Never has it been more important to ensure people are benefiting from the promise of the digital revolution.

 

We believe that data is the new frontier in the fight against poverty. Personal digital data is growing at exponential rates and, as such, offers an important new opportunity for enhanced decision-making at all levels. If governed well, data can close capability gaps in government, foster small business growth, and empower people to access life-enhancing services.

Yet the data revolution could just as easily, and perhaps more naturally, exacerbate exclusion and inequality by fueling jobless growth, deepening discrimination, undermining trust in critical institutions, and eroding social norms through breaches of data privacy and targeted disinformation campaigns.  In fact, both trends--the positive and negative--are playing out simultaneously. Ultimately, determining the mix of rules and investments required to harness personal digital data for the benefit of individuals and society while mitigating the risks requires balancing the interests of the state and the market, which the power dynamics of the data economy tend to favor, against those of the individuals collectively generating the data.

The Future State team is building resources and knowledge to support policymakers and technologists who aspire to foster inclusive and competitive data economies in which personal data is a driver of public and commercial services innovation while improving governments’ capacity to respond to their citizens. We do this through collaboration with digital thought leaders around the world, including India’s iSpirt Foundation and the Estonian e-Governance Academy.

If you have ideas that can help accelerate progress toward unlocking personal digital data data in ways that fuel equitable economic growth and strengthen representative government around the world, we'd love to hear from you. You can reach us at info@futurestate.org.