Finnish Company GraphoGame Awarded UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize 2023

Celebrating Excellence in Literacy Innovation and Impact

Press Release

Helsinki, Finland — GraphoGame, a pioneering Finnish company specialising in literacy education, has been honoured with the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize for 2023. The prestigious award recognises GraphoGame’s remarkable contribution to literacy development among children and adults in their mother-tongue through an innovative and gamified learning approach.

The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize is a distinguished international accolade that acknowledges outstanding efforts in promoting effective and innovative literacy practices. This prize celebrates initiatives that build the foundation for peaceful and sustainable societies each year, aligning with the theme of “promoting literacy for a world in transition.”

In the world today, there are 1.2 billion individuals lacking basic literacy skills. Literacy fosters equality, mitigates poverty, and serves as a cornerstone for a more equitable world. Literacy empowers individuals to better influence their lives and choices. Poor literacy isn’t just an individual concern; it manifests in socio-economic challenges within countries. Advancing literacy contributes to equality, peace, and democracy on a national scale, ultimately enhancing individual well-being. GraphoGame is committed to addressing this significant global challenge.

“We are thrilled to be honoured with The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize. This recognition underscores the importance of our work and the significance of devising solutions that include those who might otherwise be left behind in education. We have seen firsthand the profound impact literacy has on people’s lives,” says Mervi Palander, Founder and CEO of GraphoGame.

Mervi Palander, Founder and CEO of GraphoGame. Photo: GraphoGame

GraphoGame has been at the forefront of evidence-based solutions. It was developed in Finland at the University of Jyväskylä and Niilo Mäki Institute. The worldwide collaborative effort of researchers within Jyväskylä’s GraphoLearn Initiative has enabled the company to extend GraphoGame to several languages. Collaborations with respected research institutions, such as the University of Cambridge, Yale, A Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), University of Stavanger, and Aix-Marseille, have solidified GraphoGame’s presence in their respective countries.

Scientific trials have demonstrated GraphoGame’s effectiveness in achieving literacy outcomes equivalent to one-on-one teacher support.

We sincerely believe we can help tens of millions of people

GraphoGame has been downloaded over 5 million times and the number is continuously growing. The game has hundreds of thousands of monthly active users and has established itself as a market leader in multiple countries. Collaborations with governments and NGOs have made it possible for children to access the game for free, ensuring inclusivity. The game is also available for offline use. In the coming years, our objective is to provide early literacy skills for tens of millions of children. The UNESCO award provides us with visibility among governments, NGOs, and companies, accelerating the achievement of our goal.

Ka Man Mak

Ka Man is an investigative journalist, documentary photographer, and social entrepreneur, as well as the founder of The Oslo Desk. She is a British-born Hong Konger residing in Oslo, Norway. She holds a Master in Environmental Geoscience and have taken numerous diplomas including child psychology, and a course in big data analytics at OsloMet. Made numerous publications in newsletters, magazines and Norwegian newspapers. Interested in edtech, constructive journalism, women in migration, Cantonese language, alternatives to capitalism and asylum policy.