TU Berlin

Research Training GroupResearch Training Group


Page Content

to Navigation

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


November 4-5, 2021: Final conference ‘Digital Innovation in the Innovation Society’


The final conference of the Research Training Group ‘Innovation Society Today’ will take place on November 4-5, 2021.

It will gather researchers of the Research Training Group, national and international guests, as well as our highly esteemed keynote speakers Sampsa Hyysalo (Aalto University) and Jannis Kallinikos (Luiss University & London School of Economics) to focus on ‘Digital Innovation in the Innovation Society’.

The conference will take place online. Please find detailed information on the presentations, schedule and registration here.

We cordially invite all interested researchers to participate in the conference and join our discussions!

Katharina Scheidgen joined Georg-August-University Göttingen as assistant professor for entrepreneurship and innovation


In October 2021, our former PhD student Katharina Scheidgen (2nd cohort) joined Georg-August-University Göttingen as assistant professor for entrepreneurship and innovation. Her PhD research compared tie formation of innovative growth companies in Silicon Valley and Berlin. As Postdoc, she joined the Research Center for Digital Transformation at Leuphana University Lüneburg, spent six months at the University of Amsterdam as visiting scholar and became an affiliated researcher at Lund University.

Her research centers around the social embeddedness of entrepreneurial processes, e.g. networks and tie formation, entrepreneurial teams, and entrepreneurial ecosystems, and addresses issues around digitization, social innovation as well as high-tech innovation.

Robert Jungmann appointed professor of sociolgy at the University of Trier


In April 2021, our associate member Robert Jungmann was appointed professor of sociology (grade W1) with a focus on the sociology of work and organisation (with the option of a tenure track) at the University of Trier.

He studied sociology, energy and process engineering as well as mathematics at the TU Berlin and did his doctorate there within the framework of our Research Training Group on a gradual concept of collective agency. Before his appointment, he worked in an interdisciplinary project in the field of innovation research and as a research associate with teaching duties in organisational sociology at the TU Berlin. Two longer research stays took him to UBC in Vancouver. Since 2018, he has served on the board of the International Sociological Association RC17.

His research focuses on new forms of collective agency, conflict and cooperation between organisations in the transformation fields of migrant integration and the energy transition, as well as robust innovation in networks. He prefers mixed methods in empirical studies. In teaching, he is primarily concerned with the sociology of labour and organisation with recourse to theoretical and methodological debates in general sociology.

CfP: 'Innovationsgesellschaft: Befunde und Ausblicke

© David Seibt

We are seeking abstracts for the edited volume 'Innovationsgesellschaft: Befunde und Ausblicke'. Edited by Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer, Arnold Windeler and David Seibt, the volume aims to collect the central results of the Research Training Group. It is intended to reflect on the group's overarching theoretical approaches, empirical objects and societally relevant research questions.

The call for abstracts is addressed to all current and former members of the Research Training Group. Deadline for abstracts (250w): 3rd May () First paper drafts will be discussed at an authors' workshop on 4th October. Futher call details are available here.

Research Training Group "Innovation Society Today" bids farewell to Prof. Dr. Benoît Godin

Benoît Godin in conversation with participants of a conference, 2015

It is with great dismay and sadness that we learn of the death of Benoît Godin on the 5th of January, 2021.

Prof. Dr. Benoît Godin from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique in Montréal became world-renowned in the scientific community for his interdisciplinary work on innovation research, especially for his studies on the conceptual history of the notion of 'Innovation'. He also had a strong and lasting impact on our Research Training Group’s program. From the beginning, his work served as our thematic point of reference for the conception and development of our “Innovation society today”-thesis. We were very fortunate to have had opportunities to exchange ideas with him personally, when he served as the keynote speaker for our international conferences "Innovation Society Today - Theoretical and Empirical Challenges" (2015) and "Innovation and Its Others: Neglected aspects of creative destruction" (2019). There, he presented his research with talks on "Innovation: A Conceptual History of an Anonymous Concept" (2015) and "From Innovation to X-Innovation to Reflexive Innovation" (2019) to lively debate. He remained interested and open to further discussion with both our young and senior scholars, generously and intensively exchanging with them about their research and new ideas.  

With Benoît Godin’s passing, we are losing not only a brilliant scholar and an important driving force for global innovation research, but also a supportive, open-minded and committed colleague. It is with great sadness that we, the Research Training Group, bid farewell to Benoît Godin and look back with deep gratitude for the collaboration of the past years.

