The SIGNIS World Congress 2022 hosted a space dedicated to giving young people a chance to tell their stories and experiences in digital evangelization, to talk about what they have learned and how to take their knowledge to the next level. 

One of the participants of the International Youth Forum was Lyka R. Lakindanum – Head of Digital Media Production for Communication Foundation for Asia, from the Philippines. Lyka took the stage to talk about how to empower and engage more youth to become next generation’s leaders. 

She started by emphasizing how much social media has reshaped our way of living – for the good and bad. In fact, if on one hand, we got the chance of meeting new, interesting people and connecting with our loved ones, on the other one, social platforms often become a fertile ground for toxicity, misinformation, and cancel culture. For Lyka “we can’t, as a society and as individuals, quit social media or decide what others should or should not post, but there are ways of doing better and using these tools as something good”.

Using as an example her home country – the Philippines – Lyka painted the current situation of the internet’s “youth prosumers”: individuals that both consume and produce media content at a very young age. These are content creators, vloggers, tiktokers. People could exploit for the better the engagement they create with their peers, going beyond make-up tutorials and silly videos, by focusing on advocacies and calls-to-action, maximizing their platforms for a greater purpose. 

Ms. Lakindanum firmly believes that youth prosumers can become game-changers if they choose to. Indeed, the goal of Communication Foundation for Asia (CFA) is to make the most of youth’s creativity and skills to achieve the objectives of evangelization and world peace. To do so, they have sustained and created a series of projects in which the youth plays a central part and that range between a series of different arts and means of expression. 

Lyka affirmed that the way in which CFA continues to be sustainable and engage with the youth is through synodality – a process of joining one another and collaborating through mentorship and openness. The idea is that when young people enter the program, they don’t just learn a skill or two, but they get to be listened to and have the possibility of sharing their stories with the organization. This passing of principles, ideals, and morals ensures that, once the program is over, young people take the message with them and apply it to their content creation and their digital production. 

According to Lyka Lakindanum, “new media will always bend towards what is trendy and popular, so instead of following trends, the real way of empowering youth prosumers is by creating new trends that serve a greater purpose”.

To watch Lyka’s full presentation, click here.