A big team
Our effort would not be possible without the work of many volunteers involved. Our network consists of many people who volunteer for fundamental and freedom rights in the digital age. They must be mentioned before we introduce the core team.
Interested in joining our team? Find our current job offers >>here!
Katrin Fritsch (@Katrinfritsch)
Katrin Fritsch researches, writes and consults at the intersection of technology, feminism and climate justice. She works with non-profit organizations, ministries and companies on topics such as digital human rights and new technologies. Previously, Katrin was Co-Founder and Co-Director of MOTIF Institute for Digital Culture, a think tank working for social justice in the digital age. Katrin is co-initiator of the participatory art project Feminist Futures and currently works with the Green Web Foundation for their Branch magazine. She holds an MSc in Data and Society from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Since 2022 Katrin is the representative of epicenter.works.
is fascinated by the links between society, technology, law and politics. Parallel to her ongoing studies in sociology she is conducting research on the development and deployment of AI algorithms at the Vienna Centre for Societal Security. A deep-dive into remote forensic software in the course of her previous law studies led her to epicenter.works. Victoria advocates for fundamental rights in digital spaces as well as for ethical, responsible development of technology. For more than two years she has been supporting epicenter.works in media monitoring on an almost daily basis and also supplied the occasional translation. Victoria joined the board in 2022 as treasurer.
✉ dieter.schindlauer <AT> epicenter.works
is an inveterate human rights activist and specializes in particular in non-discrimination. He co-founded the ZARA association and the Litigation Association for the Enforcement of the Rights of Victims of Discrimination and is still on the board of both associations. Now increasingly advocates for human rights standards on the web, also because as a "technical nudger" he still has a lot to learn and to marvel at. In recent years, he has been living mainly in the Western Balkans in order to further develop human rights there on behalf of the EU. Acts as project manager, trainer and lecturer. Since 2020 on the board as secretary. (Photo credit: Zinner)
Thomas Lohninger (@socialhack)
✉ thomas.lohninger <AT> epicenter.works
Fingerprint: 1B79 2E14 2E31 0E7E 2742 3990 BE16 D613 7FC1 9312
was a programmer and anthropologist in his former life. Digital rights had been his hobby until it became a job when he intensively accompanied the EU Net Neutrality Regulation as Policy Advisor for European Digital Rights (EDRi). Thomas was one of the driving forces behind the www.savetheinternet.eu campaign and has a strong work focus on net neutrality, data protection, and mass surveillance. Since 2010 he has played an active part at epicenter.works and since 2014 he is the executive director of the association. He also writes on Netzpolitik.org, is a regular guest in the Podcast Logbuch:Netzpolitik and a non-residential Fellow of the Center for Internet and Society at the Stanford Law School. Since 2019 he is in the board of EDRi and since 2020 Vice President of the EU umbrella of digital rights NGOs.
Tanja Mally (@TanjaMally)
✉ tanja.mally <AT> epicenter.works
Fingerprint: 9FEE 7E03 0712 AF51 39D8 93AB 296C 0017 6840 96CE
spent most of her professional life in the media industry. Since 2014, she has supported charitable institutions with her experience in networking and partner management. As an attentive citizen with a pronounced sense of justice, her fundamental rights are particularly important to her. Tanja is the managing director of epicenter.works, with additional responsibility for fundraising as well as the support of the steadily growing number of cooperation partners. Solid funding and strong allies are the foundation of the successful work of our organization.
Petra Schmidt (@epiccompet)
✉ petra.schmidt <AT> epicenter.works
Fingerprint: 2856 516B 00D8 FBF8 983D 2F64 18DD 6E89 9263 CDDF
studied cultural studies and North American studies in Berlin, Munich and Venice. She has conceptualized and organized global events and worked in the music industry with digitization, licensing and copyright. She speaks several languages, including code. Before advising companies and associations on the GDPR since 2018, she was responsible for various websites and also worked for Google and Groupon for 1,5 years. In July 2021, she dared the "adventure Austria" and since then she brings all her experience into the work of the association as communications manager.
Tanja Fachathaler (@tamafa11)
✉ tanja.fachathaler <AT> epicenter.works
Fingerprint: 1391 070A 0734 1B01 F116 2416 9E51 8576 A350 7829
studied law, Latin American studies and human rights and democratization in Vienna, Venice and Seville. She has several years of experience in different positions in the legal sector, both in Austria - for example in administrative justice or in a law firm - and in Brussels for human rights organizations and a consulting firm working for the EU institutions. Tanja is multilingual and is also involved as an election observer and in human rights education. Since August 2021, she has been bringing her experience to epicenter.works as a Policy Advisor.
Daniel Lohninger (@aesthesism)
✉ daniel.lohninger <AT> epicenter.works
Fingerprint: 3C45 08EE 8CF6 9B46 1074 0800 697D 96E2 9F42 6946
has a multimedia education and has studied information and communication pedagogy. Daniel first joined epicenter.works as a graphic designer and has been coordinating our activities in Styria since 2017. He is particularly involved in surveillance and data protection. In addition, he acts as a contact person for data protection in the education sector. Since 2017, he has been holding workshops and training courses on data protection for schools, universities, companies, associations and interest groups. In 2021, he took over the project management of the education sector in the association.
