Amnesty International, Greenpeace, The Sunrise Movement - they all stand for change and progress, and believe it or not, they started out as student initiatives. But even the most promising ideas can easily get lost in the daily grind. Raising funds turns into filling out lengthy applications, networking feels like endless cold-calling, and the elevator pitch can make your palms sweat. All of this may not align with what you initially imagined when you launched your initiative.
That's where the Public Policy Impact Program (PPIP) comes in. Our goal is simple: to have your back so you can bring your visions to life without limitations. We're here to support you on this journey and help your student initiative unlock the potential you saw in it from the very beginning. We help with networking, mentoring, access to workspaces and venues, and even financial support. Welcome to the Public Policy Impact Program – the support system for student initiatives that seek to make a public impact.
Who can apply?
In general, student groups from the Munich School of Public Policy (HfP) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) can apply; all initiatives must be open to HfP students or already have members from the HfP when you apply. Existing initiatives can apply as can groups that would like to use the program to incubate an initiative. Existing student groups must be accredited as a university group by the FSR of TUM; for newly founded initiatives, this is required at the latest for the extension of funding.
In principle, except for public impact, there are no restrictions on the possible topics that initiatives can focus on. However, a connection to ongoing research and teaching activities at the HfP and the TUM Think Tank are beneficial.
What is included?
Funding is granted for one year. Three to five initiatives can be funded per period.
The PPIP includes:
- institutional support, e.g., through free use of the co-working and event spaces at the TUM Think Tank.
- ideational support, e.g., through support in networking, through (peer-to-peer) mentoring or assistance in fundraising.
- financial support of up to 3.000,00 EURO, which can be used for activities of the initiative such as events, workshops, (online) publications, etc.
How to apply?
To apply, we ask for a pitch deck of max. 8 slides. It should include the following aspects:
- A brief description of the student group (e.g., purpose, members, activities & programs); where possible, it should be described on which (previous) experiences and achievements the student group can be built upon.
- A project outline which illustrates the problem / topic to be addressed and the concrete actions and activities planned to tackle it during the PPIP.
- A financial plan (with rough categories) showing how the funds are planned to be used.
The submission deadline for this round of the PPIP is November 15th, 2023. The program will start in January 2024. Please send your applications with the subject “PPIP Application [Name of Student Initiative]" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does the selection process work?
The selection process is two-staged:
- Applications can be submitted until November 15th, 2023. They will then be reviewed by a jury including representatives from the student body, staff, and faculty of the HfP and TUM Think Tank, and checked against formal criteria and regarding their fit to the mission of the HfP & the TUM Think Tank.
- Based on the first review, selected student groups are then invited to pitch their projects to the jury on December 5th, 2023.
If you get selected for the pitch, we will ask you to provide us with an outline of workshops, events and activities you plan during your time at the PPIP, so please prepare yourself for that. This ensures that you get the most out of your time in the program.
What is the purpose?
The program offers particularly committed student groups the opportunity to set up and carry out projects that aim to strengthen networking with actors from society, business and politics, and/or to (pro-)actively advise and shape politics and society alongside the mission of the TUM Think Tank and the Munich School of Politics and Public Policy.
In the first round of the PPIP, we supported two student initiatives: “100 Voices – One Planet“ and the “Responsible Technology Hub”. Throughout the program both initiatives were able to grow their memberships and networks, to organize events and workshops at the TUM Think Tank and beyond, to participate in multi-stakeholder events, and to develop their topical areas. We are immensely proud to collaborate with “100 Voices – One Planet and the “Responsible Technology Hub” and hope to continue the success story of the PPIP in the second round of the applications. You are the future of change. We are excited to hear your ideas and visions!
TUM Think Tank
Munich School for Politics and Public Policy
Richard-Wagner-Str. 1 | 80333 Munich (Germany)
With the PPIP, the Munich School of Politics and Public Policy (HfP) through the TUM Think Tank aims to strengthen its mission in the field of public engagement as well as to achieve a closer integration of research, teaching and science communication. The initiative is (partially) funded by student grants to improve teaching.
