Dr. Christian Heise

Manager, Author, Activist & Lecturer


Hamburg, Germany


+49 171 143 0774


Christian is a manager, activist, author, lecturer and curator. As the Operations Manager of the Google Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund in Europe he is currently working on stimulating innovation in the digital news ecosystem and demonstrating new thinking in the practice of digital journalism. Besides that, he just finished his doctoral thesis about open science at the Centre for Digital Cultures af­fi­lia­ted to Leu­pha­na Uni­ver­si­ty Lüne­burg. As a Chairman of the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany and Member of Board of freifunk.net, he likes to shape the digital civil society and open up knowledge and networks. This is his personal portfolio, you find his blog (in German) at christianheise.de.


2015 – Present

Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund (Google)

Operations Manager


The Digital News Initiative (DNI) is a partnership between Google and publishers in Europe to support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation. The Google DNI Innovation Fund is supporting and stimulating innovation in the european digital news ecosystem with €150m.

2013 – Present

Leuphana University & Hamburg Media School



The digital media Bachelor’s program at Leuphana University focuses on the latest discussions about digital media, and combines a theoretical engagement in media studies and history with a hands-on introduction to the foundations of programming and the creative application of digital media. It is internationally oriented and classes are held in English.

2012 – 2015

Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University Lüneburg

Research Associate


The Centre for Digital Cultures (CDC), affiliated to Leuphana University of Lüneburg, scrutinises the digital shift through research in disciplines such as media, cultural and social studies, through knowledge creation and transfer, as well as through experimental and interventionist media practices. It sets up a network and an experimental space, where partners from industry, academic research, and civil society not only talk and think with each other, but also cooperate and develop new concepts, formats, applications, and interventions.

2012 – 2012

German Press Agency (dpa-infocom GmbH)

Progam Manager ePublishing


dpa-infocom GmbH is a subdivision of dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH - the leading national news agency in Germany and one of the major news organisations in the world. The division is supporting the development of multimedia news products for the web, mobile portals and print purposes.

2008 – 2012


Audience & Business Development Manager


Digital division of the leading german weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT.

Other Activities

Author & Speaker

  • Press publications e.g. Süddeutsche Zeitung, ZEIT ONLINE
  • Scientific publications e.g. From Open Access to Open Science, Handbook CoScience
  • Speaker at public events e.g. re:publica 2012, 2014, 2015; 2017, Science 2.0 Conference, German Science Summit 2016, Datensummit 2017

  • Expert in Committees & Commissions

  • Expert to federal parliamentary hearings (e.g. digital agenda, open data & digital aid to refugees)
  • Expert to local parliamentary committees (e.g. modernizing administration)

  • Voluntary Board Member

  • Open Knowledge Foundation Germany: Non-profit network of people passionate about opening up knowledge, civic tech and media literacy
  • Förderverein Freie Netzwerke (freifunk.net): Biggest european non-profit initiative for free wireless networks
  • Education

    2012 – 2017

    Doctor of Philosophy

    Leuphana University Lüneburg


    Doctoral thesis with the title „From Open Access to Open Science: About the transition of digital cultures relating to scientific communication“. The Thesis was an explorative study of the concepts of Open Access and Open Science in the context of digitization of scientific communication and the differentiation between different scientific disciplines. Read more here.

    2003 – 2008

    Diploma in Political Science

    University of Potsdam/University of Greifswald


    The Diploma thesis was about the use of information and communication technologies to support participation in processes involved in government and governance. It was a theoretical approach eleborate if and how enabling citizens to connect with one another and with their elected representatives can broaden and deepen political participation.