Our Speakers

Cornelius König

Professor of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and Vice-President for Internationalization and European Relations at Saarland University


Jakob von Weizsäcker

State Minister of Finance of Saarland

Finanz- und Wissenschaftsminister Jakob von Weizsäcker, Jahrgang 1970, verheiratet, vier Kinder

Seit April 2022 ist Jakob von Weizsäcker Minister der Finanzen und für Wissenschaft. Unmittelbar davor leitete er das Sekretariat der gemeinsamen Task Force der G20 Finanz- und Gesundheitsminister mit dem Ziel, die Lehren aus der Corona-Krise für die Verbesserung der welt- weiten Pandemiebereitschaft zu ziehen.

2019 bis 2022 war er „Chefökonom“ des Bundesministeriums der Finanzen als Abteilungsleiter für Grundsatzfragen und internationale Finanzpolitik.

2014 bis 2019 war er Mitglied des Europäischen Parlaments für Thüringen, wo er zuvor im Thü- ringer Wirtschaftsministerium seit 2010 die Abteilung für Wirtschaftspolitik und Tourismus gelei- tet hatte.

2005 bis 2010 arbeitete er als Resident Fellow bei Bruegel, einer führenden europapolitischen Denkfabrik in Brüssel.

Nach einem Grundstudium der Mathematik, Physik und Informatik an der Universität Bonn schloss er sein Studium mit einer Maîtrise in Physik an der École normale supérieure de Lyon und einem Diplôme d’études approfondies an der École normale supérieure in Paris ab.

Gregor Schmalzried

Journalist, Consultant, and Podcast Host (“Der KI-Podcast”)

Gregor Schmalzried is a freelance journalist and consultant covering digital media, storytelling and tech. He hosts the weekly ARD podcast "Der KI-Podcast" on the AI revolution, and is writer and producer of the fiction podcast series "Mia Insomnia" and "Flüsterwelt". He writes for Bayerischer Rundfunk, Brand Eins and his own newsletter coolgenug.de, among others

Elena Jung

Project Lead at modus Centre for Applied Research on Deradicalisation

Elena Jung is the project lead at modus|zad. In addition to being responsible for various monitoring projects on right-wing and religiously motivated extremism, she advances modus’s overarching networking work. 

Elena studied Culture & Economics at the University of Mannheim and at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. She started her career at the non-profit organization KinderHelden, a mentoring program for children and young people with difficult starting conditions. For five years she worked as a project manager at the Robert Bosch Stiftung in the field of civic education and democracy in Germany and Europe, focusing on projects to prevent extremism and promote initiatives against hate and disinformation on the Internet. She also gained extensive experience in the conception and implementation of cross-sector programs.

Ruth Meyer

Director at Landesmedienanstalt Saarland

Ruth Meyer has a background in communication and social sciences. She worked as a freelancer for organisations and companies in the digital and media sectors for many years until she took on several leadership positions in administrative ambit. Ruth Meyer became a member of state parliament of the Saarland in 2012, where she held positions as spokesperson for domestic policy as well as responsibilities for education and media issues. Since 2020 she is director of the state media authority Saarland. 

Ramona Hess

Project Coordination Acting for Human Rights, Adolf-Bender-Zentrum

Theresa Züger

Head of the AI & Society Lab at Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Theresa Züger is head of the Public Interest AI junior research group funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The group deals with the question of how AI can serve the common good and which technical and social criteria must be met for this. She is also the head of the AI ​​& Society Lab. The lab was launched by the HIIG in 2020 and is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research laboratory at the interface between science, industry and civil society. In her research, Theresa deals with the political dimensions of digital technologies and cultures, with a particular interest in questions of democratic theory. 