The Immersive Realities Working Group is currently in its incubation phase at Technical University of Munich (TUM). It is a joint initiative of the TUM Think Tank and the Professorship of Public Policy, Governance and Innovative Technologies at the School for Social Sciences and Technologies.
The Working Group aims to investigate and shape the interactions of immersive technologies and their applications with society, politics, and the economy in the coming years. Ultimately, these efforts aim to support the development of open-and human-centric immersive technologies and realities, that encode and promote European values, facilitate knowledge sharing, and support its builders, shapers, and users.
The working group will focus on the impact of the use of immersive technologies on society and the lived experience of individuals. From the vision of a global Metaverse to countless open or closed applications of extended realities, a supposedly fragmented archipelago of applications can be fused into one common goal: to “unflatten the internet”. We will join forces with researchers from different disciplines to explore this endeavour as a critical, constructive and innovation-friendly partnership. The working group will together explore future research avenues and activities of joint interest.
Topics, activities & formats
Four types of formats will present the cornerstones of the Immersive Realities Working Group, which will be hosted by the TUM Think Tank and their partners. Members of the Working Group are welcome to participate and collaborate in organising these events. The following formats will be part of the ongoing activities:
- Workshops, that bring together experts on a specific aspect or issue, that is currently being researched by the Immersive Realities Working Group.
- Public events to encourage discussion on immersive technologies and their impacts on society and individual realities, that are accessible to a broader audience. Example: event series with the WEF Global Shapers “Immersive Realities Chronicles”.
- Multistakeholder events to engage actors from academia, industry, public sector and international organisations in an interactive conversation and develop insights on challenges and opportunities of the new technologies from different perspectives. Example: Multistakeholder Exploratory Workshop on 28 February 2023.
- Government and policymaker engagement: Identifying needs, questions and challenges from policy makers to support informed decision making related to applications of extended reality like the Metaverse. Our working group will work on governance-related challenges to support policy makers.
Research, Projects & Outputs
The second pillar of the Immersive Realities Working Group will be joint research projects and the creation of other collaborative outputs of interest (such as teaching formats, workshops, OpEd’s, etc.).
Additional Efforts & Teaching
Members of the Immersive Realities Working Group might decide to collaborate on further projects related to the topic of this group, for example in teaching and co-supervision. An example for this could be the previous ‘Metaverse’ Reading Group, which was a course offered at the Department for Governance in the fall semester 2022/23.
Progress in the field of Generative Artificial Intelligence is breathtaking - as is the speed at which new applications such as ChatGPT are being adapted around the world across a wide variety of areas. From work to education to medicine and business, these generative AI applications also serve as the basis for subsequent innovations. The increasing complexity of AI technologies, their large-scale application, and the emergent landscape of legal norms and other guidelines result in high degrees of uncertainty in the private and public sectors as to how these technological innovations can or should be responsibly developed, deployed, and governed. As generative AI technologies enter the market, the possible societal mid- and long-term implications remain unknown, for instance with regard to education and research, the labor market and the economy, but also the future of democracy and civil society participation. A recent call for a moratorium brought some of these concerns to the public eye.
Against this background, the TUM Think Tank establishes an interdisciplinary Task Force on Generative AI (Gen AI Task Force) for a period of 18 months to provide guidance to decision-makers in the government, industry, and civil society as well as other stakeholders on issues related to the design, governance, and use of generative AI technologies in their respective application contexts. The task force brings together specialists from various disciplines at TUM with partners from industry, administration and society and initially focuses on three core activities:
Development of guidelines and regulatory approaches
The Gen AI Task Force supports decision-makers in the public sector when evaluating the need, ethical foundation, and design of guidelines in the field of generative AI, for instance in the form of recommendations, best practices as well as policies, including future regulatory approaches. The aim is to carefully analyze and help manage opportunities and risks in the respective application area and to proactively align the various (policy) instruments available. A focus will also be on the monitoring and preparation of emerging legislation, specifically the European AI Act (incl. "Regulatory Sandboxes").
