Dear friends and fellow researchers,

The internet is a place of contrasts – our digital society did not turn out to be the utopia that the 1996 Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace was aiming for. In times of surveillance capitalism“, nondiscriminatory visions of our digital society are needed more than ever. Too often, we forget that our society writes its own rules into the technology we create. So how exactly can we shape a utopian internet society? Is social scoring a dystopian technology that reflects our own fears, or would it be an obstacle to innovation if we did not use it in certain cases?

As passionate researchers, we often ask ourselves a huge amount of questions on an everyday basis. Our Quarterly is your compass for navigating our most exciting activities, research, most relevant publications and events you shouldn’t miss. Enjoy reading!

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


New Research Centre | Automated Decision-Making

Another promising start: the Australian government just announced that it would fund an Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. HIIG director Wolfgang Schulz and associated researcher Cornelius Puschmann are glad to be part of this network and will investigate responsible, ethical and inclusive automated...

| decision-making technologies for use in the public and private sectors.

Celebrating Two Years | Making Sense of the Digital Society

In times of rapid global change, there is a great need for explanations. This is why we have hosted a total of 12 speakers so far (and counting) at our academic lecture series. We look forward to welcoming Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff as well as Rasmus Kleis Nielsen as the next speakers – before we go into the third round in 2020!

| Don’t miss out on our brand new teaser!

Start-ups and SMEs | Concentrated AI Expertise

Hooray! Since September, start-ups and small and medium-sized companies have been offered more support in the field of Artificial Intelligence! Thanks to _Gemeinsam Digital, four AI trainers will offer advice on opportunities and concrete implementation strategies for AI applications through workshops, sessions and further projects.

| Join our Innovation & Entrepreneurship team!

We're Hiring | Digital Mavericks, Watch Out!

HIIG is home to researchers who cross disciplinary boundaries and love questioning norms and discourses in order to explore the depths of digital transformation. Are you interested in becoming a member of our international team? Join us as a researcher on our “Data & Society Interface“ project, as a researcher for Artificial Intelligence in SMEs or as our new coordinator for science communication.

| Meet some of the new faces of  _Gemeinsam Digital.

Farewell | Ingolf Pernice leaves the Board of Directors

This year we are saying goodbye to someone who has shaped and enriched our Institute for a long time. Ingolf Pernice, co-founder of the Institute, is resigning from our Board of Directors but will always remain a dear colleague and friend. His latest contribution to our HIIG Discussion Paper Series focuses on random sample voting and constitutional law:

| Can technology help to bridge the gap between the government and the governed?



Busted! | The Truth About Common Internet Myths

“On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog” – this is only one of many vague and sometimes amusing assumptions about the world wide web. Inspired by this, associated researcher Matthias C. Kettemann and Stephan Dreyer decided to get to the bottom of the 50 most common internet myths. The book will be given to all participants of the IGF in Berlin in November 2019.

| Debunked: We feature some sneak previews on our blog.


HIIG Podcast | Exploring Digital Spheres

In the second season of our Exploring Digital Spheres podcast, HIIG researcher Benedikt Fecher speaks about why there is so much “organised stupidity” in academia, HIIG researcher Thomas Bächle and Frank Sauer tackle the issue of governing autonomous weapons and Armin Nassehi speaks with HIIG director Jeanette Hofmann about the problems solved by digitalisation.

| Explore all recent episodes of our podcast!

Research Impact Canvas | Impact School

“Know how to reach whom, why and when”. The research impact canvas asks the right questions, teaching participants to adapt their key findings to the desired target group. Participants in the third Impact School used this method with Benedikt Fecher, HIIG researcher, and Christian Kobsda, associated researcher at HIIG, to develop a concrete impact strategy for their research findings. Interested in testing the tool?

| Meet the Research Impact Canvas!

HIIG Bookshelf | Further Worthwhile Publications

Africa is experiencing a boom in technology entrepreneurship: Nicolas Friederici has analysed Africa’s digital economy between hope and hype in a book chapter, focussing on the rise of innovation hubs. In an article, Miriam Wolf describes how Switzerland has radically and successfully changed its drug policy approach and asks what these efforts can teach us about the social innovation process. Last but not least, our open access journal Internet Policy Review has just announced a third #AoIR special issue in mid-2020. Our new open access officer presented a poster on “Open access in small sciences” and we’re looking forward to the outcomes of our new “InnOAccess” project!

| Browse our publications database.


Digital Society

Many Worlds. Many Nets. Many Visions | 26 November 2019

The internet we have does not fulfill the emancipatory promises some people ascribed to it: to change the world and end all injustice. Instead, it has transformed the world while also fundamentally destabilising it and challenging key societal power differentials. Or has it? How can internet governance empower marginalised groups and communities?

| Join the discussion at our IGF side event!


Digitisation as a Challenge for Sociological Theory | 6 December

How does sociological theory deal with digitisation? In early December, we will host the founding conference of a working group that will address this issue. Armin Nassehi, one of the previous guests of our academic lecture series, will also be there. For all those who want to stay in the loop, the results of the meeting will be published in a special issue in 2020!

| Find out more about the agenda.

Impact School

Shoshana Zuboff and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen | 6 November and 16 December

Our academic lecture series Making Sense of the Digital Society is now running for the second year in a row! After the event with Shoshana Zuboff on 6 November 2019 at Urania – don't miss out on the live stream –, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen will be closing this year’s series with his speech on the power of platforms and the adaptation strategies of publishers on 16 December 2019.

| Sign up for Nielsen's lecture here!

The Hashtag is Alt-Right | 27 November

Right-wing populists and movements are successfully using the tools of social networks to instrumentalise and mobilise users for their political agenda. At the upcoming Digitaler Salon (Digital Salon), we will discuss together how their networks operate and how to combat their mechanisms. How can we reclaim digital spaces? Join us on 27 November 2019 at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society!

| Find out more about the event.

Privacy, Data Protection & Surveillance | 10 December 2019

In the eleventh edition of this interdisciplinary workshop, we will discuss open research questions from the research fields of privacy, surveillance and data security. We look forward to debating essays and dissertation projects, theoretical and empirical work, analyses and proposals for solutions from all disciplines. We welcome young scientists and new speakers!

| Interested in discussing your research?

Beyond HIIG | Events that Caught our Eye

19-21 November 2019 | Sharing Cities Action Encounter 2019 | Barcelona, Spain

25-29 November 2019 | Internet Governance Forum (IGF) | Estrel Congress Center, Berlin

22-24 January 2019 | CPDP: Data Protection and Artificial Intelligence | Brussels, Belgium

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