His interests in digitalization and networks brought Paul Trompisch, a graduate of the Hertie School of Governance, to a workshop of the Hertie Network on Digitalization (HNOD). “The network is a great way to stay in touch with the university and other professionals interested in digitalization”, Paul says. “The fellows & friends networks are a continuous way of learning”, he shares. He soon became a network coordinator, an engagement to which he remained committed to for over three years and which functions on a rotation basis. The network meets regularly in Berlin. “Berlin is an unexpected city, a constant flow of new people and new stories”, Paul says. “The HNOD brings together like-minded people and it is a way of escaping your professional life, sometimes it is hard to meet people outside your direct field of work otherwise”. The network has inspired him to implement new strategies in his work.
He introduced the design workshop from Hertie in Vienna, a new format offering more than just a discussion panel with experts. He often works as a facilitator and the HNOD brings inspiration in these terms, too. Paul comes from south Austria, close to Italian border, from the remote Austrian Alps.

When you grow up there, attending university means moving away

He pursued his bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics in Vienna, which is a four-hour car drive from where he grew up. “You learn a bit about everything in this study”, Paul tells. After finishing his bachelor’s degree, Paul went all the way to Singapore, to work in foreign trade and government related topics, on how EU companies can contribute to business in those areas. For his master’s studies he looked for a specialization in these topics, and the roads led to the Hertie School of Governance. He applied for various graduate programmes, “I did not leave this to chance”, Paul recalls. Eventually he relocated to Berlin. “The private university was very different than my public one back in Austria, here I could actually get to know my professors. Here you study to develop yourself and your ideas”, Pauls shares. Paul had found space for reflection and discussion at Hertie. He did return to Austria for his internship at the Ministry of Finance, which is a part of the Hertie School degree, where he focused on the banking regulation. For his third semester at Hertie, Paul went for an exchange semester at IBEI in Barcelona.

Paul worked as a Policy Adviser for the Federation of Austrian Industries in Brussels after his studies, promoting the interests of business industries. This is where he started focusing on his long-term specialization on digitalization. Back in Austria, Paul worked for Platform Industry 4.0 on public-private partnerships, with a focus on the transition to the digital age for industries, and later on as Manager at EY. “People are generally afraid of the future, of change, but I see this in my daily work; new technologies, implemented in a smart way empower people. Companies slowly realize that and put more effort into this. I see good ways to use these techniques to empower employees, and make work more innovative”, Pauls says.

At Platform Industry 4.0, Paul managed working groups on cyber security, future of work and new technologies, at EY he works on adapting the service offerings to the changing needs of the clients. “This is about acquiring information in a short time and put it in practice”, Paul tells. At the Hertie School he learned tools “to understand complex issues in a short time and make it clear and concise for others”, he says. In his work at the Platform Industry 4.0, Paul helped build networks for public private partnerships. He set up “a network hub” to connect stakeholders and facilitate partnerships between stakeholders and government. “The demand is high in this field”, Paul says, in all EU countries. The degree at the Hertie School was important. “I often see a lot of people here in Vienna, who have studied only Law or only Political science and they fail to see the bigger picture. I am at a crossroads, I can understand very different areas and their tangential points”, Paul says. “I bring people and ideas together”, Paul tells. Which is also the essence of what the ff networks are about.

« Damyana Stoynova