Growing up 2.0:Young people's prospects in a networked society

Online discussion by Telefónica O2 Germany and UPJ about the future opportunities of the Facebook generation

MUNICH/Berlin. Telefónica O2 Germany and the charitable association UPJ e.V. offer a joint invitation to an open discussion: "How is the networked world changing the life and work prospects of young people?" What are the challenges of growing up in a digital age? How important is a competent and self-confident grasp of the new media in terms of education, occupation and social inclusion? These questions will be discussed with representatives from industry, society, politics and administration on the independent online platform from 11 October to 7 November.
The internet has become established as the key medium for young people. A large part of young people's social life takes place online: 70 percent of 12 to 24-year-olds use online communities such as Facebook or SchülerVZ several times a week (source: Landesanstalt für Medien (LfM) [State Institute for Media]). But how does this media usage influence young adolescents in their social behaviour? Does dealing with new media make them particularly clever and fit for their working future? Is it a matter of course that all young people will be (self-) confident users of new media? O2 also asks the question about corporate responsibility: To what extent can and should companies improve the job and life prospects of young people, over and beyond the provision of apprenticeships?
"In Germany we have been committed for many years to the promotion of media skills among children and young people," explains René Schuster, CEO of Telefónica O2 Germany. "For example, with our "Think Big Media College" programme we encourage disadvantaged young people to open up new life and job prospects by means of the creative use of modern media." Interested parties are invited to take part in the discussion from 11 October to 7 November at The discussion will include expert contributions which are intended to aid the opinion-forming process, from Johannes Raffel, Youth Bank Deutschland e.V., Dr. Thomas H. Osburg, Intel Corp., Dr. Sabine Schweder, Deutsche Kinder- und Jugendstiftung, Ulrike Wagner, JFF - Institut für Medienpädagogik in Forschung und Praxis, and Martin Wißkirchen, Deutscher Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband - Gesamtverband. The contributions will then be evaluated by UPJ, presented in the context of a concluding event and critically discussed with a panel of experts with regard to the resulting recommendations for action.
Telefónica O2 Germany GmbH & Co. OHG belongs to Telefónica Europe and is part of the Spanish telecommunication group Telefónica S.A. The Company offers its German private and business customers postpaid and prepaid mobile telecom products as well as innovative mobile data services based on the GPRS and UMTS technologies. In addition, the integrated communications provider also offers DSL fixed network telephony and high-speed internet. Telefónica Europe has about 55 million mobile and fixed network customers in Great Britain, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany. UPJ is a network of engaged businesses and non-profit intermediary organisations in Germany. At its core are projects that contribute to resolving social problems in creating new links between companies, non-profit organisations and public authorities. The non-profit UPJ e.V. also supports these parties, giving information and advice on the development and implementation of their Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Social Responsibility activities.