Data for Good – Challenges of our Era

There is a demand for innovation in how we monitor, record and store information that can be easily integrated and scaled in places of the biggest need. Access to information is a necessity to make the world a more equal place.

We are designing a challenge prize around these goals.

The Digital Revolution improved quality of life and brought prosperity to many people around the world. New ways to record, store, structure, search and make sense of various type of information have transformed the way we live our lives and – on the whole – enabled us to be more connected, informed and productive. All of this has been possible due to the exponentially growing volume of data, 90% of which was generated in the past 2 years.

From satellites, personal computers and mobile phones to internet opening the floodgates to sharing digital records and consumer-generated data, we are now on course to see 500-times more bytes of information being produced per second in 2018 than we produced daily in 1992.

It’s no surprise that we are setting our sights on AI and automation and are dreaming up the fourth industrial revolution forming a new paradigm: human and machine coming together as one. However, it’s time for a reality check. We have only scratched the surface of the transformative potential of the Digital Revolution.

Our growing dependence on digital and big data infrastructures create even more access barriers for people seeking to contribute to the global economy. The next step is to spread the benefits of good data technology in an effort to create a more equal world.

The World Bank Access to data is a basic need The gaps in data availability around the world are accelerating the global inequalities of wealth and opportunities. Over half of the countries in the world do not even record accurate birth and death records, while an estimated 1.1 billion people in the planet do not have any form of identification.

The lack of basic records makes it impossible to reach those in need and connect them with the services and support like immunisations, microfinance, voting, aid, training, maternal care to name a few – all of which could be facilitated by data-driven infrastructure.

Clearly, there is a demand for innovation in how we monitor, record and store information that can be easily integrated and scaled in places of the biggest need. A solid set of standards and good practice is the first step to help policy makers and prime movers in identifying, prioritising and dealing with challenges.

Challenge Prizes

The Challenge Prize Centre at Nesta is reaching out to the international community to bring into the spotlight the challenges of tackling inequality and building resilient communities with data-driven infrastructures. We are strong supporters of stimulating new enterprise and endeavour with challenge-driven innovation and the domain of Data for Good is no different.

Potential Key Challenges:

  1. Modernising education
  2. Linking people and markets equitably
  3. Financial inclusion
  4. Evidence-driven governance

Help design this Prize at the Challenges of our Era Summit

Register your interest in our two-day debate and discussion shaping solutions around surgery, food and agriculture, and data technology taking place on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 March 2018 in Milan, Italy.

See more about the event here.

Challenges Of Our Era Summit is about action, not talk. We want to change the world by radically improving access to key necessities of modern life. We think innovation is key to this. At the Summit, we will design new challenge initiatives that incentivise innovators to fix these global problems.

Our aim is to gather experts and specialist in the fields of interest such as policymakersacademic researchersfrontline professionals and innovatorstechnologists and funders. We would like you to be part of this change.



Register your interest

Learn about our upcoming Challenges of our Era Summit in Milan, discussing the future of this prize.