Good Digital Parenting
Blog | May 20, 2013

A Platform for Good Debuts in Dublin

Founder & CEO, Family Online Safety Institute

Last week, in front of a European audience of 150 on the top floor of the futuristic Google building in Dublin, I showcased A Platform for Good to industry, government and NGO leaders.

The presentation emphasized the positive approach we are taking with PfG in an effort to encourage good digital citizenship in all its aspects. And, for the first time, I was able to announce our new European partners who will contribute blogs, resources and their time to support the platform to their users.

It was the first step in a longer term effort to internationalize PfG and to make it more relevant to parents, teachers and teens throughout the world. Next month, we are introducing it to an Australian audience at our Forum in Melbourne on June 25th. And we are in discussions about a possible Latin American event early next year to bring our resources and to localize theme to a whole new audience.

In return, we are gaining not only new users, but whole new perspectives and approaches that have been developed in Europe and further afield. This is a global medium and we will need cross-border solutions, ideas and cooperation to tackle the challenges and realize the opportunities of our new digital world.

The Irish Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Francis Fitzgerald, told a wonderful story at the beginning of our Dublin event, of a two year old girl who walked up to a window and pinched and spread her fingers on the glass, expecting it to act like the iPad she had just been playing with. In that one image, the Minister illustrated just how intuitive and second nature digital devices are for kids and their expectations of what is connected is limitless. It also demonstrates a total lack of fear of devices, even while the older generations are still grappling with all the implications of this always-on medium. 

I stressed at the event that it’s important that we don’t use fear-based messaging when talking with our kids, as they will simply switch off. Instead, we need to use a positive and empowering approach – one that emphasizes responsible, ethical use, while giving kids as much freedom as possible to explore, connect and create positive experiences for themselves and others.

My hope is that A Platform for Good will provide young people a means to do just that, wherever in the world they are.