Global discussion on the future of policy-data interactions at Data for Policy’s sixth edition

The sixth international Data for Policy conference ‘Lessons for data-policy interactions after Covid-19’ ran online from 12th – 14th September. It hosted over 90 speakers and delegates from around the world.

As ever, presentations were broad-ranging and cross-disciplinary. The six thematic areas of interest of the standard tracks ensured that content extended from the highly technical through to real-world application. The three special tracks showcased highly topical work on data-driven innovation for sustainability, mobility as a service, and tools to tackle misinformation. Our dedicated social media team’s posts ensured a lively conversation throughout the conference #dataforpolicy2021

The conference opened with a plenary panel chaired by Stefaan Verhulst (GovLab and NYU). The panellists Chinwe Ochu (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control), Brennan Lake (Cuebiq) and Chris Wiggins (Columbia University and New York Times) reflected on the impact of the pandemic and the importance of data in the response of their respective fields: public health, the private sector, academia and the media.

The two excellent keynote lectures were livestreamed on YouTube. Professor Karen Yeung (Birmingham Law School) focussed on facial recognition testing for her critique of ‘in the wild’ testing and experimentation with data-driven technology. Professor Dame Wendy Hall (University of Southampton) set out her vision for a Social Data Foundation for supporting multi-party data sharing, whilst maintaining the highest standards for data and governance and security.

Participants in the Conference commented on the broad array of subjects, engaging content and discussion, and the good organisation and time-keeping. Nevertheless, many were missing the interactivity of an in-person conference.

You can view the full Conference Programme here.

Videos from the Conference are being published on a YouTube playlist. The plenary and keynotes are available, and other material will be included shortly.