Programmes

At THE NEW INSTITUTE, we seek new ideas and initiatives to develop viable options for our common future. Our fellowship programmes address the most urgent questions of our time at the intersection of ecology, economy, democracy and the human condition. We wish to contribute ideas for systemic change within our societies that ultimately enables us to mitigate the threat posed to humankind by the ecological crisis.

THE NEW INSTITUTE and its Approach

The coming decade will decide the course of the world. Systemic crises require new ways of thinking and acting. We need new ideas for our common future – and the courage to turn them into reality. We are establishing a mission-driven Institute of Advanced Study and a Platform for Change that shall become known for its imaginative capabilities, its readiness to get engaged in developing and implementing new insights and ideas, as well as in launching respective initiatives. Therefore, THE NEW INSTITUTE must go beyond supporting high quality research by opening up new opportunities for discussions and debates as well as advocating for transforming steps and measures to accelerate the implementation of scalable solutions. In order to achieve social change, THE NEW INSTITUTE will develop an ecosystem of globally concerned researchers, thought and opinion leaders, policy makers, artists, government actors, and corporate entities that share its values and objectives. It will provide a stimulating, creative and trusted environment for some thorough rethinking of commonly held beliefs. By convening and facilitating connections among strategic partners it will provide ample opportunities for mutual learning, the co-creation of new concepts and solutions to complex problems, and also for co-funding of new initiatives.

Introduction to THE NEW INSTITUTES programmes

We wish to contribute ideas for systemic change within our societies that ultimately enables us to mitigate the threat posed to humankind by the ecological crisis. While we do not engage in scientific measurement of climate research itself, each of our programmes addresses different aspects of the systemic change that is needed. Paying attention to the interfaces between the programmes will be crucial for THE NEW INSTITUTE, in particular with a view to systemic contributions to societal change. The programme on The Foundations of Value and Values explores questions of morality and ethics with respect to social change. It lays the ground for our programme Changing Mindsets – Changing Behaviour, which explores the necessary conditions for sustainable, value-driven transformations. Changing Mindsets – Changing Behaviour speaks closely to the theoretical and empirical considerations of our programmes on The Future of Democracy, interrogating current democratic crises and examining ways to strengthen deliberation and representation, and on the Socio-Economic Transformation, which aims to explore how a different economy might work that recognizes questions of human wellbeing and planetary boundaries. The latter will place a particular emphasis on issues related to adequate measurement and corresponding indicators. Our programme Voices from the Past, Lessons for the Future corresponds in particular to Changing Mindsets – Changing Behaviour by showing how determined citizens and social movements may lead to change. The programme The New Hanse addresses questions connected to The Future of Democracy and the Socio-Economic Transformation at the concrete level of the City of Hamburg. Taken together, our programmes strive to create a systemic and actionable approach to what systemic change might look like and how it can be achieved. Each programme is guided by at least one overarching question:

Fellowships

Become a fellow at THE NEW INSTITUTE and help shape social change with us. We welcome applications to form research groups from the realms of academia, activism, politics, art, media, journalism, business, administration. What matters is diversity of experience and a solution-oriented mindset.

We are seeking people driven by curiosity and inspired by openness, who are willing to work collaboratively across disciplines, with a mission to translate knowledge into pathways to practical solutions. Fellows should excel at what they are doing.


INDEPENDENT AND COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS

As with any Institute of Advanced Study, fellows at THE NEW INSTITUTE can pursue their own projects.

As a Platform for Change, we also expect our fellows to devote half of their time to collaborative work in the respective fellow group. Within the programme framework of THE NEW INSTITUTE, fellow groups devise questions for collaborative exploration, developing tangible outcomes with societal relevance during their residency. Possible outcomes include (but are not limited to) discussion papers, policy papers, pilot projects, prototypes, artistic representations, multi-stakeholder dialogues, outreach activities, atypical alliances.

Publications and any other results arising from the collaborative research work during the fellow's stay will be published under the aegis of THE NEW INSTITUTE. Publications arising from the fellow's own work will be published independently by the fellow with reference to funding from the THE NEW INSTITUTE.

