Data, and the systems that underpin it, are transforming our world. Our ability to create, collect, transmit, analyse and store data has opened up incredible new possibilities. But it has also bought significant challenges and risks.
It’s vital that we recognise these changes and work together to realise the benefits, while countering the risks. It was this recognition that led Open Data Manchester to bring people together from across Greater Manchester to co-author a Declaration for Responsible and Intelligent Data Practice in 2021.
This declaration was signed by organisations including the Cooperative Group, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Wigan Council. It was also welcomed by the UK Data Service.
This was two years ago. A lot has changed. So we believe it’s time to come together again to reflect on how we do data in Greater Manchester in 2023 and beyond.
What is the Declaration?
The Declaration was co-designed over the 18 months to September 2020 with the generous support and expertise of practitioners from public, private, academic, civil-society and voluntary organisations.
Its aim is to be a statement of intent, and a means for developing and maintaining best data practice, in Greater Manchester and beyond. Because it was created as part of a collaborative process, we believe its 23 principles offer a common vision for such best practice.
Why refresh the Declaration?
We believe that embedding responsible data practice is not a one-time activity – but something that needs ongoing reflection and action – not least because a lot has happened in the two years since the original Declaration was drafted.
Here’s just a handful of news stories that have broken since then:
- Why did the A-level algorithm say no? (BBC)
- DeepMind’s protein-folding AI cracks biology’s biggest problem (NewScientist)
- Elon Musk completes twitter takeover and ‘fires top executives’ (Guardian)
- 1,100+ notable signatories just signed an open letter asking ‘all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months’ (TechCrunch)
So, we think it’s time to bring people together again to think about how data is changing our world, to look again at the Declaration and see how we should respond.
How can you get involved?
We are running a series of online and in-person events for you to take part in shaping the Declaration.
You do not have to be an expert. If you are based in Greater Manchester and are interested in how data is used, then we’d love to hear from you. We have designed events that will make it easy to get involved, and that we hope will generate insightful and enjoyable discussions.
We are running six workshops, targeted at different groups. We encourage you to join the session most relevant to your background. However, we want everyone to have a voice in this process, so feel free to sign up for any one session you can make.
You can find details for all the workshops, and sign up for an event through the links below. We’ll see you there:
How do we use data responsibly in Greater Manchester? #1 (In-person, academia)
– Thursday 12 October, 2-4pm
How do we use data responsibly in Greater Manchester? #2 (In-person, open to all)
– Monday 16 October, 6-8pm
How do we use data responsibly in Greater Manchester? #3 (Online, open to all)
– Thursday October 19, 6-8pm
How do we use data responsibly in Greater Manchester? #4 (In-person, public sector)
– Monday 6 November, 2-4pm
How do we use data responsibly in Greater Manchester? #5 (Online, voluntary and community sector)
– Thursday 9 November, 10am-12pm
How do we use data responsibly in Greater Manchester? #6 (Online, private sector)
– Monday 13th November, 2-4pm
You can find all of the events here: https://bit.ly/ODM-DECR
You can keep up with news about this project by following us on Mastodon, Twitter or LinkedIn – or by signing up to our newsletter. Here we’ll share updates about what we learn, as well as asking for your ideas as the Declaration takes shape.
We look forward to seeing you at one of the events soon.