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Nordic Digital Citizenship conference on Children’s Rights in the Digital World

Save the Children is organizing a conference on December 12th to serve as a dynamic platform for cross-sectoral dialogue, collaborative innovation, and the exchange of inspiring solutions, fostering a shared vision of providing safe and inclusive digital opportunities for all children. 

The conference will bring together professionals from NGOs, tech companies, governmental institutions, and think tanks to develop an updated and enriched understanding of important and current perspectives related to digital childhood in the Nordic context. Participants will also build a network of new contacts and generate numerous ideas for future collaboration opportunities. 

Join us to discuss current developments, address topical issues, and generate new initiatives to enhance the digital everyday lives of children. 

The conference will explore themes such as AI, privacy, and protection from the perspective of children’s rights.

Time: Tuesday 12 December 2023, 8.00-17.00 (EEST) 

Place: Scandic Park, Helsinki, Finland 

Participation in the conference is free of charge. We highly recommend joining us live on site to meet people, network and collaborate face-to-face with people across the Nordics! The morning keynote speeches will be live-streamed.


(will be updated closer to the event)

8.00-8.30 Morning coffee 

8.30 The Conference begins  

  • Welcoming words  
    Hanna Markkula-Kivisilta, Secretary General, Save the Children Finland 
    Antti Järvinen, Country Lead, Google
  • Video greeting  
    Sandra Bergqvist, Minister of Youth, Sport and Physical Activity, Swedish People’s Party of Finland, Ministry of Education and Culture 

8.50-11.15 Keynote speeches on the following themes 

  • Protecting, empowering and respecting kids online: the EU approach 
    Anna Sobkiewicz, Legal and policy officer, European Commission, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG CONNECT), Unit G.3 Accessibility, Multilingualism and Safer Internet 
  • Growing up in the age of AI
    Mikko Alasaarela, CEO, Equel Oy
    In this talk, the CEO of Equel will delve into the profound impact of algorithms on both individuals and their children, exploring strategies to navigate the negative aspects while maximizing the positive outcomes in our AI-driven era.
  • How to empower children to better understand and exercise their digital rights 
    Marie Potel-Saville, Founder & CEO of Fair Patterns and Amurabi 
    In this talk, the founder of Fair Patterns and Amurabi will share key insights on their dozens of projects designing privacy for kids and teens, and avoiding dark patterns: learnings such as how to prompt children to read legal information on their data privacy, what is the dosis of information that children can absorb, etc, and quick wins on designing inclusive privacy policies that everybody loves to read: children and parents. 
  • The dark side of innovation – and how we can make the internet safe for children 
    Emily Slifer, Director of Policy, Thorn 
    In this talk the Director of Policy of Thorn will share on how with the good of technological developments there comes a danger as well. We are sitting at an important moment where we can learn and develop a safer environment online. 

11.15 Lunch  

12.15 Workshops 

  • 1. Disinformation as a challenge to democracy and children’s rights   
    How can we protect children from the harms of online disinformation that aims to create behavioural and attitudinal changes, and accelerates with the help of AI? What roles, responsibilities and possibilities can we identify as solutions? 
  • 2. Chat GPT and Beyond: AI’s Influence on Children’s Everyday Experiences     
    What possibilities can AI bring to children’s rights to wellbeing, participation and learning? What should we do to ensure that also children’s voices are heard when planning on responsible AI solutions? 
  • 3. How to Protect Vulnerable Children from Sexual Abuse Online 
    What are the realities and needs of protecting children with particular vulnerabilities and supporting important safety skills? What solutions already exist and what further ways of working together can we identify? 
  • 4. Countering the Threat: Safeguarding Against Sextortion     
    What kind of insights, solutions and practices there are on tackling financially motivated sextortion in the Nordics? What can we learn from each other and how should we work together to protect children? 
  • 5. Childhood Under Surveillance: Weighing Safety Against Privacy     
    How do digital devices and children’s digital footprints on one hand bring safety and on the other risk children’s rights to safety and privacy? How should we tackle this dilemma in practice? 
  • 6. Empowering Children: Demystifying Privacy in Child-Centric Terms    
    What are our responsibilities as organisations to ensure children’s rights to information and privacy? What can we do and how can we work with children to make data rights and privacy statements comprehensible for children? 

Each workshop is facilitated by top specialists in the field. Attendees are invited to participate in one workshop of their choice. 

15.15 Workshop Debrief 

16.45 Closing Remarks 

The conference will be hosted by the acclaimed technology influencer and successful entrepreneur, Maria Ritola. 

Stay tuned for more information!  
We will be announcing more details on speakers and programme details soon. 

About the Speakers

Mikko Alasaarela is an impact-focused AI entrepreneur, and the founder & CEO of professional community platform Equel. He is an award-winning author and public speaker on AI, algorithmic influence and their impact on the future of humanity. With a track record of founding seven tech startups across Helsinki, Finland; Berlin, Germany; and San Francisco, CA, he boasts three successful exits to date.

Marie Potel-Saville is the founder of FairPatterns, the first Saas to fight against dark patterns, and Amurabi, an award-winning legal innovation studio. She is an international keynote speaker in human-centric law and legal innovation by design (Computer, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) in Brussels, IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington, W@Privacy, Legal Design Summit in Helsinki, LegalGeek in London…  
Before founding Amurabi, she worked in private practice for 10 years (Freshfields, Allen & Overy) in Europe, then moved in-house to become GC EMEA of a US listed group.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Innovation by Design at ENSCI. 

Emily Slifer is the Director of Policy at Thorn, a non-profit organization that builds technology to defend children from online child sexual abuse. Prior to joining Thorn she worked for the UK Home Office in the British Embassy Washington. During this time she covered a wide portfolio that include child sexual abuse and exploitation, extradition, immigration, and science & technology. She has also worked in the European Parliament for the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), the European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington, DC, and Centro UNESCO di Firenze. She has a MA in European Union Policy Studies. 


Registration for the event has closed on 10.12.2023.


If you have any questions, please reach out to us: 

The conference is organized as part of Digital Citizenship, a Google Foundation-funded pan-Nordic program that aims to provide every child with safe and non-discriminatory access to digital opportunities. It also seeks to explore opportunities for Nordic collaboration, engage ecosystem stakeholders for mutual learning, and establish new strategic partnerships to advance children’s rights in the digital world. The conference is organised in collaboration with and Google.