Digitalization allows academic policy consulting and policy making in general to break new ground. Real-time data could be used by policy makers to pursue a more evidence-based policy. Additionally, the consequences of political actions could be understood faster and in more detail, especially with respect to different populations. However, these approaches are still at an early stage.
Therefore, the WZB-Mercator Forum 2018 discussed how these approaches could be deployed reasonably and which experiences from other countries could inform the application of Big Data for policy. ConPolicy contributed in two different ways: Firstly, ConPolicy-director, Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun, joined a panel discussion with Prof. Dr. Lucia Reisch (Copenhagen Business School) as well as Prof. Dr. Max von Grafenstein (Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG)) on whether and how Big Data could or should be used to influence consumers’ behavior. Secondly, Dr. Sara Elisa Kettner (ConPolicy) and Florian Irgmaier (Weizenbaum Institute) organized a workshop on the “conception of man” and values within digital behavioral policy and discussed with participants to what extent certain digital instruments to influence behavior are appropriate.