Digital Capitalism - #DigiCap

Virtual Congress 15–19 November 2021

Speaker @Digital Capitalism

Sigurt Vitols

Sigurt Vitols

Benjamin Bratton

Benjamin Bratton

Tiemo Wölken

Tiemo Wölken

Christina Colclough

Christina Colclough

Trebor Scholz

Trebor Scholz

A digital agenda for Europe’s economy – democratic • sustainable • fair

Europe is setting the course today for the economy of tomorrow. The EU’s digital agenda plays a central role in this. In order to thrive within inter-system competition, but above all to live up to its values and goals, Europe must establish its own, innovative economic model for the digital age.

What does an economic model look like, in which the use of big data or artificial intelligence is in harmony with democracy and social justice? How does the digital economy contribute to achieving Europe’s climate goals? And how sovereign is Europe on its way into the digital future?

At the Digital Capitalism Congress, we’ll be discussing the future together.

Virtual Congress 15–19 November 2021 – Programme

Registration is closed. You can watch the opening event here.

Monday | November 15th 2021, 3:30 pm to 8:00 pm (CET)

3:30 pm (CET) | Opening

Stefanie Moser

is Political advisor for digitalization in the analysis, planning and consulting divison of the FES.

3:35 pm to 4:30 pm (CET) | Panel discussion

Democratic, sustainable and fair – A digital agenda for Europe‘s economy

What does Europe’s economic model for the digital age look like? How do we strengthen traditional European values and institutions such as democratic participation, the welfare state principle and the right to data protection? What role does public policy play in the development of such a model?


Carlota Perez

is Professor of Technology and Development at IIPP-UCL, SPRU & TalTech, University of Sussex.

Twitter: @CarlotaPrzPerez

Evgeny Morozov

is author and founder of @syllabus_tweets.

Twitter: @evgenymorozov

4:30 pm to 5:30 pm (CET) | Panel discussion

Digital and democratic - shaping the economy through participation

How is democratic participation changing in the European economy, and to what extent is digitalisation putting pressure on it? Which innovative ideas, such as data collectives or platform cooperatives, can we use to strengthen co-determination and democratic participation in the economy?


Sigurt Vitols

is a Senior Fellow in the project group "Globalization, Work and Production" at the WZB.

Twitter: @vitols1

Christina Colclough

is Founder, The Why Not Lab from Denmark

Twitter: @CjColclough

Trebor Scholz

is a community-engaged scholar, author, and Founding Director of the Platform Cooperativism Consortium at The New School in New York City.
Scholz is also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. To learn more, visit

Twitter: @TreborS

5:30 -6:00 pm | Break

6:00 pm to 7:00 pm (CET) | Panel discussion

Digital and Sustainable – What Role for Digitalisation in Europe’s Climate Policy?

How can digitalisation and artificial intelligence contribute to achieving the European climate goals and what role does the concept of growth play in this? To what degree are the digital and the ecological transformations in competition with each other? What does the economy need for a digital-green turnaround: more entrepreneurial freedom, more money or more regulation?


Philipp Staab

is Professor of the Sociology of the Future of Work at the Institute for Social Sciences, Humboldt University of Berlin.

Lynn Kaack

is Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy at the Hertie School in Berlin.

Twitter: @LynnHKaack

Dirk Messner

is President of theGerman Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt – UBA).

Twitter: @DirkMessner

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm (CET) | Political discussion

Democratic, sustainable and fair – The Digital Agenda of Social Democracy

“Out of respect for your future”: What does a social democratic model for the economy of tomorrow look like? What are the key digital policy projects for Europe and Germany?


Jens Zimmermann, MP

is digital policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group in the German Bundestag.

Twitter: @JensZSPD

Tiemo Wölken, MEP

is Member of the European Parliament.

Twitter: @woelken |  Instagram:  woelken

8:00 pm (CET) | End of the Event

Moderation | 15th of November, 3:30-8:00 pm (CET)

Geraldine de Bastion

is moderator, journalist and founder of Konnektiv. 

Twitter: @geralbine | Facebook: Geraldine de Bastion | LinkedIn: Geraldine de Bastion

Tobi Müller

is journalist and author.

