Oliver Bott on the need for diverse perspectives to understand how data can be used for the public good


Datasphere Initiative


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On the occasion of International Women’s Day and its 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity, the Datasphere Initiative spoke to a range of policy professionals in the Datasphere Initiative’s global network, to ask them: why equity should be a core goal in policy and technical approaches to responsibly unlocking the value of data?

Oliver Bott, Project Manager, Stiftung Mercator shared his perspectives and identified specific actions that can be taken.

Read more about the campaign and other contributions here

Digitization affects all areas of society and the basic principles of our democracy. It is one of the grand challenges of our time to balance opportunities and risks posed by the collection, processing and governance of data, which lie at the core of the transformation. We observe that negative impacts of data-driven technologies disproportionately affect marginalized groups, for example in welfare provision or criminal justice. The benefits are largely monopolized by very few corporations. Diversity and equity are essential values to tackle these power asymmetries. We need diverse perspectives to embrace the potential of data as a knowledge resource. We support research and civil society actors to help us understand how data and technology can be used for the public good, how public policy can effectively govern in a digital age, and how public services can be modernized. By doing so, we try to strengthen democratic institutions and social cohesion.

We support and partner with a range of organizations that share these goals: Superrr Lab explores and develops the potentials of new technologies for society and diversity. The Open Knowledge Foundation Germany promotes open data in German public administration. She Transforms IT strengthens women in digitalisation from classrooms to business to politics. Bits & Bäume works at the intersection of sustainability and digitalisation. The Brussels-based Data Tank addresses societal challenges and furthers the common good by advancing data sharing across sectors.

Oliver  Bott is a Project Manager at Stiftung Mercator. Stiftung Mercator is a private and independent foundation. Through the projects it supports and through its own activities, it is committed to a society characterized by openness to the world, solidarity, and equal opportunities. Since 1996, Stiftung Mercator has dedicated itself to establishing the social prerequisites for people of different backgrounds, convictions, and social situations to live together in peace. Read more here

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