Students envision the future of digital identity in a hackathon
A group of 28 higher education students envisioned the future of digital identity in a hackathon organised by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency and IT service company CGI last week. New solutions and issues that should be given greater consideration were introduced at the hackathon. The best ideas and teams were awarded prizes.
At this hackathon, students get to come up with ideas for future digital services, thus participating in the development of digital services for society. Held on 27-28 October 2022, the event was an intensive, inspiring and educational experience.
– On the first day, the participating teams convinced the Digital and Population Data Services Agency and CGI mentors with very good and versatile approaches to the two themes of the hackathon, explains service designer Arla Aalto from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
At the hackathon, people brainstormed together to come up with ideas for new digital identity services that make people's everyday lives easier and have an impact on society. The objective was to consider the future of digital identity from two quite different perspectives. First, the business opportunities created by digital identity were considered. Second, digital identity was considered from the perspective of those who needed digital support.
The multidisciplinary nature of the team was an asset in the hackathon
Student teams were assisted in their work by diverse thinking and different approaches. Background work and familiarisation with the background material also clearly helped. Students from a variety of fields and schools, including Laurea, Häme University of Applied Sciences, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Aalto University, University of Jyväskylä and University of Lapland took part in the hackathon. Many international students, including students from Germany, Spain and Nepal, also participated.
– Student teams did a very good job in a short time. The presentations were insightful and even fun, says Arla Aalto.
After careful consideration, the jury arrived at their decision and awarded two teams the cash prizes.
1st place (€3500): The Blue Unicorns team solution went right to the heart of the wallet world and questions of trust and security. The team developed an extension to digital identity in the form of an application, which could reliably authorise another person to run everyday errands, such as borrowing a car, unlocking a house, picking up children from a day care centre or fetching medicine from a pharmacy.
2nd place (€1500): The insightful and precise definition of the challenge by the Insightful Capybara team produced new information on a problem that has been overlooked. The team examined the digital identity card from the perspectives of gatekeepers, who have to adapt to the new situations brought about by digital identity card checks even in very challenging conditions.
During the two-day hackathon, participants developed service ideas with the support of experts from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency and CGI. The participants also learned about service development and teamwork, were able to network and present their competence to potential future employers, and make their voice heard in an effort to build Finland’s future.
Not enough time remains in the current session of the Finnish Parliament for legislative initiatives that would enable digital identity reform to be processed. Preparations for a European Digital Identity Wallet continue. Read more.