Third day of the connectUS 2016 Preparatory Seminar

WEDNESDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 2016

On the third day of the Preperatory Seminar we have been on the road to visit the US Embassy and Swisscom (Headquarter).

Importance of the US – Swiss Relationship (Suzan G. LeVine (Ambassador) // Embassy of the United States)

Today we had the great opportunity to visit the US Ambassador Suzan Le Vine with her husband Eric in their residence at the Embassy of the United States in Berne. Suzan Le Vine took up her position as the United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein in June 2014.

Suzan started her talk with a focus on the currently running presidential elections – obviously one of the most important topics in the United States right now. She focused on how the election system works, also compared to Switzerland. She additionally explained in detail what the important factors are to really make an advantage to other candidates. One of them is to successfully start and continue grassroot movements: Build small communities of candidate supporters which then spread the candidate’s message to as many people as possible.„It’s a marathon, not a sprint“, as US-ambassador Suzi LeVine says.

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Further the ambassador highlighted the importance of the economical collaboration between Switzerland and the US and answered question regarding her work with the elaboration of apprenticeship programs in the United States.

We really want to point out that it was a honor for us to visit the Embassy of the United States in Switzerland and we are sure the connectUS delegation will remember this morning as very inspiring and we feel humbled to had the opportunity to meet such an experienced, energized and powerful woman with a great husband at her side.

Human Centered Design with Company Visit (Alexander Farga and Sabine Hug // Swisscom)
In the afternoon of the third day of our preparatory seminar we were warmly welcomed by Sabine Lengacher at the Swisscom headquarter in Bern. Sabine works as an Intern at Swisscom’s HR & University Marketing department and led us into the holy halls of creativity, more exactly into the brain gym. The brain gym is one of the creative meeting rooms on the „Human Centered Design“ floor. Their employees have the possibility to discuss, present or exchange ideas in a very pleasant environment.

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The following company visit with an introduction into the „Human Centered Design“ was hold by Alexander Farga and Sabine Hug. They showed and explained us how the philosophy of the Human Centred Desing has influenced the arrangement of working areas for the employees. The tour gave insight into a culture which is highly influenced by the values of an open communication, being innovative and creative with the import principle of giving constructive feedback.

But being innovative and seeking for creative solutions that are based on the needs of the consumer, go beyond the borders of one department. They have one big meeting room that is designed to offer workspaces so that project responsibles of different departments can work together. They are also free to rearrange the rooms, depending on their needs. Offering such an working environment helps that employees are able to be close to each other, increases their exchange and fosters innovation.

The concept of Human Centered Design where first applied at the Swisscom office in Sillicon Valley and we are absolutely excited now to have the chance to do a second company visit during our onsight trip in San Francisco in March.

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