Bits & Bäume-Conference 2022

About Us

Bits & Bäume Origin Story

In early 2018, seven NGOs from the sustainability sector joined forces with three civil society groups for internet policy to organize a large-scale conference called Bits & Bäume. Topics that took center stage were the material basis of digitalisation, environmental and internet policy, digital infrastructure and fundamental questions surrounding democratic societies in the digital age.

The two-day conference took place on the 17th and 18th of November at the Technical University (TU) Berlin and attracted around 2,000 participants. It facilitated nearly 200 contributions that generated over 17,000 views from their recordings. It showed events on five stages, eleven rooms, more than 120 international panels, hands-on workshops and even a philosophical lounge . Besides, there were artistic performances, meeting spaces, interactive exhibitions, and an evening with concerts and aperitifs.

The conference created a common understanding of digitalisations potential contributions to the welfare of the community, peace efforts and how to take data protection seriously. It also showed how to promote social and ecological goals equally.

At the Bits & Bäume conference 2018, the panel of supporters (Trägerkreis) developed eleven political demands to push for necessary changes. As a follow-up to the conference, the book "Was Bits und Bäume verbindet" (en: What connect Bits and Trees ) was published in 2019. The book collects debate contributions from the first Bits & Bäume conference and develops them further. In doing so, it brings together diverse perspectives on our digital future. The contributions highlight, for example, the effects of our digital consumption on the Global South, the sustainable use of data, and the risks and potentials of a digitalised economic system.

2018 was the first time that civil society organisations from the digital and sustainability scenes worked together on such a scale. Today, the Bits & Bäume movement also includes regional subgroups in eight major cities/regions and a large online community. The regional groups organise their own events, meet for round tables and engage in promoting sustainable digitalisation in a wide variety of ways.

2018 was the first time that civil society organisations from the digital and sustainability scenes worked together on such a scale. Today, the Bits & Bäume movement also includes regional subgroups in eight major cities/regions and a large online community. The regional groups organise their own events, meet for round tables and engage in promoting sustainable digitalisation in a wide variety of ways.

How is the Bits & Bäume 2022 Conference organised?

Open, participatory, voluntary!

In order to distribute specific tasks efficiently amongst the many involved parties, the panel of supporters (Trägerkreis, TK) of the conference developed an organisational model (orgamodel). It is based on a split of the operational work between different working groups (AGs) and their coordination by a conference office (KB).

Members of the TK, the KB and volunteers from the Bits & Bäume community participate in the AGs. All people working in AGs or in the KB act as an “Orgakreis” and meet regularly in a plenum to keep each other up-to-date and make bigger operational decisions together. The framework for the work of the Orgakreis is set by the TK, in the form of guidelines and assignments. To guide the organisation of the conference, the TK meets regularly with the KB.

This model makes it possible for many volunteers (both from TK organisations and other interested parties, for example from the growing Bits & Bäume community) to participate in organising the conference.

Sprecher mit Mikrofon

The Panel of Supporters (Trägerkreis, TK)

Thirteen organisations from the fields of environmental protection, science, digital and development politics, alongside with an active community of supporters are organising a second edition of the Bits & Bäume Conference for Digitalisation and Sustainability in 2022. We are convinced that we need political change to ensure that digitalisation contributes more to addressing the social and ecological challenges of our time.

We are united by our understanding of sustainability as integrative and by our commitment to build a future in which the digital transformation plays a positive role and protects and supports people, livelihoods, and the environment.

Logo von Brot für die Welt

Brot für die Welt

As the worldwide development agency of the Protestant churches in Germany, we are active in more than 90 countries around the globe. Together with local partners, we help impoverished and marginalised people to improve their living conditions through their own efforts.

Logo von Bund Umwelt- und Naturschutz Deutschland

Bund Umwelt- und Naturschutz Deutschland

Bund Umwelt- und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) is an environmental association with 600,000 members. BUND is committed - for example - to ecological agriculture and healthy food, to climate protection and the expansion of renewable energies, and to the protection of endangered species, forests and water. In the field of digitalisation, we work with the guiding principle of digital sufficiency, i.e. using as much digital technology as necessary, but as little as possible. Our goal is to create a socio-ecological transformation towards a post-growth society. We describe socio-ecologically just ways to achieve this in our future agenda #gemeinsamverändern.

Logo von Chaos Computer Club

Chaos Computer Club

The Chaos Computer Club is a galactic community of living beings, irrespective of age, gender and descent as well as social position, which campaigns across borders for freedom of information, a right to hack and informational self-determination. It deals with the effects of technologies on society as well as on individual living creatures and promotes knowledge about this development.

Logo von Deutscher Naturschutzring

Deutscher Naturschutzring

The German Nature Conservation Ring ( Deutscher Naturschutzring, DNR) is the umbrella organisation of German nature, animal and environmental protection organisations. The DNR coordinates and networks, intervenes in political debate and campaigns for a better world tomorrow. Together with our nearly 100 member organisations from the fields of species and animal protection, climate, nature and environmental protection, organic farming, nature sports and science, we are committed to a diverse, cosmopolitan and tolerant civil society.

