About the organistion

FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik is an independent and non-profit research institute headquartered in Karlsruhe,  Germany. Conducting innovative research not just on information technology but also on how new technologies affect democratic institutions and society, FZI aims to shape Germany’s digital transformation. Through its House of Participation, FZI is uniquely positioned to conduct research on participatory democracy in a digital age. In the TWON-Consortium, the FZI-based researchers will analyze the results from two case studies the digital twin will be applied to, and communicate findings with policymakers, stakeholders, and the general public. Together with community leaders, they will also host citizen labs, in which European citizens will be given the opportunity to weigh in on the results from TWON and shape policy proposals FZI researchers will subsequently recommend to EU lawmakers.

The team

Prof. Dr. Christof Weinhardt is a director at FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik and professor of information sciences at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). His research centers on market engineering, including e-services, predictive market analyses as well as energy markets of the future. Prof. Weinhardt obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Karlsruhe in 1986 and has served in his current position since 2000.
Dr. Jonas Fegert serves as the head of the Information Management & Analytics department at FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik. His research focuses on polarization tendencies, disinformation, and digital citizen participation such as e-participation and digital citizen science. He obtained his Ph.D. from KIT under the guidance of Prof. Weinhardt, writing a dissertation on the use of immersive systems in public participation, local politics, and urban planning.
Cosima Pfannschmidt is a research associate at the Berlin branch of FZI. Cosima Pfannschmidt studied Economics (B.Sc.) and Sociology (M.A.) at Ludwig-Maximilians-University München, as well as Buddhist and South Asian Studies. From 2022-2024 she worked in the German Bundestag as parliamentary assistant. As a sociologist she has a particular interest in societal polarization, the influence of online social networks on democratic debates and the role of AI in the spread of disinformation.