Seventeen per cent of Chilliwack youth under the age of 12 years old have been exposed to online pornography, according to a recent survey.
It should be a startling statistic, but it’s not.
In today’s world, kids have access to just about everything on their cell phones, good and bad. They spend endless hours looking at little screens, trading actual human interaction and exercise for social media, YouTube videos and potentially harmful material in an unsupervised digital world.
Youth might not see their lifestyle as a problem, but many people do, and it’s a major reason that the 2020 B.C. Cities Fit for Children Summit exists.
The summit will be held in Chilliwack next spring, for the sixth time since 2006.
Over three days, May 11-13, presenters will talk about everything youth, from negative virtual interactions to social and urban planning, from healthy screen time to animal therapy – everything falling under ‘three pillars’ of physical, social and virtual environments.
They will do so using the Japanese-developed 20×20 method. Twenty slides. Twenty seconds per slide and a manageable maximum of six minutes and 40 seconds per presenter.
“The organizing committee is actively seeking presentations for the conference,” said co-chair Dan Bibby. “We’ve put invitations out across the province for individuals, agencies and local governments to identify presenters who might want to come and share some of the innovative practices that are occurring in their community.”
Bibby hopes to have 300 to 400 representatives from around the province taking in 25 to 35 presentations.
“We’re working on three keynotes as well,” he said. “And it will all take place at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, the Chilliwack Curling Club and Evergreen Hall.”
Though the conference aims to bring city planners together with municipal, provincial and federal politicians and people from the non-profit sector, it won’t be a case of a bunch of adults talking about youth with no youth in the room.
“We’ve done a lot of work the last few years engaging youth, and the whole concept of ‘nothing about us without us’ is very important,” Bibby said. “We have youth who are part of planning the conference, and we have presentations planned from the Abbotsford Youth Commission and the Chilliwack Youth Advisory Committee.
“We’re trying to keep youth front and centre.”
More information is available online at facebook.com/CF4SUMMIT2020 or email coordinator Jewel Hand at email@example.com.