BFH is represented internally and externally by the President. In the public discourse, the communication department of the President’s Office and the departments support the President in tasks such as media relations.
The Cantonal Government's performance mandate to BFH for the years 2021– 2024 sets out concrete goals for public discourse. The development focus is that BFH should "assume its responsibility as a player in the social transformation process with an increased focus on sustainability and digitalisation". Furthermore, BFH should "cultivate close cooperation with private-sector companies, public-sector institutions and other education providers".
In addition to the events mentioned above, BFH has also taken various measures to involve itself more specifically in the public discourse. For example, the current BFH strategy was supplemented in the year under review to include the above-mentioned goal. In addition, the Code of Conduct currently under development, which will come into force on 1.1.2023, will contain statements on external communication.
In autumn 2022, a series of public events is to be launched on the three key topics of "Sustainable and resilient food systems", "Development of settlements and habitats" and "Circular economy and decarbonisation". It is intended to strengthen the dialogue with civil society, politics and the economy additionally. Also, in June 2022, BFH, together with the Swiss Academies of Sciences (SCNAT) and the Wyss Academy for Nature, held the Sustainable Science Dialogue on the sustainable development of natural and settlement spaces in the Canton of Bern.
Awareness of sustainable development among the general public and politicians is to be raised in a targeted manner through political contacts and public appearances by BFH managers (especially the President) and BFH experts. There is also active media work on the strategic topic of sustainable development. In addition, the Focus BFH newsletter is regularly sent to contacts of the rector in politics, administration and business. The visibility of activities and events in the field of sustainable development is also continuously increased on the web portal.
The measures are evaluated by means of the strategy report on the objectives from the area of sustainable development and the performance report on the objectives in accordance with the cantonal performance mandate.
A working group consisting of the quality officers of the departments and members of the President’s Office is also currently developing a concept for measuring the social impact of BFH using suitable impact indicators. The concept takes into account the cantonal goals and should be completed by 2023.
The response in the media is measured by the ARGUS media analysis and communicated internally in regular media reviews. In the year under review, BFH succeeded in generating positive resonance with various messages on the topic of sustainability, including the projects and activities E-LKW, Der Holzbautag Biel wird klimagerecht, Sonderbriefmarke Nachhaltigkeit.