Data for Policy 2015

Call for Contributions

Deadline: 20 January 2015

Policy-making in the Big Data Era: Opportunities and Challenges

15-17 June 2015, University of Cambridge

Current decision-making processes are far from being optimal to represent the best interests of the public and stakeholders as contemporary policy domains are very complex, high-dimensional and include a large dose of uncertainty. The massive amounts of data captured in our physical world through sensors and electronic devices provide a huge potential to advance these processes. With the availability of new technologies, new formulations are needed on fundamental questions such as how to conduct a census, how to produce labour statistics, or how to incorporate data mined from social media and administrative operations. Efficient procedures to draw links between large-scale data-processing technologies and existing expert knowledge in major policy domains would potentially offer chances to make policy development processes more citizen-focused, taking into account public needs and preferences supported with actual experiences of public services. This however comes with serious
privacy and security concerns as intersecting various data sources could reveal unprecedented private information.

The conference committee invites contributions from researchers, policy makers, practitioners in industry and all other stakeholders to explore the latest developments and potentials in policy-making processes. Topics that will be covered include but not limited to the following:

  • Information and evidence in digital age
  • Policy making mechanisms and modelling approaches
  • Existing methodologies, case studies, best practices for use of Big Data in policy
  • Data collection, storage, processing and access procedures
  • Cumulative learning in digital environments, potentials in policy context, challenges and limitations
  • Interaction of domain expertise with digital processing technologies; dealing with imperfect/uncertain data; psychology/behaviour of decision
  • Security and privacy issues; ethics and law

Proposals for individual presentations, research panels, fringe meetings, policy workshops and tutorials are all welcome.

There will be a limited number of travel grants available for presenting students and young professionals. For those wishing to be considered for travel grants please indicate this when submitting proposals. A CV including the publication record and a cover letter should also be submitted for consideration of these grants.

All submitted proposals will be considered for post-conference publications in the form of special journal issues, edited books, and policy briefs. Authors of selected proposals will be expected to submit full papers prior to the conference.

The conference is convened by Dr Zeynep Engin and Prof Jon Crowcroft in collaboration with an interdisciplinary committee that represent key UK-based institutions specialising in Big Data research. Please note that submissions are accepted through the official conference website.

Prospective sponsors should contact organisers by email.