People-Centered Approaches

I recently re-read the report on Big Data, Communities and Ethical Resilience: A Framework for Action from the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2013 Bellagio/PopTech Fellows.  Though kind of academic, It is well-worth your time (when you feel like getting head-y about this big data stuff).  I particularly enjoyed and wanted to share this paragraph, because it is written more eloquently than I’m able to:

Of primary importance is to focus on people-centered, community-driven approaches. The discourse of big data and community resilience often excludes local participation by less powerful or technically literate populations. As a result, external experts may reduce complex social problems like community resilience to terms that are suited to technological solutions. This crowds out local knowledge, participation and agency, which undermines trust, social connectedness and resilience. Clear public policy and corporate governance frameworks are needed to foster a generative and inclusive environment that is conducive to local communities participating in their own data projects.

I strongly agree with this.