New publication: “Standard essential patents and global ICT value chains with a focus on the catching-up of China”

 Dr. Maximilian von Laer (2nd cohort) recently published the following article together with Prof. Dr. Knut Blind and Dr. Florian Ramel:

Standard essential patents and global ICT value chains with a focus on the catching-up of China

Patents, standards and their combination, standard-essential patents (SEPs), are important in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, in particular in mobile communication. We argue that SEPs are relevant not only for specific companies, but also for the macroeconomic development and estimate the effect of a country's SEP portfolio on its value-added trade in global ICT value chains (GVC). We find that SEPs retain a higher share of value-adding domestically and that absorptive capacity is needed to join GVCs. China entered the SEP market late and is catching up rapidly. The trade effect of SEPs on China is different from that on matured economies because of the initially low value of its SEPs. The findings are relevant not only for Europe's strategies related to China's innovation and industrial policy, but also in the context of achieving technological sovereignty.

The article is available here (open access).

March 26, 2021: Alumni Meeting of the Research Training Group "Innovation Society Today"

© A. Redmann & K. Gerlach

The Alumni Meeting of the Research Training Group "Innovation Society Today" will take place on March 26, 2021, 3 - 8 pm (online).

We want to get together with all (former) members of our Research Training Group, look back on the past years as well as find out how things have been going with the Alumni. Furthermore, we are planning an edited volume covering the diversity of research subjects of our Research Training Group, which we want to present and discuss at the meeting.

We invite all (former) members of the Research Training Group to attend and are already looking very forward to our meeting!

Further information on registration and the program are available here.

CfP: Historical Social Research - Special Issue on “Digital Transformation(s)"

Dr. Jannis Hergesell (2nd cohort of our Research Training Group) is publishing a Special Issue of the Historical Social Research journal on "Digital Transformation(s). On the Entanglement of Long-Term Processes and Digital Social Change." together with Jun.-Prof. Dr. Stefanie Büchner from the Leibniz University Hannover and Prof. Dr. Jannis Kallinikos from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Proposals (max. 3000 characters) can be submitted until 31 May, 2021. Detailed information can be found here.

CfA for Sessions: “Process-Oriented Micro-Macro-Analysis” & “Digital Methods in Action: Use, Challenges and Prospects”

Dr. Jannis Hergesell (2nd cohort of our Research Training Group) is co-hosting a panel on "Process-Oriented Micro-Macro-Analysis" together with Maria Norkus from the TU Berlin at the “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods” (SMUS Conference; September 23-26, 2021; online).

He is also co-organizing a session together with Prof. Dr. Gabriel Faimau of the University of Botswana on "Digital Methods in Action: Use, Challenges and Prospects" at the "1st RC33 Regional Conference - Africa: Botswana" (September 23-26, 2021; online).

Paper proposals can be submitted by May 31, 2021. Detailed information can be found here.

New publication: “A Pandemic of Prediction: On the Circulation of Contagion Models between Public Health and Public Safety”

A paper on the role of predictions in COVID-19 pandemic response by our postdoc Simon Egbert, co-authored with Maximilian Heimstädt and Elena Esposito, has been published in the journal ‘Sociologica’.

The article is available here (open access).


Monography "Criminal Futures" about Predictive Policing recently published (Open Access)

© Routledge

Simon Egbert (postdoc) together with Matthias Leese recently published the monography:

Criminal Futures. Predictive Policing and Everyday Police Work

Police departments around the world have started to use data-driven applications to produce crime forecasts and intervene into the future through targeted prevention measures. Based on three years of field research in Germany and Switzerland, this book provides a theoretically sophisticated and empirically detailed account of how the police produce and act upon criminal futures as part of their everyday work practices.
The authors argue that predictive policing must not be analyzed as an isolated technological artifact, but as part of a larger sociotechnical system that is embedded in organizational structures and occupational cultures. The book highlights how, for crime prediction software to come to matter and play a role in more efficient and targeted police work, several translation processes are needed to align human and nonhuman actors across different divisions of police work.

More information as well as Open Access can be found here​.

