Online symposium ‘Digital Sovereignty – Theory meets Practice’

On October 7, 2022, UNBLACK THE BOX organised an online symposium on digital sovereignty together with the youth protection organisation ‘Präventiver Jugendschutz Frankfurt/Main’ and the ‘Zentrum gesellschaftliche Verantwortung’ by the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau. The goal of the event was to foster exchange between research and practice and to discuss together how young people’s digital sovereignty, or digital literacy, could be improved.

In our digitised lives, more and more decisions are taken with the help of automated decision-making systems, and opaque algorithms, filter bubbles, recommendations and likes determine which content users see and how users behave online. ‘Digitally sovereign’ citizens use digital technologies in an informed manner and take part in the development of more social technologies. How this ideal goal can be reached in light of citizens’ limited agency in datafied societies, and what this means in practice for youth and adult education was discussed at the online symposium. Besides presentations from Sigrid Hartong and Annika Gramoll, several ideas workshops about diverse topics such as escape games in education or data protection in online games were offered.