Europe's Digital Future


Decentralized Nations

Hybrid Event On Democracy, Governments and Blockchain Technologies

Time & Date

September 29

6:00 - 7:30 pm


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

or Virtual

Currencies and identities can be managed by a blockchain, but what else? Since blockchain and similar technologies can be used to make elections unforgeable, and execution of votes could be guaranteed through smart contracts, we would like to investigate how a nation could be governed on the blockchain. Without a “central point of failure”, corruption could be reduced and decisions could be made more transparently.
How realistic the (partial) decentralization of different government bodies is, and what hurdles there might be will be the focus of this interdisciplinary talk between computer science, law and democracy by Michael Kolain.

As a participant, you will receive information material on relevant technologies in advance. Register for the event on the button below. The event will be held in English. It is part of the SmP series of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.

The world of 2022 is globally and digitally connected and disrupted by manifold crises. Questions of power, participation and cooperation arise with particular urgency – and the young generation is asking and searching for clear, effective and participatory solutions. How will we collectively find the best way towards social and climate justice and, ultimately, inner and outer peace?

While internet platforms have taken a dominating influence on how “the internet” is used, there is an ongoing debate on decentralization of the digital world. The idea behind distributed systems and computing is to remove powerful intermediaries, make data flows transparent and strengthen the position of the individual. Tackling authoritarian tendencies with the separation of powers and a vivid civil society, is also the core idea of modern democracies. The idea of subsidiarity and federalism is to make political decisions at the lowest possible level.

The presentation will focus on the overarching question: How should digital statehood be structured, both on a constitutional and a technical level? It combines general thoughts on the future of statehood and sovereignty with an analysis of current technology trends, such as blockchain or AI.

Michael Kolain is a legal scholar and conducts research at the interface between law, technology and the common good. He is coordinator of the area “Transformation of the State in Times of Digitalization” at the German Research Institute for Public Administration (Director: Prof. Dr. Mario Martini). He is particularly interested in the regulation and implementation of digital technologies in state and society – with a current focus on blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotics. At the independent think tank iRights.Lab in Berlin, he is active in the areas of legal policy, digitization of administration and eHealth. Michael is also a member of the Expert Panel of the European Blockchain Observatory and Forum (EUBOF), a representative of consumer interest in blockchain standardization at DIN, CEN and ISO, a board member at the Robotics and AI Law Society (RAIL), and co-founder of In numerous publications and lectures, he has addressed the question of what potentials and challenges distributed systems (such as blockchain) bring to public administration. In addition to his academic work, he writes literary texts.

Register (HU-Berlin, in-person)

Registration for in-person attendance closes 2 days before the event (September 27, 6pm CEST)!

Do not miss out on the opportunity to meet Michael Kolain and participate in this event in-person, at the HU Berlin! The exact lecture hall will be communicated to registered participants two days before the event. Registration only takes a few seconds.

Note: We are unable to cover travel expenses for participants.

Register (online)


Michael Kolain

Coordinator of Department

Coordinator of the department "Transformation of the State in Times of Digitization" at the German Research Institute for Public Administration (FÖV)

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