Data Coops and Data Trusts

Hi everyone, (this is my first post on here on Discourse, so appreciate your patience if I’m getting the process wrong.) I’ve been wondering if others in the community are interested in and/or already exploring the fundraising and business model implications of an OFN Data Coop orData Trust?

I’ve been participating in the Platform Coops Now! forums of late, and there is lots of discussion taking place there around these ideas, which seem to be gaining a fair amount of traction in more mainstream circles as well.

The idea would be that our members might be able to benefit in some way from the (permissioned) sale of their data – perhaps to governments, development agencies, or agricultural research institutions?

Given the extent to which OFN is now being deployed globally, and given our current growth rate, it struck me that if we offered our users the opportunity to ‘opt in’ into a global OFN data coop or data trust – we could end up generating a pretty large and valuable data set on the economics of small scale farming around the world (i.e. sales, location, product type, miles to market etc)-- one that might be of interest to international and national research institutions and/or governments and/or social impact investors?

anyhow, I know this is a big subject, with challenging data governance implications – and I know it probably doesn’t solve any of our short term fundraising needs – but just wondering if it at some point it might be worth exploring data coop- or data trust- based business and fundraising models? (perhaps folks have already looking into this?)

Form a data sovereignty and social economy standpoint, I think there is lots of potential in these ideas, and via the platform coops networks we could likely tap into a broader and supportive ‘community of practice’

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haven’t done a deep dive yet, but this looks like a pretty useful / thorough price on the promise and pitfalls of data coops, data trusts, and data commons:

This might be useful: "Mozilla Pulse"
Anouk is a friend of mine. If we need some support/insight/consultancy at some point I’m sure she will be able to help.

this recently published piece in Data & Policy also looks useful:

“we report on a preliminary qualitative investigation into how crowd data workers themselves feel datasets should be used and governed. We find that while overall remuneration is important to those workers, they also value public-benefit data use but have reservations about delayed remuneration and the trustworthiness of both administrative processes and the crowd itself. We discuss the implications of our findings for how data trusts could be designed, and how data trusts could be used to give crowd workers a more enduring stake in the product of their work”

this too, from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC):