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The data revolution offers enormous benefits. Philanthropy can ensure they’re evenly felt.

2 mins read

At its core, data is information – generated by people, for people, and about people and the world around us. Over the next few years, as the amount of data produced grows exponentially, access to – and the ability to benefit from – this information will become an increasingly important, even critical, facet of life.

However, with such promise comes significant risks. Data infrastructure can just as easily result in exclusion, concentration of power, breaches of privacy, erosion of trust, and corroding social norms. Over the past few years, with the recent generative AI “leap,” both the opportunities – and the risks – have become even more salient.

The decisions made today will largely determine whether the data revolution results in a digital future that promotes and protects people’s rights, builds trust, and drives inclusive growth. With an ability to support bold and creative solutions that can have cascading global impact, philanthropy can – and should – assert itself in this endeavor for equitable development.

By supporting collaboration and concerted action, our "big bets" set the stage for a positive data future.

To promote the foundations for good data infrastructure, we’ve drafted a call-to-action paper for philanthropists. Outlining seven “big bets,” we’ve highlighted just a few of the many ways philanthropy can make a difference in this space – whether acting as an orchestrator, accelerator, scorekeeper, or de-risker. These include:

  1. Establishing global metrics of progress
  2. Rationalizing and strengthening existing talent pipeline initiatives to build local talent ecosystems
  3. Creating an endowment fund to sustain funding for major open-source solutions
  4. Activating innovation funds to test and scale new models of data stewardship
  5. Setting up design and procurement SWAT teams
  6. Investing in global digital recourse mechanisms
  7. Establishing a first loss facility to support adoption of global decentralized protocols

You can contribute to this effort. Help us shape the discussion around fostering positive data infrastructure.

We encourage you to read our call-to-action paper to learn how you can contribute to a positive data future. While this list sets a strong foundation, it isn’t meant to be exhaustive; we are always seeking new ways to advance inclusive, sustainable data for all. As we work with our partners to continue building out available opportunities for impact, we welcome you to contribute your thoughts. To do so, please message us at

Download our call-to-action paper.

For an even deeper look into the world of data infrastructure, read this piece by David Porteous, which delves into the history of infrastructure, highlighting the different considerations, opportunities, and insights to consider in today’s digital era.