The inception of Data for Policy was as a result of the observation, by academics in the field, that the rapidly emerging and developing digital technologies can be utilised to inform and direct public policy. The central idea was to bring together technologists and those involved in public policy, and thereby facilitate an interdisciplinary forum of discussion.

The inaugural conference was in 2015, and since then two more conferences were held. The coming 2019 conference has also been announced:

Data for Policy 2015, Cambridge – Policy-making in the Big Data Era: Opportunities and Challenges

Data for Policy 2016, Cambridge – Frontiers of Data Science for Government: Ideas, Practices, and Projections

Data for Policy 2017, London – Government by Algorithm?

Data for Policy 2019, London – Digital Trust and Personal Data


Data for Policy has also hosted and gained contributions, through keynote speeches and presentations, by leading figures in the field. These include:

Jim Waldo, Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science and the Chief Technology Officer, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
Enrico Giovannini, Co-Chair, UN Data Revolution Group, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’
Anthony Finkelstein – Chief Scientific Advisor for National Security, UK
Stefaan Verhulst – Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory, New York University
David Hand – Winton Capital Management; Imperial College
Helen Margetts, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
Ross Anderson, Professor of Security Engineering, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge
James Wilsdon, Professor of Science and Democracy at SPRU (Science & Technology Policy Research), Sussex University
Natasa Milic-Frayling, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research Cambridge (MSRC)
Maive Rute, Deputy Director-General of Joint Research Centre, European Commission
Philip Treleaven, Professor of Computing and Director of the Financial Computing Centre, University College London
Quentin Palfrey, Executive Director, J-PAL North America, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Barbara Ubaldi, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Rayid Ghani, Director of the Center for Data Science and Public Policy, University of Chicago
Jon Crowcroft, Marconi Professor of Communications Systems in the Computer Laboratory of the University of Cambridge


Key partnerships have been formed, with collaboration from leading stakeholders such as:

Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge | European Commission | The Alan Turing Institute | Office for National Statistics | Data Science Institute, Imperial College London | Department of Computer Science, University College London | Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford | Department of Methodology, London School of Economics and Political Science | Royal Statistical Society | Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge UCL Public Policy | Technopolis Group