Ideas into Action: Results of the Internet Health Report Workshop with Wikimedia Germany

Stefan Baack of the Internet Health Report team presenting the German translation of the report to participants. Photo by Kasia Odrozek CC BY-SA 4.0.

On June 4, 2019 we launched the Internet Health Report in German during a one-day workshop in Berlin, co-hosted by Wikimedia Germany. Representatives of local civil society, education, and research communities gathered to debate “The future of the open internet”. With organizations including Simply Secure, Ranking Digital Rights, Technology Foundation and the Heinrich-Böll Foundation, participants developed recommendations for German politicians. 

The event kicked off with a presentation of the German translation of the 2019 Internet Health Report, and a discussion about the report’s key messages and focus on the internet as a global ecosystem that can be impacted by local as well as individual action.

In three break-out sessions, participants then discussed digital literacies (hosted by Christian Friedrich, Wikimedia), the new power and responsibility of digitized cities (hosted by Kasia Odrozek, Mozilla) and citizens’ trust in information (hosted by John Weizmann, Wikimedia).

Kasia Odrozek of the Internet Health Report team summarizing the results of the break-out session on the power of cities. Photo by Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. CC BY-SA 4.0.

Wikimedia Germany asked participants to help outline recommendations for German political leaders that they will share over the course of the year.

Among the suggestions were: “Worldwide standards for digital human rights”, “No digital charter without civil society at the table” and “More control and agency for citizens over their data”.

See more in Wikimedia Germany’s blog.

The Mozilla-led session on the power of cities resulted in a list of recommendations focusing on the responsibility and potential for city governments to be champions of digital rights.

Participants stressed that agreements with commercial tech giants should prioritize the public interest (e.g. in data-sharing-agreements), and that city administrators with digital competencies must work closely with civil society to explore new and inclusive forms of civic engagement. 

What’s next?

Our team will continue to engage with local communities in Germany to share analysis from the global health report and to seek input on future editions.

We’re in dialogue with the City Lab initiative in Berlin, among others, and will continue to learn from and engage with Wikimedia Germany on their efforts around Digital Literacies.

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