The Weizenbaum Institute for the Connected Society – The German Internet Institute has had its ceremonial opening in Berlin recently. In the near future, it will house around 100 scholars investigating the digital change. The iRights.Lab will assist them in their work as a strategic network partner.
The German Internet Institute (DII) is named after the Internet pioneer and computer critic Joseph Weizenbaum. In continuation of his work, the institute is set out to holistically analyse the social shifts cause by digitalization. To split this ambitious task, over 20 research groups will each address different subjects. This broad lineup is meant to ensure that a wide range of relevant questions can be covered and specifically investigated.
Interdisciplinarity is an integral part of the institute’s philosophy. It plans to systematically combine economical, social, political, legal and informational approaches. The DII’s task is not only to provide impetus for further research but also to come up with practical solutions itself.
“Digitalization has already found its way into every area of our life. Now the great challenge is to utilize the potentials that accrued for the whole society. The Weizenbaum Institute will make a crucial contribution to this task and we are proud to be on hand with help and advice as a strategic network partner. First, we need to understand what is happening before we can make the right decisions for positive future.”
Philipp Otto, Founder & Executive Director of the iRights.Lab
The DII is the result of a competition held by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research which was finally won by a consortium consisting of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin, Universität Potsdam und Fraunhofer-Institut für Offene Kommunikationssysteme (FOKUS). The Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB) is responsible for coordinating the DII which is provided with a total funding of 50 million Euros for the next five years.