Germán López Ardila on youth’s role in the present and future of the internet and the digital ecosystem


Datasphere Initiative


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On the occasion of International Youth Day, the Datasphere Initiative spoke to a range of youth activists, and young professionals to ask them why leveraging youth voices is important in efforts to unlock the value of data, and how can education on data governance equip youth globally with the skills they will need to promote a greener future? 

Germán López Ardila, Legal and Regulatory Affairs Director at the Colombian Chamber of IT and Telecoms (CCIT), writes about giving agency to young people, enabling their participation in data governance, and allowing them to benefit from its use while mitigating potential risks.

Read more about the campaign and other contributions here.

Youth plays a major role in the present and future of the Internet and the digital ecosystem. On that note, it is key to empower and amplify the voices of young people all over the world to create systems that consider their inputs and visions. Precisely, data is central to how information societies work nowadays, and youth is specially immersed in the use of many technologies that are data intensive. Given this context, it is fundamental to give agency to young people, so that they can participate in the governance of their own data, profiting from its use and mitigating eventual risks that might rise. In ISOC’s Youth Standing Group, we are constantly working to create scenarios for young people to raise their opinions and participate in the Internet’s multistakeholder that affect them.

Education in data governance empowers youth to be more active in the creation of a more sustainable future. Equipped with skills to ensure data accuracy, privacy, and ethical use, youth can develop innovative solutions for environmental challenges and promote sustainable development. On that note, data governance will help raise conscious leaders who leverage data to steer societies towards greener practices and a more harmonious relationship with the environment.

Germán López Ardila is a lawyer, lecturer, researcher, and advocate, working on tech regulation and policy, AI and Internet governance. currently works as Legal and Regulatory Affairs Director of the Colombian Chamber of IT and Telecoms (CCIT), the largest non-profit tech trade association in the country, lead its think tank, the ICT Creativity and Analysis Tank (TicTac), and was the former Vice-president of the Colombian Legal Tech Association (alt+co). Moreover, he lectures on tech regulation, microeconomics, and Legal Tech at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and the Universidad Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. 

Additionally, he is a board member of the Internet Society’s Youth Standing Group and has been selected as Youth Ambassador for 2023. Also, he is one of the fellows of the Policy Shapers program by the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC), a Global Policy Fellow of the Institute of Technology and Society of Rio de Janeiro, and a Junior Research Fellow at the Latin American Center for Telecom Studies (

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