Fellows generally work within one of our programmes (URL link) in groups of up to 15 people. Exchanges across individual fellow groups is explicitly desired. Most groups comprise around 70% academics and 30% practitioners from other sectors such as activism, politics, art, media, journalism, business, administration.

Each programme has one or more programme directors who steer the group. Each fellow group is accompanied and supported in its collaborative work by a programme manager.

We operate on the basis of following code conduct.


TIMING AND DURATION

As a rule, fellowships for academics last for 10 to 12 months, in some cases up to 24 months. Fellow stays for people from politics, activism, art, media, journalism, business, and administration comprise 6 months or shorter periods - with flexible start dates. Stays of less than one month are also possible - in this case, however, not as fellows, but as guests.

The fellow year usually begins on October 1st and runs until August or September of the following year. Non-academic fellowships can have more flexible start dates.

For the joint fellow work, it is ideal if as many fellows as possible begin on this date. We understand this is not always possible, and individual residency periods can also be arranged.

During their stay, we ask fellows to be present in Hamburg four days a week. We will honor all religious and cultural holidays. There will be no collaborative fellow work around the turn of the year, during Easter break and in July and August.


ENDOWMENT AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT

1. International academics - principle "leave of absence"

Established academic fellows usually come to THE NEW INSTITUTE on a leave of absence or research sabbatical from their regular position, e.g. a chair. They continue to receive their salary, while THE NEW INSTITUTE covers the costs of the replacement at the respective fellow's home institution.

In addition, there is a stipend that is sized to cover additional expenses. These include:

  • A contribution to the rent, which is subsidized by the THE NEW INSTITUTE at 100%. Fully furnished apartments are provided, typically in the Warburg Ensemble.
  • A contribution for meals in the Warburg Ensemble during the week.
  • Costs are covered for travel to and from Hamburg (also for partners and family).
  • Individual research costs can be agreed upon, on a project-by-project basis.

The fellowship is generally tax-free in Germany. Social security contributions are not paid. Usually, the corresponding contributions are continued by the position granting the leave. The result is a "no loss, no gain" financial situation for the fellows.

2. Junior researchers - principle "THE NEW INSTITUTE connection"

Fellows at the junior researcher level receive an individually negotiated stipend, which roughly corresponds to the endowment of junior researchers at the corresponding career level in Germany and is usually between 3,000 and 4,000 euros net (including family allowances, if applicable). This includes a subsidy for health insurance.

The scholarship is generally tax-free in Germany. Social security contributions are not paid, but the stipend is calculated in such a way that fellows can make voluntary contributions to a pension plan.
From the stipend, fellows pay, among other things:

  • 100% of their health insurance
  • A contribution to the rent, which is subsidized by the THE NEW INSTITUTE at 80%. Fully furnished apartments are provided by the THE NEW INSTITUTE; usually located in the Warburg Ensemble.
  • A contribution for meals in the Warburg Ensemble during the week.
  • Costs for travel to and from Hamburg, also for partners, will be covered.

Individual research costs can be agreed upon, depending on the project. Please note: Similar to other Institutes of Advanced Study, THE NEW INSTITUTE is a place for thinking, discussing, analyzing existing data, preparing publications – less so for empirical studies, surveys etc. In this vein, individual research costs are meant to cover expenses related to the participation in conferences pertinent to the project of the fellows, the invitation of short-term guests, the organization of small workshops. Books and publications necessary for pursuing the respective research projects will be procured independent of the individual research costs whenever possible.

3. Fellows from other fields

For fellows from journalism, activism, politics, business, art and administration agreements are made depending on the individual constellation.


LIVING AND WORKING

Our home is the Warburg Ensemble – nine historic townhouses side-by-side in the heart of Hamburg. Fellows (and their families, if applicable) live and work at the Warburg Ensemble during their stay.

We can host up to 35 fellows.

We provide fully furnished apartments for fellows, usually, in the Warburg Ensemble, with kitchenettes and private workspaces. We welcome fellow partners and children, and can tailor individual accommodation needs and requirements accordingly. Our Fellow Services team can assist with all matters regarding schooling, daycare and general relocation. For further questions please contact our head of Fellow Services Alexandra Kunze directly: alexandra.kunze@thenew.institute.

In addition to apartments, the Warburg Ensemble comprises a wide range of workspaces for solo and collaborative work, a library, several meeting rooms and event spaces. We nurture a social environment at THE NEW INSTITUTE, and mealtimes take place together in the refectory, where there is also a bar. A private garden behind the Warburg Ensemble runs the length of the nine buildings.

Read more about the Warburg Ensemble.


HOW TO JOIN

There are several ways to become a Fellow at THE NEW INSTITUTE:

1. Unsolicited applications

Unsolicited applications to be part of one of our ongoing programmes at the THE NEW INSTITUTE can be submitted at any time. All completed applications will be reviewed by a panel that meets several times a year. It may take up to four months from the submission of your application to hear a decision. Unsolicited applications are accepted from the following groups of people:

  • Scholars from all disciplines within the humanities and social sciences for fellowships of up to two years (at least 2 years past Ph.D.)
  • Representatives of politics, administration, business, art, media, journalism, activism with a strong interest in questions of ethics, social change, human behavior, awareness of ecologically and economically sustainable futures for fellowships of up to six months; a division into several shorter stays is possible.

Candidates should identify with THE NEW INSTITUTE’s mission and be interested in contributing to social, economic, political and environmental transformation. They should have the ability to bring transformative ideas to the TNI, create new knowledge, and develop it with an eye toward workable solutions. Ideally, candidates have already engaged with networks beyond their own field (e.g., actors beyond academia using creative formats to create public effectiveness). Candidates must be highly interested in interdisciplinary and transsectoral contexts. A good command of English is a prerequisite.

Unsolicited applications may be sent to programmes@thenew.institute (one pdf, condensed format). All applications must be submitted in English. Incomplete applications or applications that do not reference the overarching questions of the respective programme will not be accepted.

Applications must include the following components:

  • Letter of motivation (how candidates want to contribute to the THE NEW INSTITUTE and what they expect from a fellowship; up to 5,000 characters, including spaces).
  • Curriculum vitae and list of publications or overview of major works, contributions, and projects.
  • Within the respective THE NEW INSTITUTE programme of interest: reference to one (or more) of the overarching questions formulated there both concerning collaborative work in the group and formulation of your own project proposal; up to 20,000 characters, including spaces
  • Work plan and time schedule

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Barbara Sheldon, Head of Research and Fellow Management: barbara.sheldon@thenew.institute.



2. Nomination

Nominations for ongoing programmes may be submitted on an ongoing basis by current fellows, alumni, and partners of TNI. All completed nominations are reviewed by a panel, which meets several times a year. It may take up to four months from the submission of the nomination to a decision. Nominations are accepted for the following categories:

  • Internationally recognized top academics from all disciplines within the humanities and social sciences for fellowships, usually for an academic year.
  • Representatives of activism, politics, arts, media, journalism, business and administration with a strong interest in issues of ethics, social change, human behavior, awareness of ecologically and/or economically sustainable futures, for fellowships of up to six months; division into several shorter stays is possible.

Candidates should be outstanding, internationally recognized individuals in their respective fields who identify with THE NEW INSTITUTE´s goals and are interested in contributing to social, economic, and environmental transformation. Based on past success, they should have the ability to bring transformative ideas to THE NEW INSTITUTE and develop research findings with an eye towards practical solutions.

Candidates have experience and demonstrated success working with networks beyond their own field of expertise (e.g., academics beyond academia using creative formats to create public effectiveness). Candidates must be highly interested in interdisciplinary and trans-sectoral contexts. A good command of English is a prerequisite.

Nominations must include the following:

  • Letter of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae and publication list or overview of the most important work

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Wilhelm Krull, Founding Director: wilhelm.krull@thenew.institute.


