Photo by Creative Christians on Unsplash

When Sunaina Kumar and Sonja Ernst started to think about a second webinar series in 2018 it was shortly after the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal. It was clear by then that data of millions of Facebook user was illegally exploited. On the other hand the possibilities of the internet and social media for example to inform people and to encourage civic political engagement is huge.

Therefore the second webinar series as part of the Indo-German Media Network supported by the Bosch Alumni Network was designed to discuss opportunities and threats of digitalization, the internet and social media. Furthermore the series was supposed to take the perspective of media people.

Five episodes, nine experts

The five part webinar focused on:

  • "The Big Tech Giants" with our speaker Evgeny Morozov who is an expert on political and social implications of technology.

  • "Understanding New Populism and Democracy in the Digital Age" with political scientist Yascha Mounk, who is known for his work on the rise of populism and the crisis of liberal democracy.

  • In "Elections in the Time of Fake News: Fact-Checking in India and the EU" our speaker Christina Helberg talked about the situation in Germany and Europe. She is a German fact checker working with Correctiv, a non-profit independent newsroom. Our second speaker was Praktik Sinha, he is a former Indian software engineer and journalist who co-founded the non-profit fact-checking website Alt News.

  • In our webinar on "Digitalization and Civil Society: Best Practices from Europe, India and China" we had three speakers. Helene Hahn is a researcher, writer and strategist based in Berlin. Her work explores the intersections between human rights, governance and technology systems. Joanna Klabisch is program manager of the China Program at Asienhaus Stiftung and an expert on civil society, sustainability, and digital development issues in China. Our third speaker was Apar Gupta, he is a lawyer and executive director of Internet Freedom Foundation, an Indian organization. IFF defends online freedom, privacy, and innovation in India. In courts, his work as a lawyer includes key digital rights cases on privacy and censorship.

  • Our last episode was on "Future Trends in Journalism: Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain" with writer and editor Maria Bustillos. She is the founding editor of Popula, an alternative news and culture magazine experimenting with blockchain technology. Our second speaker was Reinhard Karger, corporate spokesperson of German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).