Logo von Einstein Center Digital Future

Einstein Center Digital Future

The Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) is the centre for digitisation research in Berlin and is based on a public-private partnership of over 30 companies, organisations, Berlin universities and more than 10 research institutes. Together, we test new forms of cooperation between digitisation actors and conduct interdisciplinary research on diverse issues in the innovation areas of digital health, digital society, digital industry and services.

Logo von Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung e. V.

Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung e. V.

FIfF is an association of committed-critical professionals from academia and practice of information (technology). We reflect on the consequences of our work, warn against harmful developments and contribute our own constructive ideas. We advise politicians and the media, publish our own journal and organise conferences, lectures and demonstrations. FIfF is organised in regional groups and was founded in 1984.

Logo von Free Software Foundation Europe

Free Software Foundation Europe

The Free Software Foundation Europe is a non-profit association that supports people in the self-determined use of technology. Software is deeply embedded in all aspects of our lives. Free software gives everyone the right to use, understand, distribute and improve programmes for any purpose. These rights strengthen other fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right to privacy.

Logo von Germanwatch e.V.

Germanwatch e.V.

We are an independent and non-profit environmental and development organisation that has been working for global justice and the preservation of livelihoods for 30 years. To this end, we conduct dialogues with political, business and civil society representatives, produce science-based analyses, carry out educational work and inform the public and consumers. Our topics are sustainable digitalisation, climate policy, corporate responsibility, world food supplies, land use, trade and education for sustainable development.

Logo von Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung

Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung

The Institute for Ecological Economy Research (Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung, IÖW) is a leading scientific institute in the field of practice-oriented sustainability research. Around 70 employees develop strategies and approaches for sustainable economic activity - for an economy that enables a good life and preserves natural foundations. The independent and non-profit institute co-initiated the first Bits & Trees Conference 2018.

Logo von Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie

Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie

Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie has been working as a collective for a social, ecological and democratic economy and society for 10 years. Topics include degrowth, education, climate justice, digitalisation and care (work). In addition to educational events, the association also organises conferences, connects civil society, activists, scientific and political actors and publishes e.g. articles and educational materials on digitalisation and socio-ecological transformation.

Logo von Open Knowledge Foundation

Open Knowledge Foundation

OKF DE is committed to strengthening our democracy, promoting societal collaboration and ensuring that state and societal actions are oriented towards the common good. To this end, we develop digital technologies that can be used by all. We strive for an open, inclusive and just society in which knowledge is freely available to all.

Logo von Technische Universität Berlin

Technische Universität Berlin

Technische Universität Berlin is a research institution with a long tradition that aims to develop science and technology for the benefit of our society. We are committed to the principle of sustainable development that meets the needs of the present and at the same time is not at the expense of future generations. The Department of Social-Ecological Transformation has been combining sustainability and digitalisation research since 2016 and launched the first Bits & Trees conference in 2018.

Logo von Weizenbaum-Institut

Weizenbaum-Institut

The Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society - The German Internet Institute is a collaborative project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It conducts interdisciplinary and fundamental research into the transformation of society through digitalisation and develops policy options for politics, business and civil society. The aim is to better understand the dynamics, mechanisms and implications of digitalisation.

The Conference Office

The conference office (KB) sits at the centre of the organisational process: it is responsible for the choreography of the entire „Orgakreis“ and ensures that the TK guidelines are complied with. The office is the link between TK and „Orgakreis“. To maintain the necessary flow of information, the KB staff participates in all organisational structures. This means that the KB is represented at all TK meetings as well as in every AG.

The KB consists of Jasmin, Leah and Lena. Jasmin has been working in the event industry for quite some time and coordinates the PR, culture and logistics at Bits & Bäume 2022. Leah has a background in political science and IT and keeps track of all processes concerning the Bits & Bäume Forum and Care AG and all topics revolving around IT in the run-up to and at the conference. Lena holds a Master in Global Political Economy and Development, coordinates the program group and keeps an eye on the budget and knowledge management. Lena and Jasmin are also working on an awareness concept for the conference. Furthermore, the three of them prepare the regular meetings of the TK and „Orgakreis“.

Would you like to contact the conference office? Please email us at info@bits-und-baeume.org.

Jasmin, Leah and Lena (conference office)

Our Volunteers

Without the dedicated support of volunteers from the TK organisations and the Bits & Bäume community, we would not be able to organise the 2022 conference. Volunteers contribute their expertise and interests to the various working groups and thus help shape the conference from the very beginning. Also during the conference, many volunteers will be on site and support us with a variety of tasks - from chopping vegetables in the kitchen, assisting (international) speakers, implementing an awareness concept on site to tasks such as setting up and dismantling. We still need many helping hands – please check here if you would like to get involved in the organisation and implementation of the conference!

back to top