Civic Data Talks

How do we really do data stewardship?  An 8-part seminar series on the practicalities and possibilities of civic data innovation and stewardship.

Register for all sessions on Eventbrite

A group of young people sitting and talking together
A group of young people sitting and talking together

About the seminars

Both data itself and the technologies built on it’s back are promised to massively shape the way our lives and communities work.

The call for better data, better tech, and better governance are shadowed by the dominant model of commercial data extraction and use.

This extractive model is at odds with the promise for data tech that can benefit people and communities.

So, how do we do things differently?

At the Civic Data Cooperative we want data about our region to benefit and be led by the people who live here. To do that we want to explore and share what works in data stewardship and innovation.

This eight-part seminar series will share practical examples of people and organisations working at the cutting edge of innovation and stewardship across the UK.

Each seminar will help build a deeper understanding of the possibilities and practicalities in this space.

The Details

All seminars will be hosted on Zoom. The December debate will be live streamed and in-person. Venue TBA.

Seminar topics and registration details are listed below. Please register for each seminar individually.

Final seminar titles and summaries will be available one month before each seminar.

All seminars will be hosted in English. If you require translation, particularly British Sign Language, please email us at and we will accommodate requests where possible.


What we mean by…

At the Civic Data Cooperative we believe data stewardship should help ensure data is managed in a trustworthy, safe and accessible environment.

The Ada Lovelace Institute defines data stewardsip as:

‘The responsible use, collection and management of data in a participatory and rights-preserving way.’

We think effective data stewardship looks like:

  • Developing a better understanding of data use
  • Positioning communities and publics as decision-makers
  • Having a better flow of higher quality data
  • Making better, informed decisions with data
  • Creating value for individuals, their communities and wider society

We define civic data as data about and for a place and community. Civic data is everything from health records to water surveillance to social media posts.

We believe civic data should connect civic organisations, industry experts, and the community to mobilise data across a region to improve the lives of residents.

Public engagement is at the core of our work at the Civic Data Cooperative (CDC). We define public engagement as activities that prioritise and promote participatory involvement in imagining, using, and applying data.

Learn more about our public engagement strategy in a report by Involve.

Public Data for Public Good

Read supporting materials for the report at the following links:

Public Data for Public Good Appendix

Reimagining the Civic Data Cooperative by Reema Patel

We define data innovations broadly as technologies that use and are built from data. We believe data stewardship should address both the management of data itself and the things that use data. That means a range of digital tech like AI and digital twins.



Seminar Topics

June 15th: Developing Data Cooperatives


Gary Leeming, Civic Data Cooperative Director

Developing new models for civic data stewardship for the Liverpool City Region 

Julian Tait, Co-founder and CEO of Open Data Manchester CIC

Designing the data cooperative

Data cooperatives as a structure for stewarding data have been with us for a number of years, yet few of them exist. This talk looks at the process of data cooperative formation drawing on the experience of Open Data Manchester’s work designing a data cooperative model for small energy cooperatives and the development of the Data Cooperative Handbook.

Watch the full seminar on Youtube!


July 20th: Crowd-sourcing better health and care through our data and digital selves


Professor Iain Buchan, Professor in Public Health and Clinical Informatics, and Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Innovation

Some of the biggest challenges to human health have some of the poorest solutions because they lack the big picture data needed to discover new interventions or get current ones to the right person at the right time in the right way. Professor Buchan will explore how citizens can mobilise their data to radically improve the way science, industry and healthcare tackle big challenges such as antimicrobial resistance, pandemics, NHS winter pressures and the global mental health crisis. He will also discuss how AIs that are changing our interactions with healthcare can be made more useful and trustworthy through civic cooperatives of citizens shaping what we want and need from future AIs.

Watch the full seminar on Youtube!

September 13th: Data and digital literacy and inclusion


Professor Simeon Yates,  Professor of Digital Culture and Joint Director of the Digital Media and Society Research Institute

Dr Gianfranco Polizzi, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Communication and Media

Watch the full seminar on Youtube!

Read more about Professor Yates and Dr Polizzi’s work:

Me and My Big Data

Developing a Minimum Digital Living Standard

Futureproof: A comprehensive framework for teaching digital citizenship in schools


New date coming soon! Participatory Data Stewardship Community of Practice Launch


Reema Patel, Head of Deliberative Engagement at Ipsos






October 18th: Algorithmic Impact Assessments


Lara Groves, Researcher in AI and Public Participation at the Ada Lovelace Institute

Summary: Final title and session details will be available in August

Register on Eventbrite


November 22nd: Developing a social license for Children’s Rights in artificial intelligence


Dr Mhairi Aitken, Ethics Fellow in Public Policy, Alan Turing Institute

Summary: Final title and session details will be available in October

Register on Eventbrite

December TBC: Future of AI and Public Stewardship Debate

Speakers: TBC

Summary: Final title and session details will be available in October

Registration opens September 2023


January 18th: Building Digital Twins

Speaker: Dr Andrew Levers, Executive Director, Institute of Digital Engineering and Autonomous Systems

Summary: Final title and session details will be available in December

Registration opens September 2023
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