2nd - 4th December 2020: Digital conference on "Labour Market Integration in Everyday Life"

The digital conference "Labour Market Integration in Everyday Life - Inlcusion needs of disabled and other disadvantaged workers" will take place online from 2nd - 4th December 2020. The conference is organized by Dr. Jannis Hergesell (2nd cohort) and Jana Albrecht (3rd cohort) in cooperation with the "Forschungsnetzwerk Alterssicherung" and is hosted by the Institute for Sociology of the TU Berlin in cooperation with our Research Training Group. 

Further information on registration and the conference program is available here.

Workshop "Data-Based Algorithmic Systems" with Paola Lopez

On 16 October 2020, a one-day workshop with Paola Lopez (University of Vienna/Weizenbaum Institute) on ‘Data-Based Algorithmic Systems’ took place at the Research Training Group ‘Innovation Society Today’.

Due to the pandemic situation, the workshop was conducted virtually and consisted of an asynchronous (reading and online lecture) and a synchronous part. It was divided into three program points: ‘Data-based systems gone wrong’, ‘Data-b(i)ased systems’ and ‘Epistemic limitations of data-based systems’.

The main topics of discussion were epistemic pitfalls and limitations of modern data analysis methods as well as the sources of data-related biases and algorithmic discrimination. In the course of the workshop it became clear that the supposed objectivity and neutrality of algorithmic analyses is in stark contrast to their socio-technical peculiarities, since the data to which they refer and which constitute the algorithmic view of the world are always (only) a reflection of social conditions.

Television report on Predictive Policing with Dr. Simon Egbert

Our postdoc, Dr. Simon Egbert, was interviewed as an expert on predictive policing in a television report of the cultural magazine 'Capriccio' by the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation. The article is available here.

Dzifa Ametowobla's thesis defense: October 13, 2020

On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at 3 pm, Dzifa Ametowobla, Associate at the Research Training Group, will defend her doctoral thesis on “Zur Soziologie der Software: Die Rolle digitaler Technik bei der Kontrolle von Unsicherheiten".

All interested parties are cordially invited.

Guests are asked to submit their participation request via video conference until October 9, 2020 12 noon (local time) to .

Workshop "Incorporating Social Theory into Ethnographic Research" with Prof. Dr. Thomas Kemple

On August 6th and 7th, 2020, the Research Training Group "Innovation Society Today" was pleased to host the two-day remote workshop "Incorporating Social Theory into Ethnographic Research" with Prof. Dr. Thomas Kemple from the University of British Columbia. He is Professor of Sociology and teaches, in particular classical and contemporary social theory and methods of interpretation. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the interrelation between theory and empirical data in general and to examine “institutional ethnography” as a research approach in particular. After two introductory lectures on Dorothy E. Smith's concept of institutional ethnography and Pierre Bourdieu's social theory, the participants discussed the specifics of the concepts and possibilities of their combination with regard to the interrelation of theory and data. Participants were able to deepen the understanding of the method of institutional ethnography and its use of texts and intertextual hierarchies. Furthermore, the implications of Pierre Bourdieu's social theory in relation to this method as well as the role of social researchers’ choice of theory in sociological inquiry and its influence on empirical work were discussed. The joint examination of the workshop topic benefited greatly from Mr. Kemple's rich empirical experience — among others from the project Global citizens at home and abroad and an institutional ethnography in Downtown Eastside Vancouver. On the second day of the workshop, participants had the opportunity to discuss their own projects individually with Professor Kemple.

"Genese und Folgen der Pflegerobotik" published

© Beltz

Jannis Hergesell, Arne Maibaum (2nd cohort) and Martin Meister recently published an edited volume on the genesis and consequences of Robotics in Nursing:

Genese und Folgen der Pflegerobotik. Die Konstitution eines interdisziplinären Forschungsfeldes

More information can be found on the publisher's website​.

This edited volume grew out of a conference, which has been organized by Jannis Hergesell and Arne Maibaum and took place at the Research Training Group on 7th and 8th December 2017.

New staff at the Research Training Group

We are pleased to welcome David Seibt as our newest research associate. David studied Social and Cultural Anthropology as well as Political Science at the Free University of Berlin and Sociology at the TU Berlin. Most recently he was a research associate at the Post/Doc Lab Reorganizing Industries at the Munich Center for Technology in Society. In his research he is concerned with the digitalization, as well as reorganization, of industry, with user studies and distributed innovation processes, and with the elaboration of novel research formats such as makeathons. A particular focus of his work is his dissertation project about the introduction of 3D printing to prosthetics. In the SIGMA 3D project, he is also working on the social construction of digital platforms within the field of medical technology. At the Research Training Group, David will take part in the consolidation of scientific results as well as the development of the final report and future perspectives.

