Foróige welcomed into the Oireachtas for Digital Youth Showcase

Alan July 4, 2023

Young people, volunteers and staff members from Foróige were welcomed into the Oireachtas on Tuesday 4th of July 2023 for a Digital Youth Showcase. ​​

The showcase focussed on how we can mitigate the risks associated with digital technologies and social media platforms, while empowering young people to use technology to their advantage safely and securely.

Members of both Houses of the Oireachtas engaged with young people from around the country who demonstrated youth work in virtual reality, coding, robotics, engineering, artificial intelligence and much more.

Foróige is committed to supporting young people to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to navigate the digital world safely, responsibly, and creatively, and contribute to thriving communities online and offline. To this end Foróige is launching a new digital youth brand called Foróige Go - Digital skills for what's now and next - which was displayed at the showcase.

As part of the Digital Youth Showcase members of the Oireachtas used virtual reality headsets to join a Foróige Club taking place in the virtual world and spoke directly with young people in North Donegal, West Cork and Arranmore Island. Alongside VR, young people introduced TDs and Senators to a variety of digital innovations, from podcasts created using cutting-edge audio technology to products designed and manufactured using 3D printing technologies. Creative learning technologies were also on display like using artificial intelligence for good and the many ways online safety and resilience underpins Foróige approach to digital youth work.

Ceann Comhairle, Mr. Seán Ó Fearghaíl, addressed the young people and staff members at the event stating ‘We are pleased to welcome Foróige into Leinster House to hold a Digital Youth Showcase. There is no doubt that technology is somewhat of a double-edged sword, with so many opportunities and so many challenges. The young people here today will show us all the future of the digital world and instil in us the confidence to embrace it. 

The exhibition outlines the risks associated with digital technologies and social media platforms, and looks at how these risks can be mitigated, to empower young people to use technology to their advantage in a safe and secure manner. The young people we see here today and throughout the Foroige network will be our future leaders.’

Seán Campbell, CEO of Foróige, commented at the event ‘Foróige and the young people, volunteers and staff engaged in the organisation are honoured to have the opportunity to showcase recent innovations in digital youth work and non-formal education, and the value of empowering young people with the skills and mindset they need to actively shape the digital realm for the better. Digital youth work has been a part of Foróige for over 20 years.

The scope of our digital youth work takes many forms and they are now all wrapped together under our new umbrella brand of Foróige Go - digital skills for what’s now and next. All of our digital youth work programmes are designed to facilitate young people to grow their empathy, critical thinking, and digital citizenship. 

He continued ‘These skills are essential not just to young people’s engagement with digital technologies, but also in their day-to-day lives and relationships, supporting their personal and social development, their values, and their ability to connect with others positively. This work will secure the future of Ireland at the forefront of innovation, enterprise, and digital transformation, by creating a generation of highly skilled entrepreneurs and leaders.’

To learn more about Foróige Go - Digital skills for what's now and next - click here.