how the rapidly evolving open access and open data movements will transform child & youth care research in the 21st century

Presented at Child & Youth Care Conference 2014
Victoria, Canada


  1. Spark conversation, debate, and collaboration around the use of open data in social services and social change
  2. Engage participants in actively considering how open data might change their work
  3. Empower participants to take leadership in the growing open data and data justice movements within their field!

Make a list

What kinds of data do you see 

in this room, right now? 

Take 3 minutes.

Make a list

What kind of data do you already collect 
at your organization or agency?

If you aren't at an agency,
imagine being at an agency you'd like to be at.

Take 3 minutes.

ON post-it notes

What kind of data would you like to have?

Take 3 minutes.

the evolution of data

data is everywhere

  • It can be collected via new methods like smartphone apps, ubiquitous cameras and audio recording, and new wearable technology.
  • It can be LINKED via an array of new technologies to a broad "semantic web", contextualizing it within a range of other data.
  • It can do more than you imagine. Like predict HIV outbreaks and social unrest. No, really.

data is created

  • Like never before, data is being created from the "data exhaust" of millions of technology users around the world. 
  • This data is being analyzed and turned into more data - data about who you are, what you like, where you'll spend money, and guesses about how dangerous you are likely to be to the status quo.
  • Corporations and governments collect significantly more data than academics. Sometimes, we can get access to this treasure trove.

Data is dangerous

  • People are being sued for possessing data, even for linking to some data. Free speech is no longer safe, even for scholars!

  • Data breaches cost companies worldwide billions of dollars last year. Make sure yours is safe or that you don't care who gets their hands on it (i.e. it is open).

  • Given the amount and types of data collected about you; you will never escape your data exhaust. Make sure to manage it now!

DATA is open

  • Find access to datasets that are already "open" and online in accessible formats - these are easy to use and you can contribute back to a larger research community.

  • Demand that public data or even private data becomes open and usable by researches around the world!

  • Find ways to open your data when you conduct original research. It helps verify your results and develop more powerful linked datasets.

with great power...

  • You don't control the digital afterlife of your data. Make sure you frame it as well as possible so you don't end up with misinterpretive, viral disasters.