The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) was founded in 2011 to research the development of the internet from a societal perspective and better understand the digitalisation of all spheres of life. As the first institute in Germany with a focus on the internet and society, HIIG has established an understanding that centres on the deep interconnectedness of digital innovations and societal processes.

They create creative spaces for knowledge production that allow us to respond quickly to disruptive phenomena and promote new thinking. The intellectual context for this is formed by a continuous examination of overarching developments in science, politics, business and civil society. This helps them generate concepts that offer a better understanding of the digital society, based on their own and others’ theoretical and empirical work. 

Role in INCA: The HIIG team is leading WP2, is the leader of certain tasks in WP8 and is participating in different tasks of WP2, WP5 and WP8.

INCA Team members:

Dr. Stephan Bohn

Stephan Bohn is a senior researcher, a project leader at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), and co-lead of the INCA project at HIIG. Besides his focus on organizational change, his papers and projects are about institutional change, framing, and (disruptive) technologies in different areas, especially digitalization and open-source, digital music market and platforms, and green innovations such as renewables and electric mobility.

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Stephan has a Ph.D. in organization studies from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, where he studied the implementation of sustainability and management concepts in tech companies from an institutional perspective. He was a fellow of the Transatlantic Doctoral Academy on Corporate Responsibility and a guest researcher at the WZB Berlin and WU Vienna.

He is also a lecturer at the Freie University of Berlin and the University of Salzburg in management & organization, business, and digitalization.

Alina Kontareva 

Alina Kontareva is a senior researcher in the Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Society research group at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and co-lead of the INCA research project at HIIG. Alina’s research interests revolve around digital technology and innovation, online platforms, and internet policy, specifically focusing on the platform geography and competitive strategies of national platforms.

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Alina has a Ph.D. in innovation studies from TIK – Center for Technology, Innovation, and Culture at the University of Oslo. In the doctoral dissertation, Alina analyzed the case of Russia and its online platforms to understand how platforms can develop outside major economies such as the U.S. and China and successfully compete with global giants. 

Before studying platforms, Alina extensively researched the software industry in Russia and was affiliated with the Center for Science and Technology Studies at the European University in St.Petersburg. As part of the “Russian Computer Scientist At Home and Abroad” project, she examined the migration of Russian tech specialists and Russia’s digital policy. 

Alina holds a Master’s degree in Fundamental and Applied Linguistics (European University at St.Petersburg) and Philological Education (Herzen State Pedagogical University). She was a guest researcher (2014) and a Fulbright fellow (2017) at the University of California, Davis, and a visiting doctoral student at the “Wisconsin Russia Project” in UW Madison (2022).