The common good and digitisation

Non-profit organisations are far less active in the digitisation debates than in the traditional policy areas. Many foundations, associations and organisations do not appear to be sufficiently aware of how important digital policy agendas are now for the common good, nor of what options for strategic intervention and action they may have. In Germany, there is a lack of spaces in which common good-oriented solutions are being developed. In the interest of a common good-oriented discourse we want to create these spaces and enable the relevant actors in the third sector to participate in an exchange, and to develop their own contributions.

Digitisation changes the way we communicate, work, shop - in short, how we live. This applies to the individual, but also to us as a society. This raises the question of how our understanding of the common good and social cohesion changes in light of new technological developments and opportunities. There is also the question as to how the common good is to be shaped and ensured in a digital society.

Thus far, digital policy discourses have been strongly dominated by economic interests. Policy-making is often caught in a reactive and less formative role. Non-profit organisations are hardly present in digitisation debates. This means that crucial digital policy decisions lack important voices that proactively add a common good orientation with timely contributions. As a result, unlike private-sector positions, common good-oriented approaches meet with hardly any resonance, and thus receive little attention in the public discourse.

As part of a workshop series and based on the formative subjects of a digitised society - from digital infrastructure, big data and algorithms, through to platforms as a design form of the digital sphere - we will discuss how representatives of the non-profit sector can contribute to promoting common good solutions in the digital age.

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