The Data Sharing Days 2020 event wrapped up at the end of the afternoon on Tuesday 28 January, bringing to a close two full days of presentations and workshops by experts and industry partners. The feedback from the delegates and speakers leaves no room for doubt: the inaugural edition of this annual event, co-hosted by INNOPAY, was a resounding success.
In fact, the success of the event exceeded the expectations of Mariane ter Veen, director data sharing at INNOPAY. “In these times of growing awareness of the value of data, combined with a decline in trust, we need a clear direction and actionable solutions to enable us to unleash the full potential of data sharing,” she comments. “It felt great to be in a room with such a positive vibe and packed with so many like-minded people, including those at the forefront of data sharing.” Some of the keynote speakers included Douwe Lycklama (founding partner of INNOPAY), Ruben Verborgh (professor of semantic web technology at Ghent University who is also closely involved in Solid), Susan Morrow (a prominent member of the Women in Identity community) and Yvo Volman (head of the European Commission’s Data Policy and Innovation unit).
The theme of this year’s event was ‘Data sovereignty in a world where everything is becoming a transaction’. This theme was specifically chosen to highlight the importance of data sovereignty – or ‘giving people control over their own data’ – in rebuilding the trust of businesses and consumers in how their data is handled. A lack of trust is leading to higher transaction costs due to compliancy and risk-mitigating measures. This is ultimately slowing down the progression of the transactional internet and preventing everyone from benefiting from its full potential.
“I’m immensely proud to be part of this community at such an exciting time. We all sense the urgent need to establish data sovereignty, and the means to do so are already available,” continues Mariane. “For me, the past few years have been about creating awareness, and several promising initiatives have been launched, including the iSHARE scheme for data sharing. Now, we need to make sure that we all work together towards the shared goal of data sovereignty. We are in favour of a converging approach rather than one which – albeit unknowingly – creates fragmentation. We feel encouraged by an increasing demand for soft infrastructures in several industries, such as energy and banking.”
“With this first edition of the Data Sharing Days, we’ve reached another milestone and laid a firm foundation for an industry-wide data sharing community that starts to speak the same language. Someone actually suggested that ‘afsprakenstelsel’ could be the next Dutch word to go global! ‘Afsprakenstelsel’ means ‘trust scheme’ – a set of uniform agreements enabling anybody to share data with anybody else, whilst retaining control over their data. That’s proof of just how focused this community is on cooperating to accomplish that goal,” she adds.
“The first Data Sharing Days 2020 delegates have already said they will start working on creating data sovereignty in their own organisations using the ‘7 Steps Towards Giving Control over Data’ approach. And I hope many more public-sector and private-sector organisations will be inspired by them to do the same,” states Mariane. “I’d like to extend an open invitation to everyone to become part of this community to support data sovereignty and help us shape the future. I’m looking forward to seeing how much the community will have grown by the next Data Sharing Days event, which is scheduled for the 25th and 26th of January 2021!”