ICT and Youth

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have changed and continue to change the world. In many cases, young people drive this process. However, ICT is not always used for the benefit of all. Many people are still excluded from ICT. The digital divide is a reality.

Many young people use ICT to grow and to participate in their churches and in their societies. However, not everybody has the capacity to use it to their own benefit. Young people can get addicted to the questionable aspects of ICT: violent computer games, online gambling, pornography.

This issue page is going to provide some resources and additional information for young Lutherans to act. We are very grateful if you propose additional resources roger.schmidt@lutheranworld.org

The Lutheran World Federation and ICT

Youth and the digital divide

1. The 2003 World Youth Report, chapter 12 (pdf, 573kb) explores the difficult relationsship between youth and ICT. It is a good, very fundamental introduction but sometimes a difficult read.

2. World Information Society Report 2007. The Report on says the digital divide is shrinking globally. They find the following reasons for it:

  • Developing countries are gaining wide access to mobile telephones. “By the end of 2008, more than half the world’s population is expected to have access to a mobile phone” (p. 8). In Sub-Saharan Africa, now 160 million people have a mobile phone compared to just 15 million in the year 2000.
  • The basic access to internet has grown considerably, as well. More people in developing countries have basic access to the Internet.

Prevailing facts of the digital divide:

  • Today, the quality of Internet access becomes the major problem. In rich countries more and more people get access to broadband Internet. In poor countries, however, even if they offer broadband access, it is very expensive.
    • In rich countries the use of a 100 kb/s line costs on average 16.27 USD per month. That is 2 percent of the average income.
    • In the poorest countries the same Internet connection costs 186 USD. That is 909 percent (!) of the average income.

World Summit on the Information Society

The summit was conducted in two phases: Geneva 2003 and Tunis 2005. Today, it provides the framework of international work with ICT.

Youth and ICT Projects

The Global Knowledge Network provides an extensive list of successful ICT and Youth related projects.