Today, we are launching our first Open Future fellowship, with the aim of expanding our capacity to study the data commons. Jan J. Zygmuntowski will be this year our Data Commons Fellow, working on institutional designs for governing data as a commons. Through this fellowship, we are also bringing economic expertise to our organization.
Jan is an economist interested in development studies, the political economy of technology and the digital economy. He is the co-president of the Polish Network of Economics and Program Director at CoopTech Hub, the first Polish center for platform co-ops. He is a lecturer at Kozminski University, where he is also a PhD candidate in the Management and AI in Digital Society program. Jan also co-founded and chaired (between 2015-2020) the Instrat think-tank.
Jan’s research project is focused on data commons governance. Despite the need for greater data sharing and data-based innovation, the mistreatment of personal data and unequal capacity of actors to leverage data have led to the status quo of privacy fears and siloed databases. The overarching research question is how to design data institutions providing public value and stewarding data as commons? This will be achieved by studying pilot projects of such institutions, and by defining on this basis a set of design principles for modern data institutions.
Jan will also support the advocacy work of our organization with regard to the European data strategy, and in particular the upcoming Data Act.