The Gen AI Task Force offers a curated platform for information and knowledge exchange, in which decision-makers can discuss strategic as well as practical current challenges in dealing with generative AI within the framework of a so-called "Challenges Forum" together with peers and experts. This can take place in the form of round tables, workshops, research sprints on specific problems or "seed projects" for the development of prototypes, with the involvement of students as part of the Tech Policy Practice already being established at TUM.
Embracing "foresight analysis" method and in the spirit of an early warning sensory system, the Gen AI Task Force collaborates with partners from industry to offer insights into the dynamics of generative AI to increase decision-makers’ awareness with regard to future developments and emerging questions. This does not only include technology development, but also behavioral changes and attitudes of users as well as changes in acceptance and perception. In this context, participatory formats with citizens and civil society are envisioned (e.g. Citizen Assembly, Pulse Surveys, Citizen Panel, etc.).
In addition to general (cross-sectional) expertise in the areas of AI, society, and policy, the task force focuses on the application areas education/training, research, media/journalism, public administration/justice, business/corporate compliance, and health/medicine. The Gen AI Task Force is co-chaired by Prof. Dr. Enkelejda Kasneci(AI in Education) and Prof. Dr. Urs Gasser (Public Policy & Governance) and brings together the following experts, among others:
- Prof. Dr. Alena Buyx (Ethics in Health and Health Technologies)
- Prof. Dr. Stefania Centrone (Ethik)
- Prof. Dr. Stephanie Combs (Health AI)
- Prof. Dr. Annette Diefenthaler (Design & Transdisciplinarity)
- Prof. Dr. Christian Djeffal (Law, Science & Technology)
- Prof. Dr. Matthias Grabmair (Legal Tech)
- Prof. Dr. Georg Groh (Social Computing)
- Prof. Dr. Stephan Günnemann (Machine Learning)
- Prof. Dr. Dirk Heckmann (Law and Security in Digital Transformation)
- Prof. Dr. Gjergji Kasneci (Responsible Data Science)
- Prof. Dr. Stephan Krusche (Applied Software Engineering
- Prof. Dr. Christoph Lütge (Wirtschaftsethik)
- Prof. Dr. Alexander Pretschner (Systems & Software Engineering)
- Prof. Dr. Daniel Rückert (AI in Medicine & Health Care)
- Prof. Dr. Astrid Séville (Political Theory)
- Prof. Dr. Janina Steinert (Global Health)
- Prof. Dr. Yannis Theocharis (Digital Governance)
- Prof. Dr. Ingo Weber (IT Service Management, Development and Operations)
- Prof. Dr. Isabell Welpe (Leadership, Innovation, Organisation)
The Gen AI Task Force collaborates with various organizations in Germany and abroad, in particular the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Global Network of Internet & Society Research Centers, among others. It also builds upon a research collaboration between TUM and HfP and the Norwegian Business School, the Berkman Klein Center and ITS Rio, supported by the Norwegian Research Council.
