24 March 2022 | Thursday | News
Image Source : Public Domain
DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia, March 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of efforts to raise awareness of digital wellbeing issues, digital wellbeing program, Sync, is set to bring together leaders from across tech, academia, sports, culture and policy at the end of this month for its inaugural Sync Digital Wellbeing Summit.
Held between 29th and 30th March at The King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra), Saudi Arabia, the Summit will provide a platform for thought leaders to develop new solutions for protecting the wellbeing of digital media users worldwide.
Focusing in on five key areas of concern, Summit sessions will invite speakers to offer insight and perspective on the topics of digital addiction, privacy, fake news and misinformation, relationships and algorithms. It is hoped that the exchange of ideas and knowledge can help to inspire tangible change in how we interact with, regulate and design digital platforms.
Abdullah Al-Rashid, Director of Sync says: "Our understanding of the complex impact of digital technology and social media on our relationships, personal wellbeing and society trails far behind our understanding of the tech itself and how to get the most clicks, likes and engagements out of it. It's only in recent years that we have begun to have conversations around the more harmful aspects of our relationship with digital and social media. As the pandemic drove even greater integration of digital tech into our lives, it's important that we invest more into these conversations to ensure that we uncover the full picture, and in doing so, avoid proposing solutions that focus only on symptoms rather than causes, and are short-term, partial, isolated fixes rather than meaningful, holistic or lasting changes.
"The Sync Digital Wellbeing Summit will bring together the most prominent experts in this field, as well as key stakeholders, cultural figures and influencers to discuss issues of digital wellbeing on a scale never before organised. Summit sessions will see our thought leaders ask provocative, but necessary, questions about our relationships with technology; provide insights into its impacts and offer solutions to the challenges we face. Only by collectively asking the right questions can we successfully define the path to a healthier relationship with technology."
Amongst the roster of thought leaders expected to speak at the Summit, will be major figures representing tech, NGOs, charities, Governments and the cultural influencer community. The headline speakers include:
Will Gardner OBE, CEO at Childnet – a UK charity campaigning for a safer internet for children – said: "The online world provides incredible opportunities for children, but also presents risk, and this is the case for children all over the world. There is a clear need for policy, regulation, protections and education to keep pace with this fast-moving environment, to ensure children are able to look after themselves as well as others online, but also for this work to include the voice of young people, sharing their experiences, their concerns and their ideas. I am looking forward to engaging on how to progress this area at the Sync Digital Wellbeing Summit".
Speakers attending the Summit will be invited to discuss a broad range of topics relating to digital wellbeing. Attendees can expect to hear experts talking to the latest thinking on a number of issues pertinent to digital wellbeing. Panel session and speech highlights will include:
A full Summit agenda will be announced in due course.
The Summit will also play host to an Agora, bringing together attendees in a public forum to help encourage the generation of new strategic ideas. This will involve breakout sessions where attendees will be able to share their thoughts on how to best promote the global digital wellbeing agenda. Led by topics discussed in the speaker sessions, the breakout sessions will cover 'The Digital Wellbeing Future We Want' and 'Building A Global Digital Wellbeing Movement'.
During the Summit, Sync will doing deep dive sessions with SMEs and researchers from diverse nations, experience and background aimed at bringing together key insights around digital wellbeing with and the way forward and future of digital wellbeing.
Sync data illustrates growing concern for our relationship with tech
The Summit follows the launch of Sync's first whitepaper, Global Digital Wellbeing Report 2021. The research illustrates how embedded new media and tech has been into our daily lives in recent decades, but with a particular focus on how such trends have accelerated as a result of the pandemic. Research from the Global Digital Wellbeing Report was also included in a paper published by Prof Justin, Department chair of Psychology at Zayed University, and the Sync Research Fellows. It was published in Frontier in Psychiatry, the most-cited Multidisciplinary Psychology journal in the world. As an open-access journal, the article is accessible for readers here.
Sync's survey of 15,000 people, included in both the report and paper, found that:
Sync also recently announced another collaboration with the Digital Wellbeing Research Center at University of Milano-Bicocca which will use a holistic new approach to study college students' relationship with their smartphones, including impact on concentration and anxiety in different social contexts.
Marco Gui, Director of the Center, says: "Every university student today owns a smartphone, delivering connectivity past generations could only dream of. But at what cost? We're grateful for Sync's support for our new methodology to investigate the potentially beneficial and harmful effects of being permanently connected."
To find out more, visit https://sync.ithra.com/.