Big Data For Social Change – Data Without Borders

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Strata New York 2011: Jake Porway & Drew Conway, “Doing Good With Data: Data Without Borders”

Jake Porway is a machine learning and technology enthusiast who loves nothing more than seeing good values in data. He is the founder and executive director of DataKind, an organization that brings together leading data scientists with high impact social organizations to better collect, analyze, and visualize data in the service of humanity. Jake was most recently the data scientist in the New York Times R&D lab and remains an active member of the data science community, bringing his technical experience from his past work with groups like NASA, DARPA, Google, and Bell Labs to bear on the social sector. Jake’s work has been featured in leading academic journals and conferences (PAMI, ICCV), the Guardian, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and he has been honored as a 2011 PopTech Social Innovation Fellow and a 2012 National Geographic Emerging Explorer. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Statistics from UCLA.

Drew Conway is a PhD student in political science at New York University. Drew studies terrorism and armed conflict; using tools from mathematics and computer science to gain a deeper understanding of these phenomena.

Strata Summit 2011: “Personal Data for Public Good”


Personal data is a an exploding asset class that is currently not being leveraged to inform public policy decisions or mitigate risk. This panel, sponsored by United Nations Global Pulse, will examine the value of private sector data and consider some of the challenges inherent its use.

Robert Kirkpatrick

United Nations

Robert Kirkpatrick is Director of the UN Global Pulse initiative in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.

Robert designs and applies technology for crisis resilience and organizational change. He has spent more than 15 years creating software and the past 10 developing tools for public health, disaster relief, security coordination, citizen journalism, telemedicine, crisis monitoring, conflict mediation, and civil-military cooperation. His work with industry partners, government agencies, and humanitarian organizations has explored ways that techno-social innovation may enhance trust-building, information sharing, and joint decision making across boundaries and lower barriers to organizational change. He is a strong proponent of open data, open standards, open source software, and participatory development.

Robert co-founded and led software development for two pioneering private-sector humanitarian technology teams, first at Groove Networks, and later as Lead Architect for Microsoft Humanitarian Systems. In 2003, Robert worked in Baghdad to improve coordination between coalition forces and Iraqi government ministries. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Robert provided on-site technology support to civil and military responders. Following the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, Robert supported relief organizations in the disaster-affected areas designing tools for data collection and logistics. He participated in two missions in Afghanistan (2006, 2007) prototyping tools to improve situational awareness for NGOs involved in telemedicine and local capacity building. From 2007-2009 he served as CTO of the nonprofit InSTEDD, where he help to establish the first public health innovation lab, or iLab, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He now sits on InSTEDD’s Board of Directors.

Jane Yakowitz

Brooklyn Law School

Jane Yakowitz is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Brooklyn Law School. She received a B.S. in mathematics and a J.D. from Yale. Her research interests include privacy law, the legal profession, and empirical legal studies. She previously served as the Director of Project SEAPHE (Scale and Effects of Admissions Preferences in Higher Education) at UCLA School of Law, where she conducted peer-reviewed research on admissions, academic performance, and labor outcomes for law school applicants. Professor Yakowitz has negotiated complex public records disclosures and has prepared large de-identified databases for public release. These experiences inform her research on data privacy law.

Bill Hoffman

World Economic Forum

William Hoffman heads the World Economic Forum’s Telecommunications Industry Group, where he supports a global community of industry partners in addressing some of the world’s most pressing economic, social and environmental challenges. One of his primary areas of focus is leading a global initiative entitled Rethinking Personal Data. This multi-year project is designed to catalyze action and shared understandings on how to shape a personal data ecosystem that crates opportunities for both social and economic value creation as well as protecting the rights of individuals.

Prior to joining the World Economic Forum, William was the Director of Enterprise Marketing at AT&T. With broad experience in the communications industry, he has an extensive background with the adoption of emerging technologies, data analysis and strategic planning.

William holds degrees from Syracuse University as well as the University of Pennsylvania.

(Source: YouTube | OreillyMedia)

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