WZB works

In 2023, the Friends of the WZB announced once again 40,000 euros from their association's membership fees for the funding of transfer projects from the WZB. Nearly a dozen applications were received. They impressed with great breadth, creativity, and passion. Thus a well-mixed committee, consisting of researchers and research support staff of the WZB, Friends of the WZB and the journalist in residence of the institute, selected three applications for funding:

  • Lena Hipp and Sandra Leumann: "Because my sweetheart is a firefighter?! Filmic realization of a research project on the effects of gender-atypical career choices on dating opportunities"
    Thanks to the project funding, Lena Hipp and Sandra Leumann from the Work and Welfare research group will be able to expand their existing pilot film on the topic of "Dating opportunities for men and women in gender-atypical professions" with their research findings. The jury particularly praised the transfer character, which conveys not only the content but also the innovative social science methodology and is based on the everyday experiences of the younger generation in particular.
  • Julia Stier: Workshops on migration and integration research at Berlin schools
    Julia Stier from the Migration, Integration, Transnationalization research unit is planning a cooperation project with two partners from the NGO "Migration Matters" that will inform pupils in workshops about evidence-based research findings on migration, integration and diversity and establish a differentiated culture of discussion. Pupils and teachers can contribute their own experiences and perspectives as experts. The jury highlighted the project's contribution of incorporating a topic that is often not included in the curriculum.
  • Jonas Ferdinand: Award ceremony: Gamejam Future of Work - Transfer between science, society and digital industry
    With the support of the Friends of the WZB, Jonas Ferdinand, scholarship holder of the doctoral program "Good Work in a Transformative World" will offer prize money in a game jam. There, interdisciplinary teams of game developers and scientists will program the prototype of a game on "the future of work". The winning game will convey social science findings on the world of work and show visions for future working environments. By harnessing the digital gaming world, the jury saw a forward-looking method with which a younger and diverse target group can be addressed.

Winners in 2022:

  • Lena Ulbricht: „‘Festifuneral’ - binäre Denk‐ und Ordnungsstrukturen in Wissenschaft, Politik und Kunst überwinden“. Lena Ulbricht, together with Thamy Pogrebinschi, representatives of the Karneval der Kulturen Berlin and other institutions and initiatives, is planning an innovative two-day festival in Berlin that will present and explore in workshops the fusion of modes of perception and expression from science, politics, art and social movements.
  • Jan Wetzel, Silvio Suckow et al.: „In guter Gesellschaft – Soziale Zusammenhänge verstehen und mitgestalten“. While the explanation of natural science issues has become more and more prevalent in video formats in social media, especially since the beginning of the pandemic, the social sciences remain less visible. Jan Wetzel, Silvio Suckow and their colleagues plan to develop a twenty-minute video format that takes viewers on walks through everyday situations, their social implications, and social science explanations. 
  • Sarah George und Theresa Pfaff: „Gestaltung einer inklusiven Verkehrswende. Parkraumbewirtschaftung als Maßnahme gegen den Klimawandel im Experimentierraum Kreuzberg“. Sarah George and Theresa Pfaff take the results of the DiMo research group's many years of research and surveys to the places where they originated. Workshops and events on parking management and traffic planning are to take place in the middle of the Kreuzberg neighborhood; in particular, tradespeople, people with disabilities, and people with a migration background, who are rarely involved in the political design process, are to be invited.

The project by Tommaso Virgili and Ruud Kooomans for the WZB seminar series "Liberalism and Islam in contemporary society" convinced the commission in terms of content and as extremely relevant in sociopolitical terms. It will be implemented at the WZB in another form.

Thus, the call for applications proved to be a complete success. The high response rate and the creative applications made this more than clear. Also the selection meeting itself was a very best example of transfer and participation and a living proof for the Friends that their generous annual contributions are well spent. A second call is planned for next year.

Friends of the WZB Award

The "Friends of the WZB Award" was initiated in 2015 by young researchers at the WZB. It is endowed with a free prize money of one thousand Euros. The jury consists of three WZB directors and the chairman of the Friends.

Winners of the "Friends of the WZB Award" 2023 are Gesine Höltmann and Benjamin Edelstein.
Gesine Höltmann (Center for Civil Society Research) receives the award in the Pre-Docs category for her discussion paper "Solidarität und Protest in der Zeitenwende. Reaktionen der Zivilgesellschaft auf den Ukraine-Krieg (Solidarity and Protest at the change of times. Civil society reactions to the war in Ukraine)." The committee honors the "high readability, academic excellence, methodological accessibility, and social relevance" of the paper.
Benjamin Edelstein (President's Research Group) receives the award in the postdoctoral category for his article "Bildung und soziale Ungleichheit (Education and social inequality)" in the online dossier on education of the Federal Agency for Civic Education. The committee emphasizes the "ongoing public science activity to which Benjamin Edelstein has been committed for years."

The previous award winners were:

The WZB’s 50th Anniversary

On July 19, 2019, 800 guests joined the celebration of the WZB’s 50th anniversary at the Pierre Boulez Saal. The evening entitled “Europe: Myth and Vision” was a cooperation with the Barenboim-Said Akademie. The focus was on the premiere of Jörg Widmann’s new piece, Labyrinth IV, interpreted by Daniel Barenboim and the Boulez ensemble. The program included speeches by Jutta Allmendinger, Daniel Barenboim, Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek and Berlin mayor Michael Müller; a science slam on the subject of democracy by political scientist Christian Rauh, and an enthusiastic performance by the children of the Kreuzberg art lab S27. In the second part of the evening, American artist Joe Ramirez presented his installation entitled The Gold Projections, which included films specially produced in celebration of the WZB’s 50th anniversary, and an exhibition and short films gave insight into the WZB’s research topics. The anniversary celebrations were made possible in large part thanks to the generous donations of the “Friends of the WZB.”

Children’s Card Game on Children’s Rights “Geräecht”

“You are so mean!” Children often feel treated unjustly, but they rarely know exactly what their rights are. The card game on children’s rights funded by the “Friends of the WZB” helps children learn about three of their rights – the right to protection, the right to participation and the right to support/advancement – in order to better be able to assert themselves against adults. The game was developed by Michael Wrase, WZB legal scholar, and Ferdinand Weigel, student of visual communication at the University of the Arts’ “Visual Society Program”, in which designers and social scientists work and research together. The “Friends of the WZB” were the main sponsors of the project, with additional financial support by the German Children’s Fund who also distributed the free game.

Brochure WZBabies

As part of an internal WZB study on family friendliness and birth rates, the number of births and parental leaves between 2011 and 2017 were compiled and analyzed. Moreover, a survey of parents working at the WZB, the “Parents’ Diary”, collected personal experiences and opinions of colleagues with children. The results were published in the brochure “WZBabies” and show how the working environment of an institution like the WZB can become more family-friendly.

WZB Interview Project

In the past four decades WZB has shaped the Social Sciences in Germany. It is connected in many ways with German and international institutions but stands out in its multidisciplinary approach. The video interviews with researchers, politicians, presidents and administrative staff shall give an impression of the changes within the WZB, the influence of important researchers and its impact on many scientific careers. They are part of the inter-institutional history and are preserved in the WZB archives. The "Freunde des WZB" supported this project with a sum of 14.000 Euro.

The video-interviews can be found here.