As IQ becomes less important, DQ comes to the fore

DQ is an acronym for ‘Digital Intelligence’. However, this term does not just refer to an individual’s ability to master modern technologies. The DQ Institute, which coined the acronym in 2016, defines the term as the sum of social, emotional and cognitive competencies that are needed to enable an individual to handle the challenges of the digital era and accept digital transformation.

DQ is by no means something that we are born with; rather, we have to construct it. And as with language-learning, the most important years are those of early childhood. 

Research by the DQ Institute conducted among children aged between 8 and 12 across 29 countries has shown that over 50% of children have already been exposed to the negative effects of the internet, whether that’s online violence, digital identity theft or excessive amounts of time spent in front of a computer. Children who live in less developed countries are even more exposed to the negative effects of the online world.

All countries’ education systems are still quite ineffective when it comes to DQ. The burden of teaching children about the digital world therefore mostly falls on the parents, who are themselves often in the dark when it comes to teaching them about the pitfalls. The DQ Institute has therefore launched the ‘DQ Every Child’ initiative in partnership with the World Economic Forum. Its aim is to establish an international programme that helps children around the world develop DQ. The programme has been operational for nine months and has so far helped more than 600,000 children in 30 countries. The DQ of children who have joined the programme has risen by an average of 10%, which means that the chances of them being subject to online abuse have fallen by 15%.