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The Data Commons Working Group

From Experimentation to Digital Policy Making

See our newly published final report here!

Blueprint out now: Governing Urban Data for the Public Interest

We are excited to announce the release of our final project report, titled "Governing Urban Data for the Public Interest." This report represents the culmination of our efforts in the Data Commons Working Group and offers actionable guidelines for European cities seeking to harness the power of data for the public good.

Download the blueprint here.

See the resources page for all project outputs here.

How might we make data held by private companies accessible to government and third parties in order for it to be used and leveraged for the public interest?

The Data Commons Working Group will investigate data sharing regulation and management in the Hamburg sandbox experiment and beyond at national and EU-level, and will produce blueprints for sharing, reproduction, adaptation and scaling. It will bring together European experts from various disciplines and backgrounds and promote interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration. It will also explore opportunities for Hamburg to become a driver of innovation in data sharing at the European level.

Data sovereignty in cities enables us to leverage the power of digital infrastructures and collective intelligence to make our cities green, digital and democratic.

1) Finding answers and practical recommendations that come with the development of urban data sharing arrangements and frameworks.
2) Advising the City of Hamburg and its partners on how to implement (and/or test) the recommendations of the working group.
3) Sharing insights, outcomes, and learnings with other policy-makers, experts and practitioners (at EU-wide level).

Outcomes: The working group will produce a final report regarding governance models for data sharing for the public interest, grounded on the micromobility data sharing experiment (the Urban Data Challenge) held in Hamburg, and will also produce domain specific reports (blueprints):

· Legal blueprint (assessing the legal implications at municipal, national and EU level)
· Technical blueprint (outlining the data sharing architecture and the implementation, including data specification, policy API and standards)
· Governance/Data-driven regulation blueprint (policy recommendations on urban data sharing for the public interest)

Working Group Chair:
Francesca Bria
Italian Innovation Fund & THE NEW INSTITUTE

Francesca Bria is the President of the Italian National Innovation Fund, leads The New Hanse at Hamburg-based THE NEW INSTITUTE and is a Board Member of the Italian public broadcast company RAI. She is Honorary Professor in the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL in London and she is part of the High-level Roundtable for the New European Bauhaus set up by the EC President Ursula von der Leyen. She is the former Chief Digital Technology and Innovation Officer for the City of Barcelona in Spain. She has served as Senior Adviser to the United Nation (UN-Habitat) on digital cities and digital rights. Francesca Bria was leading the DECODE project on data sovereignty in Europe, and a Senior Adviser on the EC programme STARTS (Innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology and the Arts).  

Francesca has a PhD in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Imperial College, London and MSc on Digital Economy from University of London, Birbeck. Francesca has been nominated Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. She is also Culture Persons of the Year 2020 according to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. She has been listed in the top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes Magazine, and in the World's top 20 most influential people in digital government by Apolitical. 

Overall consolidation:
Aline Blankertz
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.

Aline is an applied economist with many years of experience in analysing and developing policy recommendations for platforms and the data economy. She is currently an advisor on open-source and data policy at Wikimedia Deutschland and a co-founder and co-chair of the SINE Foundation, a non-profit organisation that seeks to promote data collaboration using encryption and governance tools. Before that, she worked in economic consulting and at a digital policy think tank.

Lead legal blueprint:
Maximilian von Grafenstein  
UdK Berlin Career College, Einstein Center Digital Future

Prof. Dr. Max von Grafenstein, LL.M., is a legal scholar, lawyer and serial entrepreneur. He has been working as an attorney since 2010 with a focus on intellectual property, internet technology and media law, with iRights Law as a partner since early 2017 and since 2018 as an associate partner due to his appointment as professor at the Einstein Center Digital Future (located at the University of the Arts in Berlin). Max also co-heads the research program Data, Actors, Infrastructures as well as the academic spinoff Law & Innovation at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG). His focus lies on the regulation of innovation with a particular view on data governance.

Co-Lead technical blueprint:
Oleguer Sagarra
Dribia Barcelona

Oleguer Sagarra is co-founder and co-CEO of Dribia, a data science innovation studio based in Barcelona. Dribia specializes in data strategy and design, implementation and maintenance of tailored algorithmic solutions that use advanced analytics and machine learning to understand, predict and optimize business processes for the private and public sector. 

He holds a MsC. in computational physics for UPC, his PhD focused on Network Science and human mobility at the University of Barcelona and included a stay at MIT working on research in urban shared mobility solutions. Oleguer keeps his research connection by participating in research projects, such as H2020 EU project DECODE, where he acted as pilot technical coordinator.

