The City of Cologne is extending their cooperation with KISD for another three years. It will jointly implement six more projects from April 2023, focusing on further developments of services for citizens.

Within these projects, KISD students and the city’s innovation office research the concrete needs and wishes of Cologne’s citizens together, and subsequently develop and improve customized solutions which will be tested with citizens.

As part of the cooperation to date, the MeinungsMobil was completed in January 2022. The MeinungsMobil consists of a bicycle trailer equipped with methods and tools for talking to Cologne citizens and getting them involved. Employees can simply strap the trailer to the city’s e-bike so that the administration comes to the people and no longer the other way around. The services offered by the MeinungsMobil range from the possibility for qualitative questioning by means of balls and corresponding tubes, whiteboards and poster holders to an integrated laptop for audio-visual content and hybrid formats. The mobile has already been used seven times since its completion.

At the end of the five-year administrative reform project, the City of Cologne is currently setting up an innovation office to act as an internal advisory unit for all municipal offices and departments. The team is a particular driver of innovation in order to continue to position the City of Cologne for the future. It pays particular attention to agile working methods that are suitable for challenges for which requirements are unknown, exist in large numbers or are constantly changing. The methodological framework for this is provided by Service Design, a teaching field at KISD which is unique in Germany.

In essence, the approach aims to solve problems and difficult issues in the shortest possible time through step-by-step development, continuous improvement and the involvement of users.