The world’s first global collective of stakeholders

fostering a holistic and innovative approach

to data governance.

Towards a Datasphere that fosters trust, prosperity, sustainability
and well-being for all. 


How we govern the Datasphere will determine the future of human society in the 21st century and our capacity to deal with global challenges such as health, energy and climate.

Persisting mistrust among governments, companies, and civil society hampers the search for cooperative solutions for data governance.


Tensions are scaling up, marked by unilateral approaches to managing data flows and simplistic rallying slogans. 


Multiple structures and processes address interdependent data issues in separate silos, without systemic coordination and with only a few actors involved.

The lack of a common vocabulary and mechanism bridging these silos represents an institutional and procedural vacuum now evident to more and more actors. 

Organizing the Datasphere
calls for a bold paradigm shift
in how data governance models
are conceived and implemented.


  • Fostering coordination among a diversity of actors,

  • Raising awareness by producing evidence-based analysis,

  • Accelerating the adoption of concrete proposals to overcome the current tensions and polarization around data,


  • Catalyzing human-centric technical, policy and institutional innovations.



- We believe in the capacity of everyone to contribute and we provide a safe space for an inclusive and systemic debate on the interconnected issues our global civilization faces.

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- We believe solutions are better designed and actioned upon when all impacted stakeholders are involved and collaborate in developing them. .

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- We strive to advance autonomy and self-determination for individuals and groups by sharing the information and tools needed to enable well-informed decisions for all. .

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- We dare to creatively challenge conventional wisdom, including our own, promoting experimentation at every level, from moonshot ambitions right down to organizing our daily work.

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- Our debates, analysis and proposed solutions address concrete challenges and opportunities, both current and emergent. .

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- We understand that real progress in addressing long-term challenges takes time and sustained iterative efforts. .

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During its incubation phase, and in preparation for its formal incorporation, the Datasphere Initiative benefits from the operational support from the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network. The core leadership of the Datasphere Initiative is composed of its co-founders:

How we collectively govern the Datasphere matters to everyone and we are developing ways to get you involved. 

For more information write to:

Call for fellows 2021-22:

An opportunity for graduate students and young professionals to work on novel research and dialogue related to data governance.

- Application is closed -


AI Omdena Challenge:

Developing an AI system to enable the visualization of the Datasphere and its different dimensions.

- Application is closed -


The Datasphere Initiative is incubated and catalyzed by the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network (I&JPN).

Since 2012, the I&JPN has facilitated a global dialogue on concrete jurisdictional tensions about the internet among more than 400 entities (governments, internet platforms, technical operators, civil society, academia, and international organizations) from 70 countries.

The Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network is recognized as a key forum to help build evidence to inform future multilateral and plurilateral discussions on data free flow with trust and data localization measures. It was in particular referenced in the 2021 G7 Ministerial Declaration of the G7 Digital and Technology Ministers’ meeting along with the OECD and the G20 Digital Economy Task Force.


We Need to Talk About Data: Framing the Debate Around Free Flow of Data and Data Sovereignty


The report recommends three key actions for moving forward:

1. We need a debate that is global, multi-stakeholder, across sectors 
2. The discussion needs to be reframed to ensure that this complex and novel issue is addressed in a much more nuanced manner
3. The Report highlights the need to be innovative in the tools, frameworks and concepts we use to address the issue of data

Talking About Data Blog

The Report “We Need to Talk About Data: Framing the Debate Around the Free Flow of Data and Data Sovereignty" presents concerns and perspectives around these polarizing policy concepts and offers recommendations on how to move forward.


To unpack the key messages and explore the next steps we spoke to the Report’s contributors to ask how I&JPN can foster a collaborative discussion on how to organize our common Datasphere.

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