This report is a practical tool intended for businesses that are embarking on a journey towards meaningful child participation and experiencing the challenges that come with it.
Children are asking to be heard. It’s time for businesses to sit up, listen, and learn.
WHAT WE’RE ASKING
What is meaningful child participation?
Why is it important for children and businesses in relation to the digital environment?
What are the key challenges to achieving this?
How can businesses overcome these challenges?
5 REASONS WHY CHILD PARTICIPATION IS IMPORTANT
Child participation is a right that every child has. Businesses that prioritise meaningful child participation, empower, and enable children and young people demonstrate their commitment to the rights of the child.
Prioritising meaningful child participation will help to foster a sense of community and collaboration between children and young people, parents/caregivers, and business. This is critical to maintaining trust with consumers in a rapidly evolving and complex digital environment.
Engaging regularly and meaningfully with children and young people is essential for understanding how they use digital technology. This increases the likelihood that products and services meet their needs, protect their rights, and foster their well-being. It will also make it more likely that digital experiences remain relevant for children and families.
Engaging with children and young people can significantly increase both the creativity and motivation of employees as they learn and become inspired. Equally, delivering meaningful child participation supports companies’ responsibility agenda and commitment to children’s rights, building a strong sense of pride in working for the organisation.
Through collaborative research and design relationships, organisations can create content, regardless of technology, curricular focus, or target population, built to fit those who will use it.
FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
Designing experiences meant for children and young people with children and young people is more likely to promote safety and well-being outcomes for all those who engage with it. A key part of this comes through products and services that understand and adapt to children’s unique needs, creating appropriate experiences that empower children.
Meaningful participation will better highlight the variety of user needs, cultivating a deeper sense of inclusion and belonging amongst children and young people, parents, and caregivers. Children are more likely to see themselves reflected in the digital products and services they are using.
and skill development
Bringing children into the product and service development process and business environment, even for a short time, provides the opportunity to apply their innate creativity and curiosity, and to be recognised and supported in doing so. They also have the opportunity to learn how digital products and services are designed and developed in the workplace, inspiring potential future designers.
Participatory frameworks allow for children and young people to engage with others, whether with other children or with their parents and caregivers, in a collaborative environment. Working on a project together can create strong social connections.
Let’s not forget that engaging with companies that make digital products and services that children and young people enjoy can be fun if the right space is created where children can thrive.
Managing Director & Chief Privacy Officer
Head of Play Propositions, Creative Play Lab
The LEGO group
Research Scientist Joint Research Centre European Commission
Strategic Insight Director
Director of Youth and Media
Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University
Sr. Privacy Program Manager
Creative Computing Educator
Play Pattern LLC
Kim Foulds, Ph.D.
Content Research and Evaluation
Adolescent Development and Participation Manager
Josianne Galea Baron
Programme Specialist Child Rights and Business
Head of Marketing
Dr Ronah Harris
CEO, PlayPattern LLC
Adjunct Lecturer, New York University
Senior Play Designer
Toca Life World
Head of Digital Citizenship
Becca Seibert Nast
Manager Content Research
Creative Computing Educator
Play Pattern LLC
Director, Digital Responsibility, Government and Public Affairs
The LEGO group
Sustainability Manager Children’s Rights Lead
Chief Strategy Officer
Professor Media Design
HAN University of Applied Sciences
Prof. Amanda Third
Professorial Research Fellow
Institute for Culture and Society and Co-Director, Young and Resilient Research Centre, Western Sydney University
With contributions from experts at...
Child Consultation and Responsible Business Conduct in the Digital Environment: Rights, Risks, and Opportunities
Josie Galea Baron • Fabio Friscia
Will UX Teach Us How to Get to Sesame Street? Investing in Child-Centered Research to Develop Sesame Street’s Digital Design
10 Principles to Recognise Children’s Creativity and Their Universal Rights in Design
The Kids First Approach to Co-creation
Making the Voice of Children and Young People Matter in the Better Internet for Kids Initiative
“Children Are Our Role Models”: Child Participation Through Culture, Co-creation and Inspiring Change
The LEGO Group
The Children and Young People Panel: What We Have to Say
The Children and Young People Panel
Engaging Children Cross Culturally in The Design of Products
Prof. Amanda Third
Neurodiversity and Inclusion in Digital Playrooms: Practices in Virtual Learning
KidTech: The Next Generation of Compelling and Safe Digital Products
How to Understand What Is Meaningful to Your Audience: An Honest Conversation
15 Ways to Engage Youth Within Your Company and Why You Should Do It
Empower: Privacy for Young People
Crafting AI Systems With Children: Experimenting With a Distributed Ecosystem of Actors
Crafting AI Systems With Children: Design of the Empathetic Robot Haru
Honda Research Institute Japan
Telia Children’s Advisory Panel: Giving Children a Voice About Their Online Lives
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