Hybrid Space Lab @ Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society Conference 2022

The Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society is organizing its 2022 annual conference on the subject of “Practicing Sovereignty. Interventions for open digital futures”.

Hybrid Space Lab is contributing with a lecture on Kiez Lab.

The challenges of digital transformation are becoming more and more tangible in the daily lives of Berliners. There is an increasing need to get involved and take the city’s digital future into one’s own hands.

Kiez-Labs are hybrid (combined physical-digital) low-threshold cross-sector neighbourhood labs with inclusive co-creative formats to permanently bring local perspectives and experiences of civil society into the digital transformation of the city of Berlin. They are pop-up workshops embedded in the urban context with analogue points of contact in the neighbourhood – in typical neighbourhood locations such as libraries, hospitals, old people’s homes, schools or parks. The Kiez-Lab concept was developed in the context of the Alliance Digital City Berlin and the Kiez-Labs are much more than decentralised digital citizens’ offices. Such socio-spatially embedded neighbourhood labs, which reflect the urban society, are combined physical and digital, i.e. hybrid co-creative tools and communication spaces to accompany the digital transformation.

The Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society – The German Internet Institute is a collaborative project from Berlin and Brandenburg funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The aim is to better understand the dynamics, mechanisms and implications of digitalisation.

To this end, the Weizenbaum Institute investigates the ethical, legal, economic and political aspects of digital change. This creates an empirical basis for responsible digitalisation. On the basis of the research findings, action options are developed for government, the economy and civil society, in order to shape the digital transformation in a responsible interdisciplinary manner. Since September 2020, the Weizenbaum-Institut e.V. has been responsible for the administrative coordination of the collaborative project.
Weizenbaum Institute


The international conference and exhibition will investigate new opportunities for digital participation and policymaking and discuss alternative technological and social practices from various fields and disciplines. We frame digital sovereignty as a right to be claimed and a process constantly in the making, as a condition of the ability to critically partake in the digital transformation.

The conference will provide a transdisciplinary platform for scholars, artists, activists, and human rights advocates who develop transformative practices spaces to foster digital involvement. Grassroots initiatives, community projects, and participatory practices in design, art, and activism appear as collective counter strategies and bottom-up interventions that challenge the normalization of inequalities and insecurities and push back against threats to an open society. They lay the groundwork for new forms of agency, paving novel ways of practicing sovereignty – both in the sense of collective activities as well as in terms of public education and experimentation.
Weizenbaum Institute

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