Masterclass Netpolitics

Early 2017 I was master of ceremony at the Masterclass Netpolitics. Over the course of seven evenings participants explore the complex interrelation between technologies and societal issues. By sharing knowledge and insights they are better equipped to poke through hypes and fears, and learn that technology is anything but neutral.

“Technologie is not neutral!”
– Marleen Stikker in her opening speech


Besides my role in guiding the proces, I also created small workshop for the participants that challenged them to turn the abstract notions they just learned about into concrete forms and examples. For example, we held a contest to find which app or website did the most tracking, by installing an ‘outgoing firewall’ on their laptops. Another workshop involved writing newsstories from five years into the future, and coming of with products that make data-issues tangible (and often hilarious).


I also developed a website where we tried to gather the ‘canon’ of digital policy making. Which books, videos and concepts do people need to explore in order to create more nuanced policies? The guest speakers provided valuable input. Most of the texts on the website (all in Dutch) were written by me.


The masterclass is the product of a cooperation between six organisations that aim to strengthen digital civil society: Bits of Freedom, Internet Society Nederland, Kennisland, Netwerk Democratie, Open State Foundation, and Waag Society, who also hosted the evening.

Projectlead was Annemarie Hilbrands. The masterclass is an initiative of Mieke van Heesewijk and Frank Kresin. This was the 6th edition.