About a year ago Jacqueline Beauchere, now Chief Internet Safety Officer at Microsoft, called me. She was just taking over this new role, the first for Microsoft. I have known Jacqueline for many years. She is a lawyer, with lots of integrity, passion and an open mind. I have always respected her and welcomed her guidance. Because of her special way to bringing ppl and groups together, we gave her our highest award at an event hosted at the US Senate by teens and preteens I train.
"I'm conducting a "listening tour," she told me. "As I move into this position, I want to talk to all of the stakeholders and innovators in the field. I need to know what they think, need and get pointers on where we should focus our attention." I admired her doing that and welcomed her questions. As often as we had talked about these issues and spoken on each others panels, we talked for almost two hours. We were honest and talked about those I think are real and those I thought were merely copying others' ideas or in it for the money. We talked about what we were seeing and what had been done well or badly. We talked about how we have to stop reinventing the wheel and work better together. It helped me understand more and I think helped Jacqueline too.
Two months ago we hosted an enormous event on Prince Edward Island, Canada, attended by Jacqueline and Kim Sanchez from Microsoft and Facebook, Linked-In and Google as well. Hundreds of students and adults attended and many more joined via webcast. Dr. Phil and the Premiers of BC, Ontario and Nova Scotia all sent videos to support the event. The PEI Premier attended and spoke with the students for almost 25 minutes. Leading experts from the US and even Japanese national television joined us, along with all major media networks in Canada. NBC and CNN and several US newspapers covered the event and work leading up to it.
Ten days later we were invited by the Canadian Prime Minister to attend the announcement of the new cyberbullying bill before Parliament. Following that event, we traveled back to Palo Alto to meet with Instagram and Facebook leaders, flew back to NY to meet with industry and government policy leaders there and visited several other countries to update them on our upcoming strategies and our goals.
Now, back in Prince Edward Island, we are starting the cyberbullying, cybercrime, cyberwellness and sexting/sextortion listening tour of our own. We will be appointing two leadership councils, one of adult stakeholder leaders and another for youth leaders. Each Leadership Council will oversee a large task force of like stakeholders and help lead the direction of Stop Cyberbullying, Wired Safety, Digital Living Labs and Don't Stand By, Stand Up! over 2014 and beyond.
As the home of the Canada confederation, Prince Edward Island is in some ways the best place for all of this to be housed. It is also the place where the listening tour starts, tomorrow. Lots will decided over the next few weeks, as we begin our listening tour.
Both Leadership Councils will be appointed by me from stakeholders and leaders across Canada to serve for 18 months, with the ability to be reappointed, with one exception. One member will be elected based on nominations received from host province residents, and elected to serve for one year. (I will be a non-voting member.)
There will be 24 members of each Leadership Council, two of whom will be co-chairs. One of the co-chairs of each will be male, the other female and appointed by me. These appointments will be finalized over the next two weeks. Some positions have already been filled. Some invitations are pending. These are unpaid volunteer appointments.
The stakeholders represented will include health and wellness professionals, legal scholars, law enforcement, members of the media, communications leaders, risk managers, First Nation elders and youth members, government policymakers, educators, criminal and alternative justice experts, privacy experts, safety and victims' rights advocates, special needs experts, human and civil rights experts, multi-cultural representatives, faith-based leaders, technology experts and community leaders.
In addition to the 24 individuals, industry leaders will be offered a seat on the Leadership Council (limited to five seats in total), and five individual experts from the US will be appointed as North American At-Large members. While all members will participate, only Canadian individual members will have a vote. At least six members of each will be residents from the province housing the Leadership Councils (presumed to be PEI, but to be determined within the next two weeks). At least one member shall be a resident from each province in Canada.
The task forces, youth and adult stakeholders, will not be appointed. all members will apply and be prescreened. Those meeting the qualifications and agreeing to the terms of membership will be entitled to join. This will be run as part of a Canadian NGO, housed in Prince Edward Island.
Applications and more information will be posted at StopCyberbulying.org and WiredSafety.org and here over the next two weeks. It's time we created a truly Canadian multi-stakeholder group of experts and youth working for a common cause.