Thomas Mann Fellows | 2022

Oct, Nov, Dec

Dr. Rubina Zern-Breuer | Historian and Innovation Researcher

Rubina Zern-Breuer. Image: privat
Rubina Zern-Breuer. Image: privat

Rubina Zern-Breuer, born in Kiel in 1982, is a research project coordinator at the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer, where she has headed the Innovation Lab for Public Administration since 2018 and also teaches. After studying Modern and Contemporary History as well as Sociology at the University of Karlsruhe, she completed her PhD at the University of Würzburg, spending time abroad at the DHI Rome, among others.  
In addition to coordinating public science projects at ZAK | Centre for Cultural and General Studies at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Rubina Zern-Breuer further positions took her to the University of Heidelberg and as a senior researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI.
As a Fellow at InnOsci, a think tank of the Stifterverband and part of the InnOpeers Network for Open Innovation, Rubina Zern-Breuer focuses on trust building in multi-stakeholder processes. She is interested in current developments and innovation processes at the interface of science, administration and civil society as well as the application of creative and design methods. She has been the Equal Opportunities Officer at the University of Speyer since 2019.

Publications (Selection)

2021 | Innovationslabore als Experimentierfelder für die digitale Verwaltung? In: Seckelmann, M., Brunzel, M. (Hrsg.): Handbuch Onlinezugangsgesetz: Potenziale – Synergien – Herausforderungen. Heidelberg: Springer.

2021 | Marquardt, E., Hoelscher, M., Zern-Breuer, R.: Transfer in die öffentliche Verwaltung. In: Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung Kolleg (Hrsg.): Transfer von Innovation und Wissen – Gelingensbedingungen und Herausforderungen (forthcoming).

2021 | Paulick-Thiel, C.; Mendoza, J.; Zern-Breuer, R.; Weber, M.: Bereit zur Transformation? Evidenzbasiertes Lernen als Schlüssel für einen fitten öffentlichen Sektor. In: Kompetenzzentrum Öffentliche IT (ÖFIT) [online]:

2020 | Zern-Breuer, R.; Hölscher, M.: Innovationsforschung für die öffentliche Verwaltung, in: Innovative Verwaltung, Ausgabe 10/2020, S. 37-39.

2020 | Zern-Breuer, R.; Otto, Jana: Corona-Schock: Was die Verwaltung aus der Krise gelernt hat. In: Tagesspiegel Background, 12.8.2020, [online]:

Prizes / Awards (Selection)

2010 | Travel grant Villa Vigoni, 2010
2008 | Doctoral Scholarship of the Landesgraduiertenförderung, 2008
2008 | Scholarship of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) for the DHI Rome, 2008

Project description

The joint project of Rubina Zern-Breuer and Swenja Zaremba is dedicated to the interactions between state, administration and civil society. The aim is to investigate how trust between them can be strengthened again and how a new "Contrat Social" can be established between these spheres.
Participatory approaches that bring civil society back into positive contact with administration and politics are promising for this. For this purpose, the method of community organizing will be examined in a case study in Los Angeles County to see what transformative potential for the German public administration as well as for civil society networks this approach holds and what possible contribution it can make to local democracy.
The goal is to develop an application-oriented guideline for administrations, networks and their actors and to apply it to urban communities in Germany. Ideally, a local "Contrat Social" between city government and citizens should be established.