Our relations around data are broken - why and how to fix them


Welcome to the Policy Nerd podcast by the UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab. This is the place where top thinkers come to talk data and solutions that would reset us along a more equitable and smart path.


The expert is Maria Savona. She is Professor of Economics of Innovation at University of Sussex and Professor of Applied Economics at LUISS University in Rome. 


The host is UNESCO’s Iulia Sevciuc


The two discuss data value. They look into the economic and social aspects of the equation, saying that all should be captured when it comes to data. Value concentration is a concern and redistribution should be on our collective mind. There are policy attempts to do so – listen closely for hands-on details – but much work remains to be done. There is a need to reimagine the relationship between individuals as data generators and data gatherers, from large platforms to public administration. Such a “contract” requires much (much) better data literacy on the side of the individuals and a deep commitment to redressing imbalances on the side of the policy makers. Last but not least, the discussion goes into COVID-19. This crisis forced us to talk about data in the context of emergency – an opportunity to understand data value and also a lesson on the role of trustworthiness and individual rights in such set ups.


Have you seen?
Data value: to share, or not to share
Data value – talk monetization, statistics, no privacy infringed
Data as markets – it is time to talk (re)distribution

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Maria Savona is both Professor the University of Sussex and LUISS University in Rome. Her expertise lies in economics of innovation, employment and wage inequality, and economics of data value. Among her various research projects, she works on economic impact of technology on labour markets and inclusion, and the governance of data and policies to redistribute data-value.


Iulia Sevciuc is UNESCO’s lead on inclusive policies and the data-driven policy change. Prior to this appointment, Iulia worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on similar agendas. 


The facts, ideas and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the authors; they are not necessarily those of UNESCO or any of its partners and stakeholders and do not commit nor imply any responsibility thereof. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this piece do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.