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Reimagining Public-Private Partnerships

By Stefaan Verhulst and Andrew J. Zahuranec Four Shifts and Innovations in Sharing and Leveraging Private Assets and Expertise for the Public Good For years, public-private partnerships (PPPs) have promised to help governments do more for less. Yet, the discussion and experimentation surrounding PPPs often focus on outdated models and narratives, and the field of […]

Governments fail to capitalise on swaths of open data

Valentina Romei in the Financial Times: “…Behind the push for open data is a desire to make governments more transparent, accountable and efficient — but also to allow businesses to create products and services that spark economic development. The global annual opportunity cost of failing to do this effectively is about $5tn, according to one estimate […]

Beyond Open vs. Closed: Balancing Individual Privacy and Public Accountability in Data Sharing

Paper by Bill Howe et al: “Data too sensitive to be “open” for analysis and re-purposing typically remains “closed” as proprietary information. This dichotomy undermines efforts to make algorithmic systems more fair, transparent, and accountable. Access to proprietary data in particular is needed by government agencies to enforce policy, researchers to evaluate methods, and the […]

The Nail Finds a Hammer: Self-Sovereign Identity, Design Principles, and Property Rights in the Developing World

Report by Michael Graglia, Christopher Mellon and Tim Robustelli: “Our interest in identity systems was an inevitable outgrowth of our earlier work on blockchain-based1 land registries.2 Property registries, which at the simplest level are ledgers of who has which rights to which asset, require a very secure and reliable means of identifying both people and properties. In the course of investigating solutions […]

Why Doctors Hate Their Computers

Atul Gawande at the New Yorker: “….More than ninety per cent of American hospitals have been computerized during the past decade, and more than half of Americans have their health information in the Epic system. Seventy thousand employees of Partners HealthCare—spread across twelve hospitals and hundreds of clinics in New England—were going to have to adopt […]

The Global Commons of Data

Paper by Jennifer Shkabatur: “Data platform companies (such as Facebook, Google, or Twitter) amass and process immense amounts of data that is generated by their users. These companies primarily use the data to advance their commercial interests, but there is a growing public dismay regarding the adverse and discriminatory impacts of their algorithms on society […]

A Third of Wikipedia Discussions Are Stuck in Forever Beefs

Samantha Cole at Motherboard: “Wikipedia, the internet’s encyclopedia, is run entirely by volunteers—people who spend large swaths of their personal time making sure the information that hundreds of millions of people access every day stays accurate and up-to-date. Of those volunteers, 77 percent of Wikipedia articles are written by just one percent of Wikipedia editors. As such, tensions tend […]

A Smart City Is an Accessible City

Timi Hamraie at The Atlantic: “A new breed of accessibility apps can make life easier for people with disabilities. They can also make it harder…. Digital-accessibility maps are proliferating rapidly, thanks in part to the release of apps such as AXS Map, Access Earth, AccessNow, and Wheelmap. In the decade that I have been studying accessibility, I have come across […]

People data: The risks, rewards and opportunities

Andrea Fouche in Silicon Republic: “The people data revolution has finally arrived. 69pc of organisations are building integrated systems to analyse worker-related data. Leading companies are monitoring people data from many sources, including social media (17pc), surveys (76pc), and integrated data from HR and financial systems (87pc). Creative organisations are mining this rich variety of sources to create […]