Young people, digitalisation and smart rural areas
Europe Direct Information Centres from South Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Kymenlaakso, Pirkanmaa & Häme, North Ostrobothnia and Northern Satakunta will organise a virtual workshop for young people on Wednesday 29 September 2021 from 4 pm to 6 pm. The workshop will discuss the importance of digitalisation and its different themes for young people. We are trying to find answers to, among other things, what is interesting and attractive for young people in a smart countryside. What kind of digital services do young people need? And how do we ensure that everyone stays in the digital world? The event is organised as part of the multi-seat programme of the Finnish National Parliament of Rural Affairs. The virtual workshop brings together young people from the regions of South Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Kymenlaaks, Pirkanmaa and Häme, North Ostrobothnia and Northern Satakunta.
Event reportThe workshop discussed the importance of digitalisation in rural and youth life. During the workshop discussions, the following points emerged: 1. Not all young people are digital, and young people also need digital pupils and an easy threshold to ask for help with digital issues. Media literacy should also be developed, as there is plenty of disinformation and fake news. The EU should definitely offer more opportunities for this. 2. When we talk about a vibrant countryside for young people, mobility opportunities and connections are vital in order to live a good life. In particular, opportunities for leisure and meeting friends are important and new types of rural mobility services can provide solutions. (In the rural areas of the future, there is a need for carpooling services and perhaps even robotic cars and buses.) There is also a need for more and more frequent delivery points for online shopping in rural areas. 3. The digitalisation of social and health care services (especially mental health services and ordinary health services) needs to be improved. It has great potential and young people are also open to digital access where possible. However, access to services needs to be improved and made more visible. 4. Well-functioning network connections are extremely important for a vibrant countryside. There is an absolute need for more support from municipalities, the state and the EU to build proper connectivity everywhere. There is a great inequality in economic terms between regions and also between families, as not everyone can afford to build high-speed broadband. 5. There is a difference between regions and also between schools in terms of digital equipment and tools offered to young people. This should be made more equal and equipping everyone with the necessary equipment for schooling. 6. The job opportunities of the future were also considered: teleworking and learning opportunities were seen as an attractive factor and definitely an issue that needs to be promoted in the workplace.
Trust and transparency: people need to be able to trust the digital tools.
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