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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:

How to apply?

To apply, we ask for a pitch deck of max. 8 slides. It should include the following aspects:

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 tumthinktank@hfp.tum.de.

How does the selection process work?

The selection process is two-staged:

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!

Contact

TUM Think Tank

Munich School for Politics and Public Policy

Richard-Wagner-Str. 1 | 80333 Munich (Germany)

tumthinktank@hfp.tum.de

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 realms of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Digital Twins, and related technological advancements are not mere fantasies. Recent applications and other manifestations  have the potential to  change the realities of people across diverse contexts. Whether in the workplace, public spaces, or even our private lives, these technologies bring new dimensions to our existence. Our cross-disciplinary group delves into the intricacies of these technologies and the ways people interact with them, exploring devices, infrastructure, applications, and use cases that are shaping  how we perceive reality. We are examining this dynamic evolution, focusing on experiences and the far-reaching effects these technologies facilitate.

We believe in studying the broader social, political, and legal implications to shape trajectories of immersive technologies and foster their sustainable and human-centric development. It's not just about advancement; it's about paving the way responsibly and for the good of society.

We are joining forces with stakeholders in the immersive technology ecosystem, including public and private organisations as well as user communities and civil society, thereby fostering critical and constructive dialogue and partnerships.

Activities, Project, Outputs

Activities

Projects & Outputs

Collaboration and Connection: Munich's Immersive-Tech Innovation Ecosystem

We're not alone in this exploration. Together with partners and collaborators from Munich's thriving ecosystem, we're building bridges, connecting efforts, and weaving perspectives. This collaborative spirit enhances our insights, helping us better understand how immersive technologies influence various stakeholders. We are creating a hub of researchers from various disciplines including political science, law, computer science, economics, and design. Along with collaborators from the Munich ecosystem and our international network, we form an innovation-friendly partnership, critically exploring the potential of immersive technologies.

TUM members of the working group from the following chairs & institutions:

Chair of human-centered technologies for learning, Institute for Ethics in AI, Chair of Public Policy, Governance and Innovative Technology, Chair of Cyber Trust, Chair of Business Ethics, Chair of Law and Security in Digital Transformation, Munich Center for Digital Sciences and AI

External members from:

XR Hub Bavaria, Norwegian Business School, MUC.xyz, Accenture, Edgelands Institute

Get involved

We believe that the best insights come from diverse perspectives. Whether you’re a researcher, innovator, student, or technology enthusiast, your voice matters. Your participation could be the spark that ignites the next big idea.

How to become a member:

Twice a year we accept new members from TUM and external organisations – calls for participation will be issued in February and September. The decision for acceptance of new members will be done by the current members of the working group in a group-effort.

Calls for applications will be issued twice a year in February and September using the following form.

Stay up to date on our activities to be invited to workshops, webinars, and collaborative projects, and help us shape the future of immersive realities.

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").

Challenges Forum

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.

Horizon scanning

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:

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.

Podcast Series:

Selected Resources:

 

Source Link
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).

Multi-Stakeholder Workshops.

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.

Background

In today's societies, algorithms have become deeply embedded, touching almost every facet of our daily lives. Despite their pervasive influence, much of their impact on society occurs invisibly and without our conscious awareness. This is why the Civic Machines lab is dedicated to making these effects more visible and intentional. Its mission goes beyond simply quantifying the negative impacts of algorithms; it also aims to design algorithms and machines that benefit all members of society, not just their creators or initial owners. By shifting the focus from unconscious to conscious algorithmic integration, the lab strives to ensure that these technologies serve the diverse needs and interests of all stakeholders within our communities.

From unconscious to conscious algorithmic integration

The Civic Machines lab is inherently a public interest and responsible tech lab. It is specifically dedicated to ensuring the fair integration of algorithms into society. The lab's goal is to address algorithmic unfairness both in foundational machine learning research and when algorithms are implemented in society, cultivating a world where emerging technologies act as agents for creating fairer and more sustainable societies. To do this, the lab will use creative practices to find the best solutions to problems our society faces or will face in the future. This means designing, building, testing, and improving models, systems, and processes that acknowledge real-world constraints and meet societal needs, all while trying to push the boundaries of what a better world should be.

Next steps

The lab will initially focus on three key topics:

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