Rethinking Data

Our work

Changing the Data Governance Ecosystem

Rethinking Data is a global programme designed to change the data governance ecosystem. It will do so by transforming how we talk about data through our narratives, developing people-centred data practice, and developing new regulations that build upon the existing legal and regulatory data regulation framework.

Download the Rethinking Data prospectus: 2MB Colour PDF | 1MB Print-friendly PDF


The  Rethinking Data programme is central to Ada’s work, and is composed of three workstreams, each devised to understand and diagnose the constraints of the present data governance ecosystem and develop proposals for change in policy and practice.

The three workstreams are: Changing Narratives, Changing Practices, Changing Regulations.

The workstreams will study and recommend changes to embedded narratives about data, current practices of data access, partnerships, sharing and use, and existing frameworks for data regulation.

The Rethinking Data Working Group, co-chaired by Professor Diane Coyle (Bennett Institute of Public Policy, Cambridge) and Paul Nemitz (Director, Principal Adviser on Justice Policy, EU Commission, and Member of the German Data Ethics Commission) will guide the Ada Lovelace Institute’s thinking on the future of data regulation.


Our vision for data is to:

  • make the case for the social value of data
  • tackle data injustice and asymmetries of power
  • promote and enable data stewardship
  • make the case for infrastructure that enables purpose-driven innovation
  • develop data rights and regulations

Our ways of working through this programme (as with all of Ada’s work) are:

  • Evidence led: Through our learning from live, international examples of good and bad data practice and a review of existing evidence, we will develop practical guidance for data stewards on fair data practices.
  • People centred: Through our public engagement and discourse analysis work we will co-design and reframe data language to shape new data narratives.
  • Policy facing: Through convening an interdisciplinary working group (law, policy, regulation, philosophy, practice, economics, human rights), we will build on existing regulations and develop new regulations for policymakers.

Find out more:

-> Download the Rethinking Data prospectus: 2MB Colour PDF | 1MB Print-friendly PDF

-> See the Rethinking Data Working Group members

-> Contact the Rethinking Data team with ‘Rethinking Data’ in the subject line.