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Keynote Lecture & Plenary 3

Thursday, 7 October 2021 | 16:30 - 18:00 | Room Athena [Main Auditorium]


We need to talk about data - and the society we want to build with it

Data increasingly underpins, affects and reflects most human activities. The volume of data, be it personal or non-personal, collected and produced, stored, utilized, and in transit, grows at an accelerated pace. Data opens up opportunities for unprecedented social and economic value creation in a broad diversity of sectors, potentially ushering a new era of well-being for all. Data is also crucial for good policy making. However, at the same time, legitimate concerns have emerged regarding security threats, economic imbalances, and human rights abuses that can impact a society increasingly dependent upon data.

The recent Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network (I&JPN) report We Need to Talk About Data: Framing the Debate around Free Flow of Data and Data Sovereignty addresses this tension and sent a strong message, calling for a global, multistakeholder, and cross-sectoral debate that is more nuanced, and that takes into account the complex interdependencies around data. Additionally, the report highlighted the critical need for innovation regarding the tools, the frameworks, and, most importantly, the concepts we rely on to develop concrete solutions.

But why is tackling this urgent? How we collectively govern the Datasphere will strongly determine the future of society in the 21st century and our capacity to deal with major global challenges such as health, energy and climate change. Approaching this from a perspective where we understand that data is all around us and that it exists as a global and common Datasphere may provide the fundamental paradigm shift needed for the holistic multi-disciplinary approach that governing data for the public interest requires. Organizing the Datasphere calls for a bold paradigm shift in how data governance models are conceived and implemented - and how we think about the societies we want to build.



Keynote Speaker

Lorrayne Porciuncula

Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network


Lorrayne Porciuncula is the Director of the Data & Jurisdiction Program of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network. Her professional and academic experience has been focused on issues around data, Internet governance, infrastructure regulation, and communication policy. Prior to joining the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network, she worked at the OECD (2014-2020) as the Strategic Advisor for Digital Economy Policy, coordinating issues related to data governance, artificial intelligence, and blockchain, and leading the production of several reports and country studies related to connectivity, infrastructure regulation, technology convergence, and data governance. Most recently, she authored the report "We Need to Talk About Data: Framing the Discussion Around Free Flow of Data and Data Sovereignty".

Lorrayne has acted as the OECD focal point and speaker at high-level international meetings and fora such as the IGF, UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development (UN-BBCom), APT, UN-ESCAP, ECLAC, and EQUALS. Prior to the OECD, Lorrayne worked as an economist at the ITU, in the Secretariat of the UN-BBCom (2012-2014).

Lorrayne is an affiliate to the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, conducting research on data for development. She holds a Master's degree in Development Economics from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Switzerland, and an International Relations bachelor's degree from the University of Brasilia (UnB), Brazil. She speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish and French.


Luís Soares Barbosa
United Nations University (UNU-EGOV)


Efthimios Tambouris
University of Macedonia
Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi
Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency