EPPC 2017 Workshops

Security in the Digital Age

Space Security: Protecting the Prerequisite for Digital Societies
Saturday | 12:00-13:30

(Facilitated by Marc Becker and Finn Rautenstrauch of the Hertie School of Governance)

This workshop will discuss how the free and secure use of outer space is today a fundamental prerequisite for the activities of both the state and private individuals. Space applications and satellite systems are fundamental components of critical infrastructure: all aspects of national and international communication decisively depend on them. Yet, especially in Europe, space security is rarely a top priority. The workshop aims to draw attention on threats to our democratic societies that arise from security challenges in space.


Going Dark? Where to Take the Encryption Debate
Saturday | 12:00-13:30

(Facilitated by Mirko Hohmann of the Global Public Policy Institute)

This workshop will provide a short overview on how different encryption technologies challenge the work of government agencies; look at different options that are being proposed to address these challenges; and discuss and evaluate these options, providing ideas on how to take this issue forward.


The Digital Ego: Realising the Importance of Big Data for Our Individual Freedom
Saturday | 15:00-16:30

(Facilitated by Lukas-Simon Laux of the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy)

This workshop will focus on understanding the impact of data generation and processing (“Big Data”) for the individual person. The main aspect of digitalization is that it allows for a precise perception of the future. The conceptual and technological ideas are already developed, the revolution is happening now. Big Data allows predicting the future and this has consequences for the basic freedoms of people. The aim of the workshop is to use examples to create an awareness for the relevance of this predictive capacity that comes with the digitalization of our lives. An insightful intellectual concept for explaining the impact of Big Data is what is called “the digital ego”.


Thinking Like Fancy Bear: How to Hack the German Election?
Saturday | 16:30-18:00

(Facilitated by Dominic Gohla of the Global Public Policy Institute)

This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of the theoretical foundations of information warfare in Russian doctrine and strategy (Part I); Provide participants with the appropriate historical perspective on Soviet “active measures” and their relation to current day Russian strategy and methods (Part I); Enable participants to identify the means, ways, and goals of Russian information warfare along a case discussion of the American and Dutch cases (Part I); Develop an understanding of fault lines in the German social, economic, and political landscape that could be exploited by third parties to influence the upcoming German elections (Part II); Develop possible short-, medium-, and long-term responses and counter-measures to influence attempts, both in regards to the German election and the German political system more generally (Part III).



Voter Alienation and Digital Participation

Visions of Data-Driven Government
Saturday | 12:00-13:30

(Facilitated by Bastana Thapa of the University of Potsdam)

The workshop will focus on the public discussion of this topic oscillates between techno-utopian euphoria about automated, lean government or e-participation polis and Orwellian surveillance dystopias. However, what is a more realistic view of what „data-driven government“ can look like? To answer this question, the workshop participants delve into a number of government whitepapers and consultancy reports on „data-driven government“. Discussing these documents, they identify the key possibilities of data technologies in government. Further, they cluster the different visions of „data-driven government“ and place them in a framework of state paradigms, which highlights the different possible directions in which data technologies can drive government.

At the end of the workshop, the participants should have a concrete idea of what „data-driven government“ could look like, what potential uses data technologies can have in government, and be able to discuss with nuance the different reform trajectories of data technologies in government.


Building a Digital-Enabled Political Institution
Saturday | 15:00-16:30

(Facilitated by Alvin Carpio, Chief Executive, The Fourth Group)

In this workshop, participants will collectively create a vision for a new, global, citizen-led, and digital-enabled political institution capable of improving the state of the world. There is a need to reimagine politics, and participants will design and craft a new political institution fit for our age.



Information and the Shaping of Preferences

Going Analog: How Traditional Media Tools Can Combat Internet Isolationism
Saturday | 15:00-16:30

(Facilitated by Sara Cooper of the Hertie School of Governance)

This workshop will explore how NGOs, political campaigns and government agencies can use, old-school media tools to reach broad audiences and combat “internet isolationism.” It will look at campaigns that creatively use traditional media tools such as out-of-home advertising, television, canvassing, and community events, to explore ways in which these tools can be used to disseminate information to wider audiences. It will also explore ways that the private, public, and nonprofit sector can use these media tools to shape voter preference on a variety of issues – from candidates to policy initiatives.


Using Behavioural Economics to Understand Voting Behaviour and the Internet
Saturday | 16:30-18:00

(Facilitated by Ekaterina Selvestru and Virginia Garcia of the London School of Economics)

This workshop aims to help participants acquire a better understanding of two main concepts (i) the irrational side of decision making processes and (ii) the link between cognitive biases and voters’ political behavior on the Internet.


ICT as a Political Communication Tool: Bubbles, Big Data and Political Behaviour
Saturday | 16:30-18:00

(Facilitated by Rafael Goldweig of the Hertie School of Governance)

This workshop aims to discuss the use of ICTs as a political communication tool mainly during elections, but also in a broader sense, analyzing how its use is related to political behavior in general. Topics such as the lack of transparency in social media algorithms, the creation of political “bubbles” based on your likes and interests, polarization and many other aspects of the political behavior online will be discussed.