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Innovation Society Today


The reflexive creation of novelty

Innovation Society Today


The reflexive creation of novelty

Innovation Society Today


The reflexive creation of novelty

Innovation Society Today


The reflexive creation of novelty


Interview on Predictive Policing with Simon Egbert

Simon Egbert, Postdoc of the graduate school, spoke to netzpolitik.org about Predictive Policing in Germany. In 2013, for the first time in Germany the Munich police relied on computer-aided prediction of domestic burglaries. In the interview Simon Egbert talks about this technology. The article " Wie die bayerische Polizei das Predictive Policing nach Deutschland brachte " can be found here.

Workshop with Judith Igelsböck

© Judith Igelsböck

On January 7, 2020, the Graduate School "Innovation Society Today" was delighted to host an afternoon workshop with Dr. Judith Igelsböck, one of its current visiting fellows. The aim of the workshop was to explore the potential of the concept of innovation scripts and to focus on performative dimensions of innovation. After an introduction to the concept by Judith Igelsböck, the participants discussed the relationship between the concept and empirical research drawing on different empirical examples. In the second part of the workshop the participants reflected on the performative dimensions of innovation in their own empirical cases and applied the concept of scripts to selected aspects of their research. The results of this application were presented using a variety of visual methods, which enabled a lively and fruitful discussion. The application of different aspects of the script concept to the heterogeneous projects and research questions of the participants enabled an inspiring reflection on their own projects, their relation to the innovation society and the role of innovation scripts for the concept of the innovation society. Among others, questions about the empirical significance of scripts in the field, the emergence and design of innovation scripts and the possibility of social science criticism on existing scripts were addressed.

Workshop on Grounded Theory with Sebastian Dahm

On December the 5th 2019, Sebastian Dahm, PhD candidate at the research training group “Innovation Society today“ conducted a workshop on qualitative methodology at Technical University Berlin.

The focus of the workshop was a hands-on introduction to the grounded theory methodology with ATLAS.ti, directed at PhD students, as well as advanced undergraduate students. The goal was not only to discuss the methodological fundamentals of Grounded Theory, but also their practical translation into the CAQDAS environment of ATLAS.ti.

In the first part of the workshop, participants discussed the first chapter of Anslem Strauss’ “Qualitative analysis for social scientists”, one of the basic introductions into grounded theory methodology.

Furthermore, the group conducted data sessions with materials from participants’ projects in order to clarify the general approach of grounded theory, as well as providing an instruction for the first steps of using ATLAS.ti as an instrument for qualitative research.

New Publication: Tim Seitz‘ book on Design Thinking is now available in English

© Palgrave

Tim Seitz (2020): Design Thinking and the New Spirit of Capitalism. Palgrave Pivot, Cham.

An ethnographic study on Design Thinking, this book offers profound insights into the popular innovation method, centrally exploring how design thinking’s practice relates to the vast promises surrounding it. Through a close study of a Berlin-based innovation agency, Tim Seitz finds both mun­dane knowledge practices and promises of trans­formation. He unpacks the relationships between these discourses and practices and undertakes an exploratory movement that leads him from practice theory to pragmatism. In the course of this movement, Seitz makes design thinking understandable as a phenomenon of what Boltanski and Chiapello described as the “new spirit of capitalism” — that is, an ideological structure that incorporates criticism and therefore strengthens capitalism.

See on publisher’s website or Springerlink.

15th IRS International Lecture with Chris Gibson (University of Wollongong, Australia) in cooperation with the Graduate School

The 15th IRS International Lecture on Society and Space with Chris Gibson (University of Wollongong, Australia) on "Experiments at the edge: ecological crisis, resource security, and core-periphery dynamics in global production networks" will take place on November 20, 2019 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will be hosted by the IRS in cooperation with the SFB "Re-Figuration of Spaces" and the Graduate School “Innovation Society Today”.

Further information and registration link can be found here.

The Graduate School welcomes Visiting Fellow Mahendra Shahare

© Mahendra Shahare

We are happy to welcome Mahendra Shahare as a visiting fellow. Mahendra is an STS scholar and PhD candidate in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He holds a Master’s degree by research in Product Design (Indian Institute of Science Bangalore), and another Master's in Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society (University of Twente). Employing the framework of sociology of expectations, Mahendra’s doctoral dissertation explores the emergence of a new research field (synthetic biology). In his thesis he interlinks the future-oriented discourse on scientific and technological change through the tropes of expectations, resistance, and legitimation. During his visiting fellowship at our graduate school, Mahendra intends to examine how the do it yourself bio movement expands innovation fields and corresponding social processes that engender reflexivity.

Mahendra will be at the graduate school until the end of January.

The Graduate School welcomes Visiting Fellow Dr. Judith Igelsböck

© Anna Montemayor

We are happy to welcome Judith Igelsböck as a Visiting Fellow. Judith studied sociology and science and technology studies at the University of Vienna. In 2016, she joined the Post/Doc Lab Reorganizing Industries of the MCTS as a postdoctoral researcher. Currently, she is conducting research there on shifting, dissolving and reinforced industrial borders together with colleagues from the Institut Mines-Télécom (IMT), France. Since October 2018, she is also the PI of the Project ‘Upper Austrian Innovation Scripts’ – an inquiry and artistic intervention into the organization of innovation activities – at the Linz Institute of Technology (LIT) of the Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU). Judith has worked in various social scientific research areas, including human computer and human robot interaction, work studies, science and technology studies, and innovation and organisation studies. Her main current research interest is the fusion of theatrical play and innovation research.

