Data Talks is a series of talks between Brazil and Germany on the topic of usages of public
transparency and open government data to face the social challenges from our times.
From September to December 2021, researchers, government officials and experts
will exchange their views and experiences on how can we use public data to improve
education, promote sustainability, fight corruption, and other themes.
Data Talks is an initiative from Jessica Voigt, German Chancellor Fellow by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which is supported by the Brazil Centre from the University of Müns
#9: What is digitalization?
Digitalization is not a new concept, but with the social distance measures caused by coronavirus crisis we testified an invasion of the digital in our lives. Suddenly, even those who were resisting asking food through apps or work in digital environments had no other choice than embrace digital.
But digital does not built a new world, but layers existing societies, with their rules and inequalities. Besides, digitalization can also be associated with automation of decision making, which is in turn based in past and sometimes not so fair decisions.
What can we expect in terms of changes in activities, socialization and inclusion in the next years? What does it mean, in 2022, to turn something into digital?
Prof. Dr. Benedikt Berger
Professor for Digital Transformation and Society - Institut für Wirtschaftsinformatik of the University of Münster
M.A Fabio Senne
Coordinator at NIC.BR and P.hD. Candidate at DCP-USP
#8: Thinking AI
During the Data Talks project, we have been talking about the use of technology and the availability of data in concrete (albeit complex) situations, such as healthcare, education, anti-corruption, climate change, etc. This episode is a bit different.
The relationship between science fiction and technology goes beyond imagining what devices will be produced or the design of the clothes of the future. Science fiction also helps us think about the moral dilemmas we might face, fundamental human questions, the relationship between technology, power and coercion, and the relationship of humans to one another. This the first of two episodes that will discuss Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our Data Talks Project
Dr. Veridiana Domingos Cordeiro
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the C4AI – Center for Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Isabella Hermann
Festival Director Berlin Sci-fi Filmfest
Astro Boy (2009)
Das Haus (2021)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
#7: Cities and Data
Smart cities are ideal, a promise that is a result of, first, the observation that cities were the main source of human and environmental stress, and second, the emergency of new and efficient forms of storage and sharing information. In the early 2000s, we had the reasons, motivation, and apparently means to re-invent cities.
However, some might say that a smart city is too much of a big promise to be kept. As we mentioned in the first episode of the Data Talks, cities are different, have different challenges, and have different goals.
And how can cities decide what their own goals are? How can cities produce and use their own knowledge, establishing their own and original developing models? What data and what data strategy do we need for that?
Prof. Dr. Samuel Mössner
Full Professor at the Institute of Geography at University of Münster
Coordinator of Indicators for the Sustainable Cities Program.
#6: Civil society initiatives using public data
With the development of the internet and the dissemination of personal computers, many philosophers, sociologists, political scientists, and activists started to think of ways in which technology would promote more democracy. The internet ended time and space constraints for communication, web servers became an increasingly cheap way to store information and without the need of intermediaries, citizens could reach governments and finally tell what they want.
Well, almost 30 years after the beginning of this wave, a lot has been made but, on the other hand, there is still a lot to be done. As we talked about in previous episodes, technology is indeed a powerful tool that enables civil society to have access to their rights, as well as to monitor what governments are or are not doing. Besides, technology enables bottom-up initiatives, which might bring changes based on collective intelligence.
And how can we develop digital democracy initiatives that use public data and have an actual impact in communities, in people’s lives? How can citizen’s initiatives create a space where they promote change by confronting or working together with governments? Today, we have two special guests who will bring their experience and examples to learn with.
Prof. Dr. Gisele Craveiro
Full Professor at the Graduate Program of Social Change and Political Participation (EACH - USP)
Community Strategy at Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland
#5: Public data against corruption
Payment of bribes, illegal political campaign financing, cartel behavior, overbilling of public purchases or of construction works. Those are some corrupt activities that the public administration all over the world must protect themselves from.
The fight against corruption is something that unites countries all over the world. Even though the faces of corruption in Brazil and Germany might be different, similar challenges, of course to different degrees can be found in both countries. Just recently corruption cases associated with the COVID19 pandemic have affected both countries. In Germany and Brazil the purchasing of COVID-19 individual protection equipment and the roles of various politicians in the buying process of overpriced masks was discussed all over the media. This shows a bigger problem: while politicians may have a facilitating role in the purchasing process and are allowed to have additional income, if they publish it, this can also be tempting to get a piece of the cut. Transparency of the whole process is key and highlights one of the main elements in the fight against corruption. In the case of Germany, the discussion around the so-called mask deals had a massive impact on the recent elections in Germany.
Public opinion often flares up when we talk about corruption, mostly due to an unmoralistic component of the corruption act. The task of fighting corruption sounds too big for a single individual, and therefore many expect the rise of a saving power that will both clean public administration and avenge the people. Unfortunately, we don’t have heroes in real life. We need, however, to find realistic and sustainable ways to fight corruption, but also to measure the often unknown. With this in mind, public data is not only a way to hold governments accountable, but also an important tool to help public bodies, the press and civil society to investigate public activities and ascertain accusations against public administration. Information, data and transparency are an important strategy in order to fight corruption.
#4: Data for climate
Talk with Dr. Milena Ponczek (IFUSP- USP / Atmospheric Tales ) and Dr. Thomas Bartoschek (IfGI-WWU / re:edu )
It is not as if we were not warned about it: the temperature of the planet is increasing and this will bring harmful consequences for societies all over the world.
Throughout history, humans have built cities according to natural resources and availability of good conditions, such as water and temperature, for food production. With the increase of Earth’s temperature, all of this is about to change. Natural phenomena such as the rains in Germany and the dry in Brazil, both of which happened this year, will be more often and less predictable. We are talking about our extinction.
Since 1992 Governments all over the world are developing climate governance, in which agreements and goals are settled to avoid a drastic increase of the planet’s temperature, including the recent COP26 in Glasgow. In the meanwhile, civil society movements such as Fridays for Future claim that national governments are not making enough.
Data was always an asset for science, and now governments and citizens need to learn the language of science. How can public data help local and national governments to create strategies to fight the climate crisis? And can the civil society herself produce and use this data?