Preparing the Next Generation of Digital Citizens

by Chris S. Thomas, Chief Strategist and Director of Architecture, Intel World Ahead Program

Today I delivered the keynote for the e-Inclusion track at the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2010, discussing how education and access to technology are key to creating future generations of innovators.

During the keynote, I had the privilege of participating in the announcement of Intel’s collaboration with ChildFund International and NetHope in developing a “Graduate Program” that helps prepare young people to enter the job market as informed and entrepreneurial digital citizens.

Because of the global recession we all face, millions of youth are entering adulthood at a time when few jobs are available. The “Graduate Program” initiative is aimed at teaching youth critical digital skills and providing digital access. Along with helping youth get government-issued identification, the program intends to give them access to electronic banking, job skills training and lessons on using technology for business and marketing activities. The “Graduate Program” strives to create young entrepreneurs who not only can create their own jobs, but also help create jobs in their communities. For example, by being able to access services such as eBay and Kiva via the Internet, young people can create and fund their own businesses.

Initiatives like the “Graduate Program” can help prevent youth from being swept under during today’s economic straits. Through education and access to technology, we can provide youth with the 21st-century skills needed to innovate their way into creating their own jobs.

ChildFund International reaches more than 15 million children and their family members; Intel designs and builds the technology that powers the world. By bringing together education and access to technology to the hands of youth, we are helping to ensure a future where self-sufficient, proactive young people have the opportunity to innovate and create jobs – no matter what the economic times.

Chris S. Thomas is considered one of Intel’s visionaries charting future directions for industry and computing. A driver of key technology initiatives, he directs a worldwide team of solutions architects developing starter kits, workshops and architectures for education, health care, small business and other solutions. He is engaging NGOs and development agencies worldwide in effective use of IT for emerging markets and is an active participant in World Economic Forum IT and Cloud Computing activities. He is also co-author of the book Mashup Corporations, providing the less technology aware with a very human perspective of the implications of Web2.0 and Services Oriented Solutions.

One response to “Preparing the Next Generation of Digital Citizens

  1. What a wonderful world just waiting for all those children….they will be amazed and perhaps over whelmed, but their futures are much more brighter now! Thank you!