Dear friends and fellow researchers,

What are your wishes and resolutions #fortheweb in 2019? We made one of our wishes come true and kicked off our brand-new, thought-provoking podcast, which takes you on a journey through digital spheres.

New year, new beginning? In 2019, we look forward to welcoming many new researchers at our institute, to starting lots of new projects and to tackling many issues for the first time – eHealth, civic engagement in the digital age and humanoid robots. Fortunately, some things will remain unchanged alongside all these new developments: we very much hope to welcome our Quarterly readers to the continuation of our academic lecture series with Eva Illouz on 6 March.

Last but not least, we published a new edition of our research magazine encore – read more on this below. We wish you pleasant reading!

Jeanette Hofmann | Ingolf Pernice | Björn Scheuermann | Thomas Schildhauer | Wolfgang Schulz


Essay Competition | Utopias for a Digital Society

Digital technologies have significantly changed our lives over the last 20 years. With the looming rise of AI, VR and data ubiquity, it seems evident that the biggest changes still lie ahead of us. How can society benefit from these technologies? We are looking for radical and thought-provoking ideas. What will our digital society be like in...

| twentyforty?

New Project | Digital Civic Engagement

E-petitions and Facebook events: what are the benefits and threats of digital tools for the engagement of young people? The Third Engagement Report for the German Federal Government investigates possibilities for the promotion of civic engagement in a digital world. The new Commission’s project office was recently established at HIIG, chaired by Jeanette Hofmann and directed by Theresa Züger.

| Learn more!

DECiDe | Strengthening Participation

How can we foster political participation and make our democracy more vibrant and sustainable? The name of our political participation pilot project, DECiDe, speaks for itself! After testing and evaluating the technical components for Random Sample Voting (RSV) and e-Identities, we are now ready to start the development of the technical prototype. Our team is looking for political and civil society organisations...

to participate in the field test phase.

Big Data and Nudging

Fellows in 2019 | Our Family Is Growing!

With candidates from 30 countries and five continents, our call for applications for the Internet and Society Fellowship has attracted even more potential fellows than the previous year. Amadeus Peters (Germany) has already joined us. Lisa Hehnke (Germany) is going to start in February, followed by Franziska Oehmer (Germany), Carlos Augusto Liguori Filho (Brasil), Michal Palinski (Poland) and Bruna Toso de Alcântara (Brasil).

| Interested in a research stay at HIIG too?

New Media & Society | Growth of the Editorial Board

A few days ago, our co-research programme manager Christian Katzenbach was invited to join the Editorial Board of New Media & Society – the leading journal of internet research in the social sciences and humanities (and to a certain extent the magazine counterpart to the AoIR). We are already looking forward to reading their upcoming special issue, which features Christian and former HIIG guest researcher Astrid Mager as guest editors:

| The role of future imaginaries in the making and governing of digital technology.



encore 2018 | Internet Research Magazine

In the latest issue of encore, you will not only find statistics on the number of tweets about the last two British royal weddings. You will also learn how one of our researchers met Chelsea Manning, read an interview with Marianne Franklin on human rights and discover what we have to say about social networks, copyright, science policy, data and business, among other things. It's time to explore our...

| fanzine for internet mavericks and digital researchers!


HIIG Podcast | Exploring Digital Spheres

Surrounded by buzzwords like artificial intelligence, blockchain and big data, it becomes ever more difficult to understand the world we are currently building. Our new podcast, hosted by Wouter Bernhardt, takes you on a deep dive into the world of coding, rating, nudging and filtering. The first episodes feature Nick Couldry on data colonialism, Martin Riedl on content moderation and Clara Keller Iglesias on fake news in Brazil.

| Let us take you on a journey to digital spheres!

Issue in Focus | Governing Artificial Intelligence

Jostling for influence alongside the Silicon Valley tech giants, how do political actors position themselves in the AI debate between economic interest, ethical controversies and the common good? How do their strategies differ? Is politics more of a driving or a driven force in this debate? Our latest issue in focus on the digital society blog explores...

| political players between vision and regulation!

Upcoming Study | Innovation and Entrepreneurship

A new study entitled “Digital Innovation in German mid-sized businesses“ analyses different companies and their approach to digital innovation. Are you curious about the study, which will be published later this year? Then check out some of the interviews, published as a sneak preview by the team around Martin Wrobel and Alexander T. Nicolai...

| on our YouTube channel!

Bookshelf of Fame | What else has been published?

Our former guest researcher Andreas Antić recently published his dissertation on digital public spheres and intelligent cooperation (in German). Former fellow Edoardo Celeste undertakes a systematic theorisation of digital constitutionalism. A report for the National eGovernment Competence Centre, written by Christian Djeffal, examines the use of AI in public administration (in German). An upcoming study for Stifterverband by Benedikt Fecher et al. investigates the potential of Open Science and Open Innovation (in German). In a recent journal contribution, associated researcher Sascha Friesike et al. investigates mechanisms and platform outcomes of remixing. Associated researcher Matti Grosse discusses triggers of collaborative innovation in online user communities in a journal article.


Digital Society

Eva Illouz on Tinder, Capitalism and Emotions | 6 March 2019

With apps like Tinder, intimate partners are only a swipe away: digital technologies translate the metaphor of a "market" for relationships into reality completely. Good news for all fans of our academic lecture series (in cooperation with bpb): On 6 March, the well-known Israeli sociologist Eva Illouz will talk about capitalist subjectivity and the internet.

| Save your spot before it’s too late!


Digitaler Salon | February and March 2019

We started the new year with a wonderful event about artificial intelligence, creativity and art, as part of transmediale and CTM festival’s pre-programme. On 27 February, we will talk about eSport filling entire arenas: Forget about LAN parties! Are gamers on their way to the Olympics soon? On 27 March, we will discuss the business models of Uber, Insta & Co. What would it be like to operate our own platforms?

| Watch all recent discussions here (in German only)! 

Impact School

Thinking about Robots | 4 April 2019

When we think about robots, either killing machines like the iconic Terminator or cute companions like the service robot Pepper come to mind. These images of seemingly smart and autonomous machines do not necessarily reflect actual capabilities. At an event organised by Thomas Christian Bächle and Christian Katzenbach on 4 April, we will look at the discrepancies between technological realities and imaginaries.

| Participate in the public panel discussion!

The futures of eHealth | 29 – 30 April 2019

What does the digital future provide for us in the field of health? Trackers and wearables, telemedicine, implants and electronic health records already offer a glimpse into what’s next. But how can we deal with significant social, legal and ethical challenges and insecurities? Share your research and find out more at our international and interdisciplinary conference on the futures of eHealth!

| Submit your abstract until 28 February.

Beyond HIIG | Events that Caught our Eye

31 January – 3 February | transmediale | HKW, Berlin

4 February | Is A.I Laughing at us? | Cambridge, MA, USA

7 – 8 March | Digital Innovation, Infrastructure, and Entrepreneurship on Bio Data | Einstein Center, Berlin

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG)
Französische Straße 9, 10117 Berlin | info@hiig.de