The joint ALLEA/Royal Society Discussion Paper ‘Flourishing in a data-enabled society’ examines how a European approach to data governance can unlock the full potential of data-based technologies, while at the same time safeguarding European values.
Based on the outcomes of discussions during an ALLEA/Royal Society conference in November 2018 in Chicheley, UK, the paper is intended to inform researchers, policymakers and wider audiences alike, and calls for a coordinated approach across disciplines and sectors to ensure data and digital technologies support human flourishing – or in other words to ensure data serves humanity.
The publication provides a concise overview on the impact of digital transformations and how increased data collection and use is transforming individual lives, modern societies and markets. These transformations involve trade-offs and in particular they put under tension values shared across Europe, such as privacy, autonomy, rationality, equality, and dignity. Despite these unsolved conflicts and ongoing uncertainty around the direction of these transformations, the paper emphasises that opportunities for human flourishing through the use of data are manifold, such as in healthcare, public service provision, or sustainable development.