Human Change is Happening Now. 

Human Change is a coalition of parents, advocates, educators, psychologists, paediatricians, clinicians, and researchers who are raising the alarm about the dangers of digital devices and social media to children’s health and development.

Digital connections are no substitute for genuine human interactions and can do more harm than good for young developing minds. It’s time to prioritize the well-being of children in our digitally interconnected world.

Human Change Testimonials

Dr Mitch Prinstein

Chief Science Officer, American Psychological Association.


“You probably already know that kids are spending a remarkable amount of time on their devices and on social media. But what you might not know is that psychological science has revealed that in many countries around the world, at least 50% of kids are experiencing one or more symptoms of clinical dependency on their devices. They’re having a hard time stopping using them even when they want to.”

Jim Winston

Trustee of the Winston Family Foundation and clinical psychologist with extensive experience observing and treating patients with addiction.


“Smartphones are strategically designed to capture and hold attention. They’re pulling for us all the time. They’re not neutral devices. They’re architecturally designed to be hyper stimulating with a nearly endless supply of digital stimuli in a parallel universe that has enormous addictive potential.”

Launched in January 2024 during the World Economic Forum Annual Meetings, the Human Change campaign aims to raise awareness of the transformation of children’s social and developmental skills caused by the use of social media and the digitalisation of children’s lives.

Just as the consequences of Climate Change require us to protect the environment,
the consequences of Human Change now require us to protect children.

Look at our week in Davos

The Human change Call to Action

We are experiencing a new digital pandemic, which is contributing to a devastating youth mental health crisis and changing the nature of human relationships and connection.

A typical teen can spend upwards of 90 days a year on their smartphone. Studies have shown that one in four adolescents use their smartphone in a way consistent with behavioural addiction. Research also suggests that the earlier children receive smartphones, the poorer their educational and mental health outcomes. Moreover, most children own a smartphone by age 7 – by age 11, 90% own one.
We are only just beginning to see the broad implications of the digital pandemic in our society: negative impacts to mental and physical health, increased divisiveness, weakened social connectivity, performance issues within the Gen Z and Gen Alpha workforce and a loss of critical life skills, and a global epidemic of loneliness and isolation.
Image of a boy sat at a bar stool staring at his phone in his hands. There is another boy next to him holding out a football asking to play.

Our vision is for childhood to be smartphone-free until age 14
and social media-free until age 16.

In the meantime, we must act now to combat digital addiction and safeguard future generations. Therefore, we are calling for:

  1. Increased attention and urgency from global health organisations, politicians, NGOs, business leaders, and the sport and entertainment world on the mental health crisis facing our children;
  2. A global campaign to ban smartphones from schools and classrooms to protect children’s learning and social development;
  3. Better education and resources for parents and caregivers to understand the developmental risks of digital device usage, to drive a global culture shift in the way we approach children and technology; 
  4. Stronger regulation of the tech industry, including requirements that they verify and enforce the age limits set on their own platforms, are held accountable for underage use of their products, publish warning labels about known developmental risks posed by their devices and applications, develop better and easier-to-use tools for parents to protect their children from excessive use or exposure to inappropriate content, and stop the collection and monetisation of children’s data, ensuring it is not used to develop potentially harmful AI; and
  5. Global support for wellbeing programmes that promote a screen-free, play-based childhood, full of meaningful real-life connections.
We appreciate the great advantages which technological advances have given society, and we believe that all adults should have the ability to use technology as they see fit. 
However, children need safeguarding.
Just as we do not allow children to drive cars or gamble in a casino until they are old enough to understand the risks, we must similarly protect children from digital addiction which jeopardizes their healthy development.
As society embraces rapid technological growth and advancement, we cannot ignore the specific developmental needs and vulnerabilities of children. Already, we can see research that shows that excessive digital device usage from an early age is damaging children’s mental health, focus and cognition, educational performance, and even the development of their brains.
Our children have the right to a childhood that enables them to develop the skills needed to thrive in a complex world, and where they can learn genuine human connection instead of relying mainly on digital connectivity.
We are working to implement changes that ensure a future where technology empowers children instead of isolating them.
14% reduction in happiness

Spending just one hour a day on social networks reduces the probability of A CHILD BEING HAPPY ‘in almost all aspects of their life’ by around 14%

University of Sheffield

One in four children and young people use their smartphones in a way that is consistent with a BEHAVIOURAL ADDICTION.

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London

Teen screen time

A typical teen can expect to spend upwards of 90 DAYS A YEAR on their phones. 

Connected Kids Report, Childwise