We spoke with four data for social impact leaders about our 2023 report Accelerate Aspirations: Moving to Achieve Systems Change. Kriss Deiglmeier, Chief Global Impact Officer at Splunk, shares her ideas and insights on creating a data-driven ecosystem.
Kriss Deiglmeier, Chief Global Impact Officer at Splunk, urged us to embrace this assertion during a recent data.org conversation with practitioners and funders to launch the 2023 Data for Social Impact report – Accelerate Aspirations: Moving to Achieve Systems Change.
From her point of view, we need to move from funding one-off projects and instead focus on creating a data-driven ecosystem for social impact on the systems side.
We couldn’t agree more. It’s the entire premise of the Accelerate report. To change the narrative and act like data is power we need to think more expansively than traditional funding and partnership structures between the private and social sectors currently allow. It’s time to look toward innovative, diverse, collaborative partnerships to meet the demand for data for social impact.
“Why aren’t we advocating for investing in the power of data for societal benefit,” she continued. “If we continue to think about data and talent as overhead, we are sunk for the 21st century. We are at a moment of urgency.”
A timely example of what is at stake is the trajectory of OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT. According to accounts, OpenAI started as a nonprofit in 2015 and tried through government and philanthropy to secure funding to scale. This approach was unsuccessful and in 2019, shifted to for-profit.
“What a loss for a social impact because we couldn’t see the big picture and build that [data for good] ecosystem,” Deiglmeier said. “Could you imagine if it was a non-profit sitting in a position of power for social impact?”
At data.org, we can imagine it and we think it is possible. Consider joining us in spreading the word about what is possible. Reach out to us to collaborate and share ideas.
The best path forward includes convincing funders of the need for long-term, sustained investment to scale systems-wide data projects along with foundational investments in infrastructure, capacity, and talent. Adopting this approach will give the next big idea such as OpenAI the best chance to address our shared challenges by driving change from the social sector.
2023 Data for Social Impact Report
Accelerate Aspirations: Moving Together to Achieve Systems Change
A comprehensive report on the key trends and tensions in the emerging field of data for social impact.