By Anna Vrtiak & Lisa van Oosten - MSc Digital Business en BSc Information Science (FNWI)
This course is a call for the digital citizen. In a world where every click is silently observed, unseen algorithms dissect our behaviors, making choices for us, maybe even defining us. Let’s delve into the confluence of digital surveillance and cyberfeminism, offering an interdisciplinary lens to dissect the complex web of online monitoring, datafication, and their implications on gender and society. Why do unseen watchers want your data? How does this surveillance perpetuate biases, especially against marginalized groups? Join us on this riveting journey, as we forge new paths in a world where the observer is no longer hidden, and empowerment is but a lesson away.
By Inna Kulazhenkova - Art and Performance Research Studies (FGw)
We are the micro and macrocosm of society. We affect and are affected by social change it bestows upon us. The course will highlight diverse aspects and potentials of art to be an alternative strategy for reconciliation and social cohesion formation in times of crisis and conflicts. Practically and theoretically we are going to elaborate on questions: How does social change reflect on and relate to social engagement? How does the change of social art practice reflect upon the change of society? The content of the course will focus on hybrid structure of curriculum entailing theoretical as well as practical networks, meaning that we are not only discuss and elaborate on what can be done for societal transformation, but also develop unique view, strategy and method to accommodate and respond with it to real case of community setting. This course is inspired by the idea of unity among the diversity of communities and cultures, especially in the context of crisis, where conscious sense making becomes affected by unpredictable external stimuli and this is only our choice to drive ourselves out of patternal inertia of thinking into the “arms” of making matter – making change.
By Annika Iselhorst - Political Science (FMG)
"Decoding our Future: Opportunities and Threats of the Digital Revolution" is an interdisciplinary course that invites students from all disciplines to explore the ever-evolving landscape of emerging technologies. During the course, students learn about the fundamentals of new technologies such as Social Credit Scores and Artificial Intelligence, gaining insights into how they work and what makes them special. Participants will be encouraged to understand the opportunities and threats presented by technologies like Superintelligence, Surveillance Capitalism, and Neurotechnology. They will critically examine the societal implications of these technologies and work on developing governance solutions to shape the future of our technology-driven world. With tutorials focusing on student-led research, discussion, and policy development, participants will learn to bridge the gap between technological development and ethical governance and to bridge the divide between private tech enterprises and society. The goal is to create a path towards a more informed and responsible digital future.
By Kester Ratcliff - Communication Science (FMG)
Explore your own learning strengths and balancing challenges in the context of neurodiversity. Expand your cognitive empathy for others’ ways of perceiving the world. This course reflects on and creatively reimagines science and education by integrating the new science of neurodiversity and creativity, and findings from the science of science. It aims to reintegrate creativity into science and respond adequately to the global polycrisis. ‘Ikigai’ is originally a Japanese concept of living a personally authentic and purposeful life. We’ll delve deeply into this concept of the good life and update it with new science. Neurodiversity is an emerging scientific and ethical paradigm which views human diversity in partly innate neurocognitive ecological specializations or ‘neurotypes’ as primarily and mostly adaptive, not just as sets of different impairments. Majority neurotype is included. The course encourages a grounded, philosophical view of the social endeavor of science and aims to nurture scientists capable of changing how we do science to respond to big problems and collaborate optimally in neurodiverse and complementary research teams.
By Stefano Volpe & Sandrine Blais-Deschênes - MSc Logic (FNWI)
While material resources may be limited on this planet, information can often be shared freely. The more people can access a valuable piece of information, the more people verify its value and build upon it. This applies to scientific research (Open Access), software (Free Software), public institutions’ data (Open Data), and much more. Tech Giants’ idols, such as individualism, trade secrecy, junk science, opacity, monopoly, Kafkaesque user experience, Orwellian user tracking, tax dodges, social inequality, exploitation of the global South, consumerism, and social hypocrisy, tend to hinder this vision. Students will learn about economical, ecological, political, neuroscientific, and cultural implications of an unregulated tech industry. Then, making use of tools from informatics, communication science, law, and politics related to healthy tech, they will carry out a group project with an actual social impact on a local/global community while using as few tools from Big Tech as possible.
By Milan Uterwijk - Commercial Private Law (Rechtsgeleerdheid)
Embark on an extraordinary exploration of climate change in our course, where philosophy, law, and economics converge. We delve deep into the heart of individual responsibility, examining the complex relationship between personal freedom and accountability in the climate change battle. In the legal realm, we uncover the evolution of climate change case law and its connections to human rights, drawing wisdom from groundbreaking cases like Milieudefensie v Shell. The European Green Deal takes center stage, signifying a pivotal moment in the EU's history, and we explore its implications. Our adventure continues with a constitutional twist, addressing the challenges that liberal democracy poses in the climate fight, where brave climate activists test legal boundaries. Lastly, we scrutinize the fossil industry's role in our economic landscape, igniting debates on the 'old economy' and its relevance in tackling future challenges. Join us for an exhilarating journey into the diverse dimensions of climate change, offering profound insights and transformative experiences.
By Luca Bausani - Computational Social Science (FMG)
Embark on a transformative journey into the heart of modern science and its potential to reshape our understanding of the social world. "Quantum Leap in Social Sciences" is not just a course; it's an exploration of possibilities, a bridge between two seemingly distant realms. In this innovative course, you'll delve into the enigmatic world of quantum mechanics, tracing the evolution of physics from Newton's classical mechanics to the visionary concepts of string theory and John Stewart Bell's theorem. You'll be introduced to the Orchestrated Objective Reduction (OR) theory, unraveling the mysteries of consciousness within the space-time matrix. But this journey isn't just about theory – it's about application. Discover how these quantum principles can revolutionize the social sciences, providing fresh methodologies and empirical insights to challenge established assumptions. This course offers a profound revelation about our universe, who we are, and what we can achieve when we unite our knowledge and intentions. Are you ready for the quantum leap?
By Pieter Parlevliet - MSc Theoretical Physics (FNWI)
We are in the midst of the third wave of civilian collectives, a global movement where people unite to find community-based solutions to societal challenges. From collectively investing in renewable energy to countering Big Tech with open-source platforms and securing local food production through urban agriculture, these commons and cooperatives are making our society more democratic, social and sustainable. In this course, we will go on field trips to different organizations in Amsterdam's vibrant collectivist ecosystem. While we are getting to know these inspirational local initiatives, we will study commons and cooperatives academically from a historical, economical and political lens. At the end of the course, you will have come into contact with the transformative power of grassroots change.
By Evita Shrestha & Sascha Kraft - Psychology (FMG)
This course discusses the concept of Community as an essential human need using a transdisciplinary approach. The focus hereby lies on the value which community – and the spaces where communities thrive – can provide for a hyper-individualistic society faced with a number of health and humanitarian crises. History, benefits, and complications of community will be assessed through anthropological views, physiological evidence, psychological research, and sociological discourse. Students will implement their gained knowledge and ideas into the physical manifestation of a community space at the University campus. Stretching beyond traditional Western discussion, we aim to dissect various theoretical frameworks with which students can analyze practical applications of community and find potential solutions for the compromise between compartmentalized communities and boundaryless unity. “We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race.” ~ Cicero.
By Shreya Shreemani Kumar - MSc Finance (FEB)
This course should be introduced at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) for several compelling reasons. Firstly, it is innovative in its approach, recognizing the critical relevance of understanding why trends go viral in today's dynamic digital landscape. This course stands out due to its interdisciplinary nature, bridging psychology, sociology, economics, and media studies to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of virality. This unique approach is valuable because it equips students with practical knowledge and skills to navigate the rapidly changing digital world responsibly. While UvA offers various courses related to media studies and communication, this course is distinct in its focus on virality and its societal impact. By exploring the ethical considerations and societal relevance of virality, it prepares students for a future where the ability to comprehend and leverage the dynamics of virality is increasingly crucial. In this way, the course positions UvA as an institution at the forefront of addressing contemporary issues and prepares students to be forward-thinking contributors to the digital realm.