Manchester hosts Children’s Global Media Summit 2017

  • Key figures in children's media from around the world gathered to discuss the impact of digital technology on young people
  • Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, gave a keynote speech about online bullying and children's mental health.
  • The Summit was chaired by MediaCity-based BBC Children's

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With keynote speakers, discussion panels and representatives from FaceBook and YouTube, the summit explored the biggest issues facing children’s media, education and technology today. The central question was how media and tech companies could help the children of the future – the so-called generation U – but not hinder their development. 

What is Generation U? 

The Unlimited Generation. Many children now grow up with an expectation that media is always on demand; they have never known it any other way. A digital world without limits or end, an unlimited resource with unlimited possibilities for the unlimited generation. This poses challenges and opportunities for media and technology companies and content producers. 

The BBC’s Director-General, Tony Hall, gave the opening address to the delegates from all over the globe who had gathered in Manchester Central to address the pressing issues.

Nothing matters more than shaping a better, safer and more creative digital world for children. That’s why I’m really looking forward to the Summit – and all of us getting together to make a difference for generations to come. 

Manchester’s Mayor, Andy Burnham, welcomed in the second day of the summit by acknowledging the significance of the city’s role in digital, technological and social innovation. 

Prince William was the keynote speaker on Wednesday afternoon, expressing his ‘worry’ about how technology can affect children and he identified online bullying as a big issue. Working with social media companies, charities, parents and young people, Prince William explained his plans to make changes. His goal, he explained, was to encourage children to be “smarter, stronger and kinder”.

He also gave his backing to the new BBC website, ‘Own It,’ which offers young people advice on how to handle bullying online.

One of the topics raised was the stereotyping of girls and boys from an early age and the issues that come with this. 

Formerly known as the ‘World Summit on Media for Children’, the summit is held every three years, beginning in Australia. The last city to host it was Kuala Lumpur in 2014.