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The Ethical Data Initiative is a joint initiative coordinated by Exeter University and the TUM Think Tank, that provides a space to enable multilateral conversations around data ethics, ICT and data governance. As a neutral platform, the Initiative aims to address the big issues, including data literacy and transparency, building trust within data ecosystems. We want to build a community around these pressing issues, ensuring all voices are heard in the debate, and providing a neutral space to bring together diverse actors and stakeholders to actively shape the future of data governance. Additionally, we aim to increase equality and inclusivity in the data space; building data confidence and empowering the digital citizens of tomorrow.

The increasing reliance on and importance of data in our everyday lives raises numerous ethical concerns, from the individual to the global level. From questions of privacy to issues of data access, data feudalism, or data sovereignty, the constantly evolving data space poses a range of questions that require broad, open, and inclusive discussions.

The mission of the Ethical Data Initiative (EDI) is to provide a neutral space within which these discussions can unfold and be moved forward. To realise its mission, the EDI will develop a global network of hubs that will enable us to:

1. Bring together diverse actors and stakeholders to shape the future of data governance.
2. Bolster training in ethical data science and ethical AI across the globe.
3. Foster equity and responsibility in data practices.

Through these three pillars we aim to build data confidence and responsible data use across civil society, industry, and government; increase equality and inclusivity in the data space; and empower the digital citizens of tomorrow.

More information



What is the Ethical Data Initiative/ what do you do?

The EDI is an innovative, collaborative project that aims to promote ethical and responsible data practices on a local, national and international scale across the globe. The mission of the initiative is to create a neutral platform via a network of global hubs where discussions related to ethical data practices can take place and be advanced.

How can the EDI help your research centre or university?

Your research centre or university will become part of a global network of universities, working with diverse actors and stakeholders to shape the future of data governance.

Where is the EDI based?

The EDI is currently exploring ideas with several universities to establish a series of Ethical Data Research Hubs. The hubs will operate from our headquarters at Exeter University and the Technical University of Munich Policy Think Tank, and will offer research capabilities to enhance the EDI's initiatives.

I’m interested in setting up an EDI hub in my university. How do we do this?

Contact the EDI at and we will be happy to discuss this further.

How do I explore collaborations with the EDI?

Contact EDI at and we will be happy to explore joint collaborations with you. We welcome your ideas and suggestions.

I want to start training in Data Ethics for my university, can EDI help? Who should I contact?

The EDI has organized RRI and data ethics training programmes for several UK-based universities. We would be pleased to have a chat and see how we can assist you.
Furthermore, we aim to extend our services to universities by offering Data Ethics training to faculty and PhD supervisors. For more information regarding this initiative, see here for more information.

How can I join the Campaign for Data Ethics in Education?

We have initiated a worldwide education campaign that aims to promote the integration of data ethics into all higher education courses related to data science and research. Our objective is to educate and equip the upcoming generation of data and research professionals with the knowledge and understanding of their moral and legal obligations concerning the utilization, reuse, and sharing of data. For more information on the campaign, please visit this page.

How can I be part of the EDI networks?

Contact the EDI at and we will be happy to add you to our network. We welcome your ideas and suggestions.

The Technical University of Munich collaborates with Apple to advance child safety in the digital space.

A new interdisciplinary initiative at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) will explore frontier issues in digital child safety following $500’000 dollar commitment from Apple.

The funding will be directed towards a transatlantic multi-stakeholder initiative at the TUM Think Tank to address emerging child safety challenges in the digital environment. Inviting collaboration among scholars at TUM, Harvard University, the University of Zurich, and facilitating contributions by a global research community, the initiative will explore a range of innovative technological, educational, and other approaches to prevent and respond to digital child safety issues.

The effort seeks to contribute to ongoing debates about novel ways to advance child safety while respecting privacy through a series of open source materials, including research briefs, issue spotters, or technical descriptions.

“Digital child safety remains a challenge in need of more than one solution, requiring enhanced collaboration among different stakeholders,” observes TUM Professor Urs Gasser, co-chair of the international effort together with youth and technology expert Dr. Sandra Cortesi. “At a moment of intense debate about ways forward, the initiative enables us to bring together researchers from different disciplines to take a look at a range of frontier ideas and approaches to advance the safety of young people in the digital realm.”