Ridhi Kashyap

Professor of Demography and Computational Social Science at University of Oxford

Ridhi Kashyap is Professor of Demography and Computational Social Science at the University of Oxford and Professorial Fellow at Nuffield College. Her research spans different topics linked to population dynamic and sustainable development, such as mortality and health, gender inequality, family, and migration. A central interest of her research has been to leverage computational approaches for demographic research within the growing area of Digital and Computational Demography, and forge links between demography and a growing interdisciplinary community of computational social science. She leads the Digital Gender Gaps project (www.digitalgendergaps.org), an international collaboration involving Oxford, Saarland and other academic and non-academic partners, which seeks to map global digital inequalities by gender using social media data streams, and examines the impacts of digitalization on sustainable development outcomes, especially as they link to SDG 5 on reducing gender inequalities.  

Viviana Cañón Tamayo 

Programme Specialist for Frontier Data at UNICEF

Viviana worked at UNICEF Colombia leading the Data Innovation portfolio (health, education, and humanitarian crises.) Before that, she was involved in initiatives as the Open Algorithms Project (OPAL) and the scaling up of a French disruptive coding school called Ecole 42. She worked several years for the Colombian government as a lead in social and economic development related topics.  She did her master’s in international development at Sciences Po Paris. 

Today, she is in charge of partnerships to help global UNICEF explore and use frontier data technologies. She works with researchers and data scientists on designing and developing core projects within the data innovation portfolio in UNICEF Head Quarters (HQ). 

Linda Kleeman

Cluster Manager for Digital Innovation at GFA Consulting

Martin Wählisch

Team Leader of Innovation Cell at UN Department for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs

Dr. Martin Wäehlisch leads the Innovation Cell in the Policy and Mediation Division of the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UN DPPA), an interdisciplinary team dedicated to exploring, piloting, and scaling new technologies, tools, and practices in conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding.

He holds a PhD in International Law and recently published the edited volume “Rethinking Peace Mediation: Challenges of Contemporary Peacemaking Practice” (Bristol University Press 2021).

Luis Pizarro

Responsible AI Leader at EY and Visiting Senior Lecturer at King's College London

Luis has a strong business acumen in industry, leading data science and AI/ML teams in delivering solutions to corporate clients, and enabling knowledge and technology transfer between academic centres and industry, focusing on AI/ML developments that are trustworthy, built for purpose and regulatory-compliant.

Luis supports businesses and organisations to develop and implement their Responsible AI strategy across their entire functional structure. This includes operationalising AI principles through best practices, enabling tools and governance mechanisms.

Luis holds engineering and MSc degrees in informatics from the Technical University Federico Santa Maria (Chile), and a PhD degree in natural sciences (Dr. rer. nat.) from the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at Saarland University (Germany). 

Abhisek Dash

Postdoctoral Researcher, MPI for Software Systems

Abhisek Dash is a postdoctoral researcher at Max Planck Institute  for Software Systems (MPI-SWS) in the Networked Systems Research Group  with Prof. Krishna P. Gummadi. He has received his PhD from Indian  Institute of Technology Kharagpur. His research interests lie in  investigating unfairness, bias related concerns in online  socio-technical systems. 

Christoph Sorge

Professor for Legal Informatics at Saarland University

After completing his PhD in Computer Science at Karlsruhe Institute of  Technology, Christoph Sorge worked as a research scientist at NEC  Laboratories Europe. He joined the University of Paderborn as a junior  professor for network security in 2010. Christoph has been a professor  of legal informatics at Saarland University since 2014. While his  primary affiliation is with the Faculty of Law, Christoph is a co-opted  professor of computer science and an associated member of CISPA  Helmholtz Center for Information Security, a senior fellow of the German  Research Institute for Public Administration, and a board member of the  German Association for Computing in the Judiciary. Together with his  interdisciplinary team, Christoph works at the intersection of law and  computer science. The team's main focus is on applied technical and  legal research in data protection, privacy, and security. Other research  areas of the group include the ditigization of the justice system, NLP  for legal applications, IT forensics, and European data law. 

