The conference for ethics and diversity in tech
with crêpes and love Mixit heart


Building online spaces with the public interest at heart 💚

Sander van der Waal is Research Director at the research institute and cultural institution Waag, based in Amsterdam. Waag’s research into technology and its experiments and proposals to build technologies with public values at the center has culminated in the model ‘Public Stack’ (

Design Design

Sander will explain this model and propose how we can use it to develop a roadmap to build technologies with the public interest at heart. What are the foundational issues to consider? What do design and development processes look like to build these other technologies? And how do we ensure that the wider society is involved in the crucial choices that need to be made to build it right? There are currently no alternative social media platforms that operate at scale AND put the public interest truly at their core. However, there are many initiatives that operate on a smaller scale that do provide an alternative platform or a piece of the solution for preserving people’s rights online. Sander will address the question of how we can build ecosystems of technologies in the public interest so that they are a true alternative for the commercial platforms of today.

Sander Van der Waal

As Waag’s research director, Sander van der Waal is responsible for its research agenda, working in close collaboration with the four heads of the research groups and leads of the 8 constituent labs. His focus is on ensuring Waag's research contributes to lasting positive change locally in Amsterdam, nationally in The Netherlands, and on the European level; all in line with Waag's principles of openness, fairness and inclusivity. He maintains and develops a strong network of research partners and represents Waag on stage in debates, events and webinars. Sander has an educational background in computer science and philosophy, and has solid expertise and experience in open source software development, open data and knowledge, and data infrastructures.

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