Understanding the risks and opportunities of digitalization

The internet has produced important innovations over the past few decades – which create many opportunities, but also significant risks.

Actively shaping the digital transformation requires both interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research – research that is in dialogue with citizens as well as representatives from the fields of politics, administration, law, business, education, culture and the media.

CAIS supports research projects that focus on the social opportunities and challenges of the digital transformation. Our research agenda includes five areas:

  • Economy & labour
    • What will labor look like in the future?
    • How will digitalization affect markets and consumers?
    • What consequences will big data and the sharing economy have for working conditions and social systems?
  • Democracy & the public sphere
    • What opportunities does the internet offer for civic engagement and political participation?
    • How do algorithms influence the public and opinion-making?
    • What risks arise when the internet is misused by anti-democratic groups?
  • Governance & regulation
    • Which legislative challenges are involved in regulating the internet?
    • How important is the claim to privacy in an age of increasing digitalization?
    • How can governance be enforced for the internet in an international context and at the national, regional, and local level?
  • Security & trust
    • How can data protection and data security be implemented online?
    • Where is the line between effective networking potential and uncontrolled visibility?
    • How can freedom of the internet be facilitated in autocratic states?
  • Education & knowledge
    • What does the school of the future look like?
    • What is the significance of digitalization for lifelong learning?
    • What new educational objectives, qualifications and competences will be required?

The programs are open for applications with innovative approaches from other research fields.

Researchers and practitioners in the field can apply to CAIS to carry out research projects on digitalization and internet research. There are three programs: fellowships, working groups and events.

During their stay, Fellows enjoy great freedom to concentrate fully on their research projects. CAIS actively promotes interdisciplinary, scholarly and collegial collaborations between its guests.

During a fellowship at CAIS, there are many different opportunities to discuss projects, theories, and methods. There is constant collaboration among the Fellows. Other researchers and experts from the practical field visit CAIS regularly to give presentations and facilitate discussions. Fellows can also invite visiting fellows to CAIS in order to work with them.

CAIS brings together researchers and local citizens as well as representatives from the fields of politics, administration, law, science, education, culture and media to actively shape digital transformation.

CAIS offers numerous events for a variety of target groups: academic colloquia, practical workshops and networking events, public lecture series and dialogues with interested citizens as well as working groups with experts.

They share the understanding that the digital transformation involves more than just technological developments. It shapes every area of our lives, from private communications to politics and the general public as well as business, culture and science.

The Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) promotes the active shaping of the social, political, economic and cultural change brought about by digitalization. It sees itself as a place for innovative interdisciplinary research and as a catalyst for a critical public that wishes to agree on guiding principles for a self-determined life in the digital society.

CAIS funds projects in the area of internet and digitalization research. It offers three programs: fellowships, working groups and events. It relieves its guests of other obligations and gives them the freedom to carry out their projects autonomously and in an inspiring environment.

CAIS offers many different ways for people who are active in civil society, politics, administration, law, business, education, culture and media to exchange ideas with researchers. Citizens are invited to share their own experiences.