Further Information

TUM Think Tank

As a learning platform at the intersection of social sciences and technical disciplines, the TUM Think Tank develops innovative solutions for societal and political change with a commitment to public interest. Leveraging the technological and scientific advancements at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), it serves as a learning platform to develop actionable ideas and build bridges between social sciences and technical disciplines. Committed to academic rigor and dedicated to public interest, we aim to develop innovative approaches and applications in areas such as digital transformation, mobility, health, and sustainability by creating inclusive communities of practice from diverse fields and backgrounds. The TUM Think Tank is a member in the Global Network of Centers (NoC).

Part of the Quantum Social Lab

What happens, when quantum meets your 9 to 5? Sooner or later, quantum technologies will reshape our world as we know it. From how we communicate, navigate the internet and approach healthcare to the global financial sector and our mobility, quantum technologies will change our everyday lives. At QuantWorld, we deliver the future to your doorstep today, ensuring you're fully prepared for tomorrow.

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, the emergence of second-generation quantum technologies stands as a monumental leap forward. On the one hand, these
advancements are more than mere 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 powerful quantum computers, these technologies have the potential to solve problems that were once deemed unsolvable and answer questions that have perplexed humanity for ages. On the other hand, we are currently still operating in the so-called NISQ era. In an era where access to quantum devices is quite limited, the current devices’ capabilities are way behind the expectations of where they will be in the next decades.

However, as with all revolutionary innovations, second-generation quantum technologies bring forth a unique set of societal challenges. Their profound implications stretch beyond the technical realm, delving into ethics, policy-making, education, and even the fabric of our socio-economic structures. Questions about data privacy, security, and the potential disruption of traditional industries emerge, demanding careful consideration. Moreover, as these technologies become more accessible, there is an imperative need
for a well-informed public equipped to understand, adapt to, and engage with the quantum future responsibly. The unique structure of the technology makes it harder to predict the technological trajectory of the technology and to revise the innovation cycles and development. As we stand on the cusp of this new quantum age, we must embrace its potential and thoughtfully navigate its challenges. As we explore this exciting frontier, we must proceed with curiosity and caution, understanding its potential and acknowledging its challenges.

At QuantWorld, we proactively foster the development of responsible quantum technologies and put guardrails into place before the technologies hit the markets. Our aim is to create a participatory learning environment to tackle economic, social, ethical and educational questions concerning novel quantum applications.

About the project

Unlocking quantum technologies for everyone

The QuantWorld project is your gateway to the fascinating world of second-generation quantum technologies. Our mission is to make quantum knowledge accessible and relevant to people from all walks of life. Through our unique, module-based learning platform, we will introduce citizens to the realms of medicine, banking, and mobility in a world shaped by quantum technologies. Our module-based system ensures scalability and adaptability to advanced platforms, including immersive realities.

Our digital QuantWorld learning platform is designed to meet the specific needs of citizens. We will start by providing a demand-oriented introduction to quantum technologies right at your workplace. Our focus on everyday applications ensures that you can explore the possibilities of quantum in your professional and private life. For those looking to delve deeper into the quantum world, we offer more in-depth learning modules. Whether you're a professional, pupil, student, or teacher, there's a place for you in QuantWorld.

Exploring social challenges through artistic intervention

From the thematic worlds, we generate QuantWorld Challenges in which committed citizen scientists, schoolchildren, students and professionals, work with methods of artistic intervention to make the social challenges and opportunities of second-generation quantum technologies tangible. For this purpose, we cooperate with diverse artists. In cooperation with the XR Hub Bavaria, the artists will work with citizens and students of the TU Munich (see "Young Quantum Social Scientists") to create innovative artworks that address the challenges of the thematic worlds and the abstract content of the basic modules, making it possible for everyone to experience the challenges of quantum technologies.