Judith will be at the graduate school until the end of January.

Summer School ‘Innovation and Its Others: Neglected aspects of creative destruction’

On 21 and 22 June 2019, the summer school on ‘Innovation and Its Others: Neglected aspects of creative destruction’ organized by the Graduiertenkolleg 'Innovationsgesellschaft heute' took place at the Institute of Sociology of the TU Berlin. Its starting point was the observation that the scientific study of innovation(s) is largely characterized by a 'pro-innovation bias', as it mostly considers innovations to be fundamentally desirable, grasps resistance to innovation per se as deviation and does not sufficiently analyse the negative effects of innovations. The summer school wanted to focus on these aspects of innovation research, which to date have been largely neglected. Against this background, on the first day of the summer school, the members of the Graduate School had the opportunity to take part in a workshop led by Prof. Martin Bauer of the London School of Economics on the one hand and Prof. Benoît Godin of the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique in Montréal on the other. The workshops dealt with the phenomenon and analytical potential of resistance to innovation (Bauer) and with the terminological history of the concept of innovation and its contingency (Godin). In both workshops, at first core texts of the workshop leaders were discussed in order to subsequently relate the core statements found there to the research projects of the participants.

            Building on the workshops of the first day, a conference with keynotes by Martin Bauer and Benoît Godin as well as presentations by members of the Research Training Group took place on the second day of the Summer School. In his lecture, Martin Bauer focused on the functional analogy of resistance and pain, thus illustrating the analytical fertility of the study of resistance practices for the understanding of innovation phenomena. In his lecture, Benoît Godin presented the long and varied history of the concept of innovation and thus showed that the dominant position of the concept of innovation in contemporary society and its positive connotation are by no means self-evident. The presentations of the members of the Research Training Group, on the other hand, were able to show that the focus on 'the other' of innovation research enables productive questions and perspectives on innovation phenomena and that there is still a great need for research.

Workshop with Prof. Herbert Kalthoff on ‘Theoretical Empiricism’

On 4 and 5 July 2019, a two-day workshop with Prof. Dr. Herbert Kalthoff on 'Theoretical Empiricism' took place at the Institute for Sociology of the TU Berlin as part of the Research Training Group 'Innovation Society Today'. The main subject of the workshop was the relationship between theory and empiricism with regard to the research process in projects that work with qualitative, especially ethnographic approaches. The starting point was the fundamental insight that empirical research always operates with theoretical (pre-)assumptions – be they scientific theories or theories of everyday life. After the relationship between theory and empiricism had initially been discussed using selected texts from the volume Theoretical Empiricism, the interdependence of the two poles of sociological research could be reconstructed by examining various data examples. In a final step, the participants had the opportunity to discuss 'empirical snippets' of the data already collected. These were coded into two groups in a procedure based on Grounded Theory and the resulting (preliminary) results were condensed into analytical notes.

Workshop on ‘Value Trails in Innovation – Empirical Objects and Reflexivity’ with Poonam Pandey


On 10 July 2019, a half-day workshop with the visiting fellow of the graduate school ‘innovation society today’, Dr. Poonam Pandey, took place at the Institute of Sociology of Technische Universität Berlin. The aim of the workshop was to reflexively visualize the activity of valuing implicit in the studies of innovation, technology and society. In the first part of the workshop, a paper from Frank Heuts and Annemarie Mol titled “What Is a Good Tomato? A Case of Valuing in Practice” was discussed and the specific contribution of valuation studies for innovation studies was debated. In the second part of the workshop, all participants correlated their own projects to the analytical approach developed in the paper of Heuts & Mol in general, and to their concept of distinguishing empirical registers of valuing in specific. The exercise adopted a reflexive mapping technique by drawing the value trails that relate the actors and the empirical objects. The participants also reflected on their own positions (actors/analysts/both) in relation to the empirical objects, actors and value trails.

Katharina Scheidgen organizes Herrenhausen Symposium


Together with Suntje Schmidt (HU Berlin) and Timo Braun (FU Berlin) our doctoral student Katharina Scheidgen (from the 2nd cohort) raised funds for the symposium "Temporal Dynamics in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems" from the Volkswagen Foundation. Leading scientists from sociology, economic geography, entrepreneurship and management research were invited to discuss the potential of the concept "entrepreneurial ecosystems" on 1st and 2nd July 2019 in Herrenhausen Castle in Hannover, Germany. Further information can be found at www.tdee-symposium.org

Impressions from the Field Theory and Research Practice Workshop with Carla Ilten

As part of the Graduate School Innovation Society Today at the Institute for Sociology of TU Berlin, a one-day workshop on „field theory and research practice“ took place on the 29th of may 2019. Lead by Carla Ilten (UIC Chicago), the first part of the workshop dealt with different approaches of field theory and their historical evolvement. The second part of the workshop focussed on how fields are integrated in the individual research projects of the participants.

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Dominika Hadrysiewicz
Academic Coordinator

DFG-Graduate School
"Innovation Society Today"
Institute of Sociology
FH 9-1
Technische Universität Berlin
Fraunhoferstr. 33-36
10587 Berlin

Tel.: +49 (0)30 314-27304
Fax.: +49 (0)30 314-22654

Prof. Dr. Arnold Windeler

Tel.: +49 (0)30 314-79824
Sekr.: +49 (0)30 314-73473

Prof. Dr. Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer
Deputy Speaker

Tel.: +49 (0)30 314-22396
Sekr.: +49 (0)30 314-78547

Silke Kirchhof

Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 314 – 71459
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 314 – 23148