We at Digitalist believe in giving young people an opportunity to get familiar with work-life in a truly interesting and engaging way. Allowing students to participate in the co-creation of services we provide makes these young people feel valued for their insights and gives them an experience of making a difference. Moreover, we feel it is important to let them participate in the actual work that we do, instead of just letting them help out with random tasks around the office. This way we might be able to awaken their interest in our field of expertise and maybe motivate them in striving for a career that they find meaningful. We also see that children are the users of future services and understanding them is a key to designing and delivering services that will bring their generation true value.
We have had excellent experiences in co-creating with students and kids in the past. Already in 2019, we organized two summer camps for elementary school kids, where they had the chance to familiarise themselves with service design. During one week the kids went through a five-day design sprint, designing digital solutions for leisure time activities for their own age group. These summer camps – which were open for our employees and customers’ kids as well as for some kids from underprivileged families – were a true success. It was amazing to see how the children engaged with the challenge and used their imagination to come up with very innovative ideas! Many of them made good friends during their time with us as well. Furthermore, the overall ambiance at our office was so enjoyable during these weeks when we had the kids around. Their enthusiasm and playfulness got to all of us, and those were probably the most fun weeks at work ever!
Our intention was to continue with the summer camps, but then Covid-19 came and changed the world, making it impossible to arrange these kinds of activities. Now that the world is slowly returning to normal, we wanted to bring back a way to co-create with future generations. This spring we have had middle school students, doing their work-life experience (TET) with us. With these students, we wanted to do some co-creation around future services, and get an understanding of how they see and experience things.
A few weeks ago, we had two middle school students with us for a week co-creating alternative approaches to user experiences in the metaverse. During the week, we got a good understanding of how 8th graders experience the metaverse. The students also shared their ideas on how the platform could be used in schools to improve their learning experience. To find out more about our metaverse co-creation with these students, stay tuned for a blog post that we will publish about it soon.
We are determined to continue this co-creation with the new generations, and we will definitely always have our doors open for kids and students to come and learn together with us. If you know a student who is looking for a place to do their work-life experience, please be in touch with us. We are also always open to discussing opportunities for doing internships and thesis projects with students at a higher educational level! And never say never, maybe we will bring back the camps aimed at the younger kids for school holidays as well.
Interested to hear more about the topic?
Esa Nettamo, Chief Design Officer