Posted on December 12, 2017 by staff

Discussion focuses on safe digital future for our children


Senior media industry figures from across the world visited Manchester for a landmark discussion on keeping young people safe and nourished in a digital world.

Speakers at the Children’s Global Media Summit 2017 included the Duke of Cambridge Prince William, BBC Director-General Tony Hall, and Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, as well as representatives of YouTube, Facebook and TalkTalk.

Hosted by Manchester Central, a central theme of the event was who should take responsibility for keeping children safe and nourished in a digital world.

The summit was curated by BBC Children’s and chaired by Alice Webb, director of BBC Children’s and BBC North, which are based at MediaCityUK in Salford.

Marketing Manchester, BBC Children’s and Conference Partners International created the successful bid to host the event in Manchester.

The Children’s Global Media Summit was founded in 1995 in order to help secure the future of children’s programming in a rapidly-changing world.

Manchester Mayor and Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership member Andy Burnham said Manchester was the perfect place for senior media industry figures to be discussing the challenges faced by digital and technology leaders.

“I think it’s a great tribute to everybody in the city that we’ve been able to bring such a prestigious event here to the centre of Manchester – people from all over the world, people from the biggest tech companies in the world – to debate one of the big issues of our time: how do we help young people negotiate a complex world?” he said.

“In many ways, this is right place: Manchester has always married industrial innovation with social innovation.”

Martha Sama, Head of Inward Investment for Creative, Design and Technology at MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said that Manchester is already home to many companies that can help to find a solution to the issues raised at the summit.

She said: “Manchester has a legacy of technology providers – IT services, software developers, cybersecurity companies – that, when working in collaboration with some of the content providers we have in Manchester, could really tackle some of those problems locally and create solutions to some of the issues we are hearing here today.”

Summit chair Alice Webb, Director of BBC Children’s, added: “The Children’s Global Media Summit has been fantastic. As chair of the summit, I had high expectations but it’s absolutely delivered.

“We’ve had a fantastic array of speakers – over 130 people from 36 different countries. The delegates have come from even further afield.

“And what’s been really brilliant is that we’ve been able to debate and discuss what is the right future for children’s media and what is the right interplay between technology, the internet, creativity and empathy.”