lecture series

Making Sense of the Digital Society

Um den aktuellen gesellschaftlichen und technologischen Wandel zu verstehen, bedarf es neuer Erklärungen, die die entstandene Ungewissheit beseitigen und dabei gleichzeitig unsere Zukunft formen können. In Kooperation mit der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung laden wir visionäre Experten ein, ihre Perspektive auf die digitale Gesellschaft unserer Zeit zu teilen. Die Redenreihe Making sense of the digital society begann am 12. Dezember 2017 mit einer Einführung von Manuel Castells und wird das ganze Jahr 2018 über fortgesetzt. Alle Veranstaltungen dieser Reihe werden deutsch simultan übersetzt. 

The current rapid social and technological change brings about enormous uncertainties – a great need for explanations and sense-making but also of shaping our common future. This high-profile lecture series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing. To this end, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) are inviting great European thinkers to help us making sense of the digital society.

The lecture series started with an inaugural lecture by Manuel Castells on 12 December 2017. The following fundamental questions will be adressed over the course of the lecture series: What is power in the digital society, and how is it distributed? Do we witness the revival of democracy through increased participation and transparency, or rather its demise due to fragmentation and populism? Are services fueled by algorithms and artificial intelligence improving our private and business lives or do they enforce social inequalities? What is really changing in society beyond the hype of short-term excitement? These overarching and long-term transformations are hard to proof and to explain. To this end, HIIG and bpb are inviting leading European academics to mobilise and develop key concepts and theories to make sense of the complex present and the unknown future.

The lecture series started in December 2017 and will run throughout 2018. Confirmed speakers are Manuel Castells, author of the highly influential Information Age-Trilogy and professor at the University of Catalonia, and the University of Southern California, Marion Fourcade, professor of sociology at the UC Berkeley, Christoph Neuberger, professor of communication studies at the LMU München, Elena Esposito, Professor for Sociology at the University of Bielefeld and the University of Modena-Reggio Emilia, and José van Dijck, author of the forthcoming book The Platform Society and president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Events in this series

Date/Time Event
19:00 - 22:00
Manuel Castells: Power and counter-power in the digital society
Kino International, Berlin
19:00 - 22:00
Christoph Neuberger: Demokratie und Öffentlichkeit in der digitalen Gesellschaft
Tagungswerk, Berlin
19:00 - 22:00
Elena Esposito: Zukunft und Ungewissheit in der digitalen Gesellschaft
Auditorium Friedrichstraße, Berlin
19:00 - 22:00
Marion Fourcade: Die Sozialordnung der digitalen Gesellschaft
Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus, Berlin


Date/Time Event
19:00 - 22:00
Stephen Graham
tbd, Berlin


Christian Katzenbach, Prof. Dr.


Past lectures

Keep in touch

And sign up for our newsletters.