Cathleen Berger

Main focus: Sustainable Tech

Twitter handle: @_cberger_


Languages: English, German

City: Berlin

Country: Germany

Topics: digital rights, change management, human rights, international relations, digital society, diversity equity and inclusion, sustainable tech, sustainability, environmental justice

Services: Talk, Moderation, Consulting, Interview


Cathleen Berger is a political scientist by training. She has built her career on combining her expertise and training with her curiosity for technological developments and communication, notably with a view to cultural differences in a globalised, networked world. Her work focuses on supporting others to navigate change, primarily with a view to sustainability, tech and global policies, as well as governance processes.

She most recently worked with Mozilla, where she headed the organisation’s efforts on environmental sustainability, building up a dedicated programme, devising strategy, conducting annual greenhouse gas assessments, developing mitigation plans and training modules, and raising awareness in a creative, collaborative and open manner. Before stepping into this role, Cathleen was responsible for Mozilla’s work on Global Governance, including representing Mozilla at fora such as the G20, the United Nations, or the World Economic Forum and developing policy strategy for the Office of the Chair, identifying emerging trends around technologies and their impact on society.

Prior to these roles, she worked within the International Cyber Policy Coordination Staff at the German Foreign Office where she was tasked with devising strategies for Internet Governance, promoting human rights and freedom online, as well as drafting policy concepts for capacity building and digital development.

In former positions, Cathleen was a consultant for Global Partners Digital, a research assistant at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and a visiting lecturer at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

Examples of previous talks / appearances:

Die erneuerbaren Energien der Digitalbewegung, Podcast TonspurN

Am Rande der Bits&Bäume Konferenz sprach ich mit Roman Mesicek vom TonspurN Podcast, unser Interview fasst er, wie folgt, zusammen:

In Folge 63 erzählt uns Cathleen Berger von Mozilla, wie sie und ihre Organisation versuchen das Thema Digitalisierung an vorderster Front mitzugestalten und worauf es dabei ankommt. Die Diskussionen reichen von den grünen Energien der Digitalisierung bis hin zu Vertrauensfragen und der Verbindung der Technik- und Nachhaltigkeitswelten.

This talk is in: German
Interview about privacy during Berlin Fashion Week
Video Thumbnail

In 2018, Mozilla and Tactical Technology Collective ran part of the Glassroom exhibition, primarily focused on the Data Detox Kit during Berlin Fashion Week.

Wonder how fashion and data protection go together? Watch the interview.

This talk is in: English
The web needs a voice: literally, technically, politically
Video Thumbnail

This talk, together with Michael Henretty and Ola Gasidlo, presents some of our ideas for how to tackle three dimensions of the future Web: voice recognition, web compatibility, and digital inclusion.

When your latest Siri, Alexa or Cortana fail to answer your questions because they seem to simply not understand your instructions, that’s probably because you’re not a (white) male with a mainstream American accent. Voice recognition tools are only as good as their training data, if the data set doesn’t include all sort of accents, dialects, and dynamic adaptation, the systems we built on top of it will never fully reap their potentials. Creating an inclusive, and freely available database to train speech algorithms comes with its challenges - but they’re not unsolvable. And once we have that? That’s when we need to translate and connect these tools to our everyday web experience, writing code that is accessible, compatible, and adaptable across whichever platform you use to access the Web. We can already see a push to create a speech driven future of the Web, but while this is still a vision for most users, the technical questions underlying this development are being addressed now - which is why we need to make sure our answers contribute to a healthy environment. And once we have the training data and the standards? That’s when our political contexts will be yet again put to a test: how can we make sure our societies continue to grow in an open and inclusive manner? What do we need to pay attention to, if we don’t want technologies to become our oppressors? It’s in our hands to use the tools we create to make sure they give power to the people - because POP culture needs a voice.

This talk is in: English
Developing an international digital agenda,
Video Thumbnail

On November 28, 2017 I had the pleasure to join a panel moderated by Léa Steinacker (Wirtschaftswoche), featuring Dr. Christoph Beier (GIZ) and MD Miguel Berger (Federal Foreign Office) to discuss the potential for developing an international digital agenda. It was an insightful 30min debate.

This talk is in: English