On Friday, January 20, 2023, the annual DIID Winter Retreat took place. Researchers and practice partners from the DIID cosmos met at Schloss Mickeln in Düsseldorf from 9:30 a.m. to discuss various topics and develop research ideas.
The program included presentations by new DIID members, presentations from the practical side, and on ongoing DIID projects. After a short welcome by the institute spokesperson Prof. Dr. Christiane Eilders and an introduction of the new members Prof. Dr. Thomas Poguntke (Political Science), Jonas Carstens (Philosophy) and Christian Koß (KMW), Christiane Eilders reported on the latest activities at DIID. Particularly noteworthy was the affiliation with various cooperation partners who will support the DIID with their practical expertise in the future. In addition, the latest new hires at DIID were presented: We are pleased to welcome Dr. Dennis Frieß, our new coordinator, and Juliane Feustel, our new administrator. At the end of the welcome, Christiane Eilders and founding speaker Prof. Dr. Michael Baurmann said goodbye to Cornelia Schoenwald, who worked as administrator at the DIID since its formation in July 2016 until October 2022. We thank “Conny” Schoenwald for her good work and wish her all the best for her personal future.
After a short break, the first block of presentations by (potential) new members started: New member Jonas Carstens gave a talk titled “AI, Discrimination, and the Framework of Fairness.” The focus was on the question of what normative framework AI research should set and what consequences this has for different forms of discrimination. Afterwards, new member Prof. Dr. Thomas Poguntke spoke on the topic of “Inner-party democracy in the digital age.” Here the question was whether inner-party plebiscites lead to more inner-party democracy. This was followed by Prof. Dr. Rupprecht Podszun (Law) with a talk on the regulation of digital platforms. The focus of the talk was on powerful platforms and their business models as well as the associated challenges for state regulation.
During a longer lunch break, two posters by DIID members Sarah-Michelle Nienhaus (KMW) and Henri Mütschele (KMW) were presented. The former on “Intra-party Polarization and Communication Processes”, the latter titled “Assessing Interactivity within Online-Deliberation”.
Following the break, Sarah Delahaye of DIID’s collaborative partner Make.org reported on broad online citizen participation and its benefits for participatory democracy. The focus was on the participation platform specially developed by Make.org and the discussion of potential follow-up questions for research collaborations. Joshua Freitag and Fabian Broz from POLYAS then raised the question of the possibilitie of digital elections in Germany. POLYAS provides corresponding software solutions in this context, which were discussed during the presentation.
In the last block, Prof. Dr. Olaf Jandura (KMW) gave a presentation on the differences of election forecasts in different survey modes. A project he is conducting in cooperation with the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy. Finally, Jun-Prof. Dr. Mark Ziegele (KMW) and Katharina Frehmann (KMW) presented a DFG project on hybrid trust in voice assistants like Google Home, Alexa or Siri. Due to the high presence of these voice assistants, the role of trust in these assistants is increasingly coming into focus. This will be explored through a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches.
We would like to thank all participants for the interesting and insightful discussions. We are already looking forward to the summer retreat on July 7, 2023!