The Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin will be officially opened in late October 2011, with an international symposium, Google announced today.
Back in February 2011, Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt announced that "we would support the establishment of an Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin."
Google reports that this initiative is now gathering pace and that four highly renowned German research institutions including: The Humboldt University (HU), the University of the Arts (UdK) and the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), have agreed to join with us in founding the Institute.
"As founding partners will each provide a director, underpinning the Institute's international and interdisciplinary credentials. The Hamburg Hans Bredow Institute (HBI) joins the Institute as a co-operation partner," Google said.
Academic independence is a key founding principle of the Institute. The structure of the Institute and the credentials of the directors - and of the independent Scientific Advisory Board, currently being appointed - will ensure that this is upheld.
Google just announced, the Institute's official opening on Tuesday, October 26, at the Humboldt University. Federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and Google SVP David Drummond will speak. More than 400 politicians, academics and civil society representatives are expected to attend.
"From October 26-28 the Institute will host an international academic symposium "Exploring the Digital Future." Distinguished academics from all around the globe will appear, including the Director of the Harvard's Berkman Center Urs Gasser, St. Gallen University's Oliver Gassmann, Haifa University's Niva Elkin-Koren, and many others," mentions Max Senges, Google Policy, Germany.
Senges said, "This week's symposium will discuss the initial research agenda for the Institute. The goal is to carry out "hands on" research rather than just analysis and reflection. The Institute will seek solutions to today's challenges, using insights from policy makers, netizens, users, as well as technology companies like Google."
Adding Senger said "Importantly, the Institute will not advocate a simplistic "pro-Internet" stance. Instead, it will critically review current practices. For example, how can we foster the use of the Internet to advance civil liberties? Experts will pose questions like these about free expression as well as privacy and democratic processes."
This is not a "Google Institute." It is an independent academic body. Google will not interfere with the research.