New Responsibility Foundation

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New Responsibility Foundation
purpose Promotion of interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral thinking along the most important socio-political issues and challenges in the 21st century.
Chair: Michael Vassiliadis
Establishment date: 2008
Seat : Berlin

The Foundation New Responsibility e. V. (spelling: Foundation New Responsibility or SNV for short ) is a non-profit think tank in Berlin that specializes in technology and social issues. It is organized as an association and deals with the topics of IT security, data economy, state surveillance, basic digital rights, media change and other internet and technology-related topics.

Creation and development of the organization

The New Responsibility Foundation was founded in 2008 and originally pursued the goal of offering young people from companies, research institutions and civil society organizations a platform in Berlin for one year to work on social problems, to publish and to build networks. When it was founded, the association's sponsors included the German Academy of Science and Engineering (Acatech), the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the Union of German Academies of Science and the German Sports Association . The organization was financed by donations from companies - including Friedhelm Loh , Beisheim Holding, EnBW , Bosch and Giesecke & Devrient .

With the change of the board of directors at the end of 2014, the reorientation of the organization to a think tank with a focus on digitization and a permanent, interdisciplinary workforce began. From now on, most of the funding was provided through grants from charitable foundations or the public sector.


The foundation wants to develop specific proposals "how German politics can shape technological change in society, the economy and the state" and would like to "give civil society a stronger voice in digitization policy". In 2016 she employed 14 specialists from a wide variety of disciplines.

Organization and management

The executive board is responsible for running the organization. Board members are Anna Wohlfarth, Stefan Heumann and Ben Scott. The board of directors is appointed and controlled by a nineteen-member executive committee. The Presidium includes representatives from science academies , politics, business and leaders from civil society organizations. Michael Vassiliadis is the Chairman of the Presidium .

Topics and activities

In terms of content, the foundation's work focuses on political and social issues related to digitization and other technological and social upheavals. These include digital infrastructures, the automation of human work, IT and cyber security or digital surveillance, whereby one wants to focus primarily on current political developments and ongoing social debates.
Analyzes or practical recommendations for action aimed at political operations are made available as publications. These include proposals for stricter control of the Federal Intelligence Service , broadband policy or IT security policy . Scenario studies examine future technological and social developments such as the change in the labor market due to automation technology , robotics or call for increased investment in artificial intelligence . Other publications deal with the effects of technology on social cohesion.

In addition to publications, the association organizes public discussion events. The guests included Klaus-Dieter Fritsche , the secret service commissioner of the Federal Chancellery , the Wikileaks activist Sarah Harrison , the Moscow journalist Andrei Soldatov and Hillary Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook . Think tank employees also regularly participate in public and academic debates as guest authors for newspapers and online media.

Political orientation and positions in debates

During the reform of the German secret service laws in 2016, Thorsten Wetzling, as head of the foundation's “Digital Rights, Surveillance and Transparency” department, spoke out in favor of greater control of the Federal Intelligence Service. In connection with the modernization of the administration , there was a demand to make more data from public authorities and administrations available to citizens and start-ups . Other papers criticize a weakening of net neutrality or argue for more state intervention in the area of ​​IT security and greater participation of civil society by parliament and government. The organization apparently takes consistent positions on strong protection of fundamental rights and privacy.


