Friday, January 16, 2015, 05:00 pm | Media

The Internet Is Not the Answer

The Internet ushered in one of the greatest shifts in society since the Industrial Revolution. In his book The Internet Is Not the Answer, Andrew Keen describes the Internet as a mirror of our culture and investigates how it is reconfiguring our world—often at great cost. The book will be released in German as Das digitale Debakel in January 2015, and to mark the debut, Keen will be at Berlin’s European School of Management and Technology to debate his ideas with experts Norbert Riedel and Sandro Gaycken. The discussion is moderated by Christoph von Marschall.

Andrew Keen is an Internet entrepreneur who founded in 1995 and built it into a popular first-generation Internet company. He is currently the executive director of the Silicon Valley salon FutureCast, host of the show Keen On, a long-running TechCrunch chat-show, a columnist for CNN, and a regular commentator for newspapers, radio, and television networks around the world. Keen is the author of Cult of the Amateur: How The Internet Is Killing Our Culture (Crown Business, 2008) and Digital Vertigo: How Today’s Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us (St. Martin’s Press, 2012), a controversial critique of contemporary social media. His latest book, The Internet Is Not the Answer, will be published in German by Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt in January 2015.

Sandro Gaycken is Cybersecurity Expert at ESMT and a researcher in technology and security at the Freie Universität Berlin’s Institute of Computer Science. He holds a degree in philosophy and a doctorate in science and technology studies.

Norbert Riedel has been Commissioner for International Cyber Policy at the Federal Foreign Office since August 2014.

Christoph von Marschall is Chief Diplomatic Correspondent of the Berlin-based daily Der Tagesspiegel. From 2005 to 2013, he was Washington Bureau Chief and White House Correspondent.

Location: ESMT European School of Management and Technology, Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin; Please register with

Monday, January 19, 2015, 08:00 pm | The Berlin Prize

Presentation of the Spring 2015 Fellows

The American Academy is looking forward to welcoming its thirty-fourth class of fellows to the Hans Arnhold Center on the evening of January 19, 2014. The spring 2015 class will be welcomed by Lorraine Daston, the director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and Gerhard Casper, incoming president of the American Academy in Berlin. Due to limited seating, this event is invitation only. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Berlin Prize Fellows and Distinguished Visitors in Residence January – June 2015

John P. Birkelund Fellow in the Humanities
Siyen Fei, Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania
Project: Sexuality and Empire: Female Chastity and Frontier Societies in Ming China (1368-1644)

Bosch Fellow in Public Policy
Evgeny Morozov, Author and Essayist
Project: Social and Political Implications of the Internet of Things

Daimler Fellow
Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science,Yale University
Project: A General Theory of World Constitutionalism

Ellen Maria Gorrissen Fellow
Mary Jo Bang, Poet and Professor of English,Washington University in St. Louis
Project: The Bauhaus: A Study in Balance – a book of poems

Nina Maria Gorrissen Fellow of History
Christopher D. Johnson, Research Associate, Bilderfahrzeuge: Aby Warburg and the Future of Iconology, The Warburg Institute
Project: Encyclopedic Circles in the Renaissance and After

Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow in Fiction
Tom Drury, Writer, Brooklyn, New York
Project: Untitled Novel

Holtzbrinck Fellow
William Uricchio, Professor of Comparative Media Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Project: The Cultural Work of Algorithms

Dirk Ippen Fellow
Jeffrey Goldberg, Journalist, Author, and Staff Writer, The Atlantic
Project: Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East and Europe

Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow
Nathaniel Levtow, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Montana
Project: Text Destruction in the Bible and the Ancient World

Guna S. Mundheim Fellow in the Visual Arts
Sanford Biggers, Artist and Assistant Professor, School of the Arts, Columbia University
Project: New work

Inga Maren Otto Fellow in Music Composition
Elliott Sharp, Composer, New York
Project: "Substance"

Siemens Fellow (May)
Sean Wilentz, George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History, Princeton University
Project: The Politics of American Antislavery

Axel Springer Fellow
Tomas Venclova, Writer and Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Yale University
Project: A History of Lithuania – Between East and West

German Transatlantic Program Fellow
Karen Hagemann, James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Project: Women, War, and the Military in the Age of World War

Thursday, January 29, 2015, 07:30 pm | Law
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A General Theory of World Constitutionalism – and the Crisis of the European Union

How do Constitutions legitimate their claim to authority? Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor at Yale Law School and the spring 2015 Daimler Fellow, argues in this lecture that it happens in three different ways: the first path is pursued by revolutionary outsiders; the second, by established insiders; the third, by established insiders striking a deal with political elites previously excluded from the system. During the twentieth century, the revolutionary tradition is exemplified by India, South Africa, and postwar France and Italy; insider-constitutionalism, by various nations in the British Commonwealth; elite bargaining between insider and outsider elites, in Spain, Germany, Japan, and the European Union. Different pathways generate different legitimation problems – combining to create a distinctive crisis in the European Community as it confronts its future.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015, 07:30 pm | Technology
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The Internet of Things: Solutionism at Its Worst, or Humanity's Ultimate Savior?

The ability to turn passive and analogue objects into smart and interconnected ones has been widely hailed as a revolutionary development. Not only could it help us run cities, markets, and our own households more efficiently, but it can also help solve problems like congestion and climate change -- or this is what the utopian vision tells us. The dystopian vision suggests that, thanks, in part, to ubiquitous sensors and overconnectivity, we are careening towards a privacy disaster, that the "Internet of Things" would belong to the same few monopolies that already dominate the online world, and that the amount of control over individual behavior would only increase. This talk will try to articulate a middle ground between the two positions, showing how to put the Internet of Things to the more humane and citizen-focused use.