“The New New”: Launch of 12 projects in a new European fellowship program
What do more inclusive and diverse digital visions of the future look like? Almost 300 project ideas from all over Europe applied for “The New New”-fellowship. During the last weeks the advisory board selected twelve projects from nine countries. These projects will receive coaching and financial support over six months to further professionalize their existing engagement. The initiative by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the nonprofit Superrr Lab is being carried out in cooperation with the Allianz Kulturstiftung and the Goethe-Institut.
A critical card game designed to encourage people to question technological absurdities; a digital platform offering help to victims of domestic violence and a collaborative online portal that aims to improve data on poorly documented medical conditions among underrepresented groups. This is just a small sample of the projects funded by “The New New“-fellowship and impressively demonstrates the wide range of content, technology formats, and media used by the fellows. The projects are also regionally diverse, with teams being based in Germany, Great Britain, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and Switzerland.
We need more diversity in digitization
The unifying element of all projects and the goal of “The New New” Fellowship is to make our increasingly digital society more inclusive and diverse and to promote cohesion. Currently, economic actors dominate the discussion on shaping the digital transformation. Through “The New New“, this discourse is to be broadened by more diverse perspectives. Many of the funded projects focus on social groups whose concerns are usually given little attention in digital discourses such as BIPoC (Black, Indigenous People of Color), refugees and LGBTQ+. The fellowship projects use very different approaches to show how the views and needs of previously underrepresented groups can be given more consideration in a digital society.
Over a period of six months, each fellowship project receives a funding of 1,000 euros per month as well as professional coaching to further advance innovative ideas in the service of civil society.
What did and will happen?
At the beginning of 2021 we received almost 300 applications for “The New New”-fellowship. In response to the call for applications at the end of November 2020, committed people submitted almost 300 project ideas by January 6, 2021. As a next step, the advisory board decided which projects would receive funding based on the digital relevance of the project and its connection to promoting diversity and inclusion.
Over the course of the next six months, the fellows will now participate in coaching and workshop sessions and share hare their progress with the Bertelsmann Stiftung and Superrr Lab in monthly video conferences. At the end of the fellowship, an event including a final presentation is planned. Additionally, a magazine by the Allianz Kulturstiftung which portrays the projects and people behind them will be published.
We are looking forward to the insights as well as results of “The New New” projects in the coming months and will report on them regularly.