1/2/8 Research Forum – Spot on Governance

  • Mon 04.12.23Sun 17.12.23

Since 2017, with the Research Forum 1/2/8, PACT has been bringing together researchers, artists, scientists and activists at the titular historical mining complex 1/2/8. In a lively, transdisciplinary exchange, the focus is on exploring new models for connecting knowledge and action.

Under the title ›Spot on Governance‹, 1/2/8 focuses in 2023 on examining the political and social conditions that shape our coexistence. Where do visible and invisible rules lead to an unequal distribution of power? Who has access to which resources? Who owns information, infrastructures, and data?

Together, the participants of 1/2/8 engage in an intense work and research phase to analyze the current state of affairs and cultivate new visions. Guided by diverse forms of representation, self-organization, and collaboration, they invite others to rethink the future. Transforming the think tank into an inclusive space for discussion, 1/2/8 is framed by a public program featuring lectures, workshops, and artistic interventions.

A project within the framework of The Alliance of International Production Houses, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Public Program

EIne Gruppe von Menschen von Oben mit dem Schriftzug Spot on Governance
Photo: Gramlin, Gestaltung: labor b

07.12.2023 19 h
Juha Leppänen 
›Humble Government‹


Liberal Democracies are facing unprecedented societal challenges. A global Pandemic, ecological crises, technological disruption, and Tectonic shifts in the world economy have created new, intertwined threats to their stability. Political hyper-polarization further escalates these threats by hampering the capacity of democratic governments to build sustainable paths forward. To retain legitimacy, Liberal Democracies must find new ways of creating solutions and enabling ambitious reforms despite political gridlock. This is why Juha Leppänen, the Chief Executive of the think tank Demos Helsinki, has recently collaborated with the Prime Minister’s Office of Finland and Prof. Charles Sabel from Columbia Law School to propose an approach to the process of political policymaking that aims to renew how governments steer and regulate societies through collaboration and iteration. Juha Lepännen presents this approach of 'Humble Governance' in his lecture at PACT.

Porträt Nina Bernading
Photo: Sapna Richter

12.12.2023 19 h
Nina Bernarding / Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy
›Governance and Feminist Foreign Policy‹

Lecture / Online

What kind of compass does contemporary international politics require? The Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy (CFFP) is a non-profit organisation (gGmbH) based in Berlin that advocates for feminist foreign policy, challenging the conventional standards of international politics. Feminist foreign policy means using all diplomatic and foreign policy tools in a way that reduces systemic injustices and brings human security to the fore. For only in this way – instead of a focus on military strength and nation-state security – can sustainable peace be achieved. No peace without feminism. As part of her presentation, Nina Bernarding, co-founder and co-executive director of the CFFP, provides insights into their work practices.

EIne Gruppe von Menschen von Oben mit dem Schriftzug Spot on Governance
Photo: Gramlin, Gestaltung: labor b

14.12.2023 19 h
Azadeh Akbari 
›Digital Futures: Governing the Digital Transformation‹


Digital transformation is changing our lives at an unprecedented pace: we are flooded with information, we produce and consume data with every heartbeat, we find love online, we spread hate online, the social media platforms know more about us than our close friends and family, Big Tech companies can even predict our behaviour. Democracy is under attack; resistance has become cyber.
How do these changes affect our visions of the future? In her talk Azadeh Akbari, Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Digital Transformation at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, will discuss examples of digital transformation, highlighting important debates in ›Digital Governance‹ – the overarching management of digital systems. She will also delve into the evolution of smart city projects, especially authoritarian smart cities, and discuss NEOM, the controversial flagship linear smart city in Saudi Arabia. Subsequently, Akbari will look at border management and the digitalisation of humanitarian aid by scrutinising blockchain technologies used in refugee camps. And finally, she will tap into the internet infrastructure and why Big Tech companies are offering developing countries free internet. The talk portrays a global picture of digital trends and challenges, aiming to provide its audience with valuable insights into the crucial societal changes associated with them.

Eine Gruppe Menschen sitzt an einer langen Tafel
Photo: Dirk Rose

15.12.2023 19 h
Nadja Duesterberg / Kolya Wulf 
Public Dinner

Performance / Assembly

To round off ›Spot on Governance‹, performer Nadja Duesterberg, musician Kolya Wulf, and the residents of the research forum invite you to join them for a communal dinner. The performative dinner is a ritual that blurs the boundaries between hosts and guests, inviting everyone to get to know themselves and each other anew. Who are you? And who am I? The collective dining experience orchestrates a choreographed interplay among individuals and ingredients, weaving together both new and longstanding connections.

Free admission, please register at: andrina.imboden@pact-zollverein.de


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