Kevin Baum

Deputy Head of a Research Area at and Advisor of the Ethics Team of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, Member of Algoright e.V.

Kevin Baum, M.A., M.Sc., holds the position of Deputy Head and Manager at the Neuro-Mechanistic Modeling Research Division of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). Having completed his Masters in Computer Science and Philosophy at Saar-Uni, he is now in the final stages of his Ph.D. in Philosophy at TU Dortmund. Kevin's research predominantly centers on the interdisciplinary challenges posed by explainability and perspicuity, particularly in understanding how these properties can mitigate societal risks associated with AI systems. As an associated researcher, Kevin is affiliated with the Volkswagen Foundation-funded project 'Explainable Intelligent Systems' and the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre 248 "Foundations of Perspicuous Software Systems." In collaboration with Sarah Sterz and Holger Hermanns, he played a pivotal role in creating the nationally acclaimed and internationally recognized lecture series "Ethics for Nerds." Kevin serves as an advisor to the DFKI's Ethics team, and is a co-founder and member of the nonprofit association Algoright e.V., dedicated to interdisciplinary science communication on good digitization. 

Zeerak Talat

Independent Academic Researcher

Zeerak Talat is a Research Fellow at MBZUAI who is working on the intersection between machine learning, science and technology studies, and media studies. Zeerak's research seeks to examine how machine learning systems interact with our societies and the downstream effects of introducing machine learning to our society - often viewed through the lens of content moderation technologies. Zeerak also works on developing research towards producing fair and secure content moderation systems. 

Thomas Giegerich

Professor for International Law and Director of the Europa-Institute at Saarland University

Professor Dr. jur. Thomas Giegerich, LL.M. holds a Chair of European Union Law, Public International Law, and Public Law at the Faculty of Law, Saarland University, Germany (since 2012). He also is the Director of the Europa-Institut of the Law Faculty, at Saarland University. In 2017, he was awarded a Jean Monnet Chair of European Integration, Antidiscrimination, Human Rights, and Diversity (until 2021). From 2013 – 2016, he held a Jean Monnet Chair for European Law and European Integration. Before joining Saarland University, he held chairs at the Universities of Bremen and Kiel where he also was Director of the Walther Schücking Institute for International Law.  

Thomas Giegerich has lectured at universities in China, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the USA. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge (2007), a Visiting Professor at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh (2011-12), and a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Law, European University Institute, Florence (2016). He has published widely on European Union law, public international law, and (comparative) constitutional law with an emphasis on human rights. 

Yolanda Spínola-Elías

Professor for Fine Arts at the University of Sevilla, and Guest Researcher in Computer Science at the University of Luxembourg

Yolanda Spinola-Elias is a full professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Seville, Spain. She is also ILIAS Visiting Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Luxembourg, where she collaborated in the development of the AI & Art Pavilion for Esch22. European Capital of Culture in Luxembourg. She is the founder and director of the Arts, Science, Technology & Society Lab (ASTSLab, HUM1045). She co-founded and lidered Atoms and Bits: Artists, Architects and Digital Researchers Andalusian Asso. She is a member of other international research groups of the CNPq-Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico Brasil: GIIP -Grupo Internacional e Interinstitucional de Pesquisa em Convergências entre Arte, Ciência e Tecnologia (Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho) and Estudos Visuais (Universidade Estadual de Campinas). She is an expert/ external reviewer for the Spanish National Research Agency, La Caixa Foundation in the European Universities Postdoc Programme and for several indexed journals and editorials. She is a member of the Expert Network of the Campus of International Excellence in Heritage Project (CEB09-0032). She has led national and international research projects funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation in the field of Arts & Science & Society.  

