German Informatics Society (Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI)) is a non-profit organization with about 20,000 members living across the world.
Most of them develop the discipline of informatics by teaching, researching or working in the field of informatics, while others are involved in related business and political areas. The main purposes of this network of professionals are motivate for informatics, develop the scientific discipline and promote the impact informatics has economy, business and society.
And to offer career support by the means of networking.
Members of GI are either individuals, companies or non-governmental organizations. We are proud to be able to claim that our members’ knowledge covers almost everything anyone could wish to know about informatics. Our challenge is to make the best of this broad knowledge base for GI, its members and society as a whole. In times of ever-growing importance and influence of an integrated Europe, GI is increasingly involved in European projects and organizations.
Education and Training
Starting about 40 years ago – at the time when the first informatics departments were being set up in Germany – our first aim was to build up, implement, grow and strengthen the academic discipline.
Times have changed, but our portfolio is still based on this main point. For instance, GI has contributed to the curricula for new bachelor and masters degrees in Germany, as to the official recognition of new courses.
Other important GI activities include raising public awareness of informatics including its benefits and risks.
In addition, our portfolio includes programmes to create early motivation and interest for informatics. Supported by products to develop skills and aided by initiatives for training frameworks. Beside other project-related activities, we do this e.g. by supporting Germany’s informatics competition BWINF, the European Computer Driving Licence ECDL and the Advanced IT Training System AITTS.
GI supports networking between researchers in industry, research institutes and universities by providing more than 100 special interest groups and about 40 regional branches. They can all rely on the same network of knowledge, best practices, skills and experience. Scientific and technical staffs from all types of colleges and research institutions play an active role in GI. All of them are represented in the management committee and the advisory councils.
About 10 % of GI’s members are students. For them, GI offers a network of contacts, information and coaching across many universities. There is an official advisory council looking after their interests.
Our close collaboration is assisted by services. For example, members are consistently well informed by our periodical Informatik Spektrum or by other print and online publications, edited by our interest groups.
The number of freelance and self-employed IT experts in Germany is growing. Within GI those run an own special interest group. They are represented in the management committee through their own advisory council.
Our cooperation with the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry reaches from blue chip companies developing new architectures and solutions to a broad range of small and medium-sized companies who are adding value to their products by producing or using advanced IT solutions.
All these areas of activity within our membership structure share a common set of core topics.
To name a few:
Informatics is an integral part of everyday life. Some applications are immediately visible, like online banking or embedded systems in cars, aeroplanes and medical devices. Security, reliability and availability of such mission critical systems guarantee the users’ survival – literally! Because security is so fundamental, there is a special interest group dealing with all aspects of the security of products, applications and methods for deploying IT solutions.
The protection of personal data has an ever-growing significance in an information society which has an increasing demand for the use of this data in today’s economy and the public sector. That is why GI takes a tough stance on data protection. Here and in other areas of our discipline we work for the interests of the public, our members and other stakeholders in informatics by actively counselling and lobbying.
Intellectual property and its legal and business impact gain more and more importance for many people working in science and business. National and European legislation regarding intellectual property has a rising influence on research, business, management and on the handling and availability of knowledge. Our members are closely involved with this topic and are called upon to advise German government.
Women in Informatics
The special interest group women working in informatics is pursuing the effort to make design and applications of information technology more geared to women’s interests.
History of Informatics
In order to understand IT, we need to know about its origins. Thus, we have a working group which deals with the history of IT and cooperates with numerous museums and well-known institutions, such as the Konrad-Zuse Society.
And last but not least…
What Informatics stands for
GI published a position paper which sheds light on the frequently asked question What is informatics? It was written by our experts who explain their profession to a non-technical audience. It includes answers aimed at General public about IT, e.g. how and where informatics is used, its influence, how it has changed and how it will develop in the future.
Making this even more accessible to public and raising motivation to develop technology skills GI 2006 co-chaired a complete German Year of Informatics with over 1,500 events, 450 participating organizations in 150 towns and locations with more than 500,000 visitors. To explain what informatics stands for and where it is a significant part of our life.