Workshop on "New Materialism and Ethnography" with Dr. Hanna Göbel

On February 26 and 27, 2020, we conducted a two-day workshop with Dr. Hanna Göbel from the University of Hamburg on "New Materialism and Ethnography" as part of the DFG Research Training Group "Innovation Society Today" at the Institute for Sociology at the TU Berlin. The aim of the workshop was to methodologically apply the theoretical developments of New Materialism and make them fruitful for our own research practice. By working together on empirical material from three doctoral projects of the training group, we were able to test and discuss posthumanist research strategies.

Katharina Scheidgen’s thesis defense on 11th February 2020

On Tuesday, 11th February 2020, Katharina Scheidgen's thesis defense will take place at 12 noon in room FH 804. The topic of her dissertation is "Networking in Silicon Valley and Berlin. The influence of entrepreneurial ecosystems on the formation of interorganisational relationships of innovative growth companies".

All interested parties are cordially invited.

Paper by Dr. Simon Egbert awarded the Radzinowicz Prize 2019

For the paper 'Predictive Policing and the Politics of Patterns', which was published last year in the British Journal of Criminology (BJC), our postdoc, Dr. Simon Egbert, together with his co-authors Dr. Mareile Kaufmann (University of Oslo) and Dr. Matthias Leese (ETH Zurich) received the Radzinowicz Prize 2019. The Radzinowicz Prize is awarded annually by the editors of the BJC for the essay of the respective year that they consider to contribute most to the knowledge of criminal justice issues and the development of criminology.

iRights.info-article on copyright in music production by Dr. Georg Fischer

Dr. Georg Fischer (2nd cohort of the Research Training Group), has published an article on iRights.info entitled "Wie Musiker:innen das Urheberrecht umgehen und wieso das eine gute Sache ist". Based on his dissertation, the article deals with the question of how copyright law affects creativity in music production. The article can be found here.

Workshop on "Social and material 'Resistance' and Innovation" with Mahendra Shahare

On January 16, 2020, the Research Training Group "Innovation Society Today" was delighted to host a morning workshop with Mahendra Shahare. He is currently a guest of the Research Training Group. The aim of the workshop was to explore how fields of innovation are reconfigured by different modalities of resistance and to identify the underlying structures and networks that shape innovation dynamics.
The first part of the workshop started with an introduction by Mahendra Shahare. The participants then discussed specifics of the concept of material and social resistance and its meaning for concepts of innovation in general. These were then applied to a summary of the discourse around "Juul" (a controversial new e-cigarette). Using a brainstorming method, the participants mapped the heterogeneous, related ideas, actors, artefacts and positions that co-shape the potential innovation.
This examination of the concept of "resistance" and "multystability" of innovations formed the basis for the second part of the workshop, in which the participants discussed the potentials and limits of the concept for innovation research and the innovation society. The lively and controversial debate highlighted questions about the possible merits of thinking using the concept of social and material resistance as a means to understand innovation processes, as well as the epistemic basis of the concept and its methodological consequences.

Interview on Predictive Policing with Dr. Simon Egbert

Dr. Simon Egbert, Postdoc of the Research Training Group, 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 Dr. Simon Egbert talks about this technology. The article " Wie die bayerische Polizei das Predictive Policing nach Deutschland brachte " can be found here.

Workshop on "Scripts and performative Dimensions of Innovation" with Dr. Judith Igelsböck

© Judith Igelsböck

On January 7, 2020, the Research Training Group "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 Prof. Chris Gibson (University of Wollongong, Australia) in cooperation with the Research Training Group

The 15th IRS International Lecture on Society and Space with Prof. 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 Research Training Group “Innovation Society Today”.

Further information and registration link can be found here.

The Research Training Group 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 Research Training Group, 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 Research Training Group until the end of January.

The Research Training Group welcomes Visiting Fellow Dr. Judith Igelsböck

© Anna Montemayor

We are happy to welcome Dr. 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 Research Training Group until the end of January.


Quick Access

Schnellnavigation zur Seite über Nummerneingabe