Her artistic production consists of more than 167 exhibitions at national and international level (Taiwan, Italy, Germany, United States, Russia, Argentina, Czech Republic, Canada, England, France, Colombia, Spain, etc.), among which her participation as artist and curator in the CF (The Research Pavilion) project at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), the Artificial Intelligence and Art project at the LuxLogAi Summit, Esch'22 AI&Art Pavilion Kick-off Meeting, Luxembourg (2018-2023) stand out. It has been awarded on various occasions at fairs, festivals, competitions, and exhibitions and has been included in the art collections of public and private institutions (Real Academia de Bellas Artes Santa Isabel de Hungary, Seville City Council, Fondazione Peano en Italia, Círculo of Fine Arts of Madrid, University of Seville, FEE Foundation in New York, Gruas Lozano, Cruzcampo Foundation, etc.). She has also been a visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab (Cambridge, MA), a researcher and/or artist in residence at Le Laboratoire (Paris and Cambridge, MA, supported by Harvard University), the Colegio de España in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Museum of Modern Art de New York, Washington University (W St.), the Tamarind Institute (New Mexico) and the Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara (Italy). Her current research interests revolve around the ACTS system (Art, Science, Technology and Society), Art + Artificial Intelligence, transdisciplinary & inclusive creative educational processes.  

Volker Schütz

Independent Media Artist

Volker Schütz is a media artist from Saarbrücken. In his work with historical technical devices and artificial intelligence, he combines the methods of science with narrative and painterly elements, he combines the magic of the darkroom with current high technology. And some poetry. 

His work includes vectorial images in an old oscilloscope, a functional body part lengthening machine, experimental films with pinhole cameras and super-samplers, a new fictional mycology, magnetic tape parasites, semi-machine ghost images, and prints and paintings with artificial neural networks and other algorithms.

Courtney N. Reed

Musician, and Postdoctoral Researcher at King’s College London

Dr. Courtney N. Reed is a researcher on the COSMOS (Computational Shaping and Modeling of Musical Structures) ERC Advanced Grant at King's College London. Her research focuses on human perception in musical interaction, particularly musicians' relationships with their own bodies during music-making and how technology influences these relationships. Her specialisations are in human-centred design and first-person subjective methodologies used to investigate human experiences when using technology in such creative contexts. 

Courtney's PhD thesis in Computer Science with the Augmented Instruments Lab at the Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary University of London examined the embodied relationship between vocalist and voice, as both instrument and body, and how musical relationships can inform HCI and design strategies. She previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Sensorimotor Interaction Group at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, where she remains an affiliate researcher. In addition to her research, Courtney works as a semi-professional vocalist in London and abroad.

Paul Strohmeier

Musician, and Independent Research Group Leader at MPI for Informatics

Emilio Zagheni

Director for Digital and Computational Demography at MPI for Demography

Katrin Weller

Lead of Team Digital Society Observatory at GESIS & Lead of Team Research Data and Methods at CAIS

Dr. Katrin Weller is a computational social scientist working on topics around communication in online platforms as well as data quality and documentation of digital behavioral data. She leads the team “Digital Society Observatory” at GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences. She is also co-lead of the “Research Data and Methods” team at the Center of Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) in Bochum. 

Oriol Bosch Jover

PhD Candidate in Social Research Methods at London School of Economics

Julia Schulte-Cloos

Professor of Political Science at the University of Marburg

Julia Schulte-Cloos is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Marburg. Her research interests focus on political behaviour and computational social science. 

Alexander Wuttke

Professor of Digitalization and Political Behavior at LMU Munich

Alexander Wuttke is an assistant professor in digitalization and political behavior at Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität Munich. His research explores the state of liberal democracy from the perspective of ordinary citizens. He is currently the Special Editor for Registered Reports at the Journal of Politics. 

Erik Borra

Professor in Journalism & AI at the University of Amsterdam

Dr. Erik Borra is Assistant Professor in Journalism and AI at the University of Amsterdam and a founding member of the Digital Methods Initiative. His research focuses on digital methods, controversy mapping, and the development of new tools for digital research. 

