Why is digital inclusion important?

27 Apr, 2023| 2023

How can we ensure that more people are included in the digital transition? Digital literacy and access to the benefits of a digital society is a democracy issue – but we know that not everyone has the skills or resources to fully participate. “Digital inclusion in action” is dedicated to promoting collaboration, dialogue, and knowledge sharing in the Nordic-Baltic region.

Although the Nordic and Baltic societies are among the most advanced in Europe when it comes to digitalisation, some groups in society risk being excluded. Digital literacy, access to hardware and stable connectivity are necessary to participate in the digital economy and society.

This research project focuses on the following societal groups at risk of being digitally excluded: 

  • Older adults
  • People with disabilities
  • People with low or no education
  • People with low income
  • Immigrants with lacking language skills
  • People residing in rural areas
  • People between 15-25 (as this group often struggle with communicating digitally with the public sector).

Our goal is to develop a clear understanding of what digital inclusion looks like in our region, and to identify the key factors that contribute to it. We will be engaging in data collection, interviews and case studies as well as working closely with civil society actors in the field of digital exclusion. The aim is to understand effects on different societal groups and to ensure that their voices are heard and understood by policy makers and practitioners in the region.

In a data tool, we will visualize the status of access to digital connectivity but also civil society support networks for groups at risk of digital exclusion in the Nordic-Baltic region and share best practices when it comes to bridging the digital gap. Groups at risk of digital exclusion will be involved, examining collaboration and support mechanisms that are enabled by civil society actors.

How can we increase digital inclusion in the public sectors in Nordic and Baltic region? Can we make sure that everyone can participate in our digital society? This is what we asked influential voices on the topic of digital inclusiveness.

Louise Kampmann is working at nextpuzzle, which is a part of the consortium Digital Europe – Nordregio’s partner in this research project. With 11 years of experience in public digitalization, Louise understands political processes and strategies to offer public digital solutions.

Jan Gulliksen is a professor in Human Computer Interaction at KTH and vice president for Digitalization at KTH. Jan is focused on digitalization from a work environment perspective and user-centric development of digital systems.

Rikke Bjerg Jensen, reader at Royal Holloway, University of London. Rikke’s research is ethnographic in nature and grounded in explorations of information security practices and needs among groups of people living and working at the margins of societies.

Johanni Larjanko, from Nordic Network for Adult Learning is an expert on adult education. Johanni works with digitalization as a crucial tool to allow inhabitants to be actively involved in everyday democratic processes.