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The Berkman Center is pleased to announce that it has recently organized all of its research efforts relating to young people and technology – including new work on youth in developing countries – under a single project umbrella, led by Urs Gasser and John Palfrey.

The new Youth and Media project embraces:

  • the work that grounded John Palfrey and Urs Gasser’s Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives (which the Berkman Center 2010 summer interns transmuted into a set of short videos!);
  • our ongoing Youth and Media Policy Working Group Initiative, supported by the MacArthur Foundation and led by danah boyd, Urs Gasser, and John Palfrey, which aims to bring the best research on youth and media into policy-making debates – with a growing number of papers and resources; and
  • a research project, now in its beginning phases, concerning online safety risks to children in developing countries, which builds upon an exploratory study undertaken in collaboration with UNICEF (Working Towards a Deeper Understanding of Digital Safety for Children and Young People in Developing Nations).

To advance this third project, the Berkman Center is housing a Digital Media and Learning (DML) Research Hub Working Group to explore safety issues related to the use of digital technologies (including mobile phones) in the developing world. (For more about the MacArthur Foundation-supported DML Hub, visit Participants have gathered at the Center today to begin tackling this under-researched area in a two-day, interdisciplinary workshop. Developments will be documented via Youth in Developing Countries.

Many people at Berkman have contributed formally and informally to the Center’s work on youth and technology over the last few years: danah boyd, Sandra Cortesi, Judith Donath, Corinna di Gennaro, Eszter Hargittai, Gene Koo, Dena Sacco, Toshie Takahashi, Shenja van der Graaf, Rosalie Fay Barnes, Erin Mishkin, Miriam Simun, and many others. We’re grateful for their contributions and look forward to future collaborations.

Last but not least – thanks to the efforts of a terrific current project team – Youth and Media is now in the process of moving into spiffy new headquarters at

We hope you will visit the Youth and Media project and stay tuned for new, outgoing research from all of our activities in this area. As always, we welcome your feedback.

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Youth and Media

Youth and Media (YaM) encompasses an array of research, advocacy, and development initiatives around youth (age 12-18) and digital technology.

Publications 01

Sep 1, 2008

Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives

Based on original research and advancing new theories, leading internet and technology experts John Palfrey and Urs Gasser offer a sociological portrait of the 'Born Digital'…