Equal Opportunity in the Digital Society
The digital society offers people many opportunities. It offers ample opportunity for self-development, brings people into contact with each other and enables them to exchange ideas quickly and with ease. At the same time, increasing digitisation poses important challenges for society. How do we ensure that digital technology offers benefits to all people and that no one is left behind? How do we ensure that everyone has sufficient digital skills to move forward in life?
VodafoneZiggo wants everyone to participate in the digital society and that people do so responsibly. To keep up with the digital world, it is important that people develop digital skills. In order to achieve this, we’re doing the following:
We’re take part in social initiatives that make technological solutions available in order to promote people’s wellbeing.
We’re offering our people the opportunity to voluntarily take part in our programs.
We’re offering our people the opportunity to voluntarily take part in our programs.
Since 2002, the Vodafone Foundation has been committed to improving the lives of people in a vulnerable position. It is an independent organisation that is part of a global network of 27 Vodafone Foundations. With its various programs, the Vodafone Foundation is working to decrease socio-economic inequality and the likelihood of social exclusion. The organisation helps young and old develop digital skills through the programs Online Masters, Experience Days and Welcome Online. The Vodafone Foundation also brings people in difficult situations in contact with family and friends - with the Instant Network Program, for instance, and the Bondgenoten Program (Companion Program) for children suffering long-term illnesses. The organisation aims to reach 200,000 people a year.
Read more about the Vodafone Foundation
VodafoneZiggo believes that it’s important for everybody in the digital society to have equal opportunities. For this reason, we offer special programs to schoolchildren, the elderly and families to teach them digital skills.
Digital skills are currently not on the Dutch primary school curriculum. However, in order to create equal opportunity, it’s essential that all children receive proper and relevant digital education. Indeed, in a few years, two out of three children will have jobs in which digital skills are fundamentally important. VodafoneZiggo therefore promotes adequate education that fosters the digital skills requisite to tomorrow’s world.
Using the free, interactive Online Masters teaching program, children can increase their digital skills. They learn about the digital world and how to be competent, safe and aware online. Online Masters is a free teaching program for 11 to 15 year olds, in which digital experts explain how the digital world works. The teaching program is intended for the last two years of primary education and the first stage of secondary education. During the annual Media Literacy Week in November, hundreds of Online Masters’ colleagues give guest lectures at schools to teach children to use the internet safely, skilfully and with awareness.
Each month, we organise Experience Days at several of our locations. Here, we playfully introduce young people to technology and provide a peek behind the scenes at VodafoneZiggo. Pupils from groups 7 and 8 of primary school and the first years of secondary school attend workshops given by our employees, who teach them, among other things, programming and 'cable stripping' - using a special pair of pliers to remove a cable from its plastic covering. The Experience Days mainly focus on children from neighbourhoods at a socio-economic disadvantage, who have few role models to inspire them. VodafoneZiggo works together on this project with JINC, an organisation that promotes these children’s understanding of the labour market and their talents. In 2019, 1,870 students participated in the Experience Days.
Digital Life Experience
The Experience Centre in our central office in the heart of Utrecht offers schools and other visitors a Digital Life Experience. This is a program with three workshops in which students learn digital skills for 2.5 hours and discuss their digital behaviour and future.
Number of children who participated in the Online Masters program
Number of children who participated in an Experience Day
On 11 April 2019, a special Experience Day for girls was held on national 'Girls’ Day'.
Not everyone can keep up with digital developments. Of all the elderly in the Netherlands, 10% of 65-75 year olds and 32% of those over 75 have never used the internet. 23.6% of over-65s rarely use the internet. Many simply cannot keep up with developments. Some find the internet scary. 40% of the elderly expect the use of digital technology to become more difficult for them. 75% expect to be unable to keep up with future digital developments. Nevertheless, 49% of elderly people do want to learn about digital devices and the internet.
