Omidyar Network has announced the inaugural winners of the Future of Data Challenge Awards.

Announced during the South by Southwest conference, 15 teams will receive a total of $1.1 million in support of their efforts to prioritize fairness, inclusion, empowerment, and collective value in the data culture. Ten teams will receive $100,000 prizes and five additional organizations will receive $20,000 to put toward their two-year projects designed to shift ideas, rules, and power in the data economy. Winners include the UK-based Ada Lovelace Institute, the Datasphere Initiative in Switzerland, Derechos Digitales in Chile, and Eticas Tech in Spain. The winners, which hail from seven countries, were chosen by a five-person selection committee that included Omidyar Network leadership.

Later this spring, Omidyar Network and the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation will launch a new Data Empowerment Fund. The $1.3 million effort will support a new wave of experiments, pilots, and prototypes to build critical infrastructure such as data cooperatives, exchanges, standards, and interoperability solutions. 

“Society’s relationship with data needs to change,” said Omidyar Network director of responsible technology Sushant Kumar. “If we continue under today’s paradigm, which treats data like property to be acquired, we will only enrich corporations and governments and endanger everyone else. The Future of Data Challenge is designed to surface and support new structures, institutions, norms, incentives, and leaders that prioritize all stakeholders; rebalance data’s power in our lives; and spread its economic and social value fairly across society.” 

For a complete list of the winners, see the Omidyar Network website. 

(Photo credit: Getty Images/SDI Productions)

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