ITeG Lecture Series 2020/2021:
Digital Society - a Design Challenge

For several years now, ITeG has been organizing an interdisciplinary lecture series in the winter term. The title of ITeG Lectures is "Digital Society - a Design Challenge". The series usually comprises five lectures, each of which presents interdisciplinary examples of design research on the digital society. Lecturers come from various fields like computer science or social and human sciences or integrating approaches.

This year we will organize the series online.

11.11.2020 Prof. Dr. Antonio Fernández Anta / IMDEA Networks Institute, Madrid
"CoronaSurveys: Using Indirect Reporting to Estimate the Incidence of Epidemics"

  The world is suffering from a pandemic called COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. National governments have problems evaluating the reach of the epidemic, due to having limited resources and tests at their disposal. This problem is especially acute in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Hence, any simple, cheap and flexible means of evaluating the incidence and evolution of the epidemic in a given country with a reasonable level of accuracy is useful. In this talk, I will present the CoronaSurveys project. CoronaSurveys uses a technique based on (anonymous) surveys in which participants report on the health status of their contacts. This indirect reporting technique, known in the literature as network scale-up method, preserves the privacy of the participants and their contacts, and collects information from a larger fraction of the population (as compared to individual surveys). The CoronaSurveys project has been collecting reports for the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. Results obtained by CoronaSurveys show the power and flexibility of the approach, suggesting that it could be an inexpensive and powerful tool to track the COVID-19 pandemic. This makes it especially interesting and useful for LMICs.

Antonio Fernández Anta is a Research Professor at IMDEA Networks, Madrid. Previously he was a Full Professor at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC) and was on the Faculty of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), where he received an award for his research productivity. He was a postdoc at MIT from 1995 to 1997, and spent sabbatical years at Bell Labs Murray Hill and MIT Media Lab. He has more than 25 years of research experience, and more than 200 scientific publications. He was the Chair of the Steering Committee of DISC and has served in the TPC of numerous conferences and workshops. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of SW Louisiana in 1992 and 1994, respectively. He completed his undergraduate studies at the UPM, having received awards at the university and national level for his academic performance. He is a Senior Member of ACM and IEEE.
02.12.2020 Neema Iyer / Founder, Executive Director POLLICY, Campala
Creating an (Afro)Feminist Internet


Neema Iyer is an artist, a designer and a technologist. She is an active do-er and speaker on data, digital rights and building products to improve service delivery. Neema is the founder and director of a civic technology company, based in Kampala, Uganda: Pollicy. Pollicy uses data, design and technology to improve how citizens and government engage around public service delivery. Neema has a Masters in Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta and has worked on large-scale mobile and digital projects across Africa.
27.01.2021 Prof. Dr. Dirk Helbing / ETH Zurich
Digital revolution: danger and opportunities for democracy

Dirk Helbing is Professor of Computational Social Science at the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences and affiliate of the Computer Science Department at ETH Zurich. In January 2014 Prof. Helbing received an honorary PhD from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). Since June 2015 he is affiliate professor at the faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at TU Delft, where he leads the PhD school in "Engineering Social Technologies for a Responsible Digital Future". Dirk Helbing started as a physicist. With his diploma thesis, he initiated the area of pedestrian, crowd, and evacuation modeling and simulation. During his PhD and habilitation in physics, he helped to establish the fields of socio-​, econo-​ and traffic physics. He was also co-​founder of the Physics of Socio-​Economic Systems Division of the German Physical Society (DPG). The work of Prof. Helbing is documented by hundreds of media reports and publications, among them more than 10 papers in Nature, Science, and PNAS. He won various prizes, including the Idee Suisse Award. He co-​founded the Competence Center for Coping with Crises in Complex Socio-​Economic Systems, the Risk Center, the Institute for Science, Technology and Policy (ISTP) and the Decision Science Laboratory (DeSciL). While coordinating the FuturICT initiative (, he helped to establish data science and computational social science in Europe, as well as global systems science.
10.02.2021 Prof. Michael Bernstein, Ph. D. / Stanford University
Computation and Organization: The Future of Work and Worker
  The future of work is increasingly computational, raising both the possibility of dramatically new forms of organization and the specter of algorithmic worker disenfranchisement. In this talk, I chart both paths. I will describe techniques that articulate a future of "experts in a click", including organizations that fluidly assemble and continuously adapt their efforts. I will then turn to the negative implications of this future, ranging from algorithmic wage theft to systematic disempowerment of workers, and describe techniques we have developed to steer away from those negative outcomes, including platforms for worker collective action, mentorship, and fair wage guarantees. Noting the limits of each of these systems in effecting change, I will lay out the paths that I see in front of us at the intersection of technology and policy.

Michael Bernstein is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and STMicroelectronics Faculty Scholar at Stanford University, where he is a member of the Human-Computer Interaction group. His research focuses on the design of social computing and crowdsourcing systems. Michael has received eight best paper awards at premier computing venues, and he has been recognized with an NSF CAREER award and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship. Michael holds a bachelor's degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, as well as a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT.
03.03.2021 Prof. Dr. Georg von Krogh / ETH Zurich
"AI in Organizations"


Georg von Krogh is a Professor at ETH Zurich and holds the Chair of Strategic Management and Innovation. Chairing the Global Advisory Board that advises the President of ETH Zurich in matters regarding its international strategy. He also serves on the Strategy Commission at ETH Zurich. Georg von Krogh specializes in competitive strategy, digital innovation, and organisational knowledge. He has conducted research in several industries including financial services, media, computer software and hardware, life -sciences, and consumer goods. His awards and recognitions include for example the Association of American Publishers' "Best Professional Business Book Award", Harvard Business Review's "Breakthrough Idea,” and ETH's Teaching Award "Goldene Eule."