Andreas Brandenberg, co-head of Data Worlds, explained the status and general direction of the project:
- Mission: Data Worlds intends to contribute towards the ability to extract added value from data sustainably, whereby "sustainably" refers to society's acceptance and support of the value-generating process.
- Perspectives: Data Worlds deliberately focuses on the potential that lies within the risks and opportunities arising from innovative forms of data use.
- Objectives: Data Worlds seeks to develop specific examples in order to show the possibilities for creating value obtained from data. It also sets out to examine the potential of innovative data uses in a broadly diversified range of user contexts. Finally, Data Worlds aims to develop a clear framework for sustainable and responsible data use.
- Initiatives: Data Worlds works in accordance with four initiatives. It organises events for a specialised audience and for the general public. It provides an environment for learning and experimenting so as to make it easier to realize the potential of big data. It sponsors applied projects, and it facilitates networks among the experts at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
- – Sixth department (coming soon): Data Worlds has been given an interdisciplinary mandate by the University's Executive Board and intends to promote networks across a wide range of disciplines in all departments.
André Golliez (owner of Golliez Open Data Consulting and president of the Open Data Initiative Switzerland) gave participants an insight into data-driven innovations by demonstrating the economic and social potential in new forms of data use (he deliberately avoids using the term "big data"). At the same time, he emphasised that this potential can be unleashed only if the data used for value-adding purposes is freely accessible.
This means overcoming two obstacles: Firstly, data is often held in data silos and thus not easily available for innovative purpose. Secondly, the blanket use of data – especially personal data – may in no way violate the privacy of individuals and groups. Both of these conditions force us to rethink the design of our current ecosystem, which must always have the individual user at its centre.