The Youth Observatory is a nonprofit organization founded in September 2015 and joined the Internet Society (ISOC) as “Special Interest Group” (SIG) since 2016. It is formed mostly of young people between 18 and 25 years from different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Its objectives are the same as the Internet Society, but with emphasis on the training of young people in knowledge of the ecosystem and Internet governance in order to increase their participation in these spaces, the disclosure of the importance of these topics and academic research.
The Youth Observatory was an initiative borne in the context of the Youth@IGF 2015, a program led by Internet Society and CGI.br initiative that tried to increase the participation of youth in the areas of discussion of Internet governance in Latin America and the Caribbean and was attended by 120 young people from the region.
There is no formal date of launch because the idea of making the Youth Observatory was evolved during the program, but at the end of September 2015 we had already decided the name of the organization and its main objectives. At this stage the first major collaborative project was the writing and publication of the “Youth Declaration”, a document written in Spanish, Portuguese and English that expressed our concerns and wishes about the participation of youth in the areas of discussion of Internet governance. Copies of this document were delivered to different personalities.
The first physical meeting of the Youth Observatory members was held in Joao Pessoa (Brazil), during the Internet Governance Forum, where they were finalized objectives, certain responsibilities were established and communication channels were set up to undertake to formalize the organization.
This process ended in February 2016 when we received the approval of Internet Society and we were recognized with the status of “Special Interest Group” (SIG), which means that since that moment we have all the rights enjoyed by chapters local Internet Society, including which it is funding, advice and logistical support to achieve our goals, as well as been supported by an organization with global reach.