Why it’s time for Europe to adopt moonshot thinking for data

Almost 60 years ago, on 25 May 1961, US President John F. Kennedy addressed Congress and proposed that the US “should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth”. His moonshot thinking guided NASA’s overall human spaceflight efforts and inspired a generation of Americans to exercise the freedom to choose their destiny rather than have it chosen for them. Despite countless challenges and setbacks along the way, Kennedy’s ambitious goal was achieved on 20 July 1969, when Apollo 11 successfully landed on the Moon.  

Today, we believe the time has come for Europe to exercise the freedom to choose its destiny in terms of data. We are therefore calling on the policymakers, politicians, business leaders and influencers in the 27 EU Member States to adopt moonshot thinking when considering the Data Governance Act. There is an urgent need for Europe to redistribute the balance of data power in order to provide a solid foundation for the further evolution of the digital economy. It is essential to create a level playing field for data by putting people and organisations in control of the data they generate – in other words, by establishing ‘data sovereignty’.

This requires the creation of a digital ‘soft infrastructure’ for data sharing, for all citizens and organisations, all data spaces, all industries and all geographies. The proposed Data Governance Act (DGA) can – and should – be instrumental in this. But for the DGA to truly form the cornerstone of a data-empowered society, Europe needs to take a groundbreaking approach to define a radically different way of dealing with data in the future… a way that establishes trust, allowing people and organisations to share data effortlessly whilst staying in control. Therefore, it is crucial that the decision-makers include the right governance framework in the final version of the DGA.

We are keen to share our thoughts on how the DGA can help to advance Europe’s digital economy in practice. Therefore, we are organising a live webinar on 25 May 2021 (from 15:00-16:30 CET). The programme will include: 

Setting the scene

Why is the Data Governance Act important for our future way of sharing data?
By Viivi Lähteenoja, Senior Advisor at MyData Global

Why data sovereignty?

By Katryna Dow, CEO and Founder of Meeco

What is a soft infrastructure?

By Jaana Sinipuro, Project Director IHAN at the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra 

Common European data spaces

By Lars Nagel, CEO of International Data Spaces Association, and Douwe Lycklama, founding partner of INNOPAY

Back to the DGA

How can data sovereignty be anchored in the DGA?
By Antti Poikola, Programme Advisor and Board Member at MyData Global, and Mariane ter Veen, Director Data Sharing at INNOPAY

The moonshot

Engage in the discussion and participate in some moonshot thinking in this concluding session hosted by the moderator Rikka Kampi of MyData Global. Just as Kennedy chose for his country to go to the Moon six decades ago, it is now time for us to choose to embed data sovereignty into European society.

This webinar has already taken place. Click here to watch the webinar on demand, and feel free to contact us for more information.

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