Digitalisation transforms the society we live in today: It changes the way we communicate, learn, work, and live. Digital technologies provide access to information anytime and anywhere and promise to empower users around the world by delivering more and easier opportunities for transparency and social participation. Despite this potential, modern societies are increasingly witnessing a gaping chasm of inequality as social actors experience varying results of ubiquitous digitalisation around the world. Understanding and finding ways to solve this paradox was a primary motivation for the 2nd Weizenbaum Conference.
In his keynote Dr. Michael Meister, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, pointed out that education and further qualification were key factors for more equal opportunities and participation in times of digital transformation.
Prof. Marcel Fratzscher, Ph.D., President of the German Institute for Economic Research, addressed the causes and consequences of social inequality and analyzed the role of digital technologies in this context.
Furthermore, the Programme Committee granted the Best Paper Award to Dr Mona Sloane (New York University/USA) for her paper on the topic “Inequality is the Name of the Game: Thoughts on the Emerging Field of Technology”.
The success of the conference would not have been possible without the authors who presented their work, and the reviewers who invested significant time and effort in helping the authors to develop their research ideas. We would like to thank all of the contributors as well as the reviewers and the organizational team.
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About the Weizenbaum Institute
The Weizenbaum Institute investigates the current changes in all aspects of society occurring in response to digitalisation. Our goals are to develop a comprehensive understanding of these changes based on rigorous academic analysis and to offer informed strategies to address them at a political and economic level.
The Weizenbaum Institute is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The consortium is coordinated by the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) and includes the four Berlin universities – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin – as well as the Universität Potsdam and the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS).
The Berlin-Brandenburg Consortium focuses on the interaction of the social sciences, economics and law with design research and computer science. Interdisciplinary basic research and the exploration of concrete solutions in practice-based labs are combined with knowledge transfer into politics, business, and society. The conceptual design of the Institute aims to achieve scientific excellence with a nationwide and international impact, as well as networking with cooperation partners from civil society, business, politics, and the media.
The institute is named after the computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum, who was born in Berlin in 1923 and passed away in 2008. His entire life’s work was concerned with the socio-critical dialogue between man and machine.
More information: www.weizenbaum-institut.de