From Left to Right: Benedikt Lahme, door2door; Gerhard Hammerschmid, Hertie School professor and myGovernment jury member; Thomas Balbach, CitizenLab; Tino Mittelmeier, Little Bird; Laila Oudray, Polyas; Carl-Ferdinand von Halem, CommneX; Ferdinand Schuster, Director of the Public Governance Institute. Photo: KPMG

Last week, CitizenLab was honored as one of the 5 Best Solutions for the Smart State in Germany. At the Institute for the Public Sector, CitizenLab was selected by the independent jury. Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hammerschmid (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin); Prof. Dr. Hermann Hill (German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer); Prof. Dr. Ines Mergel (University of Konstanz); Lena-Sophie Müller (CEO Initiative D21); Prof. Dr. Dr. Björn Niehaves (University of Siegen); Ursula Rosenbichler (Head of Department Administration Innovation, Austrian Federal Chancellery); Prof. Dr. Tino Schuppan (co-founder of The Potsdam eGovernment Competence Center).

We are pleased that Microsoft CTO Michael Langkabel, Franz-Reinhard Habbel (German town and community federation) and Dr. med. Ferdinand Schuster (Institute for the Public Sector) mentioned CitizenLab and took up our question about greater trust between citizens and the state. CitizenLab distinguished itself through its clear technical focus, excellent design and internationalization strategy.

Key Takeaways from the myGoverment event in Berlin

As Country Manager Germany, Thomas felt encouraged in our mission to make communal decision-making in Europe more transparent and common. The value that a high representative of the Federal Court of Auditors gave to the economic efficiency and regularity of digitization was evident to me. As a software provider to governments and governments, we live by these two ideals day in, day out.

We learned a lot about other GovTech startups in Germany, many of which were quite new to the market and wanted to learn about our internationalization strategy, while others had existed for almost a decade but did not grow much. What we all have to learn as startups is to better understand public administration in Germany. This is the view of a great majority of administrative employees as the results of Dr. Schuster’s study impressively showed.

We are in close contact with administrations in order to automate step-by-step steps to save time and effort. We create time for administrations. To do this, we must deliver pinpointed solutions that appeal to citizens as well. We will continue to attend key administrative science events, keep drawing from my studies in public policy and governance, and read a lot of specialized literature on the public sector. Also, we will happily accept the occasional enlightenment by an official or mayor on all things GovTech.