At the end of the project, all suitable modules will be combined in a QuantumBasics course to create a knowledge base for the whole society along the lines of "Elements of AI". To guarantee the success of the QuantWorld learning platform, we accompany our target groups throughout the three years with a continuous evaluation and feedback concept. Accompanying this, we use the analysis of the acceptance and implementation of a technological transformation of society in co-creative processes to improve our teaching and learning offerings and the creation of strategy papers.

At the project's conclusion, we'll compile suitable modules into a QuantumBasics course, creating a knowledge base for the entire society, much like "Elements of AI." Our continuous evaluation and feedback concept ensures the success of the QuantWorld learning platform.


The QuantWorld learning platform will be continuously expanded after the end of the project to include additional thematic worlds, with the support of our network and industry partners. The artistic interventions will be made digitally accessible (where possible) to enable all citizens and target groups to access these experiences. In the long term, the learning experience of the platform QuantWorld will be transferred into virtual course formats to create an "immersive twin" of QuantWorld.

The concept of artistic interventions in processing QuantWorld challenges is continued by our Young Quantum Social Scientist initiative in the Quantum Social Lab at the TUM Think Tank. In contrast to many other teaching and learning offers, the QuantWorld modules of our learning platform will be provided free of charge to all citizens, schools, and other educational institutions as open-access materials, even after the project duration. Especially in artistic interventions, a network of artists is to be built over three years. In the long term, this network is also to be expanded into a network of institutions dealing with the innovative communication of frontier technologies.

Join us in shaping the quantum age

The Quantum Social Lab is your gateway to experiencing and learning about quantum technologies. We'll guide you on an engaging journey through the quantum age, balancing the promises and potential risks of frontier technologies. Join us in shaping the future of quantum technologies, where art, science, and everyday life converge. Open positions to be announced soon.



QuantWorld is a joint project in cooperation with Fraunhofer AISEC and the TUM University Hospital Rechts der Isar.

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:

Scholarship Program & Application

Why should I be part of it?

The Young Quantum Social Scientists offer the opportunity to work on real problems, tackling the challenges of tomorrow!

We hope to build exciting projects together with you - while you can use the network of the Quantum Social Lab and the TUM Think Tank to shape the initiative, organize events or start taking your first steps in the direction of professional research.

We also offer thesis and praxis projects within the study programs of Politikwissenschaften, Politics & Technology, Mathematics in Data Science, and Data Engineering.

The initiative meets up every week at the TUM Think Tank.


If you are interested in joining please contact

Part of the Reboot Social Media Lab
Sharing personally meaningful content on social media offers young people the opportunity to foster recognition within their peer group while developing their own personalities. The Connected Algorithmic Learning project investigates young girls' social media practices on different media platforms and in different contexts. The insights gained will contribute to the development of recommendations for gender-appropriate computer-based learning opportunities.

Developing gender-responsive computer-based learning opportunities.

Anna Keune and Carlos Santiago Hurtado Melo investigate girls' algorithmic learning opportunities in social media using video observations and interviews with female adolescents. Based on these findings, activities for gender-responsive, networked algorithmic learning will be developed, tested, and communicated to the public.

Topics, Activities & Formats

The project leverages synergies through close collaboration with the Computational Crafting Lab - a new model space for gender-responsive and networked learning. The team is developing workshops, focus groups, and curriculum interventions aimed at actively working with teenage girls to collaboratively develop frameworks and strategies for algorithmic learning.

Part of the Reboot Social Media Lab
Children today are born into the social media world, often becoming active users by the age of two onwards. What we currently do not know much about are the developmental, social and cognitive mechanisms underlying young children’s social media usage. The DEBAT&S team seeks to learn more about the digital information literacy that children possess, aiming to propose measures and recommendations concerning their online learning behavior.

Fake information on social media and its processing by young children

The team around Azzurra Ruggeri, Francesca Bonalumi, Costanza de Simone and Hande Melis Altunay examine children's online learning and sharing of (mis)information in the context of social media. More specifically, the DEBAT&S project wants to find out how the presentation of information affects the detection and sharing of (false) information on social media to understand the cognitive, emotional and social processes underlying people's online decisions.

Topics, activities & formats

The team develops a set of educational interventions which are tested in different classroom settings. Based on these insights into the developmental trajectories of children's search, comprehension, and exchange of online information, target group-specific measures and recommendations can be formulated concerning their online learning behavior.

