The Digital Opportunities Foundation is a non-profit, operational foundation based in Berlin. Since 2002, it has been researching the social consequences of digitization and advocating equal opportunity access to the Internet for all people.
With numerous projects at national and European level, the foundation pursues the goal of digital inclusion, participation and equal opportunities, thus counteracting a digital divide in society.

 

The Mission of the Digital Opportunities Foundation

Our goal: Digital equality of opportunities


We enable and strengthen the digital participation of all people.
We connect civil society, politics, business and science.
We provide impetus and shape discourse at national and international level.
We work in a target group-oriented manner to strengthen digital skills.
We research the social consequences of digitization. We learn from practice for research and bring research results into practice.

The projects of the foundation serve to

  • Development of training materials and curricula for multipliers
  • Implementation of training courses
  • Evaluation of measures to promote Internet use and media competence.

The focus of the foundation's work is on

  • Protection of minors from harmful media and provider responsibility
  • Data protection
  • Digital sourverity and accessibility
  • The impact of social engagement in and with social media
  • Socially oriented development of digitalization in rural areas

Who we want to reach

In short, everyone who wants to participate in the development and opportunities of digitization.

 

The offerings of the Digital Opportunities Foundation address:

  • Young and old
  • People with different social, financial, professional and educational backgrounds
  • People with different experiences and from different walks of life
  • People who want to work together with others
  • People who want to regain their footing in the job market
  • People who want to help others and get involved socially.


In particular, we want to reach disadvantaged population groups who are not yet benefiting fully from the opportunities of digitization through the foundation's activities. They should be taken along on the path to a digital and inclusive society.

Get to know our work!

Learn more about our work fields or browse through our projects.

Financing and funding

The Digital Opportunities Foundation is operationally active, which means that it does not award grants, but rather acquires funding - together with other organizations - and implements projects at the national and international level. To this end, it works in cooperation with public, civil-society and private-sector partners.

 

The foundation's projects are financed by funds from European funding programs and grants from the federal government or other public funding sources. The foundation also works with partners from the private sector. The founders and donors of the Digital Opportunities Foundation support us in this endeavor.

You would like to cooperate with us?

We would be happy to act as a cooperation partner and/or project coordinator.

Contact us

History of the foundation

In 2000, just under one-third of the population in Germany aged 18 and over had already used the Internet at least once - predominantly younger, male and well-educated people.

 

It was also known from comparative studies in other European countries and the USA that the development of Internet use is not uniform within the population.

For this reason, Werner Müller, then Federal Minister of Economics, gave the go-ahead for the Digital Opportunities Network on September 20, 2001. This laid the foundation stone for the Digital Opportunities Foundation, which was set up jointly by AOL Deutschland and the University of Bremen. On January 2, 2002, it was finally approved by the Berlin supervisory authority for foundations.

In the first few years, the focus was on building up a database of Internet experience sites such as libraries, youth centers and senior citizens' facilities, in order to give people an initial experience of using the medium. As a result, an increasing demand developed for offers to teach media literacy. With the support of the foundation's advisory board, it was possible to implement training courses for social workers at AWO, Caritas, CVJM, Diakonie, DRK and ZWSt institutions.

Socio-political measures to promote equal-opportunity access to the Internet and prevent a digital divide are still needed today.

In cooperation with partner organizations in Germany and Europe, the prerequisites for successful media literacy education have been and are being researched and concepts for dissemination and implementation are being developed.

 

The portfolio of our topics today includes:

  • Accessibility
  • Cultural Education
  • Children's rights and youth media protection
  • Data protection, safety and privacy by design
  • Social media
  • Social engagement
  • Combating disinformation and hate speech
  • Development of digitization in rural areas and in voluntary work

Get to know our team!

Learn more about our foundation team or take a look at our current job openings.

For 20 years, the foundation has been promoting the dialog between business, science and practice with politics in order to analyze the sociopolitical consequences of technological development and to implement joint strategies for an inclusive and equal opportunity transformation process of society.

Donors

Founders of the Digital Opportunities Foundation are the University of Bremen and AOL Germany.

Donors are the management and technology service provider Accenture, the Hubert Burda Foundation, Prof. Dr. Herbert Kubicek and o2 Telefónica Germany (formerly E-Plus Group).