A year ago, the first annual Digital Citizenship Summit was held in West Hartford, hosted by the University of Saint Joseph. This Friday, the second annual Summit will be held in San Francisco, hosted by Twitter at their global headquarters. The livestream is expected to reach 3.2 million people globally via Twitter Livestream.
The mission of the initiative hasn’t changed as the reach has grown – to unite people, organizations, and companies around the world committed to the safe, savvy, and ethical use of social media and technology. The Digital Citizenship Summit, being held on October 28, is described as a global event, with speakers from Australia, Spain, England, Ireland, Canada, and Kenya. Attendance can be in-person or virtual.
The event includes a diverse range of well-known and emerging voices with “quick and powerful” 10-minute talks, along with a range of panels covering the breadth of digital citizenship. The three themes for the Summit are: Citizenship, Literacy, and Advocacy.
Organizers say “the Digital Citizenship Summit isn’t a conference, it is a movement – away from fear and distrust, and towards educating, empowering and engaging all groups.” The Summit will share best practices and insights, and promote collaboration, bringing together educators, parents, students, organizations and industry.
The initiative was launched by West Hartford’s David Ryan Polgar and academician Marialice B.F.X. Curran. Dr. Curran’s teaching, scholarship and service focus on digital citizenship and social media in K-12 teacher education. She was named one of the Top 10 Digital Citizenship bloggers to follow in 2014 by Common Sense Media. Polgar, an attorney and college professor, is a frequent speaker (three-time TEDx) and tech commentator on television and in print, focusing on digital citizenship, creativity, cyber ethics, tech balance and humanizing the online experience.
“Millions of people are struggling with modeling safe, savvy and ethical behavior online. Beneath the surface, there are major conflicts between parents, students, educators and administrators that span personal safety to politics. The Digital Citizenship Summit bridges the gap between what we want to see online and how to actually be the digital change,” organizers point out.
The event will be emceed by Kelly Wallace, a digital correspondent and editor-at-large for CNN. It is also serving as the kick-off for US Media Literacy Week. The Digital Citizenship Summit will be livestreaming from Twitter headquarters from 9 AM PST to 5:00 PM PST. It can be seen on the Summit website or from Twitter’s @Safety account. Individuals do not need to register in order to watch the live stream, but all registrants will receive post-event videos and resources, according to organizers.
Joining internationally renowned speakers, there will be student voices – “passionate voices from elementary school students to college-age advocates who are already leading us into the future as positive role models.” Among the speakers is Jim Steyer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Common Sense Media, the nation’s leading non-partisan organization dedicated to improving media and technology choices for kids and families. He is also the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Center for the Next Generation.
In addition to the annual flagship summit event, past digital summits have been held in Ireland and the United Kingdom, with plans for a summit in Australia later this year.