3. Active recruitment

THE NEW INSTITUTE management recruits potentially suitable candidates also by direct approach. Potential candidates are reviewed by a panel of experts who meet several times a year. As a rule, the following groups of persons are recruited:

  • Internationally recognized top academics from all disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, for fellowships of up to two years.
  • Representatives from activism, politics, economy, art, media, journalism, business and administration, with great interest in questions of ethics, social change, human behavior, awareness of ecologically and/or economically sustainable futures, for fellowships of up to six months; a division into several shorter stays as well as flexible periods of stay are possible.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Wilhelm Krull, Founding Director: wilhelm.krull@thenew.institute.


ELKANA-FELLOWSHIP-PROGRAM TO PROMOTE FREE SCIENTIFIC EXCHANGE

The conditions for the free circulation of knowledge and the unhindered exchange of scientific hypotheses have deteriorated in recent years around the world. The polarization and rigidifying of public debates are increasing, and societal and political forces are intervening more frequently in research and teaching, to the point that researchers are being persecuted, expelled, or deprived of their liberty. This narrows the scope for scientific controversies, which are the indispensable precondition for academic work. The Yehudit and Yehuda Elkana Fellowship invites researchers who have served the free exchange of knowledge and hypotheses and the open scope for academic controversies to spend three to six months at The New Institute in Hamburg or at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin - Institute for Advanced Study. The Fellowship is tied to financial support amounting to 50,000 Euros for projects that aim to preserve free scientific exchange. The program is funded by the VolkswagenStiftung and the Marga and Kurt Möllgaard-Stiftung. It cooperates with the Einstein Foundation Berlin.

Applications for the Yehudit and Yehuda Elkana Fellowships are not possible; funding decisions are made solely on the basis of nominations.

For additional information visit: wiko-berlin.de/en/institute/initiatives-cooperations/elkana-fellowships.

FAQ

What characterizes a fellowship at THE NEW INSTITUTE?

As with any Institute of Advanced Study, fellows at THE NEW INSTITUTE can pursue their own projects. As a Platform for Change, we also expect our fellows to devote half of their time to collaborative work in the respective fellow group. Within the programme framework of THE NEW INSTITUTE, fellow groups devise questions for collaborative exploration, developing tangible outcomes with societal relevance during their residency. Possible outcomes include (but are not limited to) discussion papers, policy papers, pilot projects, prototypes, artistic representations, multi-stakeholder dialogues, outreach activities, atypical alliances. Fellows generally work within one of our programmes in groups of up to 15 people. Exchange across individual fellow groups is explicitly desired. Most groups comprise around 70% academics and 30% practitioners from other sectors such as activism, politics, art, media, journalism, business, administration. Each programme has one or more programme directors who steer the group. Each fellow group is accompanied and supported in its collaborative work by a programme manager.

What kind of fellow programmes does THE NEW INSTITUTE offer?

Our fellowship programmes generally address the most urgent questions of our time at the intersection of ecology, economy, democracy and the human condition. We aim to analyze what needs acting upon. And act upon analysis. At THE NEW INSTITUTE fellows work in either one of the following programmes:

What does a fellowship of THE NEW INSITUTE comprise?

Apart from a stipend we provide fully furnished apartments for fellows, usually in the Warburg Ensemble, located in one of the most exquisite neighborhoods in the centre of Hamburg. In addition to apartments, the Warburg Ensemble comprises a wide range of workspaces for solo and collaborative work, a library, several meeting rooms and event spaces. We nurture a social environment at THE NEW INSTITUTE, and mealtimes take place together in the refectory, where there is also a bar. A private garden behind the Warburg Ensemble runs the length of the nine buildings. We welcome fellow partners and children, and can tailor individual accommodation needs and requirements accordingly. Our Fellow Services team can assist with all matters regarding schooling, daycare and general relocation.

What is the duration of a fellowship, when does it start, how much presence is required?

As a rule, fellowships for academics last for 10 to 12 months, in some cases up to 24 months. Fellow stays for people from politics, activism, art, media, journalism, business, and administration comprise 6 months or shorter periods - with flexible start dates. Stays of less than one month are also possible - in this case, however, not as fellows, but as guests. The fellow year usually begins on October 1st and runs until August or September of the following year. For the joint fellow work, it is ideal if as many fellows as possible begin on this date. We understand this is not always possible, and individual residency periods can also be arranged. During their stay, we ask fellows to be present in Hamburg four days a week. We will honor all religious and cultural holidays. There will be no collaborative fellow work around the turn of the year, during Easter break and in July and August.

