ALL DIGITAL AWARDS 2018: digital changemaker Linda Mannila


Linda Mannila

Parainen, Finland

Founder of Make It Finland and Digismart, researcher at Linköping University

Years in service: 5


Linda has been involved in work on digital inclusion since she started studying computer science (CS) in 1998. The first concrete activity was a web-based course package in CS for high school students developed in 2002. Examples of more recent contributions:

  • Research: Digital competence, making and programming in K-9 education and library settings.
  • Digismart: Training, project management and strategy development related to digital competence for schools, libraries, national agencies and other organisations. Public speaking, writing.
  • Make It Finland: Multilingual workshops, festivals and camps for all ages with the motto "digital competence for all". Collaboration with libraries.
  • Other examples: Co-organises the Bebras contest ( in Finland and Sweden. Was Finland's EU Codeweek ambassador in 2014-15. In 2017, organised the very first All Digital Week in Finland, published a book on programming at school and gave a TedX talk on "Why tech has become everybody's business".


Linda is an enthusiastic and inspiring leader, who wants everybody to find their own strengths and learn to believe in themselves. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and people usually love getting involved in events and projects that she initiates.

She is fair and encouraging, gives people free hands while at the same time always expecting them to give their best and going the extra mile if needed. For instance, when organising the Make It Festivals, everybody has been free to organise workshops in the way they see fit. Although she is the spider in the web, she believes in the strength of the team in order to get things done.

She is a good communicator and actively collaborates with different stakeholders in order to move forward, regardless of whether it is about finding sponsors or volunteers for events, finding people to brainstorm around new ideas, or finding partners for new projects. For instance, the Make It Festivals have had volunteers being able to guide visitors in 9 languages.


* Linda's research contributes to the knowledge on developing kids' and teachers' digital competence (digcomp). As this is a new area, this type of research is still limited and hence important.
* She has developed a successful concept for hands-on teacher training, #PROFFSdays. In June 2018 it was organised abroad for the first time, thereby contributing to Finnish education export.
* She gives 60-80 talks/workshops/courses for teachers every year, hence strengthening their readiness to help kids develop their digcomp. Hosts online communities.
* The multilingual workshops, festivals, camps and social media campaigns arranged by Make It Finland reach 1000s of people of all ages.
* Her book on teaching programming at school is the first book for teachers on this subject, and has received positive feedback.
* She was part of expert groups working for national agencies for education in Finland (Opetushallitus) and Sweden (Skolverket) when introducing digcomp in school curricula.

Check other finalists for ALL DIGITAL AWARDS:

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