Happy | Joyeux | Feliz | 2016!

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L to R: Simone Sala, Gabriel Pestre, Thomas Roca, Beth Tellman, Bessie Schwarz, Emmanuel Letouzé, David Sangokoya, Natalie Shoup, Lauren Barrett, Patrick Vinck, and Mariéme Jamme.

Dear friends, colleagues, partners, and supporters,

Data-Pop Alliance’s team joins me in wishing you a Happy New Year 2016—with special thoughts and thanks to those who have helped us since we launched in November 2014. For us as a new organization, 2015 was a busy year that saw us grow and develop many projects, publications, and partnerships featured on our recently redesigned website.

For our professional community, the last few months were marked by positive outcomes such as the launch of the Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data during the UN General Assembly in September and the Paris Agreement at COP21 in December (see the photo of our side event above). Other promising trends we expect to continue and contribute to in 2016 include growing awareness of Big Data’s ethical implications, and the emergence of ‘data literacy’ as a concept and priority going beyond providing technical skills to the data generation.

At the same time, the concerns and context of COP21—and several other events over the course of the year—reminded us of the urgency and complexity of global challenges and threats. There are no simple fixes, but our conviction is that Big Data as a historical socio-technological phenomenon must be shaped collaboratively to improve political systems and decision-making processes—first and foremost by empowering people to gain greater control over the greatest resource and lever of the 21st Century: our data.

This is what we call “promoting a people-centered Big Data revolution”, and this is our vision and ambition for the months and years ahead, which will be further conveyed in our forthcoming 2015 Review and 2016 Outlook.

I hope you are having a nice holiday season and wish you all the best for 2016,


Emmanuel Letouzé
Director & Co-Founder | Data-Pop Alliance
Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) | MIT Media Lab | Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
www.datapopalliance.org | @datapopalliance
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