Co-Lead technical blueprint:
Boris Otto 

Fraunhofer ISST

Since 2017, Prof. Boris Otto is the director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST in Dortmund. Since 2013, he has held the Chair for Industrial Information Management at the TU Dortmund. He is also a member of the boards of directors of the Gaia-X, European Association for Data and Cloud, AISBL and the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA) and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Fraunhofer ICT Group. After studying industrial engineering in Hamburg, Otto did his doctorate at the University of Stuttgart and habilitated at the University of St. Gallen’s Institute of Information Management, where he founded and managed the Corporate Data Quality competence center.  His career path also included PricewaterhouseCoopers, SAP, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO. Furthermore, Otto was a Research Fellow at the Center for Digital Strategies, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, USA. Otto’s research focuses on the fields of industrial information management, business and logistics networks, and methods for the design of digital business solutions.

Co-Lead governance blueprint:
Fernando Fernández-Monge 

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative

Fernando Fernández-Monge is a senior associate with the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, a joint program of Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, funded by and executed in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies. His work focuses on innovating within the public sector, as well as of fostering and managing technological innovation to make cities more efficient, equitable and responsive to social needs.  

He holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, a Master in Fiscal Policy from UNED and the Instituto de Estudios Fiscales and B.A.s in Law and Political Science from the Autonoma University of Madrid. He has written several teaching cases and academic and policy papers on urban governance, public innovation and city leadership and management. His work has been published or featured in Apolitical, Governing, World Economic Forum, El Pais, and Agenda Publica, among others.

Co-Lead governance blueprint:
Rainer Kattel 

UCL London

Rainer Kattel is professor and deputy director at Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, UCL. He has published extensively on innovation policy, its governance and specific management issues. His research interests include also public sector innovation, digital transformation in the public sector and financialization. His recent books include The Elgar Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development (edited with Erik Reinert and Jayati Gosh; Elgar, 2016) and How do build an Entrepreneurial State. Why Innovation needs Bureaucracy (with Wolfgang Drechsler and Erkki Karo; Yale, 2022). In 2013, he received Estonia's National Science Award for his work on innovation policy.

Malcolm Bain 
Across Legal (formerly ID Law Partners)

Malcolm is an English solicitor and Spanish lawyer. He has worked as an Information Technology and Intellectual Property lawyer over the last 20 years, with a specialisation in technology licensing, open source software and content, technology transfer and privacy. In 2006, together with his partner Manuel Martínez, he founded his own firm “id-law partners” as a boutique specialized in IP and ICT. In May 2018, both incorporated this firm into Across Legal.  In addition to his professional activity advising entrepreneurs, private companies, public administrations and open source projects, Malcolm is a member of the Free Software Foundation Europe and ASTP, associate professor of law at the University of Barcelona, ​​mentor in Tecniospring Industry and other programs for entrepreneurs and frequent speaker at conferences and seminars in the field of ICTs and entrepreneurship in the digital world. 

Renata Avila  

Open Knowledge Foundation 

Renata is an international lawyer, author and advocate. She brings nearly 20 years of experience in sustainable development, digital transformation, policymaking and global internet activism. She is an affiliate to the Stanford Institute of Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and was a 2020 Stanford Race and Technology Fellow at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University. She holds an LLM from the University of Turin in Italy, a Diploma of International Law from the Hague Academy in The Netherlands and a law degree from Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala.  

Renata is part of the World Economic Forum Expert Network on Digital Technologies, a member of the Global Board of Trustees of Digital Future Society, a board member of Open Future, a trustee of Common Action Forum, an advisory board member of Creative Commons, an advisory board member of Cities for Digital Rights, a Steering Committee Member of Just Net Coalition, among other affiliations in a vast professional network extending across Europe, Latin America and North America. She co-founded the <A+> Alliance for Inclusive Algorithms, the Progressive International and the Polylateral Association - an international platform cooperative for knowledge workers.

Marco Ciurcina 

NEXA Center for Internet and Society

Marco Ciurcina is an Italian lawyer, working in the field of commercial and contractual law, Information Technology law, Copyright, Patent, Trademark, and Privacy law, particularly, with special focus on free software licenses, open content and open data. 

He teaches "Law and ethics of communication" at the Politecnico di Torino and is a free software and digital fundamental rights activist.