- 1 Source: CBS
- 2 Source: KBO-PCOB
- 3 Source: Nationaal Ouderenfonds
In 2018, we developed the teaching program ‘Welcome Online’ in conjunction with Netwerk Mediawijsheid and ECP/Veiliginternetten.nl. This program is intended for over-65s who have rarely or never been online. In 2019, we entered into a joint partnership with the Nationaal Ouderenfonds (National Foundation for the Elderly) and Samsung to reach the elderly in the Netherlands with Welcome Online. The National Foundation for the Elderly now offers the Welcome Online program through several different projects and activities, making the program widely available to a large group of elderly people. Under supervision by a volunteer from the National Foundation for the Elderly, they discover the possibilities of the internet and learn how to apply basic digital skills. VodafoneZiggo employees volunteer, too.
Number of elderly people who participated in the Welcome Online program
Digital life brings many benefits to families, but also it also brings challenges. Parents often find it difficult to educate their children about the media. We support parents and children in the safe and responsible use of the internet, games and social media.
In 2019, VodafoneZiggo published WIJS Magazine (WISE Magazine), a free magazine for parents about the digital world of their children. The magazine sheds positive light on how they can become more involved in the online environment and perception of their children. It also gives them tips on how to supervise and guide their children regarding the digital world. WIJS Magazine provides information about current and future developments, discusses frequently encountered online situations and identifies opportunities and challenges relevant to media awareness.
In order to achieve our social ambitions, we work closely with various partners and support various national and local initiatives. We form partnerships with foundations and give donations to foundations that promote digital and social inclusion. Below is an overview of the parties we work with.
Alliantie Digitaal Samenleven (Digital Society Alliance)
On 2 March 2019, the Alliantie Digitaal Samenleven saw the light of day, an organisation that aims to get as many people as possible to participate in the digital society. The alliance is an initiative of VodafoneZiggo in conjunction with the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the ECP Platform for the Information Society and the Number Five Foundation. More than thirty parties are now taking part. On 11 March 2019, they organised the Nationale Werkconferentie Digitaal Samenleven (National Digital Society Working Conference) at the Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision) in Hilversum. 180 participants spent the afternoon working together to formulate a vision on digitisation and the role it has in society.
Every year, the cabinet organises the NL Digital conference in conjunction with the business community, scientists and civil society organisations. The first edition took place in March 2019. Jeroen Hoencamp, CEO of VodafoneZiggo, Princess Laurentien and State Secretary Knops announced the launch of the Digital Society Alliance.
Child Abuse Hotline
VodafoneZiggo supports the Dutch Online Child Pornography Hotline of the Child Abuse Expertise Centre (EOKM), which combats and prevents the (online) sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.
Johan Cruyff Foundation
Sport brings children together and promotes strong and healthy development. For this reason, the Johan Cruyff Foundation facilitates sports for large numbers of children, especially those who cannot take sports for granted. They don't have the money, for instance, or have a physical disability. VodafoneZiggo sponsors the Johan Cruyff Foundation.
Disabled Sports Fund
Raising awareness for disabled sports, making sport possible for everyone with a disability and improving the range of sports on offer - that is what the Fonds Gehandicaptensport (Disabled Sports Fund) is committed to. VodafoneZiggo is sponsors the fund.
JINC believes that every child should have the same opportunities. That’s why the organisation helps children aged 8 to 16 to get a good start in the employment market. The children become acquainted with different professions, discover which work suits their talents and learn how to apply for jobs. JINC is our partner for the Experience Days. They liaise with the schools that visit our office location.
Emma at Work
Emma at Work offers support to young people with chronic physical disabilities and helps them on the road to an independent future. The organisation supervises the young people in their personal development and assists them in their search for work. VodafoneZiggo is a member of the Club van 1000 (1,000 Club), a network of employers who help young people find side jobs, holiday work, work-experience placement, traineeships and full- and part-time jobs.
Number of societal partnerships
We offer our people the opportunity to volunteer in our programs.
Read more about our volunteers in this annual report.