Open Data Day 2021: How to unlock its potential moving forward?

Stefaan Verhulst, Andrew Young, and Andrew Zahuranec at Data and Policy: “For over a decade, data advocates have reserved one day out of the year to celebrate open data. Open Data Day 2021 comes at a time of unprecedented upheaval. As the world remains in the grip of COVID-19, open data researchers and practitioners must confront the challenge of how to use open data to address the types of complex, emergent challenges that are likely to define the rest of this century (and beyond). Amid threats like the ongoing pandemic, climate change, and systemic poverty, there is renewed pressure to find ways that open data can solve complex social, cultural, economic and political problems.

Over the past year, the Open Data Policy Lab, an initiative of The GovLab at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, held several sessions with leaders of open data from around the world. Over the course of these sessions, which we called the Summer of Open Data, we studied various strategies and trends, and identified future pathways for open data leaders to pursue. The results of this research suggest an emergent Third Wave of Open Data— one that offers a clear pathway for stakeholders of all types to achieve Open Data Day’s goal of “showing the benefits of open data and encouraging the adoption of open data policies in government, business, and civil society.”

The Third Wave of Open Data is central to how data is being collected, stored, shared, used, and reused around the world. In what follows, we explain this notion further, and argue that it offers a useful rubric through which to take stock of where we are — and to consider future goals — as we mark this latest iteration of Open Data Day.

The Past and Present of Open Data

The history of open data can be divided into several waves, each reflecting the priorities and values of the era in which they emerged….(More)”.

Image for post
The Three Waves of Open Data