Dominik Polakovics (@razormind42)
✉ dominik.polakovics <AT> epicenter.works
Fingerprint: 195A FF41 481E BFD4 6EE6 A143 7EB6 219B CE69 28EC
started programming at a very early age. Instead of torturing himself with his skills at the technical high school, he preferred to become a web developer right away. When that also became boring, he dedicated himself directly to redesigning the IT structure in the same company. Equipped with enough experience, he founded his own company, in which he has since planned and implemented many complete IT systems. He was also part of the winning team at the first Cyber Security Challenge Austria. At epicenter.works Dominik is our "nerd on duty" and takes care of order and security in the IT systems. He analyzes strengths and weaknesses in terms of data security and data protection with and for us.
✉ hannes.stummer <AT> epicenter.works
Fingerprint: 795C FCBC D0CC 3362 D7D0 A087 6A5E 42DC 0578 3019
studied philosophy and linguistics in Vienna and Perth and has a background in audio engineering. He embraces digitalization where it enriches our lives. A fair and free development of digital technologies is especially important to him. Everyone’s fundamental and freedom rights need to be respected so new technologies can enhance our society as opposed to restricting it. Since mid 2022 Hannes is communications manager at epicenter.works focusing on these important issues.
✉ maria.lohmann <AT> epicenter.works
Fingerprint: 7F07 273F 310D 992A E4AD 23C4 AABE B097 8141 AA36
Maria Lohmann studied law at the University of Würzburg and the KU Leuven (Belgium), with a focus on international and European law as well as English, Spanish and French legal terminology and foreign law. She deepened her knowledge in the companion course European Law and in her master thesis she dealt with the opening clauses of the GDPR as well as the related national data protection laws in Germany, Spain and the UK, while she worked as a research assistant at the University of Würzburg on information material for the introduction of the GDPR. After studying international relations in Vienna, she worked mainly in Vienna as a data protection lawyer in a large company, an NGO and law firms. She is active as a volunteer in the field of data protection and independent network infrastructure. Due to her preference for interdisciplinarity, she is not only interested in the legal aspects of data protection, but also in the technology behind it, because this is the only way to legally assess the data flow.
Herbert Gnauer (@HerbertGnauer)
is a practicing radio producer and emeritus IT-machinist. He has been on the internet since 1992, and therefore is just as long faced with digital rights issues. Yet, he is always surprised by the developments in this field, albeit less of the directions taken than their dynamics. Herbert entered into AKVorrat as co-signatory on the lawsuit against data retention filed with the Austrian Constitutional Court or ECJ.
has followed the discourse on network policy with keen interest since she was a law student. As a lawyer, she is dedicated to the enforcement of consumer rights, but the protection of fundamental rights is also a central concern for her. Through her involvement with epicenter.works, she can combine both and actively contribute to the protection of fundamental rights in the context of digitalization.
has spent most of his professional life working in law firms. Disproportionate encroachments on fundamental and human rights are on the rise. The rule of law is a necessary condition for a functioning democracy. The state must always respect the constitution in any situation, no matter how difficult. Okan fights against disproportionate interventions in human rights by politics.
Erwin Ernst Steinhammer (@eest9)
is a digital rights activist and studies Political Science. He worked as a software consultant for a long time and has also dealt with the social impact of automation. As an advocate of fundamental rights, in particular the Freedom of Information Act, he soon became interested in the state protection law. When the "Federal Trojan" (Bundestrojaner) was introduced, he was one of the first to criticize the parliamentary review process. Today, he keeps a close watch on epicenter.works' digital rights developments, both in parliament and in government.
is a creative practitioner of ripe old age and works as an auditor at epicenter.works. His motto is the architecture of the future: designing tomorrow's world with today's fantasy about the world. He is always learning, critical, and open to new ideas. Occupation and vocation are one to him, because it is always about the design of human-machine interfaces with humane demands.
Manuel supported epicenter.works as a legal intern from January until August 2021. In addition to his work in a data protection law firm, he already focused on fundamental rights during his studies. Manuel sees our individual freedom as increasingly threatened by measures such as the surveillance package or government facial recognition. Fundamental rights and freedoms take a decisive role in the contest against this escalating surveillance. For this reason, he fights at epicenter.works for the protection and preservation of our privacy as we know it.
has studied Political Science, Sociology and Anglistics & American Studies at the Leopold Franzens University Innsbruck. For her, the digital transformation is the crucial point of social and political development in the 21st century. Therefore, she is committed to a free Internet, digital education and a society that uses technology critically and sustainably. As a member of the local hackerspace, she always participates in the latest developments. Julia supports epicenter.works from Innsbruck and coordinates our activities there.