The challenges and rewards of global digital citizenship

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Staff and students of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University attended a workshop on global digital citizenship co-delivered by Professor Sam Lanfranco of York University, Toronto, and XJTLU Visiting Professor Klaus Stoll.

“When we access digital spaces we become digital residents,” said Professor Stoll, “and like physical residence, it carries digital rights and duties. Digital citizenship, by its nature, is always global.”

Professors Stoll and Lanfranco argued for and proposed strategies on how to implement curricula to build global digital citizenship at institutions of higher education, including XJTLU.

“Global digital citizenship enables users to control their destinies in cyberspace, reap the benefits of digital opportunities, and participate as citizens in digital governance and affairs,” said Professor Stoll (pictured below).

The professors also warned that to remain competitive in the digital space users must uphold the essential ‘currencies’ of security, stability, and trust.

Regarding applying concepts of global digital citizenship to higher education, Professor Lanfranco said:

“Global digital citizenship should be taught as part of interactive lectures, online modules and workshops, and during mentoring and internships. Such a curriculum should promote engagement and integrity, and awareness of digital innovations and opportunities.”

According to professors Lanfranco and Stoll, bolstering global digital citizenship will have positive effects on many important issues such as: intellectual property and trademark issues; global data protection, regulations and duties; global digital dispute resolutions; and engaging with global digital governance structures.

“Without global digital citizenship we cannot harvest the digital promises of a better tomorrow,” Professor Lanfranco concluded.

Professor Youmin Xi, executive president of XJTLU, spoke at the workshop and emphasised the University’s commitment to support global digital citizenship:

“Our University’s innovative education practices will train students to become professionals and industry leaders,” he said. “Through mentoring and internships, the University and its partners are developing students into lifelong learners who will thrive in the internet ecosystem.’

by Nelson Omenugha; photos by Chen Chen; edited by Danny Abbasi


The global digital citizenship workshop was organised by the Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development at XJTLU. To find out more, visit their official webpage.

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