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Accepted Paper:

Data altruism as social innovation: what does this lens afford us?  
Dwayne Ansah (Utrecht University)

Short abstract:

This contribution explores data altruism within EU data governance, assessing its capacity as a social innovation in addressing contemporary societal challenges. Data altruism concerns individuals and organizations across the EU voluntarily sharing data for objectives of general interest.

Long abstract:

Data altruism, characterized by voluntary data sharing for societal benefits, represents a paradigmatic shift in EU data governance, challenging conventional notions of capitalism, ownership and control. Within this context, data altruism emerges as a form of social innovation that fosters collaboration and collective action to address contemporary societal challenges. By transcending individual interests and promoting the common good, data altruism may be framed as a social innovation in the EU data infrastructure , which emphasizes bottom-up approaches to problem-solving, inclusive governance and the socio-political dimensions of data collection, analysis, and use.

Through empirical examples, such as collaborative data-sharing initiatives in scientific research and environmental monitoring, this contribution demonstrates how data altruism can drive social innovation by enabling new forms of knowledge production and collective decision-making. Specifically, this contribution discusses the implications of data altruism for governance structures, emphasizing the need for participatory and reflexive approaches to data governance that account for diverse stakeholders' interests and values.

By integrating insights from social innovation theory, this contribution develops a nuanced understanding of data altruism as a socio-technical phenomenon that shapes and is shaped by broader social, political, legal and economic contexts. It underscores the transformative potential of data altruism, while also highlighting the challenges and complexities inherent in its implementation within existing data sharing practices. Ultimately, this contribution calls for a reimagining of data governance that prioritizes societal well-being and collective action, guided by principles of justice, democracy and the notion of the common good.

Traditional Open Panel P013
Social innovation: forms, evidence, and perspectives
  Session 3 Wednesday 17 July, 2024, -