What is the financial support offered to fellows who are established academics with a position at another institution?

Established academic fellows usually come to THE NEW INSTITUTE on a leave of absence or research sabbatical from their regular position, e.g. a chair. They continue to receive their salary, while THE NEW INSTITUTE covers the costs of the replacement at the respective fellow's home institution. In addition, there is a stipend that is sized to cover additional expenses. These include:

  • A contribution to the rent, which is subsidized by the THE NEW INSTITUTE at 100%. Fully furnished apartments are provided, typically in the Warburg Ensemble.
  • A contribution for meals in the Warburg Ensemble during the week.
  • Costs are covered for travel to and from Hamburg (also for partners and family).
  • Individual research costs can be agreed upon, on a project-by-project basis.
    The fellowship is generally tax-free in Germany. Social security contributions are not paid. Usually, the corresponding contributions are continued by the position granting the leave. The result is a "no loss, no gain" financial situation for the fellows.

What is the financial support offered to fellows who are early to mid-career fellows with no position at another institution?

Fellows at the junior researcher level receive an individually negotiated stipend, which roughly corresponds to the endowment of junior researchers at the corresponding career level in Germany and is usually between 3,000 and 4,000 Euros net (including family allowances, if applicable). This includes a subsidy for health insurance. The stipend is generally tax-free in Germany. Social security contributions are not paid, but the stipend is calculated in such a way that fellows can make voluntary contributions to a pension plan. From the stipend, fellows pay, among other things:

  • 100% of their health insurance
  • A contribution to the rent, which is subsidized by the THE NEW INSTITUTE at 80%. Fully furnished apartments are provided by the THE NEW INSTITUTE; usually located in the Warburg Ensemble.
  • A contribution for meals in the Warburg Ensemble during the week.
  • Costs for travel to and from Hamburg, also for partners, will be covered.
    Individual research costs can be agreed upon, depending on the project. Please note: Similar to other Institutes of Advanced Study, THE NEW INSTITUTE is a place for thinking, discussing, analyzing existing data, preparing publications – less so for empirical studies, surveys etc. In this vein, individual research costs are meant to cover expenses related to the participation in conferences pertinent to the project of the fellows, the invitation of short-term guests, the organization of small workshops. Books and publications necessary for pursuing the respective research projects will be procured independent of the individual research costs whenever possible.

What is the financial support offered to fellows from other sectors?

For fellows from politics, administration, business, art, media, journalism, activism agreements are made depending on the individual constellation.

How can I become a fellow?

While THE NEW INSTITUTE management frequently recruits potentially suitable candidates by direct approach, there is also the possibility of submitting an unsolicited application to be part of one of our ongoing programmes at the THE NEW INSTITUTE at any time. All completed applications will be reviewed by a panel that meets several times a year. It may take up to four months from the submission of your application to hear a decision. Unsolicited applications are accepted from the following groups of people:

  • Scholars from all disciplines within the humanities and social sciences for fellowships of up to two years (at least 2 years past Ph.D.)
  • Representatives of politics, administration, business, art, media, journalism, activism with a strong interest in questions of ethics, democratization, social change, human behavior, awareness of ecologically and economically sustainable futures for fellowships of up to six months; a division into several shorter stays is possible.
    Candidates should identify with THE NEW INSTITUTE’s mission and be interested in contributing to social, economic, political and environmental transformation. They should have the ability to bring transformative ideas to the TNI, create new knowledge, and develop it with an eye toward workable solutions. Ideally, candidates have already engaged with networks beyond their own field (e.g., actors beyond academia using creative formats to create public effectiveness). Candidates must be highly interested in interdisciplinary and transsectoral contexts. A good command of English is a prerequisite.
    Unsolicited applications may be sent to programmes@thenew.institute (one pdf, condensed format). All applications must be submitted in English. Incomplete applications or applications that do not reference the overarching questions of the respective programme will not be accepted. Applications must include the following components:
  • Letter of motivation (how candidates want to contribute to the THE NEW INSTITUTE and what they expect from a fellowship; up to 5,000 characters, including spaces).
  • Curriculum vitae and list of publications or overview of major works, contributions, and projects.
  • Within the respective THE NEW INSTITUTE programme of interest: reference to one (or more) of the overarching questions formulated there both concerning collaborative work in the group and formulation of your own project proposal; up to 20,000 characters, including spaces
  • Work plan and time schedule
    If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Barbara Sheldon, Head of Research and Fellow Management: barbara.sheldon@thenew.institute.

