Wednesday greeted us, the PNP HS20 class, with hot sunshine as we met at 8.45 am on the campus of the University of Bern. The 6th session of the week was an input presentation by Prof. Dr. Caroline Brüesch on the topic of “Digital Transformation in Administration”. She explained the important factors for a digital administration as a transformation and the latest findings and results from current research. A major sub-topic of the presentation was the user journey, which will play a major role in the digital processes of the administration in the future. In this approach, the user is brought into focus. The entire process is rethought from the user’s point of view. This leads to attractive e-government solutions being offered to the population. Switzerland’s situation was highlighted in the international ranking, which shows that there is still a need for action in some areas of digitalisation. Particularly in comparison with its direct neighbours Germany and Austria, it becomes apparent that there is a significant gap in the key enablers.
Shortly afterwards, a presentation by the president of the Swiss Telecommunications Association (asut) named Peter Grütter awaited us. First, he showed the big picture of digitalisation in recent years, with the thesis that we have left the industrial age and are now moving into a knowledge age standing out. On the current state of network technology, he gave us an overview of current and future technologies. For example, the market volume of the Internet of things (IoT) is expected to double every two years. As a good final statement, Peter Grütter mentioned the necessary willingness to take risks, because without it there would be no transformation.
After a well-deserved lunch break on the banks of the beautiful Aare, we had the pleasure of visiting the Swiss Federal Railways. We were given a guided tour around the railway station of Bern, where we learned more about the infrastructure and logistics. We also got an insight into the new waste disposal system, which was introduced to successfully solve the littering problem in Swiss railway stations. Finally, we got insightful information about the prestige project of the reconstruction of the railway station. The renovation is urgently needed, as commuter flows and the number of visitors to the shops are increasing every year and the current infrastructure is reaching its limits.
After the daily debriefing, we were able to enjoy the sun until we met in the evening at the Tramdepot for an informal get-together, where we could share our impressions of the first half of the week. We are excited about what the next two days have in store for us.