Study trip to Brussels 23.-27.9.2019








European Parliament. Picture: Heli Nissinen

Does the digital services promote of well-being?

The books of the library are borrowed from the machine, doors are opened with electrical codes, purchases are paid to the self-service cash desk, food is ordered from the display board, metro tickets are bought at the vending machine, newspapers are read from the tablet and feedback is provided digitally on the device “happy or not”. The banks, food supply, electric, water, telecommuniacation, logistics, transport and health care need digitalisation to work. Whether digitalisation is a threat or an opportunity? Is it the earning factor of the future and promotion of the welfare?

Digitalisation causes fast and big changes to people´s everyday tasks. Communication does not depend on time and place anymore. The period of the fast communication brings challenges to age classes who behave differently. For example, electronic communication channels and social media offer possibilities, which are still out of reach of people. Correspondingly, some people check their letterboxes infrequently. After all, the changes brought by digitalisation have brought both challenges and relief to everyday life.










Tiina is in the meeting to Finland. Picture: Heli Nissinen

In this blog text we report our observation in course Working and studying the international environment, experience based in Brussels, the European capital. As we visit in the European Commission, we learn that it is up to the commission to examine digital changes, perspective of promoting equality for example. Pasi Moisio, who works in the Economic and Social Commission, said “available digitalisation is a good slave but a bad host”. We think this idea is a great illustration of digitalisation from many different perspective.










European Commission. Picture: Heli Nissinen

Digitalisation has enabled people-to-people interaction around the clock and globally. Communication is easier, faster and more automatic than ever before. Digitalisation has change services, enabled innovations in the business world and to become a part of everyday life. On the other hand, digitalisation will certainly also lead to inequalities in people’s daily lives.

For example, the ability of visually impaired people to use touch screens is very limited. For example, when we were in Brussels, we bought all public transport tickets machines. We visited a restaurant where food could only be ordered via vending machine and pay by card. We were also amazed that in the European parliament vote sometimes manually, although electronic system is to be available.










Tiina is ordering food. Picture: Heli Nissinen

Interaction refers to the mutual communication between two or more people. Interaction can be, for example, words, speech, gestures, expressions, sounds, or even gazes. Interaction with digitalisation is different. Interaction is about typing, emoticons, pictures or even videos. The actual encounter and presence is missing. This even will lead to future generations no longer being able to communicate face to face.

In Brussels, we discovered that interaction skills varied much in people working in service sector. For example, employees working in subway station where we purchased out tickets were sitting in their bubble offices. We felt that it was difficult to ask for help. On the other hand asking for help from people on the street was easy. We asked forguidance using Google maps. It was really helped us to communicate and get help and guidance.

The renewal of data and privacy regulations started in 2012. It had been left behind, and did not meet the standards and needs of global it environment. Goal for renewal was to add privacy as basic human right. Other goals were development of digital trade and prevention of crime and terrorism. We discovered that in kiosks postal parcels were lying in counters for everyone to see. We wondered why privcy issues were not taken to account in parcel transportation.

Regardless of numerous observations of digitalization we discovered that our European capital was not as developed as we thought it would have been. We hope that garbage disposal system would be in better order the next time we visit the capital of Europe. In example digital trash bins might be part of the solution. There should not be garbage lying on the streets in digitalization era.










Garbage bags thrown into the street. Garbage is collected wedneysday and friday. Picture: Heli Nissinen










One junk machine was found. Picture: Heli Nissinen

As a Finnish, we appreciate clean and beautiful nature










Park next to EU Parliament. Picture: Heli Nissinen










In the Picture: Heli, Minna, Tiina, Sirkku ja Petra. Picture: Petra Karvonen

Thanks for the trip. GOOD WORK OUR TEAM!

This blogpost is part of the welfare coordinator students (Master Degree Studies) study module Working and Stydying in International Environment. The focus of this study module is that the students can strengthen their communicative skills and professional experience in an international learning environment and learn effectively as a team member in another cultural environment. You can read more


Heli Nissinen, TYKO18SY, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Minna Roschier, TYKO18SY, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Tiina Mäkiranta, TYKO18SY, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Sirkku Kumpulainen, TYKO18SY, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Petra Karvonen, TYKO18SY, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Riitta Turjamaa, Lecturer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Pirjo Turunen, Lecturer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Do digital services promote well-being?


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