Trust and New Technology – a spoken word response


On Wednesday 7th May, an audience comprising young people 14-25 including school students from as far a field as Coventry, gap year students, university students and stakeholders from the world’s of technology, education and youth engagement came together for the third in the series of debates held at Free Word Centre with a focus on young people and the business of Trust.

The purpose of this debate was to take a closer look at the very pertinent topic of surveillance, privacy and technology and wondering whether it is possible to maintain security and privacy at the same time? Many questions around our rights and whether they were being transgressed in the name of protection and security were posed and a big over-riding concern seemed to be whether we should be worried about the future impact and effects on young people who are encouraged to live out so much of their lives online. There is more information on this in young blogger Sandra Townsend’s response here.

The debate was hosted by BBC Radio 1 Dj and broadcaster Gemma Cairney who expertly guided the panellists and the audience towards discussing and finding out some of the answers to the many, many questions that came up. On the panel for the first half of the debate, Acting Director of Big Brother Watch, Emma Carr gave us an informative and insightful macro and political perspective on surveillance and privacy and how that effects us. In the second half, Gemma was joined by Hannah Flynn, Senior Communications Officer for ChildLine and 19 year old blogger and gap year student Claudia Andrew talking about privacy and security and online behaviour from more of a young person’s and personal perspective.We also had the wonderful Deanna Rodger who performed two poems relating to our theme.

For an audio podcast of the event, a 15 minute highlights film plus blogs and links please visit the Free Word website.
Below is an impressionistic poem of what she took away from the evening written by 19 year old gap year student Kimberley Nyamhondera.

To listen click below.

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