Steffen Eckhard

Professor for Public Administration and Public Policy at Zeppelin University

Steffen Eckhard is Professor of Public Administration and Public Policy at Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Germany. He is also a fellow at the Cluster of Excellence ‘Inequality’ at the University of Konstanz and a non-resident fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPI) in Berlin. His research and teaching focus on the management of international and domestic public organizations and their impact on politics and society. 

Margot Mieskes

Professor for Information Science at the University of Applied Sciences, Darmstadt

Margot Mieskes is currently a professor in Information Science at the University of Applied Sciences, Darmstadt (h_da). Her research and teaching focuses on topics in the domain of NLP, among others in the area of automatic summarization, summarization evaluation, reproducbility of scientific results and ethical issues in NLP. Before joining h_da in 2015, she was a PostDoc at the Leibniz Institute for Educational Research and Educational Information (DIPF) in Frankfurt, where she worked on supporting educational researchers using NLP technology. She also worked in industrial research and development projects, as for example with the European Media Laboratory GmbH, Heidelberg, where she developed a web-based editor for creating audio descriptions for movies. She pursued her PhD project in collaboration with EML gGmbH and Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg on the topic of summarizing multi-party dialogues. She studied Computational Linguistics and Computer Science at the University of Stuttgart and Edinburgh and did her Diploma thesis project at the University of Cambridge on the topic of Auditory Modelling.  

Cornelius Puschmann

Professor of Media and Communication at the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI)

Cornelius Puschmann is Professor of Communication and Media Studies with a

focus on Digital Communication at ZeMKI, the Centre for Media,

Communication and Information Sciences.  From 2016 to 2019 he was a senior

researcher and coordinator of the postdoc research group Algorithmed Public

Spheres (APS) at the Leibniz Institute for Media Research in Hamburg.

Cornelius has been a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford’s Oxford

Internet Institute, a faculty associate at Harvard University’s Berkman

Klein Center for Internet and Society, and a visiting assistant professor

at the University of Amsterdam’s Department of Media Studies. His research

interests include digital news usage, online aggression, the role of

algorithms for the selection of media content, and automated content


Jesujoba Alabi

PhD Student in the Spoken Language Systems (LSV) group, Saarland University

Jesujoba Alabi is a doctoral student in computer science at Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany, under the supervision of Professor Dietrich Klakow. His current research centers on the adaptation of pre-trained language models to new languages and domains, as well as exploring the explainability and interpretability of these models. Additionally, he shows keen interest and actively contributes to the development of language technologies for low-resource (African) languages. 

Miriam Redi

Research Manager at Wikimedia Foundation

Miriam Redi is a manager in the Research team at the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization operating WIkipedia. She is also a Visiting Research Fellow at King's College London. Formerly, she worked as a Research Scientist at Yahoo Labs in Barcelona and Nokia Bell Labs in Cambridge. She received her PhD from EURECOM, Sophia Antipolis. She conducts research in social multimedia computing,  working on fair, interpretable, multimodal machine learning solutions to improve knowledge equity.

Maximilian Schich

ERA Chair for Cultural Data Analytics at Tallinn University

Maximilian Schich is a Professor for Cultural Data Analytics and the CUDAN ERA Chair holder at Tallinn University. A multidisciplinary researcher, Max aims to understand the nature of cultural interaction via a systematic combination of critical and creative aesthetics, qualitative inquiry, quantitative measurement, and computation. Ongoing research builds on a background in art history, network science, computational social science, and an applied experience in cultural “database pathologist”. Max’s PhD monograph pioneered network analysis in art research, focusing on antique reception and visual citation. In 2014, “A Network Framework of Cultural History” in Science Magazine and the Nature video “Charting Culture” made global impact. In recent years, Max has focused on the upcoming “Cultural Interaction” book, which will outline a systematic science of art and culture based on two decades of work. Max has studied at LMU Munich, HU-Berlin, and Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome. Following a postdoc phase at BarabásiLab in Boston and the group of Dirk Helbing in Zurich, Max joined UT Dallas as an Associate Professor in Arts & Technology and a founding member of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History. In June 2020, Max moved to Estonia to build, manage, and sustain the CUDAN research group, leading the ERA Chair project, which is funded within the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program of the European Commission.

