In Kooperation mit dem Vodafone Institut für Gesellschaft und Kommunikation haben wir visionäre Experten nach ihrer Perspektive auf gesellschaftliche Umbrüche und Machtverschiebungen in Zeiten von vernetzten, digitalen Medien und Big Data gefragt.


The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society aims to explore ahead of the curve structural shifts, tipping points and controversial questions from the digital spheres with international researchers, experts, dreamers and visionaries. We are exploring digital spheres by inviting personalities from the fields of science, culture and the economy to public talks, discussions and lectures.

The special keynote dialogue Big data: big power shifts? co-organised with the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications asked visionary speakers to share their perspectives on societal shifts and changes in face of networked digital media and big data.

Big data has been a major issue in internet-related public debates for several years now and it is yet unclear what impact big data has on societies, politics and markets. Big data means the automatic generation of very large and diverse data sets which are mainly the result of the digitisation of modern societies, their processing by algorithms and their use for decision-making and regulation in the private or public sector. This includes purposes such as profiling, monitoring, predictive analysis or risk calculation. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier claim that big data is a “revolution that will transform how we live, work, and think”. But whereas revolutions imply a profound shift in power relations, there is little evidence and debate about whether and, if so, how big data affects power relations.

The lecture series explored this topic with speakers from different backgrounds and was backed by a special issue of the Internet Policy Review.

The lectures

The kick-off was laid by a keynote dialogue on “Making sense of big data” on 5 November 2015 hosted by the British Embassy in Berlin.

Thursday 5 November 2015 | 19:00 | British Embassy Berlin
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With the subsequent keynote dialogues we tackled three paradigmatic fields where power shifts released by the impact of big data are apparent such as the health sector, the field of e-government and finally education.

Wednesday 10 February 2016 | 19:00 | Hörsaalruine, Charité
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Monday 14 March 2016 | Estonian Embassy in Berlin
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Wednesday 22 June 2016 | 19:00 | Leibniz-Saal der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenachften
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The event series Big data: big power shifts? was initiated by the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in cooperation with the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications and curated by Dr Lena Ulbricht, WZB Research Fellow.

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2 Gedanken zu “Big data: big power shifts?

  1. Alexandra Borchardt

    Ich kann am 5. November leider nicht kommen, würde aber gerne zu den anderen Terminen eingeladen werden. Danke und viele Grüße, Alexandra Borchardt

  2. HR

    “Die Staaten haben immer weniger Macht, die Leute denken immer weniger selbst (“PC”), wie kann dieses Prinzip, das fuer ein griechisches Dorf gerschaffen worden war, in einer globalisierten Welt ueberleben?” Was ist “Big Power” ueberhaupt? Die Power der hardware? Das Wissen? Worum gebt es ueberhaupt? Ein Verschwinden des Menschen und ein Ende der Politik?


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