Seniors take off on digitalization journey

Hundreds of seniors in six countries can more easily stay in touch with loved ones and take advantage of mobile services and tools, as a result of a Telia event on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2018. It was an activity in line with both the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and the 3rd-century Roman Saint Valentine’s spirit of celebrating inclusion and “courtly love”.

The event was part of Telia’s YOUNITE initiative, in which employees at Telia are encouraged to spend one day volunteering in an activity that focuses on the digitalization of society and on improving people’s lives. Almost 160 volunteers worked with about 300 seniors during the February 14 event.

“I brought my brand new phone with me and YOUNITE volunteers helped me to start using it. I have a friend in Spain and we sometimes talk for over two hours on Skype. Now I can use my phone for those conversations too. I couldn’t do without them,” said one senior after the event.

Telia Company was a communication partner and one of the first companies to commit when the United Nations Global Goals launched. The goals are in part based on the conviction that digitalization is crucial to a sustainable future, and Telia is convinced that the telco industry's services are crucial to reaching the goals.

“One of the most important thing for us at Telia is to be in constant touch with the society around us, and with how technology can be used to enhance the quality of life for others, including senior citizens,” says YOUNITE volunteer Anette Bangsfelt, Digital Planning Manager at Telia Denmark. “That’s why I participate here, to constantly be a part of the society around me, and to remind myself that not all of us are digital nomads or experts.”

Senior citizens in 18 locations in Denmark, Estonia Finland, Norway, Lithuania and Sweden had been invited to the respective Telia offices to learn about using the internet, connecting with friends and family and using different devices.

This time, the YOUNITE event was most obviously in line with the particular UN goal number ten, which is to reduce inequality. 

"In my role as an online manager I need to know what other people think, say and feel about technology. I think the YOUNITE event on Valentine’s Day was a brilliant example of how Telia shares with and cares for society,” Bangsfelt says.