Head of the Institute
Consultation hour: Wednesday 16:00-18:00 by appointment
Since 2009 Sarah Spiekermann is chairing the Institute for Information Systems & Society at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna). She is a well-regarded scientist, author, speaker and advisor on digital ethics. She published several books in the domain, including “Digital Ethics – A Value System for the 21st Century” (Droemer, 2019), “Ethical IT Innovation: A Value-based System Design Approach” (Taylor & Francis, 2015), as well as “Networks of Control” (Facultas, 20116). In 2016 Sarah has founded the Privacy & Sustainable Computing Lab at WU Vienna (renamed ‘Sustainability Lab” in 2020). In the same year she also started to vice-chair IEEE’s P7000 standardization project to build the first model process for ethical system design (expected to be released in 2021). To date Sarah has published over 100 scientific articles on the social and ethical implications of computer systems and given more than 200 presentations and talks about her work around the world. She has co-authored US/EU privacy regulation and supported works as an expert and advisor to companies and governmental institutions, including the EU Commission and the OECD. Sarah also maintains a blog on “The Ethical Machine” at Austria’s leading daily newspaper Standard.at and blogs for Germany’s Handelsblatt. She is in the scientific advisory board of the Forum Alpbach and a member of the Science and Ethics for Happiness and Well-being Project of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences, in partnership with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). Before being tenured in Vienna in 2009, Sarah was Assistant Professor at the Institute of Information Systems at Humboldt University Berlin (Germany), where she headed the Berlin Research Centre on Internet Economics (2003-2009), was Adjunct Visiting Research Professor with the Heinz College of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA) (2006-2009), founded and shut down the company Skillmap (visualizing social networks) (2008-2011) and worked as a management consultant and marketing manager with A. T. Kearney and Openwave Systems. Sarah was born in 1973 and grew up near Duesseldorf in Germany. She is an honorary citizen of Austria.
Andrian Kreye, Süddeutsche Zeitung
„Spiekermann’s range of insights is remarkable and captivating: she takes us from Silicon Valley, to Aristotle’s ethics, to the history of the West’s faith in technological progress, to fundamental questions of knowledge and human values. This book is at once soaring in vision and utterly practical in application, an essential guide to cultivating good lives in the digital age.“
Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University