Blog verkeorg 19.02.2019

Estonia and Finland promoting digitalization in youth work

Digitalization changes society profoundly. Technological development can make a positive contribution to society and human wellbeing, but concern is also growing about how it is affecting issues such as jobs, inequality, health, environment and security.

Estonia and Finland have, in many respects, been forerunners in the digital transformation. In 2017 Estonia was named ‘the most advanced digital society in the world’ by Wired magazine. Finland was ranked first in the degree of digitalisation in the Digibarometer 2016 survey, which analyses the impacts of nationwide utilization of digitalisation in 22 countries.

Digital transformation has been taken seriously also in the Estonian and Finnish youth work and youth policy development. Recent years the Estonian Youth Work Centre (EYWC), the government agency for youth policy and youth work development, and Verke, the national Centre of Expertise for Digital Youth Work in Finland have raised actively digitalisation and the technological development in the European youth work agenda. Kati Nõlvak, the Estonian editor of the book adds:  “Both Finland and Estonia have made a lot of progress regarding digital and smart youth work. Cooperation gives us and for the readers a wider perspective on the topics and the chance to present more versatile and also complimentary examples and opinions.”

As a result of the collaboration, the two organizations have produced a new publication called ‘Digitalisation and youth work’. The book aims to provide new perspectives on the digitalisation and technological development of society, by approaching the subject through four major themes: skills and competences, participation and engagement, equality, and improving growth and living conditions. The goal is to highlight the technological, social and cultural impact of digitalisation in the context of youth, and to map and address the opportunities and risks associated with technological development. The book also highlights the concepts of digital and smart youth work, and how they can help in meeting the opportunities and overcoming the current and future challenges faced by youth work.

Digitalisation and youth work is available as a download in PDF format. The publication can also be ordered for free in printed form in www.verke.org/publications.

Another form of concrete collaboration is the very first European SomeCamp event, set to be held in Kloogaranna, Estonia from June 11th to June 14th of 2019. While the concept is based on Verke’s pre-existing SomeCamp event, this first international edition is planned, prepared and executed in close co-operation between Verke and EYWC. The program of the event aims to find a balance between practical workshops, expert keynotes and sharing and innovating among peers. The goal is to also build new partnerships and networks between practitioners from different countries. The enrollment for the event will open on 4 March at http://www.somecamp.eu/ and the draft program can be found here.

For more information, please contact:
Heikki Lauha, Verke: heikki@verke.org, +358 40 3361 856 (Publication)
Juha Kiviniemi, Verke: juha@verke.org, +358 40 1835 264 (SomeCamp)
Kati Nõlvak, Estonian Youth Work Centre: kati.nolvak@entk.ee, +372 557 6677