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Sitra rewards three ideas for changing the way people can benefit from data

Sitra's Data Collectives Ideation Contest rewarded ideas that use data to make everyday life easier in an inventive and fair way. The winners came from Denmark, Finland and France.


Krista Takkinen

Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs


The pan-European Data Collectives Ideation Contest sought the best ideas for how different communities can use data to support people’s digital rights, learning, agency and inclusion.

Three of the entries for the competition were chosen as equal winners. They were selected based on criteria that assessed the impact of the idea on people’s participation and agency, as well as the originality and feasibility of the ideas.

The winning idea from Finland comes from the The Finnish Karelian League, which wants to bring Karelian cultural heritage online. They want to create a network using data that will encourage young people to explore their cultural heritage. By sharing different kinds of data about both people and culture in the data collective, the identity of people with Karelian roots is also supported.

The second winner comes from Denmark, where Kooperationen, the Danish Cooperative Employers’ Organisation, and Roskilde University proposed the creation of a shared platform owned by knowledge working freelancers. The platform will allow freelancers within the data collective to showcase their skills, sell their work in a more democratic way and regain control on how data is put at use to support their digital work life.

The final winning idea from France and Switzerland involves a data collective of private chauffeurs sharing information about their working conditions on the MAZE Cooperative with PersonalData.IO, during the Paris Olympics. The private chauffeurs aim to create a shared platform to streamline their work, as existing platforms did not provide them with sufficient real-time information about the demand for rides in the city. For example, the data collective will allow drivers to optimise their availability, independently of the gig economy, making it fair, easy and safe to get a ride.

Data collectives empower people

Sitra commissioned a preliminary study on data collectives from the data analytics firm at the end of 2022, laying the groundwork for the ideation contest. Among other things, the study defines a data collective, its potential goals and the operating principles it can follow. The preliminary study can be obtained from Sitra free of charge by contacting our Senior Lead Tiina Härkönen.

“Global data giants have demonstrated the immense power of data. Now is the time to harness the benefits of data more widely for the betterment of society and individuals – that’s why we organised the idea contest and explored possibilities for new forms of human collaboration around data,” explains Project Director Jukka Vahti.

The Data Collectives Ideation Contest was open from 28 April to 14 September 2023. The winners will receive tickets to the MyData conference, with their travel and accommodation expenses covered. In addition, Sitra will continue to evaluate funding and other collaboration opportunities alongside the winners.

The idea competition is part of Sitra’s Digital Power and Democracy project. The Data Collectives Ideation Contest contributes to Sitra’s broader efforts to stimulate discussion on the links between technology and democracy, while promoting opportunities for people to participate and make a difference.

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