gfs.bern in flow

12.07.2023 | Lukas Golder, GFS Bern

With more than six decades of experience in political, social and economic opinion research, we are a pioneering player in the field of opinion research. Our insights into opinion formation in Switzerland and in direct democratic processes are considered groundbreaking. Throughout our company’s history, we have always taken the pulse of the times, adapted to constantly changing technological and social requirements and are prepared to survive in a rapidly developing, digitalised and internationalised world.

Das älteste Forschungsbüro der Schweiz stellt sich neu auf

Im gleichen Jahr, in dem kluge Köpfe für die umkämpfte Zusammensetzung der Schweizer Regierung eine Zauberformel erfanden, wurde in Bern ein Büro gegründet: die Gesellschaft zur Förderung der praktischen Sozialforschung, kurz GfS. Das war 1959. Beides hatte Bestand. Die Zauberformel für den Bundesrat kommt in abgewandelter Form noch heute zum Einsatz.
Fabian Schäfer, Bern - NZZ vom 12.7.2023

The digital transformation: from analogue conversation to digital interaction

The telephone has been a central mediator between people and opinions throughout our company’s history. But in a world where the digital is becoming increasingly important, the internet and social media are taking on an ever more significant role in what we do alongside it. For example, we have a panel of over 30,000 people who participate in thematic surveys. Furthermore, we have expanded our methodology over the years and offer online surveys in all conceivable forms in addition to traditional telephone surveys.

This enables us to reach people who may be less accessible through conventional means. The consistent move into digital is an important step in gaining relevant and timely insights into our society.

Innovative partnerships: The cooperation with Boomerang Ideas

In addition to traditional survey forms and online surveys, we have decided to take unconventional paths and act innovatively. In cooperation with the Swiss tech start-up Boomerang Ideas, we have opened up the possibility of conducting surveys on social media with our usual high quality standards, reaching a large number of people in a short time.

This partnership enables us to reach a large number of people in a very short time and to react quickly and efficiently to changing opinion. In this way, we are able to track current trends in public opinion and provide important insights. New paths into the digital society

An exciting new element in our ever-evolving portfolio is our platform. With the aim of creating more direct access to citizens’ opinions, we are decisively taking the next step towards digital communities. is a platform that allows us to gather feedback on current political and social issues in a timely and efficient manner. Instead of relying on traditional polling formats, we are creating a community that is able to respond to requests in real time. This agile approach allows us to collect and analyse current opinion even faster and more accurately.

International orientation:

Switzerland is known for its strongly developed direct democracy and the large number of referendums. With over 250 referendums studied, we are world leaders in research on opinion formation in direct democratic processes. Now we want to apply this wealth of experience beyond Switzerland’s borders.

A first step is, a service focused on Germany. This will expand our reach, bring our core competencies across borders, and help actors in Germany ensure that all voices are heard on social, political and economic issues.

gfs.bern in flow

In an era where social change and digitalisation are shaping lives, it is crucial to rise to these challenges. We pride ourselves on continuously evolving and adapting to meet the demands of our time. Whether it’s using the latest digital survey technologies, cultivating innovative partnerships or tapping into new markets – gfs.berne is and remains in flux.

If you have any questions concerning this post, please contact our expert for background information, insights and the methods and models used.

Lukas Golder

Lukas Golder