Digital Youth Work Conference

Inspiring Change? How can digital technology be a force for good in 2024 in the youth work sector in Scotland? Join us on the 6th February 2024 9:30 – 4:30, The Boardwalk, Impact Arts, Glasgow.


We’ve got lots of questions. How can youth workers support young people to develop critical thinking and use the internet for good? How do young people leap from an interest in gaming into a tech career? Can we contribute to building Scotland’s cyber resilience? How do we recognise and realise young people’s rights online? Is AI too hot to touch? What can we do about the digital divide? Can we create safer online spaces? What is a youth worker’s role in relation to employability and entrepreneurship?

If you are excited to explore these questions and more, then this day is for you!  Come and join us.

The event is free and supported by Scottish Government. The primary audience is youth workers who have an interest in using digital as part of their practice.

Digital Youth Work

Digital Youth Work is all about supporting young people to navigate their online lives as well as about using digital tools in a youth work setting. Our event explores both, with prominent themes including:


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Digital Gaming
  • Employability, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise
  • Inclusion
  • Cyber Resilience and Online Safety
  • Young people’s online rights  
Group of people discussing Digital Youth Work

Safer Internet Day 6th February 2024

Safer Internet Day takes place in February of each year to raise awareness of a safer and better internet for all, and especially for children and young people. The day is all about inspiring a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. 

Key Speakers

Meet our amazing speakers, each bringing unique expertise to the conversation on technology, youth empowerment, and employability.

Dr Karen Renaud

Dr Karen Renaud is Reader in Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

Her research focuses on human-centred security, a branch of Human Computer Interaction.

Alexander Winn

Alexander Winn is a Partnership Development Manager at The Prince’s Trust based in Glasgow.

He is part of a team responsible for delivering The Prince’s Trust’s place-based approach. Developing strategic partnerships to create sustainable employability and education opportunities, which support young people into new and emerging sectors.

Kaine Senkumba

Kaine Senkumba is 5Rights Foundation’s Youth Engagement Coordinator.

He has a background of developing children’s empowerment through education, sports, and therapeutic practices and designing educational programs and sports initiatives.

Dr. Andrew Reid

Dr. Andrew Reid is a Lecturer in Games Production at Abertay University.

His research activity focuses mainly on the design, production, and evaluation of “applied games” with interests in youth development, “games for good”, and the application of games in the third sector.

Rachel Piper

Rachel Piper is Employability Keyworker with Brag Enterprises.

Rachel has spent her career in the charitable sector mainly in youth work and employability rolesShe has worked for Brag Enterprises since 2019, and as part of the NOLB programme is responsible for supporting clients of all ages to build up the skills and confidence needed to move into employment or to set up their own businesses.


You will be able to select your workshops after signing up for the conference.

With Andrew Reid, Abertay, Rachel, Brag Enterprises

Games Design Hop -Employability

Interested in making games with young people, but don’t know where to start? Supported by Abertay Game Lab and Brag Enterprises, this hands-on session will encourage participants to explore game design as both a craft (for transforming ideas into games) and a platform (for building relationships with young people). You will work in groups to rapidly create your own game, as well as providing feedback on games made by others. The tools and materials discussed in this workshop could in turn be used as an activity with young people. 

The Trove & The Vault Experience by Articulate

Employability Inclusion 

Embark on a transformative journey with Articulate Digital Safe Space, The Trove & The Vault. Discover a powerful haven for care-experienced youth, empowering them to curate treasured memories and take control of their life story. Immerse yourself in the interactive experience of The Trove, offering a dynamic exploration of personal narratives. The Vault, our innovative app, safeguards sensitive data, keeping memories alive throughout life story work. Join us in these digital realms, where empowerment meets innovation. Your feedback fuels our commitment to continuous improvement. Let the exploration commence, shaping a future of resilience and self-expression! 

Developing critical digital literacy with young people.
With Emily Beever, YouthLink Scotland

Learn more about online risks and explore how to support young people to navigate and understand harmful social media influences. 

With Tom Hadfield, Raspberry Pi Foundation 

Join the CoderDojo team from the Raspberry Pi Foundation and get creative with technology in a digital making workshop aimed at equipping youth leaders with the tools they need to run fun, engaging activities with young people. Beginners very welcome.

