On 10 November 2014, Mrs Brigitte Zypries visited the German Swiss International School in Hong Kong. From 2002 to 2009 Mrs Zypries was Germany’s Federal Minister of Justice. Since the end of 2013 she has been Parliamentary State Secretary and is responsible for the areas of Information Technology and Aerospace.
After a meeting with representatives of the School Management and a school tour, Secondary students had the opportunity to discuss current economic and political issues with Mrs Zypries. The buzzwords "industry 4.0" and "smart factory" particularly excited the interest of students in terms of technical capabilities, the safety of such technological developments, the availability and future demand for jobs, and the impact on the older generation.
Industry 4.0 is a project in the high-tech strategy of the German Federal Government, with which the computerization of production technology should be accelerated. The objectives are the intelligent factory, and later on the intelligent and environmentally friendly household, which are characterized by versatility, resource efficiency and ergonomics.
Mrs Zypries illustrated these complex topics with practical examples and solutions from the industry such as the individually prepared breakfast cereals per chip, the customised Adidas shoes and implementation of workplace studies in cooperation with industry and union. Mrs Zypries stressed the benefits of repatriation of production and the strengthening of Germany as an industrial hub and Germany’s leading role in these global developments.
For several years, Mrs Zypries has been interested and actively involved in the political education and development of our students. She has been the hostess of an annual GSIS school trip to Berlin which, among others, includes visits to the Office of the Federal President, the Federal Chancellery, the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy, the Press and Information Office of Germany’s Federal Government and the Berlin Philharmonic.
GSIS was really pleased that we were able to welcome Mrs Zypries in Hong Kong. She also renewed the student invitation to visit Berlin and her ideas for this year's program were enthusiastically received by the students.
Mrs Zypries was impressed by the global thinking and academic success of our students and took a shine to the modern and innovative features of the Middle Building at the Peak campus. The newly renovated Middle Building was put into operation in August this year after a two year renovation phase and as part of a multi-year, comprehensive school development project.
Mrs Zypries was accompanied by Mrs Gerlint Heckmann, Head of East Asia in the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy (BMWi) and Mrs Birgit Ogami, Assistant in the Office of East Asia. We thank Mrs Zypries and her team very much for visiting GSIS!