Twitter: @Tobi_Muellerzwo


Registration for Forum 1 is closed 

Tuesday | November 16th 2021

11:00 to 12:30 am (CET) | Forum 1

Public Transport 4.0 – Organising public mobility platforms

In the context of digital networking, platforms are emerging in almost all areas of life and work, enabling new forms of cooperation and integration. This also goes for the field of mobility. Private providers in particular, and not least the large tech enterprises, are delving ever more deeply our everyday lives. Their platforms pool and network various mobility services, but are usually based on the controversial business models wielded by big tech. Mobility platforms can also be viewed from a different angle, however, and placed at the service of sustainability and the common good. At present, mobility platforms are also emerging under municipal ownership, offering a counterweight to private platforms while opening up an opportunity for a new digital infrastructure policy that serves citizens.
•    What role can mobility platforms play in the development of an infrastructure policy geared to the public good?
•    How can the regulatory framework be further refined and developed at the European level in order to widen the scope for an infrastructure policy orientated towards the public interest?


Ronny Gabbert

is General Works Council at DB Station & Service.


Dominik Piétron

is PhD at “Sociology of the Future of Work” at the HU Berlin.

Twitter: @DominikPietron


Cosima Schmitt

is an editor at the weekly newspaper Die ZEIT.


presented by:

Registration for Forum 2 is closed 

3:00-4:30 pm (CET) | Forum 2

From Bitcoin to Digital Euro

Cash as we know it could soon be a thing of the past: the EU wants to introduce the "digital euro" by 2026. Other countries have long since moved on: digital cash has already been in use in the Bahamas for a year now, but China in particular has been testing its e-yuan nationwide for some time. And in northern Europe, Swedes can already pay for their purchases with a national cryptocurrency. What is in store for us? What consequences will digital currencies have with regard to the sovereignty of central banks over monetary policy, especially in the EU? What status will digital currencies of states have in the global currency structure – for example with regard to China? What are the consequences of all this for consumers – economically but also with regard to their rights and data protection?


Peter Bofinger

is Professor of Economics at the University of Würzburg and a former member of the German Council of Economic Experts.

Twitter: @PeterBofinger

Dorothea Mohn

is director of the financial market team at the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) since 2013.

Twitter: @DorotheaMohn

Jens Zimmermann, MP

is digital policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group in the German Bundestag.

Twitter: @JensZSPD

Kevin Hackl

is a Digital Banking & Financial Services Officer at the digital association Bitkom.

Twitter: @Kevin_Hackl


Daniel Leisegang

is editor of "Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik".

Twitter: @dleisegang

presented by:

Registration for Forum 3 is closed 

Wednesday | November 17th 2021

11:00-12:00 am (CET) | Forum 3

Towards a European digital public sphere

According to the predominant economic narrative the digital markets development is exploratory and unstoppable way, and that regulations attempts to reign it in can only be insufficient. If the EU wants to open up the new media spaces for encounters and democratic exchange, create space for innovation and participation, it needs a radical vision, an alternative and divergent way “towards a European digital public sphere”. This forum follows on from a series of articles on the topic that appear on the website

social europe

in the two weeks leading up to the #DigiCap, and transfers the discussion initiated there to the German social democratic public sphere. Where do we stand on the way to an EDPS? How can the EU facilitate a European public sphere that advances European integration beyond the individual states and counteracts the disintegration of the great European idea?


Petra Kammerevert, MeP

is Member of the european Parliament.

Facebook: @petrakammerevert

Leonhard Dobusch

is Professor of Business Administration at the University of Innsbruck.

Twitter: @leonidobusch


Bernd Fiedler

is Moderator at

Twitter: @BerndWMDE

presented by:

FES Medienpolitik

(this website is only in german)

Registration for Forum 4 is closed 

1:30 - 2:30 pm (CET) | Forum 4

Trade Unions in Transformation 4.0 – New resources of power for the digital world of work.

In the new world of digital work, transnational (digital) corporations are restructuring the power relationship between capital and labour – often to the disadvantage of workers. The trend towards informal, precarious and outsourced work is on the rise. What are the strategic responses of organised labour to these shifts in power? How do trade unions and new workers’ organisations manage to mobilise their power resources and negotiate better working conditions? Discussion based on the FES project "Trade Unions in Transformation 4.0"


Stefan Schmalz

is a research group leader at the Max Weber College for Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt.


Valentin Niebler

is a research associate at Humboldt University Berlin and works on labour conflicts in the digital space.

Victoria Basualdo

is a researcher at the National Council of Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET) and the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Argentina.


Yonatan Miller

is a founding member of the Berlin Tech Workers Coalition.

