The children’s global media summit began in Manchester and the first day brought together speakers from education, media, government and technology to discuss the impact that digital technology will have on the lives of children and young people.

DAY one at the summit, held at Manchester Central, began with Poet, Tony Walsh who shared his poem, ‘This is the Place’ with attendees at the event, offering an inviting and very Mancunian welcome to delegates who have travelled to the conference from across the world.

Welcome speeches from the summit Chair and Director of children’s BBC, Alice Webb, Tricia Edgar gave special mention to the atrocity which took place at the Manchester Arena, in which 22 people lost their lives.

The event will explore the impact of media on children across a range of platforms and it is hoped the learning will be used to shape the future of digital technology and children’s programming.

A number of keynotes and panel talks ran throughout the day. VIVA journalist attended the keynote delivered by Dave Coplin, CEO at The Envisioners, who addressed the summit to highlight the opportunity the event gave for all, to stop, think and discuss the future of media for the next generation of children and young people.

His words and personal stories, resonated with the crowd that was made up of media personnel, educators, and content creators but many who were also parents of children and young people themselves.

For over 25 years, Dave Coplin has provided strategic advice and guidance on the impact of technology on a modern society in order to help organisations and individuals envision the full potential that technology has to offer. He told delegates at the summit;

“Generation U’ is the term which represents the children, who are yet to be born, and whose futures will be unlimited by their potential.”

His engaging speech drew attention to the education of children and young people which Coplin described, as ‘being no different than the Victorian education system’.

He encouraged change, and told delegates, ‘We have a collective duty of care, to ensure all young people are equipped and skilled for life’.

Following this, Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC, spoke at the summit and shared the BBC’s manifesto for children and young people, sharing news of the BBC’s new website for children aged nine to 12-year-old.

The site, called Own It, comes from the £34m investment in children’s programming over the next three years.

He told delegates at the summit: “It’s aimed at an age group we know are particularly affected by the day-to-day pressures and dilemmas of life online. And it offers them guidance on what they say they want help with.”

“It’s called ‘Own it’, because it’s there to help them take control and be the boss of their online lives. We’re delivering it in partnership with a whole range of organisations in the field of child internet safety.”

Other discussions across the day included a panel exploring diversity and inclusion, which asked; how we can ensure children and young people from all backgrounds are represented in the media.

The panel as hosted by presenter and actor Adam Pearson and included speakers from around the world including Yasmin Abdel-Magied, author, and engineer and Aaron Haroon Rashid, the creator of the animated TV series Burka Avenger.

Another panel was led by Presenter Ferne Corrigan explored, edutainment and delegates listened to speakers including, Korean YouTube star and educator Cha Kil-Yong, Producer Tim McKeon, Kenyan, Ballet teacher Wamaya and Gongola Fransca from DragonBox who shared his thoughts about learning and fun, sharing a video of a 4-year-old child playing on an algebra app for fun.

Baroness Beeban Kidron the Founder of 5Rights, led a discussion which considered how, in a world where smartphones rule, childhood is changing. And shared a new report Digital Childhood which identifies 36 recommendations, that work towards improving the digital lives of children and young people.

Day two at the event will include a keynote from Prince William, Duke of Cambridge who will talk about how the digital world impact upon children’s mental health and wellbeing.