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Engaging Youth to Reimagine Data Use for Access to Services: The Data Tank and Fondation Botnar

Brussels, Belgium: September 4, 2023

In today’s evolving digital landscape, it is imperative that we address the issue of data and youth. Far too often, the voices and perspectives of young people are overlooked, diminishing influence and self-determination. By disregarding these insights, our digitalized society is missing an invaluable opportunity to mold and re-use data, for young people and society in general. We need to actively engage these perspectives to better prepare for and shape the future.

We must emphasize the importance of considering youth when considering data. As young individuals generate and consume vast amounts of data, it is vital that they have control over their own information and outcomes. By empowering youth to understand and manage this personal data, we enable them to shape their future.

The Data Tank is pleased to announce an innovative cooperative project with Fondation Botnar to explore and test new approaches to ensuring, enhancing, and equalizing data access, agency with and for young people. 

The project, “Engaging Youth to Reimagine Data Use for Access to Services”,  aims to develop a participatory and iterative framework for the engagement of youth (aged 19 – 24) to reimagine data re-use for access to services. The program addresses the societal challenges of power and agency asymmetries when using data. The project explores how data, in particular personal data, is used, and to develop mechanisms that acquire acceptance and legitimacy for data re-use beyond existing consent management approaches.

“Too often, young people are left out of the design of the platforms and processes that affect them,” affirmed Stefan Germann, CEO of Fondation Botnar. “We are proud to work with The Data Tank to empower young people, as critical data creators and consumers, to understand and manage their personal data – a crucial step towards empowering them to shape their own destiny and our collective wellbeing.”

Stefan Germann, CEO of Fondation Botnar

The objective of the program is to build power over personal data through self-determination, to understand lived experiences across diverse cultures when developing human-centric strategies, and to enhance access to services by establishing a social license for responsible data re-use. The project will establish youth assemblies that encourage and promote inclusivity, participation and agency of youth in discussions on data use and re-use.

Project outcomes include the creation of toolkits, reports, and workshops to support data empowerment. Long-term impact encompasses awareness, policy change, and enhancing access to services through data re-use.

We invite you to join our community and the conversation on The Data Tank LinkedIn, TheDataTankTDT, Fondation Botnar LinkedIn, Fondation Botnar, and @FondationBotnar by using the hashtags: #HASHTAG and #DataReuse.

Fondation Botnar is a Swiss philanthropic foundation working to improve the health and wellbeing of young people living in cities around the world. Advocating for the inclusion of youth voices and the equitable use of AI and digital technology, the foundation invests in and supports innovative programs and research, and brings together actors from across sectors to create dialogue and partnerships.

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