Making the future a success - getIT

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Making the future a success

We are often enormously challenged or feel overwhelmed when it comes to solving issues or problems - as individuals, companies and society. I believe that computational thinking is a methodology that can help us and future generations with these challenges.

It is often difficult to recognise the many connections behind problems and to influence them in a solution-oriented way. Added to this: The speed at which framework conditions and needs - such as those of customers - are changing is constantly increasing. At Swisscom, we are meeting this challenge with new ways of thinking and working. For example, we are increasingly adopting agile forms of collaboration and tapping into the methodology of computational thinking.

Dissect, recognise patterns, formulate rules

The aim of computational thinking is to formulate problems and their solutions in such a way that both humans and machines can understand and execute them. A problem is broken down in such a way that patterns can be recognised and rules formulated whose execution leads to the solution. The individual solution steps are simplified in such a way that they can also be carried out in whole or in part by a computer. At Swisscom, we are convinced of the potential of this methodology.

IT professionals think "computationally" with their customers

As Switzerland's leading ICT company, we need employees who approach problem solving with innovative approaches. That's why Swisscom offers training in computational thinking. In the first half of 2019, around 120 colleagues attended a training course that we offer together with the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and which teaches this methodology, among other things. A new edition of the course is planned for the second half of the year. Wherever it makes sense, we naturally try to use computational thinking in our day-to-day work.

Children learn the skills of tomorrow through play

Future generations will be even more affected than those working today by the fact that our world is becoming increasingly complex and digitalisation is fundamentally changing every area of our lives and the economy. But what do children need to learn today so that they are well prepared as adults to tackle the challenges of tomorrow?

Various studies have attempted to define the jobs of the future as precisely as possible. However, the assumptions made about specific job profiles have often not materialised. It is therefore crucial that children and young people acquire skills and abilities that they can use successfully in different workplaces and under a wide variety of working conditions. I believe that playful engagement with computational thinking contributes to precisely this.

Unknowingly part of Curriculum 21

Curriculum 21 has - perhaps unintentionally - incorporated important components of computational thinking. There is an increased demand for information technology education in schools, with the Department of Media and Computer Science extending across all three cycles of the school career. But where do you start? And how? Many schools are still finding it difficult to accept new approaches and tackle topics such as programming, robotics or computational thinking.

That's why we launched the Computational Thinking Initiative together with digitalswitzerland and other partners. One part of this initiative is the "Thymio goes to the mountains" project in Swiss schools. It supports and inspires Swiss schools not to blindly embrace digitalisation, but to allow it to happen. The project uses a playful approach to arouse curiosity about important skills of the future. The project complements the current curriculum content in a meaningful and future-orientated way and at the same time uses and encourages children's creativity.

Investing in the future

I am convinced that the "Thymio goes to the mountains" project and computational thinking in general is an investment in the future for everyone involved. We are helping to secure and promote the training of skilled labour, preserve jobs and increase the attractiveness of Switzerland as a business location. So it's not just about robots, programming or promoting IT teaching. It's about an important factor in ensuring that our children have a successful future - their own and that of our society.

Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler

Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler

Head of Digital Business

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