Nicole Zerrer
Research Associate | Economy and Civil Society

Nicole Zerrer has been working as a research associate in the Research Area “Economy and Civil Society” since June 2019. As a PhD student the communication and political scientist is doing research in the lead project “Smart Villagers. Digitalisation and Social Innovation in Rural Areas.”

Nicole Zerrer studied communication science at the University of Muenster and the Hawai´i Pacific University. Continued by postgraduate studies of media and political communication at the Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Stockholm and the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship. Her main focus was on mediatization research, media and political change, sociological system theory and design thinking. For her thesis she conducted empirical research about risk perception and risk communication of innovations.

During her study period she also obtained professional experience in projects on the “Digital Society” and the “City of the Future” at Science in Dialogue gGmbH. She also worked in journalism, strategic communication and sustainability management.

Projects

Ongoing Lead Projects

Smart cities are often talked about – but smart villages? Rural areas, particularly in structurally weak regions, are often affected by out-migration and a growing backlog in digital infrastructure and innovation dynamics. Both trends reinforce each other. However, there are examples of villages in which innovative initiatives do not just strive to compensate for deficits, but develop new, situation- and problem-specific local solutions. In doing so, they combine new services with creative uses of digital technologies and sometimes improved digital infrastructures. In this lead project, such initiatives, driven by ‘smart villagers’, are analysed from the perspective of ‘societal innovations’, yet with an emphasis on the aspects of mediatization and digitalization. more info

The lead project of the research focus "Economy and Civil Society" addresses profound transformation processes in knowledge and innovation societies, which in turn are characterised by disruptive events. The lead project "Post-Office" aims to understand the dynamics of change in knowledge-generating cooperation with its disruptive elements and to discuss resulting consequences for urban and rural regions. more info

Ongoing Qualification Projects

Digitalisation as a societal megatrend also changes life in rural areas. Village inhabitants push initiatives to address common problems of rural living with digital technology. The aim of this research project is to better understand rural digitalisation processes and their effects on village communities as well as the (further) development of a theoretical framework to this research object. more info

Selected Publications by Year

2022
Zerrer, N., Sept, A., & Christmann, G. (2022). Rural Community Development Click-by-Click: Processes and Dynamics of Digitally Supported Social Innovations in Peripheral Rural Areas. Raumforschung und Raumordnung. https://doi.org/10.14512/rur.145
2021
Zerrer, N., & Sept, A. (2021). Smart Villagers im Visier. Land in Form - Magazin für Ländliche Räume, (3), 40-41. https://www.netzwerk-laendlicher-raum.de/fileadmin/Redaktion/Seiten/Service/Publikationen/LandInForm/2021/LandInForm_2021_03_V2.pdf
2020
Zerrer, N., & Sept, A. (2020). Smart Villagers as Actors of Digital Social Innovation in Rural Areas. Urban Planning, 5(4), 78-88. https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v5i4.3183

Selected Publications by Type

Journal Article
Zerrer, N., Sept, A., & Christmann, G. (2022). Rural Community Development Click-by-Click: Processes and Dynamics of Digitally Supported Social Innovations in Peripheral Rural Areas. Raumforschung und Raumordnung. https://doi.org/10.14512/rur.145
Zerrer, N., & Sept, A. (2020). Smart Villagers as Actors of Digital Social Innovation in Rural Areas. Urban Planning, 5(4), 78-88. https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v5i4.3183
Other Contribution to Journal
Zerrer, N., & Sept, A. (2021). Smart Villagers im Visier. Land in Form - Magazin für Ländliche Räume, (3), 40-41. https://www.netzwerk-laendlicher-raum.de/fileadmin/Redaktion/Seiten/Service/Publikationen/LandInForm/2021/LandInForm_2021_03_V2.pdf

Talks

2021
Smart Villagers in Germany

On-/Offline Interferences. Digitalisation and Socio-Spatial Transformations

November/16/2021
IRS, Erkner (digital), Germany

Rurale Mediatisierung: Die Dorfgemeinschaft als Kommunikative Figuration

Alltags- und Spannungsverhältnisse in ländlichen Räumen

September/10/2021
Thünen-Institut für ländliche Räume, Braunschweig, Germany

The Driving Actors of Digital Social Innovations in Rural Germany

8th European Communication Conference

September/09/2021
Online

Rural Mediatization: The Village Community as Communicative Figuration

Kolloquium Professor Wimmer

March/23/2021
Universität Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany

2020
THE MEDIATIZED VILLAGE Digital Social Innovation and Smart Villagers in Rural Areas

Kolloquium Prof. Jeffrey Wimmer

October/30/2020
Universität Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany

Smart Villagers Drivers of Digital Social Innovations in Rural Areas

IAMCR 2020 online conference

July/12/2020
Tampere/Online, Tampere, Finland

Memberships

  • Leibniz-Gemeinschaft (External organisation)

  • Bertelsmann Stiftung (External organisation)

  • PhD Netzwerk der Leibniz Gemeinschaft (External organisation)