“Digitalisation has reached the world of children,” says Jörg Schüler, the founder and managing director of “Digital Heroes”. On average, children use a smartphone from the 5th grade onwards, yet as a rule know nothing of the associated risks. Under the umbrella of the bank’s Made for Good programme, Deutsche Bank IT expert Nicole Gieseler has been advising Jörg Schüler, and helping him develop his business model, since 2015.
Jörg Schüler in conversation with Nicole Giseler
The managing director on...
...the “Digital Heroes”:
“It is primarily a social competence project. We train children in the 8th grade to pass on knowledge to younger children in the 5th and 6th grades on the prevention of cyber-mobbing and sexting, as well as know-how on copyrights, picture rights and password security. The older students and teachers pass on this knowledge in the classroom and school workshops. We support a school for at least a year and also offer information sessions for parents.”
...the influence of the media on children and young people:
“Children can do lots of great things with their smartphones: they can learn maths, watch videos, and communicate with friends. There is the danger, however, that ill-considered actions can have unforeseen consequences.”
...(the relevance of) media competence:
“In our view, digital competence and social competence are inextricably linked. The smartphone competes for children’s attention, and this is something they have to learn to deal with. If they are doing their homework and the class group on WhatsApp peeps, and at the same time they are watching something exciting on YouTube, they have to be able to prioritise.”
“Young people can use media relatively well when it comes to the technical aspects – where do I change settings, how do I install an app, how do I delete an app? It is the role of adults and older students, however, to teach a social awareness of digital media. This means asking the question: ‘What are the consequences of my digital actions?’”
…the school system of the future:
“If I could choose how our school system should look in the future, I would like to see more personal responsibility, voluntary learning and social areas in which pupils and children can make a greater personal contribution. Not a system based on conformance, but one which takes into account the personal inclinations of the students.”
The IT expert on...
…the cooperation with “Digital Heroes”:
“We met each other through the “Social Impact Lab”, which Deutsche Bank promotes as part of the “Made for Good” programme. At the events, which bring social entrepreneurs and potential mentors together, it soon became clear to both parties that it could be a successful exchange of opinions and findings. We look at issues such as the business strategy, risk management and financial planning.”
…the “Made for Good” programme:
“Deutsche Bank has a lot of experience in promoting entrepreneurship. This spectrum is being expanded with “Made for Good” so as to support social entrepreneurs who promote social change.”