Hasso-Plattner-InstitutSDG am HPI
Hasso-Plattner-InstitutDSG am HPI


An era comes to an end

For 18 years, Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel has been instrumental in ensuring that the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) continues on its successful path. Prof. Meinel will now retire from the institute's management on March 31, 2023. We look back at some of his greatest milestones.

2004 – Hasso Plattner appoints Christoph Meinel as HPI director in Potsdam

HPI is still in its infancy when Hasso Plattner appoints Christoph Meinel to the position of director in 2004. As an experienced computer science professor, Meinel uses new formats to give students a practical, real-life education. He also leads the young HPI in its early research endeavors.

2006 – First National IT Summit at HPI

Prof. Christoph Meinel is always determined to promote formats that link science with politics and have an impact on society. For example, in 2006 the first national IT summit is held at HPI. Since then, the student-run HPI Digital Blog has reported every year on the top-level meeting of the IT industry and conducted interviews with high-ranking representatives from business, science, and politics.

2006 – HPI honored as "Ausgezeichneter Ort"

In 2006, the Hasso Plattner Institute is honored as an "Ausgezeichneter Ort" (Place of Distinction) by the "Deutschland –  Land der Ideen" (Germany—Land of Ideas) initiative. A reason to celebrate: in the same year, the legendary HPI Summer Party is held on campus for the first time.

2007 – Foundation of the HPI School of Design Thinking (D-School)

Following the example of the Stanford d.school, the HPI School of Design Thinking begins its work in the fall of 2007. Every year, the D-School offers 300 places for supplementary studies. Based in Potsdam, the D-School quickly becomes Europe's leading educational center in the field of design thinking.

2010 – On course for growth at the Griebnitzsee campus

HPI sets further milestones – and foundation stones – with Christoph Meinel: In 2010, the new main building is erected on the Griebnitzsee campus, and a top research laboratory, the Future SOC Lab, opened. HPI's good contacts with the industry provide new resources for unique research opportunities.

2012 – Europe's first MOOC platform is launched

In 2012, Hasso Plattner designates Christoph Meinel architect of a major IT project and Europe's first MOOC learning platform is  launched with openHPI. More than ten years later, the platform boasts more than 1.1 million enrollments from around 180 countries.

2013 – First Potsdam Conference for National CyberSecurity

Given the growing risks in cyberspace, the Hasso Plattner Institute, in cooperation with the Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security (BIGS), launches an exchange with the state's security authorities and relevant stakeholders in 2013. A format that develops into the leading cybersecurity conference in Germany and beyond is created.

2017 – Foundation of the joint Digital Engineering Faculty

In 2017, the Hasso Plattner Institute becomes the new Digital Engineering Faculty at the University of Potsdam. The birth of the joint Digital Engineering Faculty, which takes place under the direction of  Dean Prof. Christoph Meinel, introduces the first privately funded faculty at a public university in Germany.

2017 – The HPI School Cloud: From pilot project to secure IT infrastructure for schools

Under the leadership of Prof. Meinel, HPI develops the School Cloud, a privacy-compliant digital solution for everyday school life in Germany. At the end of the project, in July 2021, around 4,000 schools nationwide are using the platform. Since then, the HPI School Cloud has become part of regular operation and is being further developed by the federal states of Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, and Thuringia.

2019 – 20 years of HPI: The Big Anniversary

In October 2019, the Hasso Plattner Institute celebrates its 20th birthday and looks back on two decades of successful teaching and research, together with well-known national and international guests from politics, science and culture in Potsdam.


2020  – For a Sustainable Digital Transformation: Launch of the cleanIT Initiative

In order to contribute to the realization of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Hasso Plattner Institute launches the clean-IT initiative in January 2020 on the occasion of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Two years later, the first cleanIT conference takes place at HPI.

We sincerely thank Prof. Christoph Meinel and wish him all the best for the future!