Infosheet Research Note
Problems and perspectives of people with so-called intellectual disabilities (ID) are largely underrepresented in discussions about reimagining social media platforms. The project Inclusive Social Media (InSoMe) addresses this gap by working with people with ID to co-develop strategies and tools that make social media platforms more inclusive and accessible.

Co-creating solutions towards more inclusive social media environments

Elke Langbein and Daniela Schwarz together with their collaborators follow a challenge-based and participatory approach. Their aim is to identify innovative and practical ways that can assist people with ID and their supporting networks to better navigate social media platforms. They focus on three aspects: first, developing materials or tools that aim to increase digital literacy; second, offering training and practical help to people with ID on how to use social media; and third, raising awareness for the topic.

Topics, activities & formats

The InSoMe team works closely with athletes from the Special Olympics Bavaria / Germany who can be multipliers on social media as well as role models for others.  In their curricula interventions, students develop prototypes in a user-centered manner and actively support people with ID e.g., at events of the Special Olympics or offering training sessions.

Part of the Reboot Social Media Lab

Part of the Reboot Social Media Lab
Digital platforms are becoming more and more toxic, as they are filled with elements like insults, harmful language or hate speech. Yet, users perceive negative and uncivil posts very differently and react to them in individual ways. The project Platforms for the People uses experimental studies to find out where users draw the line between hateful posts and content which is seen as acceptable.

Proposing solutions based on user preferences

The team around Yannis Theocharis, Franziska Pradel and Jan Zilinsky aim to find out what types of posts are perceived as harmful or uncivil and what triggers demand for different forms of content moderation. To propose solutions informed by users’ own preferences, they ask social media users directly on different platforms and in different countries which posts are (not) admissible and which consequences they want.

Topics, activities & formats

The findings from the Platforms for the People project inform public and political discussions by highlighting the intricate balance between harmful content and its moderation vis-à-vis freedom of speech as a fundamental norm. The team members frequently publish op-eds, advise decision-makers and organize workshops around the topic of content moderation of harmful online content.

Part of the Reboot Social Media Lab
While social media offers great opportunities for information gathering and networking on a global scale, it also has alarming effects on health and well-being, especially amongst teenagers. To counter these trends, the project team develops a tool called InstaClone that mimics the functionality and appearance of Instagram but is fully controllable. The clone aims at helping both students and teachers understand the mechanisms behind the social media feed, increasing digital and algorithmic literacy skills.

Developing a lifelike social media education tool

InstaClone is a fully controllable lifelike social media tool developed to tackle the negative implications of social media usage by providing students with digital and algorithmic literacy skills. Doris Holzberger, Tilman Michaeli, and Jürgen Pfeffer, together with Anna Hartl, Angelina Mooseder, and Elena Starke, designed the tool, serving educational and scientific purposes.

Topics, activities & formats

InstaClone is embedded in learning and teaching research and is compatible with computer science teaching at the secondary level. Teacher and student workshops ensure that InstaClone meets the needs of its target groups and is easily useable. The tool will be freely available to teachers and can be used without further IT experience.

Part of the Reboot Social Media Lab
Taking up the call for more user participation within the Digital Services Act (DSA), the project Rebooting Content Moderation (REMODE) explores approaches and mechanisms on how to include users in the assessment of online risks. Its central aim is to foster new ideas and practical solutions on how recommender systems and content moderation practices can be improved in a participatory way.

Co-designing healthier digital public spaces

To this end, the interdisciplinary team around Christian Djeffal, Daan Herpers and Lisa Mette is developing a method to involve users in the design of social media platforms as well as a toolbox to enhance and expand citizen engagement in content moderation mechanisms. Their method is inspired by both participatory technology assessments and participatory design approaches.

Topics, activities & formats

REMODE promotes user autonomy, stimulates good governance, and encourages law and ethics by design. Close collaboration with all stakeholders is essential for the development, uptake, and integration of the method and toolbox which is why the project organizes a series of co-creative workshops bringing together platform operators, researchers, civil society organizations, regulators, and users.

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