Communiqué: Youth and Digital Skills Symposium

14 February 2014 – The Information and Communications Technology Council and MediaSmarts are pleased to note that they successfully hosted a jointly-organized Youth and Digital Skills Symposium: Preparing young Canadians to make social, economic and cultural contributions event on February 10. We are deeply grateful to the contribution by all of our participants in shaping a highly stimulating and valuable event.

Digital technologies are fast shaping all aspects of our economy with implications for productivity and innovation in a global marketplace, and even more broadly in society. The symposium explored solutions related to digital literacy among Canadian youth, specifically those that relate to a positive contribution to Canadian economic prosperity and healthy citizen engagement. The day’s objective was to advance the cause of digital literacy skills development with leaders in industry and government and to explore practical policies, programs and partnerships that will advance this objective.

A document summarizing the symposium discussions will be available in early April. Presentations and collateral material from the Symposium will be made available at the event site at as those become available.

Approximately 90 stakeholders from the private and public sectors attended from such entities as Telus, the National Film Board, the Centre for Literacy, Facebook Canada, the Ontario Library Association, Ladies Learning Code, Willis College and Canadian Heritage.

Welcoming remarks that framed the day’s discussions were provided by the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister for Employment and Social Development Canada. Keynotes were provided by representatives of the University of California (Berkley), the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, and the OECD.

Panels moderated by representatives of Industry Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada included participants from Google, the University of Ottawa, the Manitoba Ministry of Education, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, Ryerson University, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, MaRS Discovery District, Hive Toronto and Microsoft Canada.

The day saw a wide-ranging discussion with highlights addressing a continuum of solutions for youth digital skills and literacy ranging from educational programs at schools, colleges and universities that respond to future skills needs, internship and mentorship programs, and a broad scope of definitions of digital skills and literacy that include critical thinking, technology skills and business/entrepreneurial skills.

The day was supported by Google Canada, Facebook Canada, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, Ryerson University and Interactive Ontario.

For more information, contact:

Jeff Leiper
VP Strategic Communications, Policy and Research
613.868.2375 |


Cathy Wing
Co-Executive Director
613.224.7721 |