Press Release 5.6.2024

The new book “A Humanely Digital Finland” draws a broad picture of societal digitalisation through the eyes of renown organisations and their leaders

the book "inhimillisesti digitaalinen Suomi" / A humanely digital Finland

5.6.2024 09:00:00 EEST

What should everyone know about digitalisation, right now and on the journey ahead? How does digitalisation shape life, work, and society? What makes digitalisation humane? Humanely Digital Finland is a new book published by the Digitalisation consultancy Gofore. The stories and insights of the book give insightful perspectives on digitalisation by 12 pioneering organisations and 16 leaders. The interviews dive into topics such as how humane digitalisation is made and led.

The book features digital society organisations, forerunners and leaders that are driving digitalisation forward in Finland, including: Markku Heikura from the Finnish Tax Administration, Janne Viskari from Digital and population data services agency, Nina Nissilä from Social Insurance Institution Kela, Jarkko Levasma from the Ministry of Finance, Hannu Krook from SOK (retail); presented are also the Finnish broadcasting company YLE, Business Finland, wellbeing services county of Southern Savonia Eloisa, City of Tampere, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, and KEHA Centre of development centres. Gofore’s insights are provided by CEO Mikael Nylund and Chairman Timur Kärki, one of the company’s founders.

The insights of the book present Finland as a leading country and nation in digitalisation, where the biggest change has recently begun. Services are being developed in a new way, where listening to people and citizens is the key factor. At the same time, digitalisation addresses issues such as equality, inequality, and security.

As Finland is year ranked as the world’s happiest country year after, digital services and possibilities should be available for everyone. The book challenges to consider if humane digitalisation should even become a new Finnish export product.

Gofore has been centrally involved in digitalising society and public sector services for over 20 years.

“We want to encourage Finland and Finnish organisations to remain forerunners of digitalisation and remind that the potential and benefits of digitalisation are greater than the obvious needs we see now. All decisions we currently make or leave undone shape our society for decades to come. It’s about creating value for people, the environment, and business, where seamless cooperation across organisational and national borders is crucial. The potential and benefits of digitalisation are greater than we can see”, says Mikael Nylund, CEO of Gofore.  

Author Martti Vaalahti additionally presents 12 thesis on humane digitalisation on the book, based on interviews with organisational leaders, outlining how to ensure that digitalisation belongs to everyone in Finland.

The book is being published in Finnish in print, as an e-book and an audio book in June 2024. It will be available printed in English and in German next fall.

Quotes from the book:

Jarkko Levasma, CIO, Ministry of Finance
“Human-centric digitalisation means using digital tools to make life easier for people and businesses. This means that humans are not expected to do things that can happen automatically. A person participates in the process when their input is needed, and they are prompted to participate.”
“Producing humane digital services requires a new way of thinking. It is essential to recognise and accept that there are other parties involved, and by collaborating with them, services can be approached from a much more human-centred perspective. For citizens, humane digitalisation does not require much more than an open and unbiased attitude towards new approaches. Generally, the most significant step forward has been the reduction in face-to-face and phone interactions, with digital interactions steadily increasing. Pre-filled solutions in transactions are becoming more common, meaning that information is gathered in advance for the customer, who only needs to review and possibly supplement it.”
“Creative AI brings natural language as a convenient way to use digital services when necessary. Services should primarily operate in the background automatically and only disrupt us busy citizens when there is a reason to do so.”

Markku Heikura, Director General, Finnish Tax Administration
“On a general level, I hope for the advancement of government services towards digitalisation and organisation, allowing us to utilise available information across departments without having to inquire about the same matters repeatedly – there is, of course, legislation in place for this, but it hasn’t practically materialised. With more efficient use of information, it would also be possible to anticipate individuals’ service needs and make proposals regarding anticipated service requirements.”

Hannu Krook, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO, SOK (retail sector)
“In Finland, there is a need for increased collaboration among various stakeholders. This enables both the vitality of municipalities and the service of elderly people. Examples include highly automated shopping lists, transportation chains to the doorstep, and associated benefits.”
“The issue is not only about e-commerce, digital services, or applications, but about the digitalisation of business and the entire ecosystem, and its management through information. It is encouraging that data can be used to do good and we can save money simultaneously. Human-centred digitalisation increases awareness and helps to make smart choices easily.”
Nina Nissilä, Direcror of IT Services and Shared Services, KELA: ”Humane digitalisation is more than a well-built online services. It requires good quality of data in registers, integration between different registers and smooth ways to exchange and transfer data between different service providers. It is not only about service design, but also a matter of culture. We also need to understand what makes up the customer experience in each country. For example, the history of some countries contributes to the way in which they deal with personal data. The use of personal data registers, on the other hand, will determine how services can be developed and how the users see and experience those.”

Mikael Nylund, CEO, and Timur Kärki, CoB, Gofore
“At the heart of humane digitalisation is the idea that services make people’s everyday lives smoother – not that people struggle to adapt to a digitising world. Digitalisation is about building a sustainable, flexible, and functional society for all of us. The systems and operating models being built now will shape and guide people’s lives for years, even decades. Therefore, it is meaningful to build them with the idea that they will also meet tomorrow’s needs. It’s about creating added value and being beneficial to people, the environment, and businesses, which requires constructive policy discussions and a shift in thinking and attitudes. We invite the entire society to participate in this dialogue – let’s together address real problems and collaborate closely across organisational and national boundaries.”

More information and interview requests:

Anne Sivula, press and media, Gofore Plc 


CEO Mikael Nylund Gofore book

Gofore is an international digital transformation consultancy with Finnish roots. We have over 1,400 impact-driven people in 19 locations across Finland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Estonia, and Italy. With our technology and business expertise we create an equal digital society and sustainable solutions for the intelligent industry. Our diverse group of professionals share a pioneering ambition to create a more humane, sustainable, and ethical digital world. Our values guide our business: Gofore is a great workplace that thrives on customer success. In 2023, our net sales amounted to EUR 189.2 million. Gofore Plc’s share is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. in Finland. Our vision is to be the most significant digital transformation consultancy in Europe.

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