|Enkelejda Kasneci on AI Learning Assistants in School||Link|
|Guest article in FAZ by Dirk Heckmann, Jan Gogoll and Alexander Pretschner on ChatGPT and exams||Link|
|Position paper by Enkelejda Kasneci on the chances of ChatGPT for schools and universities||Link|
|Urs Gasser's assessment of the call for a moratorium on AI development||Link|
|Contribution in the program quer (BR) about the chances and risks of AI by Urs Gasser||Link|
|Daily talk in Bayern2 on the topic of AI with Urs Gasser||Link|
|Alena Buyx in the podcast “Zukunft verstehen - Wie Technik die Welt verändert” on ethics of AI||Link|
|SPIEGEL interview with Urs Gasser on a new policy approach||Link|
|Alexander Pretschner on ChatGPT in FAZ||Link|
|Dirk Heckmann and Alexander Pretschner in FAZ on novel ways to examinate students||Link|
|Christian Djeffal on Natural Language Processing and Legal TechProjekt NLawP||Link|
|Publication on translation and AI in public administration by Christian Djeffal||Link|
|Interview with Stefania Centrone on AI and philosophy||Link|
|Janina Steinert on online misogyny||Link|
|Georg Groh on LLMs and their ability to write code in BR||Link|
|Tagesspiegel Background on AI regulation with Urs Gasser||Link|
|SZ article on AI and its power with Stephan Günnemann||Link|
|SCIENCE Editorial: An EU Landmark for AI governance by Urs Gasser||Link|
|Article in Handelsblatt about AI in Education: Enkelejda Kasneci||Link|
Envisioning implications of Quantum technologies for society, economy and governance
In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, the emergence of second-generation quantum technologies stands as a monumental leap forward. These advancements are on one hand not merely incremental improvements; they represent a paradigm shift, promising to reshape industries, spawn new ones, and redefine the boundaries of what we believe is possible. From ultra-secure communication networks to compelling quantum computers, these technologies have the potential to solve problems that were once deemed unsolvable and answer questions that have perplexed humanity for ages.
The upcoming era of quantum technologies raises lots of ethical, legal, societal and political questions. While the concrete impact of these technologies can only be speculated about for now, critical questions around governance and security arise along the development of these technologies. The urge for more talents and education within society is already visible today. If it fails to prepare society and politics for the coming age of quantum, Europe will again have to play the same “Catch-Up Governance Game” as is the case for artificial intelligence. Given its potential disruptive effects, the Quantum Social Lab creates an open space to explore the disruptive implications, ethical and policy-based challenges of quantum technologies.
The lab focuses on research and innovation in the field of second-generation Quantum Technologies while also exploring their regulation and societal impact. Additionally, it offers teaching in Quantum Technologies' theoretical and technological foundations. The lab was kicked off by the TUM Think Tank at the Transatlantic Quantum Forum with support from Yale University, Arizona State University, and others. The forum sought to foster worldwide collaboration in tackling the questions, solutions, and challenges arising from the social impact of quantum technologies. Since then, the Quantum Social Lab has introduced different formats and has continued to build and support the future shapers of technology development in quantum technologies.
The Quantum Social Lab tries to advance itself in the area of:
1. Quantum Social Science Research
2. Quantum Social Science Education
3. Quantum Social Science Network Building
4. Young Quantum Social Scientists (Junior Research – and Application Projects)
Topics, activities & formats
The Quantum Social Lab initially focuses on the following issue areas, activities and formats:
Quantum Social Science Research
Researchers within the Quantum Social Lab work on a variety of questions including how the growing need for a qualified workforce can be met, how the wider public can participate in and be educated about Quantum technologies, what protections need to be implemented against malicious actors, or which balance is needed between advancing technological development while putting in place necessary safeguards without prohibiting innovation. This is done through a variety of activities and formats including analysis of policy documents and focus group discussions, multi-stakeholder workshops, and simulations of future scenarios caused by the upcoming quantum era.
The Research Group meets each month to further discuss different aspects of the changes introduced and caused by the rise of quantum technologies. Various research areas we want to further explore in the upcoming months are:
- 'Risks and Opportunities for responsible innovation'
- 'Interoperability of AI and Quantum Technology Systems for Creating a Value-based Innovation Ecosystem'
- 'Application of different responsibility Frameworks to the financial, medical and mobility Sector'
- 'The Potential of building Smart Cities by the help of Quantum Computers'
Quantum Governance Platform
Driven by the motivation to foster innovation in this field that aligns with ethical standards, benefits the society at large and adheres to standards of human-rights, sustainability and responsibility, the Quantum Social Lab provides a platform that brings together academics and practitioners from various disciplines and sectors, while also engaging with society. Its aim is to serve as an open space for cross-sectoral and cross-disciplinary discussion about the governance of Quantum technologies to unlock its potential while anticipating and safeguarding against negative effects. Another hope is to foster the much-needed interdisciplinary dialogue between different disciplines within and outside the Technical University of Munich.