Michael Bossetta

Professor in the Department of Communication and Media at Lund University

Tuba Bircan

Professor of Sociology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Prof. Tuba Bircan works as an associate professor of AI and inequalities at the Dept. of Sociology, at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), besides her appointment as a senior scientists at Kavli Research Centre for Ethics, Science and the Public at University of Cambridge and Wellcome Connecting Science. As an interdisciplinary computational social scientist, her research interests cover a wide range from migration, inequalities, social and public policies to new methodologies and use of Big Data and AI for studying socio-political challenges. She is a follower of open science and science for society. She is currently leading the H2020 funded Enhanced Migration Measures from a Multidimensional Perspective (HumMingBird) project and is the co-promoter of Climate-Induced Migration in Africa and Beyond: Big Data and Predictive Analytics (CLIMB) project. She sits in editorial board of Nature Humanities and Social Sciences Communications and Plos One, as well as ethical board of AI Excellence Centre of Flemish Employment Agency in Belgium. She has published mainly on the methodological aspects of migration studies, use of Big  Data and AI in social sciences and inclusive policies and inequalities.

Daniela Paolotti

Research Leader for Digital Epidemiology Laboratory and Data Science for Social Impact at ISI Foundation

Daniela Paolotti is a Senior Research Scientist at ISI Foundation, in Turin, Italy. She is part of the Data Science for Social Impact Research Area and the Digital Epidemiology Area. She has a background in Physics (Bsc, MSc, Ph.D.). Her work has a strong interdisciplinary approach. For more than ten years, she has been working on applying tools from complex systems and networks science, applied mathematics, computer science, data science, behavioral sciences to study disease spreading from an epidemiological as well as social point of view. Since 2008, Daniela has been developing and coordinating a Europe-wide network of Web-based platforms for participatory surveillance of Influenza-like Illness.  

Dirk Brockmann

Professor at the Institute of Biology at Humboldt-University of Berlin

Dirk Brockmann is Professor at the Institute of Biology & the Department of Physics at Humboldt-University of Berlin. Between 2007-2013 he was Professor for Applied Mathematics at Northwestern University. At Northwestern University he was on the faculty of Northwestern’s Institute on Complex Systems where he still holds an external faculty position.

A theoretical physicist by training, his research focuses on complex systems at the interface of physics, life sciences and social sciences. He is particularly interested the application of dynamicals systems theory, stochastic processes and network science to infectious disease dynamics and related contagion processes. In this context he is currently investigating dynamical processes on time-dependent networks, complex contagion processes and the emergence of cooperation in evolutionary processes. He is known for his work on human mobility and its role on the global spread of infectious diseases.

Dirk Brockmann is member of the Institute of Theoretical Biology as well as the Integrated Research Institute for the Life-Sciences at Humboldt University of Berlin.

He is also head of the project group Computational Epidemiology at the Robert Koch-Institute, Germany’s federal public health institute.

In 2017 he launched the project Complexity Explorables, a collection of interactive illustration on complex systems that continously expands in examples and is designed for teachers, instructors and people that want to gain an intuitive unterstanding of the beauty of complex dynamical processes in nature.