Moritz Hennemann 

University of Freiburg

Moritz Hennemann is a Professor an der Universität Freiburg, Germany holding the Chair for Civil Law with Information, Media and Internet Law. He is also the Director of the Institute for Media and Information Law.

His research topics encompass private law, business law, data law, information law, and media law. He is particularly concerned with the regulatory framework of the data and digital economy as well as with the global development of data (protection) law and comparative data (protection) law.

Paul Keller 

Open Future

Paul is the Director of Policy at Open Future. He has 20 years of experience as a media activist, open policy advocate and systems architect to improve access to knowledge and culture. Prior to founding Open Future Paul served for ten years as the co-director of Kennisland, an Amsterdam-based think-tank working on issues related to the knowledge economy.

Paul is a research fellow at the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam, President of the COMMUNIA Association for the Public Domain and sits on the advisory boards of the Glushko & Samuelson Information Law and Policy Lab and the Europeana Foundation.

Paul is one of the authors of the Public Domain Manifesto and Europeana’s Public Domain Charter. Together with Alek Tarkowski and Sophie Bloemen of a Vision for a Shared Digital Europe, an alternative digital policy vision for Europe.

Raffaele Laudani 

Comune di Bologna

Raffaele Laudani is a Member of the City Council of Bologna. He is full professor of history of political doctrines at the University of Bologna, where he leads the project of the Digital twin and Bologna’s Data Valley. He has taught at Columbia University in New York and was coordinator of the doctoral program in global history, cultures and politics. He directs the Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory, the master's program in management and co-production of participatory processes, communities and neighborhood networks, and is president of the Foundation for Urban Innovation. He has published with many prestigious publishing houses, including Il Mulino, Einaudi, Laterza, Cambridge University Press and Princeton University Press and has been translated into English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese.

Henriette Litta 

Open Knowledge Foundation Germany

Dr. Henriette Litta is Managing Director of the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, a civil society organisation which was founded in 2011. Its goal is to strengthen digital sovereignty of citizens, to enable democratic participation and to support an ethical approach to technology for the common good. Among other things, OKF is running Germany's only open source fund for software prototypes (Prototype Fund), has created Germany's most comprehensive coding program for young people (Jugend hackt), and is heading Europe's most influential freedom of information platform (FragDenStaat): Only by understanding digital technology one can actually design and shape it. OKF focuses on the topics Open Government, Civic Tech and Open Education. 

Furthermore, Henriette is member of the Advisory Board for the Digital Strategy of the Federal Government of Germany, member of the Advisory Board on Mobility Data in Baden-Württemberg as well as Advisory Board member of Transparency International Germany.

Marina Micheli 

European Commission

Marina Micheli is a Scientific Project Officer at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. She is based at the Digital Economy Unit and works on data intermediaries, business-to-government data sharing, data governance at the city level, inclusive data governance and data power. She holds a PhD in Information Society from the Department of Sociology and Social Research of University Milano-Bicocca; and was post-doctoral fellow at the same department and at the Department of Communication and Media Research of the University of Zurich.  

At the moment she is also expert for the Digital Rights Governance Project of UN-Habitat and Cities Coalition for Digital Rights and co-chair of the Digital Earth Governance and Ethics Working Group of the International Society of Digital Earth.

Geoff Mulgan 

UCL London

Sir Geoff Mulgan is a social entrepreneur, policymaker, and author, who has worked in civil  society, government, the technology sector, and academia. He was CEO of Nesta, an innovation foundation in the UK in the 2010s and is now Professor at University College London. Geoff had roles in the UK government, including Director of the Government's Strategy Unit and Head of Policy in the Prime Minister's Office. He is the author of many books, most recently 'Another World is Possible', adviser to many governments around the world and in 2023 chair of an EU programme on 'Whole of Government Innovation'.

Paul Nemitz

European Commission

Paul Nemitz, born 1962 in Bonn, a German national, is the Principal Advisor in the Directorate General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission. He was appointed in April 2017, following a 6- year appointment as Director for Fundamental Rights and Citizen’s Rights in the same Directorate General. As Director, Nemitz led the reform of Data Protection legislation in the EU (GDPR), the negotiations of the EU – US Privacy Shield and the negotiations with major US Internet Companies of the EU Code of Conduct against incitement to violence and hate speech on the Internet. 

Nemitz is a visiting Professor of Law at the College of Europe, Bruges, and a Honorary Fellow at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). 

