“Big Data, Big Impact” White Paper at Davos

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In time for its Annual Meeting in Davos, the World Economic Forum has published a new white paper entitled “Big Data, Big Impact: New Possibilities for International Development.

The WEF paper lays out several of the ideas which fundamentally drive the Global Pulse initiative. It lays out in concrete terms the opportunity presented by the explosion of data in our world today, and how researchers and policymakers are beginning to realize the potential for channeling these torrents of data into actionable information that can be used to identify needs & provide services for the benefit of low-income populations. The document is a call-to-action for stakeholders for concerted action to ensure that this data helps the individuals and communities who create data.

In discussing opportunities to overcome the challenges of data sharing for mutual benefit, the paper notes the concept of data philanthropy:

A number of organisations are already working to overcome the challenges and create the incentive structures needed for cross-sector cooperation. Global Pulse is creating a network of Pulse Labs that bring together experts in government, academia, the development sector, and private companies to pioneer new approaches to using data for development challenges.

The organisation is also now actively engaging with partners around what Robert Kirkpatrick calls “data philanthropy?, where corporations are encouraged to share anonymised data for use by the public sector to protect vulnerable populations. These companies are driven partly by a recognition that more effective policy action will lead to greater resilience from economic shocks, and therefore translate into better business continuity.

Read or download the full publication here, or below:

IMAGE: Social Media cartographer Eric Fischer has created this map illustrating physical movement and the movement of tweets: green denotes physical movement; purple is @replies from someone in one location to someone in another; white is a combination of the two. (Source: Mashable)


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News, thoughts and ideas about big data and AI, data privacy and ethics from across the Pulse Lab Network. Read more on the blog.

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