Digitalization changes everything in politics

The lightning speed of today’s digital communication forces decision-makers into an unknown sphere where they mostly react instead of steering the action. The overload of information is a major challenge to rational decision-making. A shift from evidence to instincts seems to take place. Public discourses are locked in filter bubbles. Even worse, facts and evidence are being denied and contradicted.

The only way to address the challenges of digitalization is digitalization. We need a new age of digital enlightenment.

enlightenment* is ready to act. As a digital communication agency, we are determined to increase the quality, relevance, practical impact and scope of decisions, including the generation processes and surrounding discourses.

Mastering the complexity of decision-making and implementation

Decision-makers are under increasing pressure to develop sustainable, innovative, even disruptive solutions and to provide fast answers in complex problem situations. They are required to quickly explore new knowledge horizons and contexts, translate scientific expertise into practice, integrate the voice of civil society, and communicate decisions comprehensibly and to the point.

On the implementation side, good decisions depend on empowered practitioners not only with the best knowledge but also the best communication and public affairs tools to do the job. The same applies to any public and private organization.

For over a decade now, enlightenment* and its partner Coconets have supported decision-makers to better meet the requirements above by equipping them with digital strategies, concepts and solutions.
Our services were sought after by:
* multilateral organizations (UN, EU)
* think tanks, academic consortia, foundations
* public authorities (ministries, agencies)
* corporations

Digital Think Tank Spaces – the art of interlocking discourses

Having worked with a wide range of actors over the years, we have continuously refined our approach of how to distill, generate and distribute relevant and sound knowledge while breaking discourse bubbles, i.e. building bridges between sectors, disciplines, theory and practice. At the core of our Digital Think Tank Space, a “policy cockpit” first of all allows decision-makers and practitioners to get easy access to the essentials and must-knows on the issue at stake. Secondly, it supports the collaborative generation of targeted, viable and evidence-based recommendations for action. And thirdly, it produces multidimensional topic-, country- or actor-centered dossiers, ready to be communicated via various media outlets.

We understand our consulting services to be a continuous process that lasts from the initial strategic-analytical work up to the stage where we develop individual concepts for our clients’ think tank spaces and simultaneously, the according software solution.

Our services include:
* Workshops on digital think tank concept and methodology
* Comprehensive analysis (feasibility, market, topic)
* Strategy consulting including PR strategy
* Concept development
* Prototyping
* Software production

Instant prototyping to translate complexity into practical solutions

Even the best data and information is useless, if it lacks context and meaning. We couple data-driven services with human expertise. Contextual dossiers are one of our key means to easily identify new linkages, possible correlations, trends, and blind spots.

A ready-made solution does not suffice given the high complexity. We understand development as a mutual process in which we empower our clients to become digitally literate and ourselves to become fluent in our clients’ issue domain, based on our own academic expertise in the social and political sciences.

Instead of putting a fixed fine concept up front, we rely on prototyping as a tangible method and the best joint language both sides can communicate in. In our workshops, prototyping is done instantly and live. We continuously put all our assumptions and ideas to a rigid test, question their practicability, revise them when needed . Also, feedback from the target audiences can be assessed and incorporated at any given time. At the end, the prototype is the final product, yet further extendable.

* multitude of dossier services and functions such as cross-referencing, visualizations, content production, multi-channel dissemination, editorial work-flows, inter alia
* instant prototyping
* open-source
* full design implementation


* European External Action Service / European Commission
* Konrad Adenauer Foundation
* UN Office on Drugs and Crime Vienna
* UNESCO Commission Austria
* Free University of Berlin
* University of Vienna
* Humboldt University Berlin
* Hermann von Helmholtzzentrum für Kulturtechnik
* Technical University Berlin
* Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft (ZTG)
* Universität St. Gallen
* Loyola University New Orleans
* Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute
* Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)
* Ministerium für Bildung, Jugend und Sport Brandenburg
* Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Verkehr Sachsen
* IRIS e. V. – Institut für regionale Innovation und Sozialforschung
* Abu Dhabi Department of Culture & Tourism
* Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen und Verbraucherverbände - Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e.V. (vzbv)
* International Security Information Service Brussels
* Bundesverband Abonnement
* Academic Council on the UN System
* UN Studies Association
* Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde e.V
* Zentrum für Osteuropa- und internationale Studien (ZOIS)
* Ostauschuss - Osteuropaverein der deutschen Wirtschaft e.V.

Who we are...

Today’s enlightenment* is the product of the decade-long collaboration between the founder of Coconets, Dr. Henrike Landré, and the founders of enlightenment* Sebastian Delius, Walter Müller-Wähner and Lena Delius. From the beginning, we have been close partners in terms of vision, strategy, concept and IT development. Together, we created over 20 digital network solutions for our customers from academia, politics, civil society, and business.
We are now interlocking our work more than ever, driven by our joint dedication to reconnect academic, political and public discourses. The diversity of our expertise has always been our strongest asset. At the same time, we build on common ground with our shared experiences as academics, consultants and founders.

* Sebastian Delius has been working as a data architect, consultant and software developer since 2006. He ultimately founded enlightenment* in 2015. With a background in the humanities and social science, his special interests are data infrastructure, data analysis, statistical analysis, and data visualization. He has worked for several ministries in Germany and Europe as well as think tanks, academic institutions, and businesses. In his understanding, translating scientific and practice-oriented problems into the digital language is at the core of his work.

* Dr. Henrike Landré – has been working as a consultant in the U.S. and Europe since 1999. Running her own business Coconets since 2007, she has conceptualized and realized over 20 knowledge hubs for academia, businesses, think tanks, NGOs, international organizations – many of which in cooperation with Sebastian. She has specialized in the generation of innovation by means of digital technologies, e.g. via curation, contextualization, visualization, communication. With a Ph.D. in political science, she has an encompassing expertise of global, UN-focused issues.

* Walter Müller-Wähner - started his career in the PR department of one of Germanys biggest retailer for consumer electronics in Germany and learned his lesson in Social Media Campaigning.

"The most solid form of campaigning is based on facts. Getting facts at one's fingertips should be the very first step of any form of campaigning."

Later in his work for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony he experienced the problems and potentials of digital transformation processes of larger institutions. Walter Müller-Wähner is co-founder of enlightenment* and since 2017 Executive Director of the company.

* Lena Delius - has been working for Scholz & Friends Agenda, one of Germany’s leading agencies in the area of public relations and agenda setting. Being involved in huge governmental campaigns shaped her perspective and taught her to focus on what is relevant for public communication. With an academic background in the humanities, she represents the more practical side of our work and has a lot of experience to assess the exact needs for political and public communication in the digital era.