It’s time to be bold in the face of pressing global challenges.


Ending the climate crisis, developing responsible AI, and other complex issues require a level of dynamic, multistakeholder, and cross-border collaboration that we have never seen before. 

Traditional institutions have struggled to respond to the pace of technological change and maximize the value of data for all. Uncoordinated actions have resulted in a series of unintended consequences and deadlocks both locally and globally.


CO2 emissions and deforestation data throughout global supply chains are urgently needed to respond to the climate crisis


Data is a fundamental input for large learning models to foster equitable and inclusive applications for the benefit of humankind


Data on transactions and identity is shared routinely across borders for cross-border digital commerce


Access to mobility data is crucial for transportation innovation, migration, and sustainability across borders


Improved quality, quantity and cross-border access to health data is crucial for research, disease control and drug development

Sandboxes allow us test and deploy collaborative data solutions both within and across borders

"Sandboxes bring individuals with diverse strengths together to target specific challenges and iterate solutions. They are crucial to catalyzing a new era of cross-border collaboration and transforming data solutions into real, durable outcomes that benefit both people and the planet.”

What are sandboxes?

Sandboxes are collaborative environments that test innovative technologies and data practices against regulatory frameworks, or experiment with new uses, capabilities, and means of governing data.

The controlled experimentation environment provides a low-risk model for testing challenging, new ideas
Legal and regulatory certainty to facilitate market entry and enhance competition
Regulators get to interact with the latest technological developments and solutions, building trust among stakeholders
Greater public understanding of emerging technologies, practices, rules and norms

How can Sandboxes be implemented across borders? 

Sandboxes can unlock groundbreaking possibilities, however, their cross-border potential has been underexplored, remaining largely as national or subnational endeavors.

At the Datasphere Initiative, we have developed the world’s first roadmap on how to design and initiate cross-border sandboxes for data, based on the experiences of different use cases. The methodology is detailed in the report Sandboxes for Data: Creating spaces for agile solutions across borders.

Interested in exploring further what this means?

We developed a free online course “A Guide To Cross-Border Sandboxes for Data”.  

The course is based on the findings curated in the Sandboxes for Data report and is designed to help participants unlock the potential of cross-border sandboxes in Africa.

What is the Global Sandboxes Forum?

The Datasphere Initiative is convening a global cross-sectoral community of experts to design cross-border sandboxes for data, build trust, share experiences toward creating:

More cross-sectoral innovation, involving different and potentially conflicting national regulatory frameworks

Increased data availability, accessibility, and shared technical standards

Digital public goods through new data intermediary models


More robust and diverse coalitions of stakeholders than what has been seen to date

The Global Sandboxes Forum will consist of four engagement tracks:





Advance capacity building and peer-to-peer learning

Share experiences through roundtables, workshops, and focused projects

Pilot sandboxes and iterate solutions in sectors such as health, finance, sustainability, and AI

The Global Sandboxes Forum will officially launch in Q2 2024.

As the first regional application of the Global Sandboxes Forum, the Datasphere Initiative has launched the Africa Forum on Sandboxes for Data.

Interested in joining the Global Sandboxes Forum, partnering in establishing a regional Sandbox Forum, or pitching a data solution that could be tested across borders?

Reach out to us!


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