Customer-oriented public services direct the authorities to look at citizens from their own responsibilities without taking into account a citizen’s overall life situation. A human-centric and life event -based operating model supported with the life-event service ecosystem technology enables the authorities to produce value directly in people's life events through the cooperation of other service providers in a timely and proactive manner.
Supporting people to maintain and improve their own well-being in different life events is a widely accepted idea. In reality, however, the interests of both public governance and private companies shadow people’s real needs. In order to put people at the centre of change, public and societal services need improved capabilities as well as new ways of thinking about citizens, their needs, and the role of society. In a typical society, societal operations are based on resource efficiency and organizational orientation, in the public sector mandated by law and in the private sector driven by business initiatives. This results in task-oriented services and organizations, where it is up to individuals to discover and navigate through the different services they want to use. We have come to a situation where services do not form a clear picture from the citizens’ point of view. Also, legislation does not support co-developing seamless service paths with various organizations from public, private and third sector for the benefit of people’s well-being. People are seen as ‘customers’ of particular services rather than individuals living their lives needing different services in different situations and events in life.
In contrast to this task-centricity, A Human-Centric AI Transformation (HCAIT, Figure 1) model aims to promote holistic well-being and a smooth everyday life in a society that utilizes artificial intelligence for the benefit of the people and businesses with the support of the AuroraAI Network. The planning of activities and service paths is guided by different situations and events in peoples’ lives. The well-being of people is supported through extensive cross-sectoral cooperation. Digitalization and the use of artificial intelligence aims at improving the flow of life. Data interoperability enables a well-being-enhancing data economy and people's ability to manage information about themselves. One key feature of the HCAIT model is that it views a citizen as an active role as part of the transformation of organization operations. To allow people to better lead their own lives in the direction they want, new tools and techniques are needed.
The HCAIT model was inspired by several concepts, such as mydata, the digital twin concept, proactive service offerings, public-private-people cooperation models, smart tokens and the concept of Stiglitz et al. of seeing a person holistically and not from the perspective of individual services in the role of a customer. The goal of the HCAIT model is to improve Finland's functional and technical conditions for developing society from the perspectives of human well-being and regional vitality. The implementation of the project was carried out by targeting the transformation measures to a strategically interesting target population, with which the effectiveness of the change could also be measured. The implementation of the innovation was especially aimed at the lives of people between 13 to 16 years old, where new types of services were created for them to reflect at their own lives and make use of service offerings suitable for their own situation in order to strengthen their well-being.
Innovation has numerous beneficiaries, the most important of which are citizens and companies. The innovation guides the public administration to offer genuinely useful services in life events together with private sector service providers. At the same time, the innovation improves the matching service offering to the real needs of the people and thus reduces failure demand, where citizens use the wrong services at the wrong time. After all, innovation is believed to have a significant impact on the sustainability of public economy. The innovation has only just been introduced and piloted in Finland and its scaling to different life events is just starting. During the next government term (2023-2027), Finland aims to promote strategically selected service offerings based on different life and business events. In this case, the benefits of the innovation can be scaled widely for the benefit of the members of society.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
Currently, the dominant operating model for developing public administration service production is customer orientation, where the digitalization of service processes is still planned from the service tasks of the authorities. Resources are allocated based on legislation to the customer-oriented implementation of each administrative task, which only accelerates the running of people from one service to another, and no one is still interested in a person's overall situation. A Human-Centric Service Production changes the starting point of public administration operations and also the planning of services to people's life events, in which case the authority can only succeed in the implementation of its responsibilities in close cooperation with other authorities and service providers and by understanding people's real needs in different life events.
What is the current status of your innovation?
The previous government of Finland (2015-2019) made a preliminary study of the human-centric transformation in operations based on peoples’ real needs in different life events. The ongoing government decided to start the actual implementation in 2019. By the end of 2022, the HCAIT model, backed by The AuroraAI Network, will be operational and the first services connected to it will be available through the AuroraAI network. Several public administration organizations (especially municipalities) have initiated a human-centric transformation in their own operations, service production and leadership. The starting points for systemic change have been clarified to enable vibrant service ecosystems around life events. We are now preparing to expand the rollout in strategically selected life events during the next governmental term.
