Technology connects us to the people we love, to our work and studies, and the critical services we need.
We create the critical networks and technologies to bring people together across businesses, cities, supply chains and communities. Our technology connects people to the people they love, to work and studies. It provides access to better healthcare, information and community services, market opportunities and more. And it drives more sustainable productive industries and cities.
We need smart urban and rural connectivity
For the roughly 3.6 billion people around the world who lack basic internet access, the impact of the pandemic brought home the great digital divide. It underscored the claims for connectivity as a fundamental right.
How many businesses could have been helped by digitalization to better survive the impacts of covid lockdowns and restrictions? How many more children could have continued their education uninterrupted with good internet connectivity? How many people with everyday medical requirements could have been served through broadband virtual clinics? But even more than that could digital closeness enabled by good connectivity have eased social distancing and improved individual wellbeing?
subscriptions were supported in 2020 over the radio networks we have supplied to our customers worldwide. We achieved our long term goal to connect the next billion by 2022 two years early.
5G and sustainability
5G will deliver many things, from instant data, access and experiences to more efficient, productive and sustainable industry. Above all, it will be the great enabler, improving lives and creating a safer, more sustainable society. 5G provides the foundation for more productive, sustainable and prosperous society. It will underpin and bring together the power of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Blockchain and other new technologies and enable smarter working and living.
The 4th industrial revolution (4IR) is already underway, bringing changes to energy, transportation, healthcare, communications, production and manufacturing. Intelligence, automation, sustainability and more are being rolled out through robust mission-critical solutions. In the energy and resources industries we see safer. more efficient and less wasteful operations thanks to digital automation. Employing intuitive , intelligent and more responsive solutions, utilities are able to improve delivery, efficiency and accuracy of their services with more sustainable use of resources. With 5G enabled smart factories, manufacturing is more productive, less wasteful, and more adaptable, while supply chains are more transparent too. Read more below.
The solutions we provide are transforming enterprise networks, enabling industries where humans and machines will connect in ever more intelligent ways.
The importance of digital inclusion and the digital divide has been brought into greater focus. Around the world 3.6 billion people are unconnected and UNICEF estimated that 463 million children globally were without any remote access when schools closed down during 2020. The impetus to close the digital divide is clear. Our President and CEO Pekka Lundmark has also taken up a role as a UN Broadband Commissioner.
We support the 2025 targets set by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development that aims to ‘connect the other half’ in the next five years. There are seven targets calling for national broadband plans that address affordability, access and digital skill levels by region, demographic and gender. It also calls to connect small businesses and extend e-finance services to the unbanked. Read more about how to create Digital inclusivity here.
In January 2020 our President and CEO joined the EDISON Alliance to help drive more connectivity and close the digital divide.
Corporate community investment
Community investment and social programs
Our Corporate Community Investment approach and programs as well as our volunteering guidelines help us build a best-in-class approach to community investment that has a real impact on people’s lives, engages our employees and is related to our strategy and vision. We have three core pillars under our community and social programs: connecting the unconnected, empowering diversity, and defending our climate. We work with our customers, NGOs and other key stakeholders.
Key community programs
Acting together to improve opportunities in tech for underrepresented communities
Nokia launched a scholarship support programme aimed at providing greater opportunities for underrepresented communities in the technology industry. Working together with online learning platform Udacity and the Blacks in Technology Foundation (BiT Foundation), the initiative will offer more than 300 scholarships, with a focus on underrepresented students and career changers.
Connecting the unconnected to their dreams
The Nokia-UNICEF shared-value collaboration aims to improve the quality and equity of education for children, particularly girls and children with disabilities in one of the most difficult contexts in Africa – the North-Eastern counties of Kenya and the urban informal settlements of the capital city Nairobi.
Empowering digital learning in Kenya with UNICEF
Since 2018 we have been working with UNICEF Finland and UNICEF Kenya to build a multi-partner collaboration to bring internet connectivity and inclusive digital learning to Kenyan schools in rural and disadvantaged urban areas across the country. The program particularly focuses on girls and children with disabilities
The first 10 schools across Kenya were successfully connected in late 2020 using Nokia Fixed Wireless Access solution in collaboration with local Mobile Operators. The solution connects more children in a fast and efficient way with high-speed and high-capacity broadband needed for remote digital education.
Changing Lives Award
Nokia and UNICEF were recognised in May 2021 with the Changing Lives Award at East Africa Com, This award recognizes innovation where ICT meets socio-economic development and digital inclusion. The award celebrates a product, initiative or social enterprise that is having a life-changing impact on individuals or communities in East Africa.
