Meetup: New approaches in the public sector

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A mid-sized group of about 25 people in casual outfits sitting in a modern, well-lit space all looking in the same direction outside the picture; a poster in the background says: “New approaches in the public sector”

On Tuesday this week, we ran an event on ‘new approaches in the public sector’. It’s part of a potential series titled ‘Öffentliche Gestaltung – shaping public sector’s future’. We hosted it on the 4th floor of our DigitalService office in Berlin-Kreuzberg.

Consciously bilingual, the format invites people interested in good, iteratively developed, user-centred work in the German public sector to see what’s happening and have an exchange about it.

From the meetup description:

We write code, design interfaces, develop products and services for administration, government and the public sector. Our work serves as many people in the country as possible and makes their everyday lives easier and simpler.

In this new meetup, we make the work of teams from all parts and levels of the public sector visible and seek exchange with the public. The event series shows how new thinking and action create added value for society.

We recorded the entire evening and published all talks minus the often too inaudible questions and answers part.

First, my meetup co-organisers, Christian and Magda, and I briefly introduced the meetup, its intention and its structure.

The first speaker of the evening was Frederike Ramin, a senior developer at the DigitalService. She spoke about building a property tax declaration service in less than 6 months that works for its users.

Kindly allowing us to use the title of their book ‘Öffentliches Gestalten’, CityLAB Berlin colleagues Tori Boeck and Tobias Witt took the stage next. They presented their prototyping work with administrative offices in Berlin and shared how they understand first and then innovate.

The third and final talk was on agile and open-source development with the administration. Liquid Democracy’s Carolin Klingsporn and Katharina Lindenlaub walked the participants through the case of creating and maintaining, a participation platform for citizens of Berlin. 

Around 60 participants joined, asked countless questions, and left excellent feedback. They rated the content and format with 4.8 out of 5 stars on The meetup might return with a second event in early summer.