A Year in Review


Responsibly Unlocking the Value of Data for All

On April 5, 2022, the Datasphere Initiative was launched as a new organization building agile frameworks to responsibly unlock the value of data for all.

This annual report presents the organization’s learnings, impact and what is coming next.

We are thankful to the following partners that supported different activities over the course of the 18 months that enabled us to launch the Datasphere Initiative: 

Google, Government of Germany Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Government of Switzerland, United Kingdom’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Microsoft,  Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry of Japan, Omidyar Network, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.


1. We still struggle with data governance

Policy conversations are still too often framed around value extraction or the monetization of data, often forgetting the societal impact and benefits of data-sharing and use.

2. We do not have the right institutional frameworks 

Discussions about data governance are still taking place in multiple sectoral and policy silos, while some might be justified, most occur often far from the practitioners or affected agents.

3. We should coordinate more effectively  

The lack of shared terminologies, data standards, and data interoperability is also leading to a complex, overlapping web of legislation with a real-life impact on how people can actually cooperate and share data.

4. We must connect policy and technology silos 

As our use of data becomes more prevalent, all voices need to be heard in data governance, especially those from underrepresented communities, the Global Majority and youth – the seeds of our digital future.

5. We need more experimentation    

There is a pressing need for a different and innovative approach to data governance. One that is proactive, systemic, transdisciplinary and evidence-based, that establishes the appropriate safeguards to legitimate concerns, while maximizing well-being for all through the creation and distribution of social and economic value.



Media mentions



registered participants in the events we organized in 2022


of attendees were female 


of attendees were male 


of invited speakers were female


of invited speakers were male


The Datasphere Initiative produced 47 blogs on how data governance is evolving and impacting our digital society.

Top 5 most visited blogs in 2022



The Datasphere Initiative produced resources to frame the concept of the datasphere, map organizations in the data governance ecosystem, and provide policy guidance on sandboxes for data.

Honing the concept of the Datasphere and how it can helpful for guiding data governance.

Identifying the organizations working on data governance across sectors and geographies.

Developing agile frameworks for responsible data-sharing.


The Datasphere Initiative launched its first Fellowship inviting graduate students and young professionals to work on novel research and dialogue related to data governance.

Monthly Meetings

7 explorations of the Datasphere concept

A key part of the fellow’s work was to explore the concept of the “Datasphere” and how it can be useful for designing best practices and frameworks for data governance in a holistic manner, so its value is unlocked for all.

12 blogs

3 papers 

The essay assesses the impact on global data flows of the cross-border provisions introduced by the Data Governance Act (DGA) and the Data Act (DA).

This paper provides a preliminary mapping of academic literature on data governance and explores the emerging conceptual framework of the “Datasphere”.

This paper presents a graph database-based framework for temporal querying of data and metadata which allows for the discovery and cataloguing of data using livestock population data and their classifications as a case study.

1 Wikipedia article

Datasphere Fellowship Report 2021-2022

The fellow’s outputs, key learnings, and contributions to furthering understanding of the concept of the datasphere and the ways in which diverse policy issues are impacting our ability to responsibly unlock the value of data for all have been presented in the Datasphere Fellowship Report 2021-2022, by the Datasphere Initiative. 

The 2021/2022 cohort of fellows presented their research and showcased the insights they gathered on the concept of the Datasphere at a virtual event on October 13, 2022. 

The Datasphere Initiative welcomed the second cohort of fellows in October 2022.



On September 22, 2022 the Datasphere Initiative was founded as a not-for-profit foundation headquartered in Switzerland appointing an inaugural Board of Trustees

Michael Kende

Anne Carblanc

Stéphane Duguin

Chair Board of Trustees

Member Board of Trustees

Member Board of Trustees


The Datasphere Initiative built a diverse team spanning geographies and experiences. 


Lorrayne Porciuncula

Executive Director

Martin Hullin

Deputy Executive Director

Bertrand de La Chapelle

Chief Vision Officer

Carolina Rossini

Director for Policy and Research

Sophie Tomlinson

Director of Partnerships & Communications

Nicholas Field

Lead, Operations & Administration
Justin Bryant Datasphere Initiative

Justin Bryant

Lead, Global Sandboxes for Data

Natalia Loungou

Events & Communications Coordinator

Mariana Rozo-Paz

Research Associate
Andrea Palomino

Andrea Palomino

Digital Communications Associate


20+ organizations joined the Datasphere Initiative as a partner.


1. Catalyzing a community

Building on the Datasphere Governance Atlas, a mapping of 260 organizations working on data governance around the world, the Datasphere Initiative aims to leverage and expand this research into an interactive coordination platform. This will provide structured in depth information on the organization and initiatives shaping and framing the data policy landscape, including funders, in order to support community coordination towards better and more inclusive strategic engagement, policy action and technology development for the digital society.

2. Amplifying voices

The Datasphere Initiative will continue to foster a more inclusive and participatory approach to data governance, both at national, regional and global levels. As a prize winner of the Omidyar Network Future of Data Challenge, the Datasphere Initiative is launching a project to develop awareness-raising and learning campaigns, to showcase the voices and experiences of youth from the United States on how data shapes their lives. Results and learnings will be shared to bridge gaps between youth and decision-makers through structured advocacy and outreach.

To expand our understanding of data governance and its relationship to Artificial Intelligence’s impact on society, the Datasphere Initiative will also be continuing its webinar series with the D4D Network to understand trends and challenges arising across regions particularly in the Global Majority.

3. Experimenting with innovative solutions for concrete data challenges

The stakes are high on tackling the emerging global challenges and bottlenecks related to data access and sharing. Yet, we continue to use traditional tools and governance that have proven insufficient to tackle novel dilemmas. New regulatory and technological tools are needed to handle the complexity of data-sharing across borders and sectors. The Datasphere Initiative is committed to identifying paradigm shifts and experimenting with innovative approaches that responsibly unlock the value of data for all. 

The Global Forum on Sandboxes for Data will consolidate good practices and coordinate experts to advance the implementation of sandboxes applied for concrete cross-border data challenges, while the Africa Forum will build a pan-African community to enable innovative cross-border data governance solutions for the region. 

In addition, the Datasphere Initiative and interested partners will experiment with developing Template Modular Charters for Data-Sharing Communities on concrete pilot cases that could significantly reduce transaction costs for actors, provide predictability, and enable responsible data sharing.


4. Shaping a global agenda

The Datasphere Initiative will continue to encourage organizations and individuals to reflect on how data governance challenges are creeping into numerous economic sectors and social dimensions in order to combine efforts at developing both sectoral frameworks and global ones. We are planning more dialogues, events and thought pieces to showcase innovations and moonshot solutions to address the planetary challenges that data governance poses. We are taking part in coalitions to shape the international agenda towards a more holistic and inclusive approach to data governance.

The Datasphere Initiative will organize a Summit to connect stakeholders across-sectors and geographies to share technological and policy innovations and develop a common roadmap to responsibly unlock the value of data for all.

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