Young Digital Leaders

We believe young people can learn to be upstanders, not bystanders, and help create safe, positive and vibrant communities online.

Young Digital Leaders is an educational programme that empowers young people across Europe aged 12-16 to apply digital citizenship, critical thinking and media literacy skills online. Based around a core curriculum that addresses cross-cutting harms such as disinformation and targeted abuse, the programme supports young people to recognise the positive contributions they can make to their digital communities.

In addition to the curriculum, ISD have developed a guide for parents and a Digital Citizenship Education Programming Toolkit for NGOs, enabling them to develop and expand digital resilience beyond the classroom.

To date, ISD has partnered with civil society organisations in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania and Sweden to engage a spectrum of students, teachers and parents. These include Kommon Ground (Sweden); Associazione Artistica Culturale (A Rocca) (Italy); Action Synergy (Greece); Rose Valley (Bulgaria); and the Group of European Youth for Change (GEYC) (Romania).

In just two years, the programme has reached over 10,000 students, 550 teachers and 230 parents across the region. Furthermore, our 2019 evaluation indicated that:

  • 97% of parents and carers felt better able to help their children deal with online safety challenges having attended a YDL session;
  • 98% of teachers who attended a training thought the YDL programme is helpful to teach digital citizenship;
  • 94% of students felt the workshop taught new knowledge and skills.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme’s French curriculum was adapted to provide educators with additional guidance and activities that enable them to discuss online disinformation, stereotyping, and hatred via a public health lens.

All the Young Digital Leaders resources are available to download below in English, Bulgarian, French, Greek and Romanian.

 

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ISD’s Education team

Jennie King
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Jennie King

Head of Civic Action and Education

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Jennie King
Jennie King

Head of Civic Action and Education

Jennie King is Head of Civic Action and Education, leading efforts to translate ISD's digital research into frontline programming and response. She co-authored the current 'Be Internet Citizens' curriculum, formally accredited for UK schools, and provides regular briefings for UK government departments and regulators, UNESCO and parallel European/US bodies on systemic approaches to media literacy. Jennie also oversees ISD's growing portfolio on Climate Mis- and Disinformation, supporting a coalition of 30+ organisations worldwide to identify, analyse and counter related harms. Her writing and commentary has been featured by the BBC, The Guardian, Channel 4 News, Tortoise Media and NPR, amongst others. Jennie previously served as MENA Regional Director Arts, Assistant Country Director Egypt and Country Director Hungary for the British Council, the UK’s international body for cultural relations. She read Arabic and Spanish at Pembroke College, Cambridge, receiving a Foundation Scholarship and the Marie Shamma’a Frost Prize for Oriental Studies.
Lucie Parker
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Lucie Parker

Senior Project Operations Manager

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Lucie Parker
Lucie Parker

Senior Project Operations Manager

Lucie Parker is a Senior Project Operations Manager at ISD, responsible for the project and grant management, operational delivery and fundraising activities for ISD’s portfolio of programmes across Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. She also works on developing policies and practices that implement ISD’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and organisational wellbeing. Lucie has spent her career managing programmes across a range of social justice issues in the UK and international charity and non-profit sectors, with previous roles including Gender Analyst at International Crisis Group and Senior Policy and Research Officer at the Fawcett Society. She is a Founding Trustee of Bread & Roses, a charity that provides holistic support to refugee and asylum seeking women as they rebuild their lives in the UK. She is the co-author of the Young Digital Leaders Impact Report and Digital Resilience: Stronger Citizens Online. Lucie holds an MA with distinction in War Studies from King’s College London and a BA in Politics from the University of York.
Sina Laubenstein
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Sina Laubenstein

Educator at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

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Sina Laubenstein
Sina Laubenstein

Educator at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

Sina Laubenstein is an Educator at the Business Council for Democracy (#BC4D) at ISD Germany. She is involved with developing and implementing a training program for adult audiences, empowering them against a wide array of online harms (hate speech, disinformation and conspiracy myths). She previously worked for the Berlin-based association Neue deutsche Medienmacher*innen e.V., being the project lead of the No Hate Speech Movement in Germany. She has further worked with the Council of Europe and consulted various Federal ministries and foundations on topics such as digital citizenship, hate speech and radicalisation online. Sina holds an MA in Global Studies and Societal Change from Malmö University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Mannheim. She has co-authored the ISD report Hate Speech and Radicalisation Online: The OCCI Research Report.
Nathalie Rücker
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Nathalie Rücker

Team Lead & Manager at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

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Nathalie Rücker
Nathalie Rücker

Team Lead & Manager at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

Nathalie Rücker is a Team Lead & Manager at ISD Germany, working for the Business Council for Democracy (BC4D). She delivers and further develops the BC4D training programme for adults that teaches strategies of digital civil courage and equips participants with the knowledge and skills to stand up against hate speech, disinformation, and conspiracy theories. Previously, Nathalie worked at the intersection of peacebuilding research, conflict prevention and human rights empowerment in Germany and abroad, implementing projects, focusing on the capacity building of civil society actors-- particularly women's rights and youth organizations. She is a trained conflict mediator, holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in Public International Law and International Relations.