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Digital by Default: the COVID-19 generation

Hosted by LSE Festival: Shaping the Post-COVID World

Online public event


Patricio Cuevas-Parra

Patricio Cuevas-Parra

Laurie Day

Laurie Day

Maya Göetz

Maya Göetz

Konstantinos Papachristou

Konstantinos Papachristou


Professor Sonia Livingstone

Professor Sonia Livingstone

Almost overnight, following lockdown, children’s lives became digital by default. We critically reflect on how children’s experiences, needs and rights are being, and could be better, served in a digital world. 

COVID-19 transformed society’s reliance on digital technologies as the infrastructure for work, family, education, health and more. Supposedly the digital natives are ahead of their parents and other adults in being media-savvy. In practice, children face unique challenges.  

Social science has identified a range of adverse consequences, including digital exclusion, edtech inequalities, child sexual abuse and unmet mental health needs - notwithstanding that many educational and welfare services also became digital by default.  

Meet our speakers and chair

Patricio Cuevas-Parra (@PatricioCuevasP) is the Director of Child Participation and Rights at World Vision International, and a children's rights advocate who manages research and information analysis on social justice issues affecting children and young people. He has published a variety of books and reports on the topics of children's rights, child participation, indigenous children and gender equality. 

Laurie Day is a Director at Ecorys UK, with a lead for children, young people and families research. He has over 20 years applied research and evaluation experience, with the UK Government, local authorities and third sector organisations. He is also currently overseeing a study for the European Commission on the role of digital tools in supporting inclusive education across Europe, and a research project funded by the Nuffield Foundation exploring the social impacts of the COVID-19 crisis with young action researchers. 

Maya Göetz is Head of the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television (IZI) at the Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting Corp), Munich, and of the PRIX JEUNESSE Foundation. Her main field of work is research in the area of children, youth and television, and has published more than 240 articles and 14 books within the field.  

Konstantinos Papachristou is the Youth Lead in the “#CovidUnder19 - Life Under Coronavirus” global research project and the creator of Teens4greece, an online forum for young people to express their ideas to help Greece.  

Sonia Livingstone (@Livingstone_S) is a professor in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE. She has published 20 books, including her latest co-authored publication, Parenting for a Digital Future: How Hopes and Fears about Technology Shape Children's Lives.

More about this event

This event is part of the LSE Festival: Shaping the Post-COVID World running from Monday 1 to Saturday 6 March 2021, with a series of events exploring the direction the world could and should be taking after the crisis.

The Department of Media and Communications (@MediaLSE) is a world-leading centre for education and research in communication and media studies at the heart of LSE’s academic community in central London. The Department is ranked #1 in the UK and #3 globally in the field of media and communications (2020 QS World University Rankings).

Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEFestival

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Digital by Default: the COVID-19 generation.

A video of this event is available to watch at Digital by Default: the COVID-19 generation.

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