Roundtable DiscussionLiz Green YouthLink Scotland 

At this time when misinformation is rife and deep fakes are everywhere, we know it’s never been so important for young people to develop their critical thinking skills. Join us to explore the role of youth work in supporting young people to think critically about the online world and share your experiences of what works and what’s challenging. 

With Steven Youngson, South Lanarkshire Council with Police Scotland and Jess McBeath, Online Safety Consultant 

Imagine if Romeo and Juliet had SnapChatCome and plan a youth work session, building in some thinking about online safety and cyber resilience. Use some great ideation techniques to bring your ideas together to create session plans for your own group. 

With Dr Matthew Leeper University of Glasgow and Evolve Education

This workshop will demonstrate the process to create good ideas, from big to small, which could be turned into a business. It will begin with a short 15-minute talk about how to come up with potential business ideas using 7 possible recipes. The rest of the workshop will let participants work in groups to ideate potential ideas from their youth work experiences. 


With Barry Haughey, Founder of HoloGen

During this workshop, we will introduce you to the world of immersive technology, such as VR, and some multi-user digital platforms that allow private meetups in a virtual environment with young people who are in different physical locations. The main goal of this workshop is to explore XR (Extended Reality) as a more inclusive form of youth work and how emerging technologies can now bring youth work to the participants who have found access to traditional youth work challenging. Additionally, we will get a chance to experience a VR youth space and discuss the fundamentals of creating a virtual youth space. 


Join us as we explore how youth activities with a focus on the development of filmmaking techniques can enhance young people’s critical thinking skills and support them to analyse different perspectives they are seeing on screen – whether that be in the cinema or tiktok! 


GMAC Film positively impacts the diversity of the Scottish screen sector by creating opportunities for under-represented people. Established as a charity in 1982, GMAC Film is an open access media centre that delivers a creative and artistic programme for all people, regardless of age, background or income to acquire the skills, knowledge, resources and confidence to realise their ambitions in film, TV and other creative industries. Our growing programme spans across film education and training, film commissioning schemes, youth work, open access screening events and room hire. 

How do we work together in the youth work sector to help young people benefit from AIWhat tools should we be using or avoidingWhat ethical issues do we need to engage with. What should happen next? 


9.30 Registration  (coffee, pastries)

9.45 In the Brian Cox Theatre….

The role of digital in helping young people towards employment,  Alexander Winn, Princes Trust

Making it safer online – a rights based approach,  Kaine Senkumba, 5 Rights Foundation

KEYNOTE: Tweens’ mental models of online dark patterns Dr Karen Renaud, University of Strathclyde

Digital Youth Work Research Hilary Phillips, YouthLink Scotland

11.20 Coffee Break

11.45 Workshops

  1. Rapid Game Design, Dr Andrew Reid, Rachel Piper: Edwin Morgan Studio
  2. Digital Liberation, Articulate:  Silver Room
  3. Influencers and Influences, YouthLink: Green Room
  4. Coder Dojo Activities, Raspberry Pi Foundation: Purple Room
  5. Round table –  critical thinking and youth work, YouthLink Board Room

13.00 Lunch

13.45 In the Brian Cox Theatre…

Digital tools, inclusion and accessibility Rachael Hatfield
Providing Pathways through Youth Work and Game Development Dr Andrew Reid, Abertay University, Rachel Piper, The Brag
Safer Internet Day Jess McBeath 

Panel: Jackie Smith Sopra Steria, Calum McDonald, Scottish AI Alliance, Ainsley Carnarvon, Hearts Innovation Centre, Dayle Luce, Cardiff Youth Services; chaired by Tim Frew YouthLink Scotland

14.45 Workshops

6. Building cyber into youth work sessions Steven Youngson, Jess McBeath and Police Scotland, Purple Room

7. Ideating entrepreneurial opportunities Green Room

8. Immersive Technologies, Barry Haughey Edwin Morgan Studio

9. Film making and thinking skills, GMAC Silver Room

10. Roundtable – AI and Youth Work, Board Room

16.00 Group activity Foyer/Edwin Morgan

16.30 FINISH

Get involved on social media!

Share what you are doing on your organisation’s social media accounts, website or wider to be part of the nationwide conversation about Safer Internet Day.




Digital Youth Work Network

The Digital Youth Network is a network open to all practitioners who use digital tools and online spaces in their work with young people. This includes within youth work and other types of engagement with young people, e.g. health, information, campaigning and careers. This network is led and co-facilitated by YouthLink Scotland and Young Scot.