About us

Our vision

We want communities to have a powerful say in decisions about data so that it is used to create a just, equitable and sustainable world

Our mission

We campaign to put community at the centre of data narratives, practices and policies by advocating for collective and open data governance

Here is our strategic roadmap for 2022-23. We’ve made it public so you can see what we’re planning. We’d welcome comments and suggestions, but in particular love to hear of any opportunities you see to collaborate or complement your own work.

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This document sets out our Theory of Change (ToC). This embodies our current working assumptions about how our activities will lead to the change we want to see in the world.

To put this ToC into practice we will develop various strategies, tactics and programmes to act on it, and test its assumptions.

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We focus on impact

We work in the open

We collaborate and learn with others

We take care of each other and ourselves

Jeni Tennison

Founder and Executive Director

Jeni is an expert in all things data, from technology, to governance, strategy, and public policy. She is the founder of Connected by data, a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow and an Affiliated Researcher at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy.

Jeni was CEO of the Open Data Institute, where she held leadership roles for nine years. There, she developed and directed the ODI’s approach to topics such as open data, data governance, data portability and data institutions, as well as leading research, development and advisory work in sectors ranging from health and climate to agriculture and engineering.

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Jonathan Smith

Advocacy and Campaign Director

Jonathan has worked in campaigning and comms for quite a while now. Most recently he was Head of Campaigns at Shelter and before that the Fairtrade Foundation. He has also worked for Save the Children, Comic Relief and Christian Aid in his time.

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Tim Davies

Research Director

Tim has spent the last 20 years working at the intersection of technology, participation and governance as both a researcher and practitioner. From piloting digital tools bringing youth voice into local decisions, to developing data standards the enable community scrutiny of billions of dollars of public spending, or writing about the political dynamics of open data initiatives, his work has explored how shared social challenges need participatory, collaborative and collective responses.

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Maria Luciano

Research associate

Maria works at the intersection of law and technology, and has conducted research on a wide variety of topics such as privacy and data protection, internet access, platform regulation, as well as democratic theory and political participation.

Before joining Connected by data, she worked as a data protection researcher and consultant in Brazil in the private, public and third sectors.

She participated in the Brazilian version of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Who has Your Back?” Project. And co-authored the Brazilian chapter of the IT for Change’s grant “Policy Frameworks for digital platforms – Moving from openness to inclusion”.

Maria was the Brazil Sub-national Lead for the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT), hosted by the Blavatnik School of Government at University of Oxford.

Maria is currently a Lecturer at Data Privacy Brasil and a participant in the Fall 2022 Research Sprint on “Digital Identity in Time of Crisis: Designing for Better Futures”, hosted by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

She earned a Masters of Law and a Bachelor of Law degrees from University of São Paulo, in Brazil.

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Obioma Egemonye

Research associate

Obioma has a background in mixed methods research across international development and higher education. She has previously interned at the Office for Students, Chatham House and the Overseas Development Institute whilst pursuing her undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics with Social Data Science. She is currently interested in expanding her knowledge of contemporary debates in data ethics and exploring innovative approaches to collective data governance.

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Our directors

Jeni Tennison

Founder and Executive Director

Karien Bezuidenhout

Non-Executive Director


Freelancers we work with

Gavin Freeguard

Policy associate

Libby Young

Research associate

The Mohn Westlake Foundation

The Mohn Westlake Foundation is funding us with a year-long unrestricted £100k grant.

Shuttleworth Funded

Jeni is a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, which funds her time and contributes $275k to Connected by Data.

Philpott Design

for design elements and support

Noun Project

for all icons, used under the Royalty Free licence