Actually everything started off like on television: dark limousines pulling up, a lot of hand-shaking going on, and a storm of camera flashes going off.
Then came the surprise. Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz didn’t arrive in a car as expected, but rode up to HPI on a bike, accompanied by security personnel. During their tour of the foyer, the ministers in high spirits took selfies of each other and learned more about HPI and its research projects. Afterwards, they were transported back to their schooldays. Besides being introduced to the largest classroom in Germany — the online learning platform openHPI — the guests were also presented the School Cloud (Schulcloud), a research project sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.
Equipped with tablets, Chancellor Merkel and Defense Minister von der Leyen tried out the School Cloud with an exercise in politics. Group work was explicitly encouraged.
The ministers had the opportunity to interactively test cooperative work in the School Cloud, discover more about lifelong learning and—with the support of HPI professors—explore the subject of digitization and the importance of artificial intelligence in medicine.
The Federal Cabinet inspired by the atmosphere of the HPI D-School
After the obligatory “family photo” was taken in front of the main building, the digital cabinet spent its time on the premises of the HPI School of Design Thinking. There, in a private setting, the ministers dealt with the big questions: How does Germany advance in the field of digitization? How do our artificial intelligence strategies have to look to stay competitive? Where do we draw the line between what is possible and what is ethically acceptable?
The results of the closed-door meeting and information about the “Digital Strategy of the German Government” and “Artificial Intelligence Strategy” adopted can be found on the Federal Government’s website.