The project Metabrain (working title) originated at the “Refugee Hackathon” in October 2015, Berlin. It is being developed in close cooperation with partners from existing online networking and search sites. These partners are from,, and



Moved by the newcomers’ plight, residents are not only volunteering in unprecedented numbers but are also founding numerous projects aimed at alleviating unmet needs. There is a massive overlap between those projects, however, since existing platforms that could provide an overview of activities are either not found or are insufficient. That overlap wastes precious resources and causes many projects to stall at similar hurdles. Additionally, the sheer number of platforms that promise an overview and ask projects to submit their information are an additional burden on initiatives “in the field”. There is no consensus between platforms as to the data format nor can any one platform keep their information up-to-date. There is an urgent need for a centralized source of information that can provide unambiguous meta data on projects. Such a repository could then supply other platforms as well as granting an overview of current activities.



To foster cooperation between and sustainable growth of projects through the revelation of synergies and the possibility for networking. This is enabled by providing structured meta data on digital and analog projects as a free and open service.



Gathering and merging all relevant data sets in order to create a comprehensive and current catalog of projects. Core data collected includes but is not limited to name, goal, website, contact. This collection seeds a database that provides standardized meta data on projects, as well as mapping their professional and infrastructural needs. Users wishing an overview are served a simple search interface but are encouraged to make use of one of the more specialized platforms that can grant a focused view on the same data set. Those platforms, such as the aforementioned partners, are given access to the data via an open interface (API). After the release of the database with the seed content, entry and update of information by the projects themselves will be incentivized.


Next Steps

A first version is planned to be released for and presented at the conference “Civil Society 4.0” at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, March 3-5, 2016.




Contact persons

Moritz Beber
Ulrike Thalheim