In 2015, Stephen Adler, the Chief Information Strategist for IBM stated that IBM’s view about ‘smart cities’ was that a smart city was ‘self-aware.’ Peter Hirshberg, the Chairman of the City Innovate Foundation stated probably more comprehensively that “ …a networked city is not just a grid of communications and sensors. It is a vision of city governments ‘engaging with citizens in acts of co-creation.”
Numerous ‘smart city’ use cases from autonomous vehicles to COVID 19 contact tracing have confirmed that data sharing is fundamental to success. So, whether the goal is ‘self-awareness’ in city as a platform or ‘acts of co-creation’ such as new shared mobility platforms, the fact is, cities need to acquire data from many sources. So, fundamentally, one entity controlling data needs to be willing to share that data with another entity.
Yet, Cities Do Not Share Data
Yet, as Virginia discovered in 2017, most government entities do not share data A Commonwealth of Virginia report (2017 Executive Directive 7 Final Report, Leveraging the Use of Shared Data and Analytics) stated that data assets were NOT shared outside of the source agency due to a “complex array of federal and state laws, regulations, program rules, and related policies.” The report also stated that agencies had developed a risk‐averse culture opting to not share data by default. Finally, state agencies did not have the necessary “technical, financial, or personnel resources to sustain data sharing relationships” or initiate and manage data analytics projects. A 2019 Council survey of Virginia executive agencies, cities and counties in 2019 for the Virginia’s Chief Data Office confirmed these findings.
Call to action from Commonwealth of Virginia, led by CDO Rivero
The Commonwealth of Virginia, led by its Chief Data Officer Carlos Rivero seeks to help your city address the many barriers to data sharing and review how Virginia was able to stand-up a COVID-19 dashboard in one(1) week sharing data between both state and private entities.
This session, led by CDO Rivero and moderated by Dan Wu, both data experts is titled “Data sharing: civic data trusts’
- Join this Readiness Cohort about data sharing by applying through the Council’s Readiness Challenge
- Attend Data sharing: civic data trusts at Smart Cities Week Global with this session held the week of October 19, 2002
A key to CDO Rivero’s session at Smart Cities Week will be how Virginia went about creating a data sharing culture. For Carlos, this meant (i) establishing awareness, (ii) facilitating engagement, (iii) providing inspiration and (iv) promoting empowerment.
Moderated by Dan Wu, an expert on the law data privacy protections, the panel will have global experts on data sharing reviewing the key components of establishing a successful data sharing program. The three (3) key components are (i) legal framework for sharing, (ii) data governance and (iii) technology architecture.
Why focus on sharing data?
An excellent Data Sharing Toolkit developed by the Smart Dubai Department and NESTA (UK) and published in March 2020 highlights both the advantages and barriers to organizations sharing data. Reviewing over fifty (50) use cases, the report concluded that data sharing should be a goal and required practice for both the government and private sector; but that there was no fixed approach to navigate the unique, ever-changing actors, capacity or regulation.
The Toolkit identifies eight (8) common types of data sharing –
- Data commons – data is shared as a common resource with collective governance
- Data exchange or markets – data is shared as an economic asset that is shared transactionally
- Data collaboratives – exchange of data for common good
- Data cooperatives – shared ownership of an entity that collects and shares data to meet the need of the cooperative’s membership
- Data trust – similar to a cooperative but there is an agreed third party steward for the data
- Open data APIs – curated data sets open for common use
- Offices of data analytics – agencies share data under for a common purpose under common direction
- Research projects and data hackathons – single use data sharing for an agreed purpose
This sesssion will focus on 'data trusts' with other sessions focusing on open data, data commons and data exchanges.