Dr. Christian Heise

Manager, Author, Activist & Lecturer


Hamburg, Germany


+49 171 143 0774


Christian is a manager, activist, author, lecturer, and curator. Before he fully joined Google in May 2018 he helped to set up the Digital News Innovation Fund stimulating innovation and demonstrating new thinking in the European digital news ecosystem. In 2017, he finished his doctoral thesis at the Centre for Digital Cultures affiliated to Leuphana University. The entirety of the thesis creation process was designed to be as transparent and open as possible. Christian’s aim is to shape the digital civil society and open up knowledge. He is blogging at postdigital.me.


2021 – present


Head of Business Development and Partnerships (News), Central & Eastern Europe


Manage business development and news partnerships in collaboration with a team of Strategic Partner Managers across Central and Eastern Europe. Providing programs and products to work with publishing partners and journalists to address the unique needs in Central and Eastern Europe. Led efforts arround Extended News Previews and supported the implementation of it's complex strategy in Central and Eastern Europe.

2020 – 2021


News Product Partnerships Lead, Central Europe


Managing a team of Strategic Partner Managers in Central Europe - responsible for launching news products and steering relationships with partners, work closely with Google Product, Engineering, Legal and Sales teams on new product initiatives. Led the first Google News Showcase launch globally.

2018 – 2020


Strategic Partner Manager (DACH/Benelux/Nordics)


Managing Google's line of news products and services in Germany, Austria Switzerland and the Noridcs. Building long-lasting relationships with partners, work closely with Google Product, Engineering, Legal and Sales teams on new product initiatives. Leading the launch of Subscribe with Google in Europe as Google Product Champion and ensuring EMEA to be the Region with highest product implementation rate globally by 2019.

2013 – 2020

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. Teaching Digital Media Production and facilitation of the Research Colloquium.

2015 – 2018

Digital News Innovation Fund (Google)

Operations Manager & Internal Assessor (Europe)


The Digital News Initiative (DNI) was a partnership between Google and publishers in Europe to support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation with €150m. As a Operations & Assessment Manager I was responsible to setup and ensure operations of the Google DNI Innovation Fund which awarded 662 projects in 30 European countries over 3 years.

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. I was leading the Digital Learning Environments Initiative at the Hybrid Publishing Lab.

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. As Program Manager I was responsible to run the ePublishing Program at DPA.

2008 – 2012


Audience & Business Development Manager


Digital division of the leading German weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT. As Audience & Business Development Manager I was responsible to increase the website traffic to all of ZEIT ONLINE's websites via various digital marketing methods and developing a business development strategy focused on financial gain on top of the existing ads business.

Other Activities

Author & Speaker

  • Press publications e.g. Süddeutsche Zeitung, ZEIT ONLINE
  • Scientific publications e.g. The Path From Scientific Reality to Open Scientific Communication, 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, German Data Summit 2017, AOP Summit 2018, VDZ Distribution Summit 2018

  • Expert in Committees & Commissions

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

  • Board Member (until 2018)

  • 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

    2020 – 2022

    Certificate of Management Excellence

    Harvard Business School


    Completion of the Harvard Business School's Certificate of Management Excellence (CME) demonstrates advanced expertise in business management and leadership. This prestigious recognition is granted to individuals who have successfully navigated a comprehensive curriculum, encompassing a qualifying leadership program, a strategy program, and an elective program, all meticulously designed to enable professionals to thrive in their respective domains.

    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. This was the first thesis ever written live on the internet and all materials were published under an open licence. 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.