Collaborations & Partnerships
The innovation has been developed in the so-called public-private-people-partnership (PPPP) model. In practice, the selected target population (in the initial case: young people), public organizations that add value to their life situation (four ministries, several agencies and municipalities) and private service providers (store chain, food service) and even the Evangelical Lutheran Church have participated in the work. More information of the partners are available on request.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
Citizens: In the first phase of implementation, a personal life information management service was created for 13-16-year-olds, as well as a service offering based on smart tokens, aimed at young people in difficult situations.
Government officials: Situational pictures of people's comprehensive well-being, combining official services with life event service ecosystems.
Civil society organizations and Companies: Providing services directly to people's life situations together with the public sect0r.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The personal life information management service seems to improve the understanding of one's own life as well as the ability and desire to act in one's own best interests. The implementation of The AuroraAI Network is still in the implementation phase and the results of the first experiments will be available by the end of 2022.
Qualitative research on selected user target groups as well as interviews with service providers about a new way of offering services directly to people's life events have improved our understanding of real impact of innovation.
The developed human-centric transformation and operating model and The AuroraAI Network supports the national implementation of life event approach and improve the effectiveness of service offerings for people in the next governmental term (2023-2027).
In the initial phase, there are 10-20 services connected to the AuroraAI network. The goal is to expand the implementation in the coming years.
Challenges and Failures
Human-centric and life-event-based operations challenge the usual operating models in a fundamental way, starting with legislation, management and service production. It's a new paradigm for developing the administration's operations in a way that strengthens people's well-being and the vitality of regions. The biggest challenges have thus been related to matching the implementation with traditional, ongoing development work and political leadership.
The challenges of implementation include defining the responsibilities of different organizations and new cooperation models, where the end result and benefits do not necessarily lead only to the benefit of a single agency. There have also been challenges in coordinating the mutual prioritization of different organizations. Solving problems is best achieved with an open and inviting cooperation model, where organizations get enough space and time to adapt their own operations to the new operating model.
Conditions for Success
The implementation of a such innovation requires strong support from both the political leadership and civil service leadership. Although human-centricity and life event orientation are widely recognized and accepted concepts, the power issues related to them are not easy to solve. Implementation may also be politically challenging, depending on society's desire to form cross-sector service offerings.
The issue of power also touches on how much society wants to empower citizens to take care of their own well-being and how much society wants to take care of control in relation to its citizens and there must be trust between people and the administration.
Legislation may also cause various challenges. Regulation is typically designed to support service production in individual organizations, which may not even enable cross-sectoral cooperation. Finally, society's digital infrastructure must be mature enough so that services can be tailored to people's life events
The replication of the concept has been practically tested nationally both in the state administration and at the local level in the municipalities. Based on preliminary cooperation projects, it can be stated that the repeatability of the concept in Finland seems promising and realistic. Different regions may have their own characteristics in terms of implementation and services, but the same basic challenges are shared across regions or, for example, people's life events are very similar regardless of the regions.
Similarly, life events where legislation prevents the creation of a service ecosystem can be solved jointly between different regions and actors. The development of legislation benefits all actors, and the service model can thus be applied nationally everywhere.
The world is at a turning point. Russia's brutal war of aggression has challenged the whole world to think about the direction of societies in the coming decades. Human-centricity and life event orientation bring a breath of fresh air and a spark of hope to develop the world from the real well-being point of view of people. However, this is easier said than done. The current operating models and use of power may even prevent the development of nations in a better direction for people. However, the most important lesson from the development work of the last five years is that change is possible and Finland is ready to share its lessons with the rest of the world about what technical and functional conditions the change has required in practice.
Another lesson is that every nation has to form its own concept of human-centricity and life-events. The model cannot be transferred from one society to another, but you can learn from others also through joint projects.
- Implementation - making the innovation happen
16 November 2022