Network of partners · Stiftung Internet und Gesellschaft
A strong global network of funders and partners.


The Foundation Internet and Society was established in 2015 to ensure the long-term structure of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG). Founded in 2011, HIIG is dedicated to unravelling the intricacies of the internet’s evolution and the profound impacts of digitalisation across all facets of society.

HIIG was initiated by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Berlin University of the Arts, and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, with the Leibniz-Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut as an integral partner. Over the past decade, HIIG has conducted numerous impactful scientific projects and public engagement initiatives in collaboration with its partners.


Together we make a difference

Sustainability, entrepreneurship and global digital transformation

We teamed up with local researchers and practitioners from eight countries in the Global South. Our project team solved sustainability problems ranging from rainforest protection in Indonesia, to socially just platform work in Kenya, to green technologies to combat climate change in Vietnam. As a scientific partner of the BMZ’s Digital Transformation Centres (DTCs), HIIG organised multi-stakeholder dialogues and research sprints, produced scientific papers and made policy recommendations.


The results of the project were made available in the form of studies, policy briefs, blog posts and podcasts. These have been shared with policy makers, academics and civil society. Best practice examples of digital transformation projects are listed in our Knowledge Exchange: Digitalisation online collection.

Artificial intelligence, explained in human terms

In this research project, we worked with citizens and experts to develop new explanatory models to make artificial intelligence (AI) understandable to civil society. Together with the non-profit organisation Neuland und Gestalten, our research team has developed an approach that gives people a real picture of the active role of AI systems in our everyday lives. In a playful, entertaining and easy-to-understand way.


The results were used to create the AI Compass. This card game helps young and old to find out how AI positively influences our society and when we might not even need it. The game is available worldwide and over 4000 copies have already been ordered by teachers and educational institutions in Germany.

Ethics of digitalisation – From principles to practices

This international collaboration has produced pioneering responses to the ethical challenges posed by digitalisation on a global scale. How should chatbots be programmed to ensure non-discriminatory communication? What rules should govern the programming of AI to promote the common good? Through research sprints and clinics, we have created a hub for interdisciplinary scientific inquiry and practice-based questions to generate socially relevant and impactful insights.


The collaboration resulted in several scientific outputs, including actionable recommendations, policy briefs and educational resources. This enabled active participation in the global debate on the ethics of digitalisation at the intersection of science, policy and society.

Digital Platforms: Alternative Models and Designs

We conducted a comprehensive series of five deep dives with a range of experts from different backgrounds, including academia, policy, media and industry. Together we explored pressing issues around digital platforms, such as governance challenges and alternative solutions for democratising online communication. Topics included ensuring fairness and safety for all users, exploring alternative models for content moderation, and enhancing stakeholder participation in decision-making.


Together with the Upgrade Democracy team, our researchers have produced several position papers for public debate. These range from exploring decentralised alternatives such as Mastodon, to harnessing the potential of small technology platforms, to tackling threats such as misinformation in the 2024 EU elections.

Capacities and competencies in dealing with hate speech and hostility towards science

As incidents of hate speech and hostility towards scientists increase, particularly in digital spaces, the need for effective strategies becomes paramount. We address the rising tide of attacks on researchers, exacerbated by online platforms, especially during contentious debates such as climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic. Working with experts from a range of disciplines, we are exploring innovative approaches to mitigate these threats and strengthen the resilience of the research system.


We will equip researchers and scientific institutions with the necessary tools and strategies they need to effectively manage and mitigate threats to scientific integrity in the digital age.


Our partners and supporters

A number of additional sponsors and partners now support interdisciplinary scientific research on current issues of digitisation and social change with their donations and project-based support measures. Below, you will find a selection of our partners illustrating their broad scope.

Join us as a partner