Zinnya del Villar

Director of Data Science Research at Data-Pop Alliance

Zinnya del Villar is an Actuary from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and holds a MSc. degree in Mathematical Sciences from the same university and a Master degree in Applied Mathematics from the Université de Rennes in France. She obtained an MBA from the Rennes School of Business in 2019. Currently, she is Data Science Research Director at Data-Pop Alliance, a non-profit organization, where she conducts research on the use of data and computational methods in the human development sector, as well as research on the ethical, decolonializing and inclusive use of non-traditional data (e.g. mobile data) mainly in the design and creation of artificial intelligence systems. Her research topics of interest mainly focus on the ethics, democratization and decolonization of data-driven technologies with gender perspective and data literacy.  She was co-founder of the Breizh-data research network in Brittany, fellow of the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT) in Mexico, and fellow of the French-Tech in France. Her work has been awarded by García Robles Foundation in Mexico and the ESRC Impact Acceleration Accounts of the University of Surrey in the UK. She has worked with different UN agencies and international development agencies mainly in the LATAM, Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East regions. 

Thomas Smallwood

Data Scientist, Flowminder

Thomas is a Data Scientist working on the analysis of Call Detail Record (CDR) data to understand the distribution and mobility of populations in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, and previously developed FlowGeek, Flowminder's open, online repository of information on the use of mobile operator data in the humanitarian and development sectors. Thomas also represents Flowminder in the UN Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science for Official Statistics Mobile Phone Data task team, and previously chaired their training subgroup. Thomas' background is in quantitative ecology and wildlife epidemiology, completing his PhD on modelling infectious disease in threatened wildlife to inform conservation management at Imperial College London and the Zoological Society of London. 

Michael Bergmann

Head of Survey Methodology at the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)

Michael Bergmann is a senior researcher at the Munich Research Institute for the Economics of Aging and SHARE Analyses (MEA-SHARE) and the SHARE BERLIN Institute (SBI). He is head of the survey methodology department of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE; https://share-eric.eu/), a research infrastructure for studying the effects of health, social, economic and environmental policies over the life-course of citizens from 28 European countries and Israel. His research interests focus on survey methodology, esp. data quality in longitudinal/cross-national studies as well as data linkage. 

Tobias Fiebig

Senior Researcher, MPI for Informatics

Tobias works on understanding how we operate networked systems. His special focus is on the interaction between how people and society shape systems, and--in turn--how these systems shape people and society. He uses an interdisciplinary mix of methods, ranging from computer security focused research, over network measurement, to organizational and governance work, ultimately up to human factors. 

Hubert Mara

Professor for Informatics and Cultural Heritage, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg​

​Prof. Dr. Hubert Mara studied Computer Science at the Vienna University of Technology followed by a Marie-Curie fellowship in the Cultural Heritage Informatics Research Oriented Network (CHIRON) at the University of Florence in 2007 and 2008. In 2009 he joined the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) at Heidelberg University where he finished his PhD thesis in 2012. In 2014 he founded the Forensic Computational Geometry Laboratory (FCGL) at IWR funded by the DFG’s German Universities Excellence Initiative. In 2020 and 2021 he was the administrative director of the Mainz Centre for Digitality in the Humanities and Cultural Studies (mainzed). Since winter term 2022/23 he is a junior professor for eHumanities at the Institute for Computer Science at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Since 2016 Hubert Mara is a member of the board of advisers for the German chapter of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) association. His interests lie in 3D computer vision and machine learning for cultural heritage. His work combines Digital Archaeology and Digital Humanities typically for text-bearing and decorated archaeological findings. Parts of his work on analyzing high resolution 3D-measurment data are available in the Free and Open Source GigaMesh Software Framework.

Omran Najjar

AI Product Owner, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

Omran NAJJAR is the AI Product Owner in Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team with 15 year experience in software engineering, information systems, advanced data management and artificial intelligence. Omran holds a MSc in EEE, Computer Science, Turkey (2020) with research thesis and experimental application on Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) algorithms and a MSc in Data Analytics and Information Systems Management, Germany (2023) with research focus on spatial and temporal analysis on OSM - Nepal. 

Omran has been working in humanitarian and development context since 2014, specialised in monitoring and evaluation, Information and communication technology and AI for social good. Currently, Omran uses that experience to pursue justice, ethical and open source tech to amplify the connection between human[itarian] needs and open map data.