WSIS 2021 Champions prize winner
The Nokia UNICEF shared value project was named in May 2021 as one of the WSIS Champions by the World Summit on Information Society forum. WSIS is a two-phase United Nations (UN) summit initiated (since 2003) to create an evolving multi-stakeholder platform aimed at addressing the issues raised by information and communication technologies (ICTs) through a structured and inclusive approach at the national, regional and international levels. The World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021 represents the world's largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community. The WSIS Forum is co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD.
direct beneficiaries (direct beneficiaries are for example children and teachers benefitting from connectivity in schools or the provision of learning materials/training)
indirect beneficiaries (Indirect beneficiaries are mostly children benefitting from increased knowledge and capacity of teachers that were trained through this project.)
Over the project duration from 2018 to 2020 more than 86 115 children have been reached directly and 72 086 children have been reached indirectly in Kenya.
Over 300 teachers trained in the use of digital materials in 2020.
Improving healthcare outcomes in Indonesia with UNICEF
Since 2017 Nokia has provided support to UNICEF Indonesia through UNICEF Finland for a mobile health program across Indonesia that has provided tremendous results in terms of basic health vaccinations for children and pregnant mothers especially, as well as data gathering capacity for healthcare workers across a variety of issues – nutrition, polio, HIV, water & sanitation and malaria.
During the current pandemic Indonesia has seen widespread community transmission across its 34 provinces. As of November, over 478,720 cases of COVID-19 were reported and 11% of cases were children under 18 years old. While children have largely been spared from the direct health effects of COVID-19, the crisis is having a profound effect on their well-being as existing inequalities are exacerbated. Children risk being among the pandemic’s biggest victims as it causes crises in child poverty, education, health, nutrition and child protection.
By introducing innovative digital intervention and leveraging existing government information system, we promote digital transformation across sectors, including health, nutrition, WASH, education, and socio-economic sector.
We also help modernize and thus improve services that can boost their use and related results. Our interventions open two-way communication between government and community, build capacity of beneficiaries in using digital platforms, strengthen workers’ capacity to deliver timely and quality services to improve health, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene at the community level.
As a result of Nokia’s continued program support, UNICEF in collaboration with the Indonesian government are continuing to develop the SDG (the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) Dashboard.
Nearly 2.1 million direct beneficiaries in 2020.
children in direct beneficiaries.
women in direct beneficiaries.
Other community engagement
Helping hands projects set out to improve children’s STEM and digital skills in local communities
During 2020 a number of projects around the world, led by Nokia employees under the “Helping hands” initiative, have taken action to improve the digital skills of local children and youth. The projects share the goal of ensuring that the children and youth, especially those in a vulnerable position, are equipped with the necessary skills and capabilities required when pursuing their future studies and careers.
The projects, spreading across a number of continents, have each found a way to promote STEM and digital skills in an engaging way, be it through a club dedicated for the subject, or through direct engagement with schools to promote the inclusion of these topics in their syllabuses.
A robotics club for girls in Morocco
In Morocco, “Steamlab”, a club established by a local ATPH association, offers girls a creative space where they can discover robotics and electronics, as well as learn how to code and program. Led and coached by Nokia volunteers, the club has created a team which already took part in a national robotics competition in the beginning of the year. The team’s aim is, once the Covid-19 situation permits, to take part in international competitions as well. The equipment and coding kits that were supported by the Nokia donation have been essential in reaching the learning goals of the club.
Learning to code with Marty the Robot in South Africa
The program in South Africa has created a create a fun and engaging platform for youth to learn to program and explore creative ways of using code, together with Robotical and Got Game’s We Code initiative. A series of lessons has been delivered by utilizing Marty, the programmable and customizable robot. The Marty robot makes coding and computer science more accessible to the youth, and acts as a fun and engaging gateway into computer science and design technology. Once the students’ skills develop, Marty can be scaled up to even more challenging tasks, making learning fun and rewarding for children of different ages. The program is aligned with the nationwide effort to make coding and programming more accessible for disadvantaged youths in townships.
Supporting digital skills education programs in India
In India, the Nokia team has been supporting Christel House India in its STEM and Digital Education Program, focused especially on underprivileged girls. The education sponsorship and support has so far benefitted a total of 171 girl students in grades 5-9. While the school’s curriculum promotes a variety of important life skills, an important focus is on teaching digital and computer programming skills to the pupils. A dedicated IT club was set up in the current school year, with the aim to promote interest towards STEM education especially among girls. In addition, for example robotics workshops have been established at the school, with the aim of teaching students the necessary skills to begin developing their own projects.