Transatlantic Quantum Forum (TQF)
The TQF is a joint initiative of four research centers in the U.S. and Europe: The Center for Quantum Networks at the University of Arizona, the UCLA Institute for Technology, Law & Policy, the Yale Information Society Project, and the Quantum Social Lab at the TUM Think Tank hosting the European site.
Quantum Technologies Education
Teaching tomorrow’s shapers, deciders, and entrepreneurs is one main goal of the Quantum Social Lab. Members of the Quantum Social Lab offer courses on quantum technology applications such as quantum communications, quantum computing, and quantum sensing. Most courses within the quantum social lab have an interdisciplinary approach. Interventions aim to educate the broader public about the future of quantum technologies to foster a well-grounded understanding of these emerging technologies and possible transformations of their work-life. We foster dialogue, especially between students of natural sciences and social sciences to create a political and societal discourse, early-stage.
Young Quantum Social Scientists
Using challenge-based learning and design sprints, research clinics and other formats, the Young Quantum Social Scientists at the Quantum Social Lab offer the opportunity to tackle important governance challenges of Quantum applications. Each cohort consists of up to 20 students who can put their theoretical knowledge to use by addressing real-world problems. The Young Quantum Social Scientists is an initiative open to students of all study programs within Munich:
- From November 2023 onwards, we will offer 6 scholarships each semester to work in the development and of the different modules, challenges and projects within Quantworld. More information coming soon.
Partners & organization
The Quantum Social Lab hosted at the TUM Think Tank serves as an interdisciplinary and intersectoral knowledge hub co-led by Fabienne Marco, Urs Gasser and Philip Pfaller. It brings together stakeholders from academia, civil society, startups and the public sector to engage in open discussions around the future development of Quantum technologies.
The introduction of the 9-Euro-Ticket in the summer of 2022 completely changed the landscape of public transportation in Germany: High prices and a complex network of local ticketing became a shadow of the past, with people getting access to cheap and easy-to-use tickets for nationwide public transport. The 9-Euro-Ticket was seen as such a success story that public campaigns built up enough political pressure to perpetuate the idea of nation-wide, affordable public transportation via the so-called “Deutschlandticket” (aka 49-Euro-Ticket).
Shaping the mobility transition in Munich and beyond
The goal of the project Mobilität.Leben is to study the unprecedented social and political experiment of the 9-Euro-Ticket and its successor by collecting unique data on the everyday mobility of the people and providing insights for mobility experts, policymakers and the wider public. The gained insights will help to better understand the mobility behavior and support the design future mobility solutions by addressing questions like what should the future mobility world look like, how can traffic become more efficient, or what policy measures are effect to shape the mobility transition. It hence contributes to evidence-based policymaking and data-informed public debate.
To this end, the interdisciplinary group of researchers used a smartphone tracking app specifically designed by our partner MOTIONTAG. This fine-grained data allows the tracing of the mobility behavior of people in real-time, both regarding their mode of transportation and its purpose. Moreover, the group conducted several surveys both with a focus on the metropolitan area of Munich as well as Germany. During its first phase, more than 1.000 people participated in this study.
Topics, activities & formats
Mobilität.Leben Research Group.
The research group regularly publishes reports and notes targeting a wider public audience. Moreover, it has created a publicly available dashboard that allows people to browse key information concerning the mobility behavior in the Munich’s metropolitan area on an aggregate level. The research group also organizes workshops uniting academics and practitioners in order to share information and insights relevant to shape the mobility transition.
Mobilität.Leben Public Outreach.
The research group frequently gives interviews, presentations, and public talks, and its findings are covered by various national and international news outlets. In collaboration with the Agora Verkehrswende and the Stiftung Mercator, a webinar series has been organized where the findings from various studies on the 9-Euro-Ticket and relevant policy recommendations are discussed.
