Microsoft: Empathy Package
Finns have a great support system for early childhood called “neuvola”, a sort of child health clinic, that covers the time of pregnancy to the 6 first years of a child’s life. Unfortunately, this system is not present when a child starts to build their own digital identity. Most Finnish first graders own a mobile phone. At the same time, up to 60% of all 15–17-year-old teenagers are bullied online in Finland. Up to 60% of primary school teachers have noticed cyberbullying in their schools. 20% of parents cannot say if their child has been cyberbullied, and 25% have not done anything to prevent cyberbullying.
Microsoft wanted to understand the extent and forms of cyberbullying better. As a leading technology company, Microsoft also wanted to acknowledge its responsibility regarding the topic and do something concrete to prevent cyberbullying. H+K Finland helped Microsoft in overall project conceptualization and management, insight and service design, service branding, media relations, marketing communications, influencer collaboration and material production.
Based on insights we gained, it became apparent that one of the main factors increasing cyberbullying is lack of empathy. We built a value coalition of technology, wellbeing, education and gaming companies to develop solutions for the problem. The coalition included If Insurance, Elisa, Trade Union of Education in Finland OAJ, Mannerheim League for Child Welfare MLL, Minecraft for Education, ENCE, Otava Learning, and the startup GetJenny.
Together we created the Empathy Package, a maternity package for the digital age, to assist children, parents and teachers in learning empathy. It is a scalable digital service and a free-of-charge toolbox for users, and at its best it will reduce the direct and indirect personal and societal costs caused by cyberbullying. The solution was built around educational and experimental communications and creative, technology-enabled interaction. A Class Bot, a chatbot-based discussion tool to learn more empathetic ways of communicating in classrooms, was piloted at six schools in Finland. Minecraft Education Edition Challenge combined gaming with imagination and launched a challenge to build a more empathetic world.
After six months in use, the Empathy Package has reached more than 33 million people and has engaged more than 160,000 users. Almost 3,000 teachers have engaged with the educational material. The project was shortlisted in the GrandOne20 Best Digital Content Marketing in Finland.