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Digital expert Verena Pausder: This is her vision for a new country

Patrycia Lukas

Verena Pausder is founder, managing director, investor, activist,
Board member. And recently also an author. As one of the most sought-after
She has now written a book for digital experts in Germany. In the middle of the Corona time. She began to write in February, then the pandemic hit Germany really hard. An almost epic time to write a book. The title was correspondingly serious: “The new country – how things will go on now!”. Pausder’s book is much more of a kind of manifesto, written down in the form of a 200-page speech – a “passionate speech”, as she herself writes on the first page.

The author has one for each area of ​​our society
Chapter opened: education, politics, equality, entrepreneurship,
Climate protection, equal opportunities, new work, digitization and innovation in the new country. And Pausder actually has something to say on every topic: on the subject of equality, for example, she has been campaigning for a long time with the “Stay on Board” initiative that board members can also take parental leave and other time off – so far this has not been possible, what women are especially disadvantaged in such positions.

Allow more courage and mistakes

And what does this new country look like now? “I don’t want a utopia of
draw a land where honey flows, ”says Pausder. With the
In her book, she is primarily concerned with the “mindset” of our society.
Pausder is the founder and an early child of the German startup scene, so she uses terms such as “mindset”, “courage” and “error culture” frequently. Pausder prefers to formulate what her new country should look like as appeals: ‘Let us now dare to implement things that we know we will need. ”And“ Let us not judge things too quickly before we understand them and have dealt with them. ”And“ We have to say goodbye to old beliefs like ‘You can’t do that’ ”.

Pausder therefore wants a better culture of mistakes in politics and
Economy; that it’s okay to just try new things. Specifically, politicians and CEOs have their “best shot at this point in time
apply, but also stand by it if it doesn’t work. “

However, it is also more concrete: At the end of each chapter, Pausder shows
two concrete ideas that could now be implemented. For example, it suggests a digitization ministry or an innovation tax, a fund that invests in research and innovation.

Digital education is her hobby

But her big heart issue is (digital) education in Germany. She founded the company Fox & Sheep, which develops apps, animations, radio plays and podcasts for children aged three and over. She has three children herself. That is also why she has been sitting down well
ten years for more digital education and the digitization of schools.

Because Germany is still lagging behind here, she thinks, it is not for nothing that a digital pact amounting to five billion euros was made available to equip schools with iPad, W-LAN and Co. The money is already there – of the five billion euros, only 15.7 million euros have been paid out. As always, the mills of the German bureaucracy grind slowly. Too slow for pausers.

In the corona pandemic, the shortcomings of the previous
Then suddenly everyone is painfully aware of the educational system. At the same time, the debate is finally moving. “The corona crisis acts like a catalyst for the digitization of the education system,” says Pausder.
As a survey of teachers at the Allensbach Institute at the end of May showed, 66 percent of schools in Germany did not have an overall concept that would ensure that pupils were provided with learning opportunities for the time when schools were closed in the context of a pandemic. Two thirds of teachers could not reach all of their students digitally at home.

School cloud in 16 federal states? “That is not thought through to the end.”

What is the problem? In Germany, education is a state, not a federal matter.
“Since we have federalism in Germany, we don’t discuss whether it makes sense to develop a school cloud 16 times in each federal state. This is not thought through to the end.

Pausder believes that it is important to be able to design the content differently from region to region. But the technical basis of a cloud on the one hand does not stand in the way, on the other hand it is not as individual as the learning content. Ideally, a software product is very scalable and can be used anywhere. Therefore, according to Pausder, it makes a lot more sense to suspend state sovereignty in this special case and to oblige them to work with the federal government to create a uniform cloud solution.

The basis for this already exists: The Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering is developing an HPI school cloud with the MINT EC, a nationwide network of excellence of over 300 schools and supported by the Federal Ministry for Research and Education. This is already in use in a few federal states.
Why not nationwide too? In Pausder’s eyes, this is currently our best chance. “Most schools are overwhelmed with one
Create a media development plan, ”says Pausder. Finally they have
but no trained workers.

Do we need a European school cloud?

“We have to decide now: either we use the offers
Non-European companies like Microsoft and Google or us
build their own European school cloud, ”says Pausder. However, the federal government has not yet made this claim
formulated. Pausder suggests that this could also be done within the framework of the large European cloud project Gaia-X. She herself is in favor of a European solution, as Europe would make itself less dependent on the few tech giants from abroad and protect our data.

“If I had to make a decision, I would immediately set up a task force made up of business and political representatives to develop a concept with short-term milestones. “Under the special circumstances, we would have to act particularly quickly.

So where do you start first? “We need fast
a corona solution. And for this, the digital pact has to be distributed quickly and unbureaucratically. ”The next step is to train teachers in workshops, online courses or webinars, says Pausder. Verena Pausder’s vision for a digital Germany: “We need more yes we can and less doom and gloom”

Perhaps your appeals, be it for the establishment of a school cloud or a whole new country, will soon be heard: Pausder is already a valued sparring partner in politics and we are often invited as a consultant. So far she has understood herself as “APO” (Extra-Parliamentary Opposition), as she calls it. But now she is even thinking about going into politics, exerting direct influence, she revealed in various interviews. Then the road to a new country might not be that far.


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