The Data Mobility Sandbox and a peek at the future of personal data

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The Personal Data Mobility Sandbox is a new project working with major brands including the BBC, Facebook, BT, Barclays and British Gas to explore practical benefits to innovation and use cases when data is shared with consent. The Sandbox has been created and is run by personal data business innovation consultancy Ctrl-Shift, which recently held an external workshop for big brands as well as start-ups. Digi.me is the project’s data facilitator, and our Chief Product Officer Fab de Liberali shares his thoughts from this milestone day.

The first ‘external’ workshop was an important day for me and my team @digi.me. It followed several months of preparation, and my friends and business partners at Ctrl-Shift did an incredible job in making this happen.

All the people working on it have been outstanding, and as a data facilitator and enabler we @digi.me gave them all the resources and bandwidth needed to make this a success. As I have said several times, I’m working with some of the best teams in the world … and after the workshop I’m proud to say that I feel I’m working with an ecosystem of some of the best businesses and government agencies in the world too. I really think we can make Data Mobility a reality for everyone.

The last few months have been massively demanding and making this day really sing was important, so I was nervous when I had to present what digi.me can do.

At digi.me, we are building the infrastructure to share personal data to make the internet of tomorrow better, but the only evidence people see of all this incredible work is an app.

We are set to make a massive difference and the product development challenge cannot be underestimated. However, being involved in these conversations provides an essential set of stimulus and increased knowledge that helps us to shape our future and drive a better and healthier personal data economy.

Let’s come back to the workshop… the room was getting full.

I start recognising people from organisations such as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), from big finance brands, a major Telco and social network, as well a multitude of amazing start-ups and partners. People flew in from the US and from across Europe to attend this session. Will I make it worth their while?

I realise I have been given 30 minutes to explain why we should all work together in a personal data ecosystem. On one hand it feels like a lot of time, on the other how can I explain something so important in such a short space of time?

I believe with my whole heart in the data mobility model as an evolution of data portability. With data mobility we can create business, commercial, economic and societal benefits at the same time, by giving users the means to see and control their own data.

But it’s daunting. Who am I to say that this is right in a world where data exchange today supports such a large part of our economy… and that the Data Transfer Project, Open Banking and all the other standards need to come together with us, with Ctrl-Shift, with ICO and all other local regulators to work together to define sustainable standards that all businesses and public authorities (however big or small, local or central) can adhere to?

The meeting starts. As usual, my Italian soul starts too: “Good Afternoon, Buon Pomeriggio… How are you?” And the show must go on…

It was about getting the message through and inspiring these businesses to go to the next level TOGETHER.

It was all about facilitating the data economy to make it happen. It was about digi.me’s role as a data facilitator. I won’t change the world without them…

So I spoke more slowly than usual and I left a lot of silence between sentences. I needed to feel the mood of the room, but besides a joke on one of my app demos everyone was silent. I showcased some more of our apps – again silence. Am I doing the right thing?

But when I looked at the expressions of several of the people, it was not a bad silence – it was silence due to focus and concentration… silence to follow the story line I was presenting them… silence… silence … AND WILLINGNESS TO UNDERSTAND AND THINK.

I think this audience was one of the most intense and thinking audiences I have ever had… well done all… we succeeded together!

And now the journey will be with those of you that were there, as an ecosystem, together. I won’t go far without you and none of you will go far in this without the others.

The three workshops which followed the opening were more than eye opening. We had the same values and very often the same use cases in mind. Everyone was keen to do more together… please, please let’s bring this feeling out of this room into the world and spread our energy. This will make the data economy grow, this will help a lot of people to live better, healthier, fuller lives.

I met a lot of people who I realised will soon become friends as we believe in the same things and we want the world to change for a better place.

I’m super positive about what I saw at the workshop and I’m sure a lot of good things will come out of this… I will write soon about my passion for the data mobility model and why this is so important for all of us.

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