Universität Bonn

Digital Strategy

Participatory Strategy Development Process 2020-2023

Over a period of fourteen months, the University’s seven faculties held a total of nine workshops in which they used design thinking methods to build a corpus of more than 700 compelling statements about a successful digital transformation of research, teaching, learning and work at the University of Bonn that, although specific, could nevertheless also serve as examples. These statements were then analyzed intensively, condensed into 45 cross-faculty guiding visions and incorporated into our overall vision with its seven sets of objectives applicable to all faculties. The ongoing process for implementing and advancing the strategy was also defined.

The participatory strategy development process was led, moderated and supported by the Digital Science Center (DiCe).


persona workshops in the faculties


statements about a successful digital transformation


cross-faculty guiding visions


sets of objectives

Phases in the participatory strategy development process

July 2020

Kicking off the process together, the Rectorate and deans agreed the development of a new digital strategy, adopting the slogan “Toward a Strategy through Visions and via Projects.”

It was decided that, while the strategy was being developed,  

  1. Specific digitalization ventures would be initiated in the form of DiCe projects
  2. Professional digitalization managers would be recruited for the faculties

By March 2022

In a participatory process involving each of the faculties, compelling visions were mapped out for future work roles for the University’s various status groups, characterized as “personas”:

  • Digital researcher
  • Digital student
  • Digital partner
  • Digital lecturer
  • Digital employee

By June 2022

Qualitative methods were employed to obtain an initial 39 guiding visions that the faculties hold for a successful digitalization out of the 700 or so statements that resulted from the persona workshops. The results were first reviewed to identify where they could contribute to the University’s other strategic cross-cutting issues:

  • Equal opportunity
  • Internationality
  • Sustainability

in order to dovetail with the corresponding elements of the University’s overarching strategy.

    By January 2023

    Across several workshops involving the directors of the DiCe’s three fields of operation—Research, Teaching and Services—the faculties’ guiding visions were initially supplemented with the addition of six central guiding visions, and the overall vision for the Digital Strategy with its seven sets of objectives was distilled from the now 45 guiding visions.

    The second step involved turning the experiences gained from the DiCe’s projects that were running into the ongoing process for implementing and advancing the digital strategy. One key aspect was the integration of the faculties’ digitalization management representatives that had been newly set up.

    By March 2023

    The draft strategy (comprising the vision and the ongoing strategy process) was compiled by the faculties and other stakeholders and approved in a joint meeting of the Rectorate, the deans and the newly created digitalization management representatives for the faculties.

    By May 2023

    The final step saw the Digital Strategy confirmed by the DiCe Board of Management and the Rectorate and presented to the Senate.

    It was then published in the form of these web pages. This marks the end of the initial strategy development stage and the transition to the ongoing strategy process.

    Find out here how the strategy is being implemented and developed further:

    An ongoing strategy process

    The University has set itself objectives for implementing and advancing its strategy and has underpinned them with tangible (governance) structures and measures.

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