possible way out as per the nations’ characters and wealth. And in that venture, the youth should shoulder the main responsibilities.
This issue of i4d is a youthful issue, full of ventures and achievements by the youth for the community with the help of ICT. This issue will reflect the extent of potential the youth possess, what they can do and what they deserve in return. We shall be waiting to receive more contributions from the youth from all corners of the globe for all corners of the society.