skip to content
 

   Data Democracy FAQs

This series of short films asks leading experts to explain the key concepts of Data Democracy. It starts with looking at what Big Data is, and then explores the concepts of Data Democracy, and the benefits and risks of Data Democracy.

The speakers are:

Dr Gillian SparkesDr Gillian Sparkes, Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Victoria, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from her career spanning across industry, community and government. Dr Sparkes has been advocating the need and opportunity for governments to invest in big data and analytics for environmental management and protection.



 

Professor Richard SinnottProfessor Richard Sinnott, Director of eResearch at The University of Melbourne and Professor of Applied Computing Systems in Computing and Information Systems Department, Melbourne School of Engineering. Professor Sinnott leads national and international research projects in eResearch and its applications, data security and real-time systems.



 

Associate Professor Helen ThompsonAssociate Professor Helen Thompson, Director of the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation at Federation University Australia (Ballarat).  Dr Thompson leads an applied research team that has built award winning data federation systems that use interoperable technologies to bring data together for decision support across a variety of domains. 



 

George FongGeorge Fong, is a Director of Lateral Plains Pty Ltd. Trained as a Lawyer, Mr Fong is an IT strategist and Nerd Herder, who is the immediate past Chair of Internet Australia. Other past titles include Deputy Chancellor of Federation University of Australia (January 2016 - December 2017). George has more than 20 years experience in the ICT sector and is regularly asked to provide advice and expertise in relation to issues such as broadband accessibility and the rollout of the National Broadband Network.


 

Paul BoxPaul Box, Social Architect, leads a team at CSIRO who develop interoperable systems for information infrastructure. Mr Box’s research explores the approaches to supplementing the traditional technical architecture with social architecture, to address the social, economic and institutional challenges of federating data.



 

Associate Professor Peter DahlhausAssociate Professor Peter Dahlhaus is a Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation at Federation University Australia (Ballarat). A geologist by training, Dr Dahlhaus’ current research focuses on making environmental data, information and knowledge freely and publicly available. He is passionate about establishing data democracies.



 

DATA DEMOCRACY (13:12)

Data experts; Dr Gillian Sparkes, Professor Richard Sinnott, George Fong, Paul Box, and Associate Professor Peter Dahlhaus, discuss the key concepts of Data Democracy.


What is big data? (8:43)

Big Data is a commonly used term, but what is it?  Some people define it as massive data sets collected from sensors or machines, others define it as many smaller data sets aggregated together.  In this short film we learn that Big Data has different meanings to different audiences, and how it is being used to better understand our Earth systems, economic systems and social systems.


What is data democracy? (4:15)

Data Democracy is the concept of creating a level playing field where we can all access the available data in a timely and equitable way.  But can a data democracy ever work?  This short film explores some of the concepts of what a data democracy means and how it could be achieved.


What are the benefits of a data democracy? (4:47)

Is data democracy essential for a better society?  How would it help private industry make better decisions?  How could governments use data democracies to improve their decisions for the state?  This short film explores some of these questions from different points of view.


What are the risks of a data democracy? (6:08)

Is a data democracy a risky concept?  If everyone has access to all the data will it be used for sinister or criminal purposes?  Should everyone have free and open access to the data?  These questions are some of those explored in this short film. 

 


Podcasts

Hear the full interviews by playing or downloading the podcasts here.

George Fong (Nerd Herder, Lateral Plains)

Download this track: George Fong (Nerd Herder, Lateral Plains).MP3 [Filesize: 44.1MB]

 

Dr Gillian Sparkes (Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability)

Download this track: Dr Gillian Sparkes (Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability.MP3 [Filesize: 30.3MB]

 

Assoc Prof Helen Thompson (Centre Director, Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation, Federation University Australia)

Download this track: Assoc Prof Helen Thompson (Centre Director, Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation, Federation University Australia).MP3 [Filesize: 33.3MB]

 

Paul Box (Social Architect, CSIRO Land & Water)

Download this track: Paul Box (Social Architect, CSIRO Land & Water).MP3 [Filesize: 56.2MB]

 

Assoc Prof Peter Dahlhaus (Principal Research Fellow, Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation, Federation University Australia)

Download this track: Assoc Prof Peter Dahlhaus (Principal Research Fellow, Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation, Federation University Australia).MP3 [Filesize: 55.3MB]

 

Prof Richard Sinnot (Director of eResearch, University of Melbourne)

Download this track: Prof Richard Sinnot (Director of eResearch, University of Melbourne).MP3 [Filesize: 63.0MB]

Back to Top