Nemitz is the convener of the interdisciplinary Transatlantic Reflection Group on Democracy and the Rule of Law in the age of Artificial intelligence and a regular speaker at the Athens AI Roundtable. He was a Member of the German Government Data Ethics Commission until it delivered its consensus report in 2019. He is a Member of the Commission for Media and Internet Policy of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), Berlin, a Member of the Board of the Verein Gegen Vergessen – Für Demokratie e.V., Berlin and a Trustee of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York. He chairs the Board of Trustees of the Arthur Langerman Foundation at the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin). He is a Member of the Global Council on Extended Intelligence of the IEEE and the MIT in Boston and a Member of the Boston Global Forum of the Michael Dukakis Institute. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Trustless Computer Association, Zurich, and the Association for Accountability and Internet Democracy, Paris. 

Nemitz studied Law at Hamburg University. He passed the state examinations for the judiciary and for a short time was a teaching assistant for Constitutional Law and the Law of the Sea at Hamburg University. He obtained a Master of Comparative Law (M.C.L.) from George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., where he was a Fulbright grantee. He also passed the first and second cycle of the Strasbourg Faculty for Comparative Law.

Dominik Piétron 

Humboldt University Berlin

Dominik Piétron is a research associate at the Department of Social Sciences at Humboldt University Berlin and the Einstein Center for Digital Future. He works on the political economy of digital capitalism with a special focus on data and platform infrastructures. His main research interest is the embedding of digital technologies for socio-ecological transformations. Dominik helped build an open source platform for the social welfare sector and is a member of the Alliance Digital City Berlin, which seeks to promote democratic debate around digitization conflicts at the municipal level.  

Maria Savona 

Luiss University

Maria Savona is Professor of Applied Economics at the Department of Economics at LUISS University, Rome and Economics of innovation at SPRU, Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, UK. She was previously at the University of Cambridge, UK, Universities of Strasbourg and Lille 1, France. Her research focuses on the effects of technical change and innovation on employment and wage inequality; innovation and industrial policy; barriers to innovation; the structural change of the sectoral composition of economies, particularly the emergence of global value chains in services. More recently, she works on the governance of data and policies to redistribute data-value. 

She has led and co-led several grants funded by the EC, ESRC, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Greater London Authority, IDRC. She has advised the IADB; ECLAC; UN ESCAP; OECD; NESTA; BEIS, DETI. She is an Editor for Research Policy, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Economia Politica, and a former member of the High Level Expert Group on the Impact of Digital Transformation on EU Labour Markets for the European Commission. 

She has been involved in keynote talks and expert panels by the EC, the UK Department of Industry and Trade, the UKRI, ECLAC, UNDESA, EY, EC JRC, NESTA, Microsoft and Aspen Institute, OECD and Volkswagen Foundation, Bruegel, The German Marshall Fund of the US. 

She is part of the engagement and impact steering committee of The Productivity Institute. She is Vice-President of the International Joseph A. Schumpeter Society. She is co-leading the H2020 PILLARS (Pathways to Inclusive Labour Markets). 

Linnet Taylor 

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society

Linnet Taylor is Professor of International Data Governance at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT), where she leads the ERC-funded Global Data Justice project, seeking to understand the different perspectives worldwide on what constitutes just treatment through data technologies. Her research focuses on the use of new sources of digital data in governance and research around issues of human and economic development. She was previously a Marie Curie research fellow in the University of Amsterdam’s International Development faculty, and a postdoctoral researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute. She holds a DPhil in International Development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

Stefaan Verhulst 


Dr. Stefaan G. Verhulst is an expert in using data and technology for social impact. He is the Co-Founder of several research organizations including the Governance Laboratory (GovLab) at New York University, which focuses on using advances in science and technology to improve decision-making and problem-solving. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the open-access journal Data & Policy and has served as a member of several expert groups on data and technology, including the High-Level Expert Group to the European Commission on Business-to-Government Data Sharing and the Expert Group to Eurostat on using Private Sector data for Official Statistics. Dr. Verhulst has been recognized as one of the 10 Most Influential Academics in Digital Government globally. He has published extensively on these topics, including several books, and has been invited to speak at international conferences, including TED and the UN World Data Forum. He is asked regularly to provide counsel on data stewardship to a variety of public and private organizations.

Adrian Fiedler
City of Hamburg, Department for IT and Digitalisation

Adrian Fiedler is the Project Lead for the City of Hamburg. He is the Deputy Head of Digital Strategies in the Department for IT and Digitalisation within the Senate Chancellery.