Press release
Berlin/Essen, 09/21/2023

Former German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) will head the council of the non-profit think tank in the future. Renowned representatives from politics, science, business and civil society will exchange ideas on the board. “Our goal is to contribute,” says Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, “to using the opportunities of digitization to strengthen our democracy and to make Germany’s digital transformation more democratic than before.”

At its constituent meeting today, September 19, the members of the council will come together in a protected space in order to be able to exchange ideas openly and confidently in this environment. This meeting will already focus on the strategic direction of the Council and initial key topics.

The different perspectives, experiences and interests of the council members will help Stefan Heumann and the Agora Digital Transformation team to identify important social developments and needs at an early stage. “With Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, we are proud to have won over an experienced politician for the presidency of the Council who is recognized across party lines and who has always shown great commitment to civil liberties and fundamental democratic values,” explains Heumann, who has headed the Agora Digital Transformation since October 2022.


The council will critically accompany the work of the think tank and discuss, for example, project ideas or study results. To this end, the council will meet three to four times a year. The initial focus of the council’s work will be on strengthening political capacity to act in the digital sphere and promoting democratic digital discourse spaces. The council will advise the Agora Digital Transformation exclusively, but will not decide on projects and strategies or monitor their implementation. The members have been appointed for an initial two-year term.

“The constitution of the council, chaired by Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, is an important milestone for the Agora Digital Transformation,” says Carla Hustedt, head of the Digitized Society department at Stiftung Mercator. “Germany has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to digitization, and it’s not just about economic competitiveness. The digital transformation must be shaped along societal needs.”

Stiftung Mercator founded Agora 2022 and is funding its development over five years with an initial sum of around 8.6 million euros.

A list of all Council members can be found here.

Press Contacts

Agora Digitale Transformation

Yasmin Kirzeder | +49 30-629389424 |

Stiftung Mercator

Lothar Kuhn | +49 201 245 22 36 |


About Agora Digitale Transformation

Agora Digital Transformation is the think tank for updates to our democracy. Its goal is to use the opportunities of digitization to strengthen democracy in Germany. As a non-profit organization, the think tank works in a non-partisan, collaborative and evidence-based way with a focus on actionable and effective solutions for policy. To this end, Agora Digital Transformation specifically seeks exchange and collaboration with innovators from society, administration, science, business and politics.

About Stiftung Mercator

Stiftung Mercator is a private, independent, and non-profit foundation that acts on the basis of scientific expertise and practical project experience. Since 1996, it has been advocating for a society based on solidarity and participation. To this end, it supports and develops projects that improve participation and cohesion in an increasingly diverse community. Stiftung Mercator stands up for a cosmopolitan, democratic Europe, a digital transformation of state and society based on fundamental rights, and socially just climate change mitigation. Stiftung Mercator pursues activities in Germany, Europe and worldwide. It feels particularly connected to the Ruhr area, home of its founder’s family and the foundation’s headquarters.