Operationalizing a Responsible Data Ecosystem

Working with industry leaders, consumer advocates, lawyers, and technologists, this multistakeholder initiative aims to develop and deploy practical and impactful policy tools that increase responsible behaviour in the data ecosystem.

The Challenge

As the foundation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, data is fundamentally shifting the creation and distribution of economic, political and social value. According to the OECD, data is 10-20 times more valuable when shared and used by other data users, and 20-50 times more valuable to the economy. Personal data in particular promises tremendous opportunity for innovation and societal benefit, from pandemic response to building sustainable cities.

However, in this new era, gaps have emerged between the values and expectations of individuals and the public on the one hand, and the methods and market forces using data to drive innovation and societal benefit.

The Opportunity

Operationalizing a Responsible Data Ecosystem is a multistakeholder initiative committed to closing these gaps and building a trustworthy, equitable and thriving data ecosystem for all.

By bringing together a global coalition of innovators, technologists, social scientists, economists, business leaders, policy-makers, ethicists and activists, this initiative aims to:


  • facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue in what is a constantly evolving and complex space;

  • uncover and activate different levers for responsible action in the data ecosystem;

  • co-design policies and tools that are both practical and impactful in their delivery; and

  • implement changes together, to move the ecosystem forward as a whole.

The Impact

This year, a multistakeholder coalition of over 70 institutions has been exploring the responsible sharing of personal data from business to business. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to datapolicy@weforum.org.

This initiative is actively considering other opportunities to embed responsible practices in the data ecosystem and will build out additional workstreams to develop these tools. If you have a specific opportunity you would like to propose or discuss, please reach out to datapolicy@weforum.org.

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