According to its own information, the foundation had an annual budget of around 1.1 million euros at its disposal in 2016, which is largely covered by grants from non-profit organizations, foundations and public institutions. Company donations make up 30 percent of the total budget. A total of 27 sponsors finance the organization. The organization's biggest sponsors in 2016 included the Omidyar Network , the Robert Bosch Foundation , the Innogy Foundation for Energy and Society and the Federal Foreign Office , as well as the Mercator Foundation and the Open Society Foundations .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Anna Klar: Everyone should be able to have a say in digitization . In: Berliner Morgenpost . ( [accessed on January 26, 2018]).
  2. Stefan Krempl: Neue Berliner Denkfabrik wants to make digitization practicable. In: Heise online . July 19, 2016, accessed January 26, 2018 .
  3. New think tank for young elites founded in Berlin . In: The world . July 4, 2008 ( [accessed February 2, 2018]).
  4. "Challenges" instead of "Problems" - manager magazin . In: manager magazin . ( [accessed on February 2, 2018]).
  5. Wohlfarth takes over sole management of the snv . In: Politics & Communication . ( [accessed on February 2, 2018]).
  6. heise online: New Berlin think tank wants to make digitization practicable. Retrieved February 2, 2018 .
  7. About us | New Responsibility Foundation (SNV). Retrieved February 2, 2018 .
  8. Think tank networks digital society . In: . July 22, 2016 ( [accessed February 2, 2018]).
  9. Committees | New Responsibility Foundation (SNV). Accessed January 30, 2018 .
  10. heise online: New Berlin think tank wants to make digitization practicable. Accessed January 30, 2018 .
  11. Anna Klar: Everyone should be able to have a say in digitization . ( [accessed on January 30, 2018]).
  12. Falk Steiner: Interview: Intelligence service under control? Accessed January 30, 2018 .
  13. Broadband expansion in Germany: The Internet lie . ( [accessed January 30, 2018]).
  14. Hacker attacks on the Bundestag - waiting for the leak. Accessed January 30, 2018 .
  15. Sven Astheimer: The future in six scenarios: What will happen when the robots take over? In: FAZ.NET . April 13, 2016, ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed January 30, 2018]).
  16. Impulse paper: The data collected must serve the common good. Accessed January 30, 2018 .
  17. Cornerstones of a national strategy for artificial intelligence , July 26, 2018, accessed August 1, 2019
  18. Panel discussion: Many words about controls, few questions about the basic legitimation of secret services. Accessed January 30, 2018 .
  19. Federal Agency for Civic Education: New Responsibility Foundation | bpb. Accessed January 30, 2018 .
  20. German Angst choice: the digital nervousness of German parties . In: WIRED . ( [accessed January 30, 2018]).
  21. Jan-Peter Kleinhans, Jan-Peter Kleinhans: IT security: The state against the Internet of insecure things . In: The time . November 5, 2016, ISSN  0044-2070 ( [accessed January 30, 2018]).
  22. ^ Stefan Heumann: Nation state against Internet | NZZ . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . September 19, 2016, ISSN  0376-6829 ( [accessed January 30, 2018]).
  23. Global, together, networked . In: DGAP eV June 28, 2016 ( [accessed January 30, 2018]).
  24. Guest contribution by Stefan Heumann: Five major digital construction sites for Jamaica . In: . November 10, 2017, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed January 30, 2018]).
  25. Thorsten Wetzling: Opinion on the draft law on the international-foreign telecommunications investigation of the Federal Intelligence Service and other templates . Ed .: German Bundestag Interior Committee. Berlin, S. September 19, 2016 ( [PDF]).
  26. The question of control . In: The Parliament . ( [accessed on February 2, 2018]).
  27. Tobias Knobloch: Debate Refugees and Digitization: Escape into the Data World . In: The daily newspaper: taz . January 6, 2016, ISSN  0931-9085 ( [accessed February 2, 2018]).
  28. Different rules on net neutrality could fragment the Internet. Retrieved on February 2, 2018 (German).
  29. Jan-Peter Kleinhans, Jan-Peter Kleinhans: IT security: The state against the Internet of insecure things . In: The time . November 5, 2016, ISSN  0044-2070 ( [accessed February 2, 2018]).
  30. Anna Klar: Young professionals: project manager in . ( [accessed on February 2, 2018]).
  31. Julia Manske: Debate Digitization of Cities: The Hype about the Smart City . In: The daily newspaper: taz . June 4, 2017, ISSN  0931-9085 ( [accessed February 2, 2018]).
  32. NSA and BND - Laborious investigation of the secret service affair . In: Deutschlandfunk . ( [accessed on February 2, 2018]).
  33. Guest contribution by Stefan Heumann: Five major digital construction sites for Jamaica . In: . November 10, 2017, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed on February 2, 2018]).
  34. Website of the foundation