I would like to nominate a fellow for a THE NEW INSTITUTE fellowship. How should I proceed?

Nominations for ongoing programmes may be submitted on an ongoing basis by current fellows, alumni, and partners of TNI. All completed nominations are reviewed by a panel, which meets several times a year. It may take up to four months from the submission of the nomination to a decision. Nominations are accepted for the following categories:

  • Internationally recognized top academics from all disciplines within the humanities and social sciences for fellowships, usually for an academic year.
  • Representatives of activism, politics, arts, media, journalism, business and administration with a strong interest in issues of ethics, democratization, social change, human behavior, awareness of ecologically and/or economically sustainable futures, for fellowships of up to six months; division into several shorter stays is possible.
    Candidates should be outstanding, internationally recognized individuals in their respective fields who identify with THE NEW INSTITUTE´s goals and are interested in contributing to social, economic, and environmental transformation. Based on past success, they should have the ability to bring transformative ideas to THE NEW INSTITUTE and develop research findings with an eye towards practical solutions.
    Candidates should have experience and demonstrated success working with networks beyond their own field of expertise (e.g., academics beyond academia using creative formats to create public effectiveness). Candidates must be highly interested in interdisciplinary and trans-sectoral contexts. A good command of English is a prerequisite. Nominations must include the following:
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae and publication list or overview of the most important work
    If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Wilhelm Krull, Founding Director: wilhelm.krull@thenew.institute

HOW WE WORK

Questions are at the heart of how we work. Care, courage, creativity and commitment are our core values.

They steer our cooperative and collaborative approach to getting things done. We understand the power and potential of bringing people together and we believe in conviviality and hospitality.


  • How do we open up new horizons?
  • How do we create a shared meaning of where we want to go?
  • How do we make sure that all voices are heard, that all stakeholders are at the table?
  • How do we shape a new form and understanding of leadership?
  • How do we make sure that new ideas will foster new initiatives?
  • How do we close the gap between insight and action?
  • How does change happen?

Being new refers to our mindset and our approach. It means being responsive, reflexive, responsible and respectful – to embrace difference and complexity as fundamental truths in our changing world. It means being an open network and a porous platform, not a closed-door institution. It means being comfortable with the uncomfortable reality of uncertainty and the open-endedness of questioning.

We want to create an institute that supports and enables our ambition. Our goal is to reflect, retreat, reconvene; to connect our philosophy with our practice to inspire projects that drive meaningful change.

ARTWORK BY ALFREDO CARLO / HOUSATONIC

Credits:

Alfredo Carlo, Housatonic, 2020

Image Information:

The organization of knowledge along lines both intuitive and logic, creating meaning in the maze of words, thoughts, concepts – this is a process of knowledge production in its own right. Alfredo Carlo of the Bologna based agency Housatonic worked with us to facilitate the way we gained a shared understanding about the words and values, the systemic analysis and the role of the individual. He created mind-maps, often in real time, reflecting what was said and opening up new spaces for insight and inspiration. We are, after all, more than the sum of our parts.

Centres

We are connected to four research centres through the Humanities and Social Change International Foundation, started by Erck Rickmers in 2016 to understand the nature of our current societal challenges in his quest to promote social change. THE NEW INSTITUTE builds on this work and experience.

The Humanities and Social Change International Foundation established research funding for centres at the University of California, Santa Barbara; Ca ‘Foscari University, Venice; University of Cambridge and Humboldt-Universität, Berlin. In 2020, the foundation changed its name and became THE NEW INSTITUTE Foundation. Our core interests are mirrored by the research programs of the four centres.

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