Twitter: @shushugah


Mirko Herberg

is Policy Advisor for international trade union policy at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

Twitter: @fesonline

Thursday | November 18th 2021

Registration for Forum 5 is closed 

11:00 - 12:15 am (CET) | Forum 5

Artificial intelligence in human resources management - taking on the imbalance of power with co-determination

AI-driven HR management ranges to cover so-called people analytics tools that capture and analyse workforce behavioural data, combine it with business data, and offer insight into workflows and processes, performance and potential for managers and employees alike. Since employees themselves often do not have access to this data, a pronounced asymmetry of information is developing between employees and employers. How - if at all - can applications be used in the interests of employees? And how can co-determination at the workplace contribute to employee-friendly use?


Sonja Köhne

is an associate PhD in the Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Society research group at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society and a Research Fellow in the Digital Labour Society think tank of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Twitter: @sonjaxko

Miriam Klöpper

is a research associate at the Research Centre for Information Technology in Karlsruhe and has been working in the Innovation, Strategy and Transfer research area since May 2021.

Twitter: @KloepperMiriam

Lukas Hondrich

is a research associate at AlgorithmWatch and is currently working on the project "Labour Rights and AI Regulation in the EU".

Twitter: @lukashondrich

Johanna Wenckebach

heads the Hugo Sinzheimer Institute for Labour and Social Law (HSI) of the Hans Böckler Foundation as its academic director and works as a lecturer and honorary judge.


presented by:

Registration for Forum 6 is closed 

3:00-4:30 pm (CET) | Forum 6

Financial capitalism in digital Europe

Digitalisation is closely linked to the expansion and dominance of the financial markets. This increasingly has consequences for the real economy: algorithms have long dominated the stock markets and thus companies’ valuation.

What are the consequences for the real economy and how can we regulate the financial markets for the common good? Which actors are behind the high investment flows that are being moved for new, digital business models? What does this mean for state sovereignty? Is the stability of the financial markets as much at risk as the stability of the digital economy?


Michael Peters

is Policy Advisor Financial Markets at Finanzwende Recherche.

Twitter: @miguelitoj89

Franziska Cooiman

is a political economist at Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin and Roskilde University in Denmark.

Twitter: @franziscooi

Dierk Hirschel

is chief economist at ver.di, member of the board of the Hans Böckler Foundation.

Twitter: @DierkHirschel


Kai Lindemann

is head of department for Working Environment and Industrial Relations at the DGB federal executive board.


presented by:

Registration is closed. You can watch the Closing Event via livestream

Friday | November 19th 2021, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm (CET)


Europe’s quest: an autonomous path for the digital decade?


11:30 am (CET) | Keynote

Lost in transformation? Digital sovereignty and competence in times of crisis

Computational infrastructure is increasingly political, powerful, and global. That makes it difficult to control and shape by democracies, which are geographically bound. But to address today’s global challenges, from climate change to covid-19, digital technology cannot be ignored. What would a progressive effort to harness digital technology look like?


Benjamin Bratton

is an American sociologist, architectural and design theorist. He is Professor of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

Twitter: @bratton


12:15 am (CET) | Panel discussion

Being autonomous? The EU’s vision for the digital decade

The Internet we know is made in the US and characterised by centralised power and commercial surveillance. The EU wants to do it differently: more autonomy to change course and spur a sustainable digital transition. And the corona-virus recovery funds offer a unique opportunity. But are the 2030 Digital Compass Strategy’s goals and the planned investments sufficient? Will the focus on national spending and market forces bring the desired change? This panel aims to explore concrete steps for a more ambitious EU digital agenda.


Francesca Bria

is President of the Italian National Innovation Fund, Honorary Professor at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose in London and former Chief Digital Technology and Innovation Officer for the City of Barcelona.

Twitter: @francesca_bria

Sabine Pfeiffer

holds the Chair of Sociology (Technology - Work - Society) at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg.

Twitter: @sabinepfeiffer

Paul Tang

is a Member of the European Parliament and chair of the Parliament's newly established fiscal affairs subcommittee.

Twitter: @paultang

1:25 pm (CET) | Closing remarks

Maria João Rodrigues

is President of the Foundation For European Progressive Studies (FEPS).

Twitter: @FEPS_Europe


Jennifer Baker

is a Journalist specialising in EU policy and legislation in the technology sector.

Twitter: @BrusselsGeek

The forums will take place online. Registration is required.

After registering, you will receive a link in good time before the appointment. Software from the US company is used for the forums.
Important information on data protection can be found here:



If you have any questions concerning a barrier-free participation in the event, please contact us.

Division for Analysis, Planning and Consulting, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung more information. [only in german]




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