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Zekki competes for the win of European Social Innovation competition

Zekki is one of the 10 finalists who are competing for the win of the European Union’s Social Innovation Competition (EUSIC). At Diak developed Zekki digital service promotes young people’s wellbeing and seek for social services.

Zekki digital service has proceeded to the final of the European Union’s Social Innovation Competition (EUSIC). Only ten applicants from 565 participants were chosen for the final of the competition.

‒ We are moving towards the final with a winner attitude! Of course, the final place itself is a huge gain for us because now we got all possible teachings and exchange of ideas from the competition, says project manager Reija Paananen from Diaconia University of Applied Sciences.

Before the final, 30 participants were chosen for the semifinal phase. All the semifinalists participated in training sessions that gave them a possibility to refine the central idea of each one’s digital service.

‒ Zekki differs from other participants because of its strong human-centric approach. We don’t see the young people only as a target group of our service but as important partners in the development process, tells specialist Sakari Kainulainen.

The theme of the year 2021 in the European Social Innovation competition is skills for future – shaping of a green and digital future. The winner will be chosen on 8th of December and all of the top three will be awarded with 50 000 euros.

 A lot of young people are using Zekki in Finland

Zekki digital service encourages users to ponder wellbeing and guides them to low threshold services. Free and online-based digital service is intended for 15 to 25 years olds and to professionals who work with them.

The service is available despite domicile. It brings national digital services also to those areas where services are hard to reach as a consequence of long distances.

Although the digital service was launched just at the beginning of the year, 40 000 users have already tried Zekki. The next step will be the piloting of artificial intelligence in formulating recommendations to each user which might lead eventually to larger service offerings especially in what it comes to regional social and health services.

‒ The language versions of Zekki are in progress and hopefully, we will be able to start test use soon. Also, we have not closed any doors anywhere else; on the contrary, through competition we have founded a splendid international network, ponders Kainulainen.

Zekki digital service is based on the 3X10D® life situation assessment tool, research and expert knowledge. Zekki has been co-developed by Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki Deaconess Institute Vamos Services, The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, HelsinkiMissio, MIELI Mental Health Finland, Nuorten Ystävät ry, Youth Mental Health Association – Yeesi, Takuusäätiö, Finnish Youth Housing Association, Save the Children Finland and The Family Federation of Finland with the support of Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations (STEA).

Contact for further information

  • Project Manager Reija Paananen, tel. +358 40 508 4294,
  • Specialist Sakari Kainulainen, tel. +358 40 869 6018,