Back in February, we opened a call for experts to apply to our 2021 fellowship programme, inviting industry and policy experts from around the world to pitch their ideas for policy projects exploring the future of the internet.
The programme is part of our mission to advance progressive policies fit for the 21st century. We were bowled over by the calibre of over 60 applications from no less than 15 countries – today, we are delighted to introduce the 2021 cohort and share the focus of their work over the next few months whilst participating in the programme.
Cameron Scott, UK
Energy Data as the New Oil: Designing Net-Zero Energy Systems to Operate Globally and Locally
Cameron is currently a Head of Transformation at PUBLIC. He has spent the last 10 years working on technology and innovation projects across government, consulting and venture investing.
Cameron's project will explore how multi-party data sharing — enabled by internet-age advances in privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) — might enable our energy systems to be governed by both deep international collaboration and hyper-local optimisation. His aim is to establish whether unified, immutable ledgers of energy data can encourage international coordination of new capacity investments, fairer trade in power, and hasten adoption of community-based models of generation and consumption.
Elizabeth Wiltshire, Belgium
Centering Citizen Voices In Policy And Decision-Making On New Technologies
Elizabeth is a political participation expert, working to connect citizens with the decisions that affect their lives, in the public, private and third sector. Her specialism is developing policy and strategy that improves the relationship between digital, technology and society.
Elizabeth's project will identify how previous participatory processes have contributed to decision-making in other policy areas, and specifically how processes could be designed to address pressing questions about new technologies. She will outline guidelines and a model for involving citizens in the creation of technology policy - both to address issues and to encourage innovation.
Faith Obafemi, Nigeria
Smart Contracts and Cryptocurrency as the Legal and Monetary Engine for Space
Faith is a tech lawyer with a focus on blockchain, cryptocurrency, smart contracts, emerging technologies and Space technologies. Faith helps projects navigate the compliance maze for novel technologies through Future-Proof Intelligence (FINT) where she serves as Head of Strategy.
Faith's project seeks to answer the following question: are there possibilities of smart contracts and cryptocurrency being used as the legal and monetary engine for Space. More specifically, the project will probe questions such as what legal framework would govern space-native transactions and who will issue the money to be spent in space.
Garnett Achieng, Kenya
It’s the Trolls for me: Designing Policy Solutions for Online Gender Based Violence (OGBV)
Garnett is a storyteller, researcher, and life-long learner working as a Data & Digital Rights Researcher at Policy. She is interested in researching the effects of technology on society, with a special focus on its gendered aspects.
Garnett has identified OGBV as a complex challenge that can be automated, done anonymously, targeted and facilitated at a distance. Yet, policy has not caught up. Policies like the UK’s Online Harms Bill fail to address OGBV as a standalone issue. Her research will look into how policy can be a solution in creating a safer web for the full participation of women online.
Greg Johnson, USA
Decentralised Social Networks and Civic Engagement
Greg is a product policy manager who has worked for leading social media platforms. He is focused on deeply understanding the impacts of the internet and related technologies on society and leveraging this expertise to highlight opportunities and risks to decision-makers. He has experience in threat intelligence and civic integrity policy at leading organisations such as Google and Facebook.
As a fellow, Greg will explore the civic integrity opportunities and risks presented by an increasingly decentralised social media landscape, particularly focused on digital political campaigns, disinformation, and transparency.
Huw Roberts, UK
Towards a Governance Framework for Inferential Biometric Technologies
Huw is a AI Futures Policy Advisor at the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) and a Researcher at the University of Oxford’s Digital Ethics Lab. In these roles, he focuses on the ethical governance of AI and data driven technologies, with an emphasis on the mid-term opportunities and risks that could emerge.
For this project, Huw will map the opportunities and risks associated with different types of inferential biometric technologies and propose a governance framework for their use.
Lauren Razavi, UK
The Great Migration: Remote Work, Digital Nomads and the Future of Citizenship
Lauren Razavi is Executive Director at Plumia, a global non-profit aiming to build a country on the internet. She is author of the book Global Natives: The New Frontiers of Work, Travel, and Innovation. She regularly speaks on the future of work, cities, citizenship and globalisation at events, festivals and conferences. An early adopter of remote work, Lauren has lived as a digital nomad since 2013.
Lauren's project builds on location becoming more fluid and flexible, and the changing relationship between nation-states and citizens. Digital nomads, remote work visas, and talent incentives signal a future where regular migration is part of many more people’s lives. She will explore how countries can harness the potential and thrive in this new context.
Marc-André Simard, Canada
A Prediction (Worth Testing): Betting Markets Would Improve Our Governing Institutions
Marc is Director of Operations at Blaise Transit. Previously at McKinsey, he focused on serving institutional investors and public sector clients on areas at the intersection of technology and governance including market design, cybersecurity, digital government, and advanced stochastic computing.
In the past two decades, connectivity has become widespread. Blockchains have emerged, enabling secure voting. These technologies make leveraging prediction markets for governance more feasible. In this work, he will explore under which conditions, if any, prediction markets could improve policymaking and what could be a feasible implementation.
Maria da Graça Prado, UK
Using Geo-mapping Technologies to Improve Public Infrastructure Planning
Maria is a qualified lawyer working in the development sector with a focus on transparency and accountability issues. As a Senior Policy and Research Advisor at CoST – the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative, Maria focuses her efforts to understand how public infrastructure can help meet the SDGs and serve as a lifeline to individuals and communities.
Her project explores the use of geo-mapping as a guiding tool to improve infrastructure planning, particularly when crossed with demographic data and population needs, serving to red flag biases and inequalities in the distribution of infrastructure, and helping policymakers to design and deliver inclusive infrastructure that leaves no-one behind.
Megan M. Roberts, USA
Agile Tech Policy for the 21st Century
Megan is Director of Policy Planning at the United Nations Foundation where she works on policy issues and priority initiatives, including on technology policy and governance and the future of multilateral cooperation.
Her research as a fellow will focus on international cooperation on the pressing questions posed by new technologies and will explore how the world can create agile spaces for multilateral action on tech policy in the future.
Phoenix Charlie Storm Andrews, UK
Privacy, Security, Citizen Rights and Transparency In Web 3.0
Phoenix is a writer and researcher specialising in politics, fandoms, internet cultures and information behaviour. Their project will investigate the problems posed by closed platforms and closed use of open platforms in Web 3.0 for transparency, interventions and innovations balanced with the need for privacy and the protection of the safety of minorities and the right of citizens to organise. Misinformation spread, public figures avoiding accountability and groups co-ordinating abuse are all common issues.
Yusuf Sohoye, UK
Just Semantics: How Web 3.0 Can Make Digital Government a Reality
Yusuf is a Data Engineer at the Connected Places Catapult, focusing on architecting and building tailored data environments for clients, predominantly focused in government. He has been working on projects to help collect, store and publish data for business or open use, often working with service designers and user researchers to provide end-to-end solutions.
Yusuf will be looking into the potential contributions of Web 3.0 to public services. The technology looks to be compatible with the digitisation of these services and the will to be more data led across all services. Alongside the technical details, he is interested in the economical impacts of web 3.0, touching on ownership and incentives for software providers.
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