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Digital life is an essential aspect of any connected individual today. Many families are exposed to digital content, tech, communities, with children and young people navigating through the digital world's realms from the early stages of their lives. Digital genie of social media is powerful in helping us to connect, access information and support our lives. One of the elements that digital genie provides us access to are social media influencers. The impact of influencers on all of us and especially children and young people is undoubtful. Influencers are the 'best friends,' celebrities - heroes of the young generation who impact their decisions and behavioural and lifestyle choices. However, the role of influencers in the digital ecosystem is yet to be examined. We are yet to understand the benefits and risks associated with consuming influencer content. We are yet to explore what role influencers play in digital families, and help children, parents, and families be Internet-safe and resilient. It is not as black and white and more understanding of the influencer marketing and industry, as well as nuances around additional measures for online safeguarding is required to ensure schools and educators are equipped to support children and young people and parents are aware of their children's and families' online activities.

The Digital Marketing Institute has reported 6 in 10 teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities   


Join Us

"Digital Families Symposium 2021: Social media influencing. Express yourself and learn in a safe way" to hear the latest updates and guidance on the influencer industry, parental and educators' engagement, and online safeguarding. Experts in influencer marketing, digital resilience and safeguarding, digital parenting will provide insights into how educators, schools, local authorities, and parents can address social media influencers' impact on children's and families' online activities and developing strategies to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable. Become the master of your digital genie! 

This symposium will provide:  

  • High-level keynotes from leading experts  

  • Best practice on how to adapt e-safety plans to account for challenges associated with consuming social media influencing content   

  • Networking opportunities with speakers and other attendees  


Who should attend?

Delegates* who will have an interest in this event will be people who are parents and who work in the Education, Family and Children Support, and Digital and Technology Sectors. 

*This Conference is open to General Public (Parents) and Public, Private and Third Sectors. 

Science and Technology Class

Meet The Speakers

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Vicki Shotbolt

Vicki Shotbolt is the founder and CEO of Parent Zone, an organisation that sits at the heart of modern family life providing everyday advice, knowledge and support to shape the best possible future for children as they embrace the online world. An executive board member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety and co-chair of the UKCIS Digital Resilience Working Group Vicki leads a team that reaches millions of families every year. 

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Laura Edwards 

Laura Edwards, entrepreneur and co-founder of the award-winning Viral Talent influencer management agency.


She thrives on educating some of the world’s most recognisable brands on how to work with Influencers to ensure Viral Talent’s team deliver their client the desired social media results as well as keeping the brand safe in this exciting burgeoning industry!


She enjoys mentoring and strategically managing her influencers, to maximise their full potential. Her ultimate goal is to make them into global brands themselves, through consumer products, television, live events, films, toys and much more. Up until Covid, Laura was working in LA with companies such as Viacom, Disney, BBC, Dreamworks to name a few.


Laura has 18 years commercial experience in the multi-media industry and has recently appeared on Good Morning Britain discussing Influencer Marketing. She also speaks on a lot of related panels and is a regular guest speaker at Bournemouth University and enjoys nurturing up and coming leaders of the future.


Company Highlights – Agency of the Year at Summer In The City in 2018, Best Talent Agency in 2019 at the Influencer Marketing Awards. Taken an influencer from 30K followers to 16m followers in 3 years. 


Our next step is to work with influencers to launch and build their profile on further platforms with Facebook, Snapchat and selected OTT platforms being priority.

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Scott Guthrie

Scott Guthrie is a professional advisor on influencer marketing, a conference speaker, guest university lecturer, top 10 PR blogger, host of the Influencer Marketing Lab podcast and media commentator. He is co-chair of the CIPR influencer marketing panel, a PRCA member, and an editorial board member of both Talking Influence and Influence publications. Scott has written chapters for five business books on the subject of progressive public relations and influencer marketing plus over 175 blog posts devoted to influencer marketing.


Sapphire Upshall

Sapphire is a talented emerging singer-songwriter from London, United Kingdom. Born in 2003, Sapphire has amassed a significant global audience with her vocal talents, riffs, runs and harmonies. Sapphire’s heartfelt and youthful songwriting style has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world. Her musical style is varied, having penned the topline for ‘Unity’ with Alan Walker, an online smash with over 33 Million streams, and also created many yet-unreleased songs that are ready for the world to hear in 2020 and beyond. Sapphire’s metaphorical, relatable, and sincere lyrics are sure to capture your heart. “I just want to inspire a generation to achieve their goals and dreams through my music”.


Sapphire’s live performances are an energetic pop-dance-vocal extravaganza, and with her unique talent has performed to audiences all over the world from London’s Wembley Arena, Cologne’s Lanxess Arena, Berlin's Metrohalle Arena to intimate shows in New York City’s The Bitter End. Sapphire has toured with artists such as Bars & Melody, Union J, and has also been featured on a 50 date school tour across the UK.


Sapphire has over 120 Million streams on Youtube and has also performed on television for BBC, ITV as well as working with major record labels including her recent single release through Magic Star (Sony Records) of ‘Lights Up’ which reached number 1 on the Vevo new artist chart in the UK.


Elizabeth Milovidov

Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov is a mom to two tech-savvy little boys, a lawyer, law professor, and eSafety consultant. She is a member of the Working Group of experts on Digital Citizenship Education and an independent expert on Digital Parenting and Children and Internet for the Children’s Rights Division of Council of Europe. She is an advisor on European Cooperation and International Projects for e-Enfance, a French online child protection association providing support to parents and children in the digital age. Her core work involves researching solutions for parenting in the digital age and she has authored several guides and workbooks for parents, moderates a Facebook community for parents and is the founder of a website and community with resources for parents. 



Welcome and Registration


Opening Remarks

Dr. Elvira Bolat

and Dr. Constantina Panourgia,

Bournemouth University 


Keynote Address I: Influencer Phenomenon and Impact of Children and Families  

Scott Guthrie, influencer consultant and global expert in the influencer sectors, The Influencer Marketing Lab Education


Keynote Address II: Digital Resilience and How to Master Genie of Social Media 

Vicki Shotbolt, CEO of the UK’s experts in digital family life, Parent Zone 


Keynote Address III: Children and Family Social Media Influencing. How Doest It Work and What Can We Learn from It? 

Laura Edwards, CEO and co-founder of the UK’s leading influencer agency managing children-influencers and family-influencers, member of the Business of Influencers Board, Viral Talent and I Like Media 


Keynote Address IV: Digital Parenting and Guiding Children to be Responsible and Safe Online 

Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov, a lawyer, law professor, eSafety consultant, founder,


Special Guest

Sapphire, 16 years old singer, songwriter, performer, YouTuber and social media influencer


Panel Discussion: Social Media Influencing and Social Media Influencer Content Consumption, Issues and Opportunities

This session will provide speakers and attendees with the opportunity to discuss the main concerns they have and challenges they face regarding social media influencing aspect of digital consumption and aspects of online safety for children parents and educators should be aware of. Allowing them to share their experiences and best practice to develop safer environments for children and families  


Closing Remarks

Dr. Elvira Bolat and Dr. Constantina Panourgia, 

Bournemouth University 

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Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB, UK

Main coordinator details: Dr Elvira Bolat,  

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