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Special Event: Big Data, Meager Returns?

Special Event: Big Data, Meager Returns?

A collaborative workshop on Fairness, Sustainability and Data for the Global South

Registration is required for this collaborative workshop hosted by digitalHKS with support from the Berkman Klein Center.


This workshop is based on the premise that automation will mean a different future - a future that delivers on the promise of economic development with social betterment through smart management of collective resources. The exploration of better governance models should expand the debate beyond privacy to include the understanding of data as a public asset - similar to infrastructure or oil - and incorporate the principles of fairness and sustainability to advance growth and well-being through the use of data.  

RSVP required for this event. Sign up for event here

(coffee, tea, and boxed lunches to be provided)



  • Yasodara Córdova (digital HKS, IDlab, CTS-FGV)
  • Lorrayne Porciuncula (Berkman Klein Center)


Session 1: Typology of Data
Which data can be explored as a common strategic resource? Data related to energy, water, road mesh, natural resources, for instance, can be considered apart from human-derived data. An underlying layer of information, essential to the setup of new business is fair. What domains are strategic and need more attention, regarding intentional data trading and extraction? Personal data, related to human interaction, health and vulnerable positions should be discussed in a separate forum.

Chair: Lorrayne Porciuncula (Harvard, OCDE)


Invited expert: Juan Ortiz (Web Foundation)

Session 2: Frameworks for Data Governance
What is the role of technology on the fairness discussion? What are the main architectures and possibilities for technological arrangements to create a basis for a data commons in the Global South?

Chair: Yasodara Córdova (Harvard Kennedy School)


Invited experts:


About the organizers

Lorrayne Porciuncula is an affiliate at Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. She is an Economist/ Policy Analyst on Communications Infrastructure and Services at the Digital Economy and Policy Division (STI/CDEP) in the OECD. Her work is focused on telecommunications regulation and policy, including issues related to bridging rural digital divides, connecting SMEs, convergence and digitalisation of the economy and society. Previous to her current position, Lorrayne worked, at the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development (ITU). She holds a Master degree in Development Economics from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland.

Yasodara Córdova is a Senior Research Fellow at digital HKS at Harvard Kennedy School. She is an Industrial Designer, a Software Developer and a researcher. She has been researching technologies to improve the Democracy with the advent of the Internet. She researches Digital Identity and Citizenship, Data trading and data flows and Private Online spaces for political organization. Currently, she is affiliated to the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard and a Technical Consultant for the Center of Technology and Society at the Fundacao Getulio Vargas (CTS-FGV/Rio). She worked as a Technical consultant to the UN, developing tools and platforms for civic participation in Brazil. She worked as a Web Specialist at the W3C, where she was one of the Chairs of the Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group. Yasodara Córdova is a co-founder of the Calango Hackerspace and was a board member of the Open Knowledge Brazil and Director of the Serenata de Amor Operation.

João Alcántara is a Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) student at Harvard Kennedy School, where he is a Lemann Foundation Fellow. He is currently studying how to use disruptive technologies to improve the Brazilian Public Administration, as well as how to employ data science to design better public policies. After serving in the Air Force, he interned at the Government of Estonia and worked at Itaú Unibanco, Latin America’s largest bank, where he used machine learning to solve business problems in the financial sector. He holds a degree in aeronautical engineering from Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA).

For more information please contact Yaso Córdova or Vanessa Rhinesmith.



Past Event
Friday, October 12, 2018
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET
Harvard Kennedy School, Littauer Building in Room L150
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 US

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