What is the staatslabor?
The staatslabor was born from a keen interest in public action and the desire to keep it in pace with present opportunities. In the summer of 2016, a group of young people from such diverse backgrounds as design, technology, social sciences, politics and administration decided to set up a site where issues related to public services and policies could be tackled in a multidisciplinary and innovative fashion.
Officially launched in January 2017 and housed in the Impact Hub of Berne - located in the heart of the old town, the staatslabor supports the developmental work of Swiss public and parapublic sectors striving to offer citizens services tailored to their current and future needs. The staatslabor functions simultaneously as a platform connecting experts, civil society and administrations, a forum for exchange, and a laboratory for public innovation.
Switzerland is fortunate to have a vibrant public sector that at all levels and at all times has contributed to the long-term sustainability and improved quality of life of the population.
But in a time of rapid and frequent change, it needs easy access to new knowledge and new ways of thinking that will allow it to tackle and solve increasingly complex problems. The staatslabor thus functions as a platform for exchange and encounter: first of all between various public sector players, so that experiences, know-how, challenges and innovative solutions can be shared. Then between the public sector and the expert network of the staatslabor. Our community is made up of several hundred public policy enthusiasts, who are specialized in fields as diverse as open data, behavioral sciences, participatory processes, design, digitalization or automatic learning that the staatslabor puts in touch with the administrations according to the needs of the latter. Finally, the staatslabor wishes to be a privileged meeting place between the users of the public service and those who, day after day, apply themselves to make it evolve.
We organize thematic conferences, meetings with specialists and informal meetings. Stay informed of our activities by subscribing to our newsletter.
Improving public policy through innovation is, to our delight, an increasingly widespread practice. Across the world, many public service users are seeing their governments adopt technologies and methods already used in the private sector to make their processes more efficient, interfaces more enjoyable, services more in tune with the specific needs of each and every one .On the international scene, the staatslabor is linked to the public innovation community, learning about the most effective practices, successful applications and innovations that have contributed to sustainable value for citizens in various regions of the world. We are fortunate to be able to interact regularly with institutions and communities that share our vision, benefiting from their experiences and advice.
But the staatslabor also wishes to highlight the vitality of the Swiss public and parapublic sector in terms of innovation: municipalities, townships, departments or public interest foundations abounding with interesting examples that can be applied elsewhere in Switzerland. The staatslabor is interested in these successes and these experiences and promotes their dissemination. By asking the people involved and sharing these innovative projects, we wish also to inspire others to start as well as to contribute to the extinction of the myth of a poor public sector in the face of innovation.
Do not hesitate to visit our Blog regularly, which will grow over the months.
The staatslabor has taken up residence at the Impact Hub of Berne, a place where a community of pioneers, creative minds, entrepreneurs, representatives of public and private institutions collaborate to develop sustainable and inclusive solutions for our society. In keeping with the spirit of this place, we are testing new methods of innovation with different actors in the public and parapublic sectors, at the municipal, township and federal levels. The staatslabor wishes to offer a multidisciplinary approach to those working in the service of the community as well as a framework allowing them to get out of their daily lives and think differently.
At the staatslabor, we believe that the current challenges facing public authorities require a tailor-made approach, involving a variety of knowledge and approaches. In order to develop services that are more in tune with user needs but also more in keeping with the daily realities of public service employees, we work with professionals in the design, digitalization, data, social sciences and experts In new technologies. We take concrete cases, test new approaches, prototypes of innovative solutions.
And, as in any good laboratory, error is allowed, since it takes place on a small scale, easy to master and rectify, thus saving energy and resources. We look forward to experimenting with you.