Nokia Location development
Volunteers in our site locations around the world carry out innumerable acts of kindness throughout the year, providing the basics for those in critical need: food, clothing, and refurbishing shelters. Many provide next-level aid through education and professional training, helping those to break the cycle of poverty.
In 2020, despite the COVID-19 situation limiting physical events, volunteers in 34 locations around the world were, for example, highly engaged and delivered more than 350 projects throughout the year. They actively contributed to our corporate community investment themes by focusing on programs around diversity and inclusion (110 activities), climate and environment (29 activities), as well as provided aid especially towards schools and children (61 projects).
CSR in India
We have long-term programs supporting communities in education, environment, inclusion and more as part of our India CSR programs. Read more Remedial education in India with the Samridhdhi Trust.
Examples of projects in 2020
Timisoara, Romania - Donation program of used laptops to schools in disadvantaged areas. As a contribution in the fight against Covid-19, 10 laptops were donated for the Modular Hospital in Timisoara.
Poland, Bygdosk - Postgraduate computer science annual program for women who graduated in mathematics, physics, or chemistry - mostly new graduates. The program’s goal is to encourage women to take a computer science career path and help the university to offer an attractive program in cooperation with the business school.
India, Bangalore - Lake conservation project collaboration with WWF to rejuvenate urban wetlands. The project is actively based on scientific conservation methodologies such as periodic catchment health assessments, bio-diversity survey, water quality tests, revival of storm water drains to connect micro and macro wetlands, contour map studies, creation of floating islands for reoxygenation which are new in the ecosystem and few in the country
Past program highlights
Amidst the outbreak of the global pandemic, we set up a Global Donation fund to rapidly support our communities in need. Through the fund, we engaged with local branches of NGOs such as World Vision, UNICEF, Red Cross, and several local hospitals and clinics, in a total of 48 countries.
Covid-19 donations: ©World Vision
g4g: Greenlight for girls, asbl, 2019
Greenlight for girls
We have worked together with international NGO greenlight for girls (g4g) over a number of years. The g4g days are all about showing girls that anything is possible, through interactive workshops held by g4g at Nokia locations around the world, where employee volunteers joined as mentors. By end of 2019, our collaboration with g4g had reached a total of 4964 girls around the world.
Long-term collaboration brings long-term benefits to children in Myanmar
The 5 year collaboration between Nokia and Save the Children produced two major projects, “The Best Start” project from 2015 to 2017 and the “Making Change Happen together” project from 2017 to 2019. Over those 5 years Save the Children and Nokia worked in the communities of three townships to improve early learning and development opportunities for the most marginalized children. A major achievement of this long-lasting partnership was the establishment of 60 community-managed early childhood care and development (ECCD) facilities and 33 kindergarten classrooms.
Nokia’s Season’s Greetings campaigns
In 2018-2019 Nokia provided aid to three NGOs with its Season’s Greetings campaign. Firstly, we supported Plan International in their Smartup factory project, which has set up innovation centres where young people learn technology, entrepreneurship and life skills, opening up possibilities especially for young women in tech. We also provided disaster aid through the Finnish Red Cross to help victims of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique in spring 2019. Finally, with Nokia’s support, Oxfam was able to support refugees affected by the Rohingya Refugee Crisis in Bangladesh by introducing an e-voucher scheme.
Social protection and disaster preparedness in India
Since 2014, we have worked with Save the Children in India to implement social protection programs and reduce the impact of natural disasters on vulnerable children and their families, by creating critical infrastructure and raising awareness of disaster risk reduction. Through the disaster preparedness and mitigation program, we have reached our target to implement disaster management plans in each of the targeted 350 villages across five states: Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, and Rajasthan.
Internet Classrooms Against Poverty in China
More than 50 million rural students have no access to computers in China. Meanwhile, many obsolete computers are still in good condition and could be reused after appropriate refurbishment. Having cooperated with NGO Zhonggu for 8 years since 2011, we have successfully set up 36 internet classrooms in 12 provinces and municipalities, including Yunnan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Guizhou, Gansu, Shanghai, Beijing and Tibet. We have refurbished over 900 second-hand company computers which have benefited more than 20 000 children and teachers.