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Our mission

Global Center for the Digital Commons

How can we collectively govern the digital infrastructures we rely on for our every day lives, the data fuelling algorithms that inform our machines, or the lines of code deciding what happens at the push of a button?

GCDC aims to build common governance models for the digital age. We bring together technical, legal, economic and sociological expertise to develop new models for online consent, data stewardship and collective control over digital assets.


What we're working on

Data Trusts

How can we reap the shared societal benefits that massive aggregated data can unlock, without opening the door to the abuses that are possible with any large concentration of sensitive data?

One effective solution would be ​a data trust: a piece of legal infrastructure that separates those collecting and using data from those holding custody over the data.​ Instead of sharing directly with a government or company, data is sent to a data trust, an independent, trusted non-profit entity.


Consent Champions

Online consent is severely broken and the wreckage extends beyond the impossible-to-navigate consent windows.

Consent Champions might help us navigate the billions of decisions on when and how to share data. These would be organisations that hold expertise in specific domains (e.g. health, mobility, human rights) and use that expertise to draft consent profiles regarding data collection and usage that individuals can adopt as their own.



Anouk Ruhaak

Data consent & governance researcher, Mozilla Fellow 2019/20. Previous: journalist, software developer, political economist.

Zoe Schlag

Managing Director, Techstars. Previous: UnLtd, World Economic Forum


Andrew Hoppin

CEO CoverUS, EHF Fellow. Previous: CIO New York State, NASA

Jessy Kate Schingler

Director of Governance, Open Lunar. Previous: Embassy Network, IFTF, NASA.

Joshua McKenty

Founder EQLabs. Previous: Pivotal, OpenStack, NASA, Netscape.

Tony Lai

Computational Law Researcher, National University of Singapore and CodeX Stanford Center for Legal Informatics. Previous: tech lawyer and entrepreneur.