Partners & organization
Mobilität.Leben hosted at the TUM Think Tank is co-led by Klaus Bogenberger and Allister Loder. The interdisciplinary team of researchers includes, among others, Lennart Adenaw, Andrea Cadavid, Fabienne Cantner, Sebastian Goerg, Felix Götzler, Stephan Günnemann, Thomas Hamacher, Markus Lienkamp, Sebastian Pfotenhauer, Miranda Schreurs, Stefan Wurster, David Ziegler (in alphabetic order). The project is further advised by Wolfgang Wüst (Bavarian State Ministry for Housing, Construction and Transport), Georg Dunkel (Mobility Officer of the City of Munich), Bernd Rosenbusch (Munich Transport Association, MVV) and Ingo Wortmann (Munich Transport Company, MVG). The team closely cooperates with the Munich Cluster for the Future of Mobility in Metropolitan Regions (MCube).
The age of social media has spurred many benefits such as increased connectivity, the empowerment of social and grassroot political movements, and the democratization of public discourse. Yet as of today, social media is not so much perceived as a force of good. Instead, its negative consequences and challenges are at the forefront of public debates.
Reimagining how social media can work for everyone
The Reboot Social Media Lab reimagines social media by exploring and developing ways that can transform and redesign its functioning for users. The collaborative initiative unites stakeholders from academia, media, civil society, and the public and private sectors under one common goal: making social media platforms a better place for everyone.
Inclusivity & Social Media.
With the aim to open a safe and constructive dialogue on inclusivity in the realms of social media, our interest ranges from finding ways to help people with so-called intellectual disabilities (ID) better deal with online bullying and the flood of information, to increasing social media literacy and safe usage for people with ID and supporting parents of children with ID in the online realm.
Youth & Social Media.
Children and teenagers are “digital natives”, growing up during the development of social media. We want to address the question of how to educate children with the skills to navigate online in a safe way, as well as who is in the best position to create educational content.
Harmful Discourse & Content Moderation.
From considering the tradeoffs between the need for different forms of content moderation vis-à-vis freedom of speech as a fundamental norm, to how to (best) raise awareness among the public on ways to report hate speech and hateful content online, we aim at bringing different stakeholders together in order to push for healthier discourses online.
Misinformation & Disinformation.
Political disinformation campaigns, conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change misinformation have highlighted the importance of addressing issues of reliable information in the digital information environment. Here, particular importance is given to the role of social media as they offer a fertile ground for the proliferation of conspiracy theories and fake news at a larger scale when compared to traditional media.
Topics, activities & formats
The Reboot Social Media Lab encompasses a series of topics, activities and formats:
Research incubation & prototyping.
Individual teams conduct research that has a tangible impact on society. Topics covered include developing tools and frameworks to approach the issue of content moderation (Rebooting Content Moderation: REMODE); analyzing how people perceive harmful content online and what forms of content moderation they would like to see (Platforms for the People); designing mechanisms that help children navigate social media platforms (Connected Algorithmic Learning); increasing social media literacy among children regarding fake news (DEBAT&S); developing new tools for teaching social media (InstaClone); and co-designing solutions for more inclusive social media platforms (Inclusive Social Media).
To facilitate the transfer from research into practice – and vice versa – we bring together stakeholders from academia, media, civil society, and the public and private sectors. Our goal is to foster dialogue across sectors, create a space for ideating and experimenting, and work collaboratively on making social media platforms a better place for everyone.
Reimagining Social Media Series.
As part of the Reboot Social Media Lab, we regularly organize public events like panel discussions, fireside chats, and workshops. Here, we create cross-sectoral spaces by inviting academics working on various issues related to social media as well as practitioners from companies, media, civil society, or the public sector.
Partners & organization
The Reboot Social Media Lab at the TUM Think Tank brings together researchers from education, communication studies, political science, law, computational social sciences, as well as sports & health sciences from the Technical University of Munich and the Munich School of Politics and Public Policy. The interdisciplinary teams work on the most pressing issues surrounding social media.