Fourth dialogue: On using data

Wednesday, 14th October 2020, online

Using (big) data: Making data user-friendly



Wednesday, 14th October 2020

15.00 – 15.30


Jean-Pierre Reymond, Chargé de mission, Head of Innovation Partnerships, Permanent Mission of Switzerland in Geneva

Welcome and opening remarks

Dominic Waughray, Managing Director, World Economic Forum

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director Telecommunication Development Bureau (ITU)

15.30 – 16.20

Panel debate on the use of Big Data

The panel discussion will be guided by the following questions:

  • What type of cognitive, technical, and analytical skills are needed for an effective use and communication of big data?
  • How to make the rather abstract results of big data analysis more tangible through data visualisation and storytelling?
  • How can big data effectively be used for evidence-based policymaking, especially in developing countries?


Andiswa Mlisa, Managing Director, Earth Observations, South African National Space Agency.
Tariq Khokhar, Head of Data for Science and Health Priority Area at Wellcome Trust.
Kate Kallot, Head of Emerging Areas, Nvidia.
Ronald Jansen, Assistant Director, Chief of Data Innovation and Capacity Branch, United Nations Statistical Division.
Jonathan Schwabish, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute.

Moderator: Steven Ramage, Head of External Relations, GEO

16.20 – 17.00

Break-out sessions

The parallel breakout sessions will focus ultimately on the following outcome: In what concrete ways can this Geneva-based community contribute to the action agenda at the World Data Forum?

In particular, each group will be led by a Lead Discussant and will discuss the following aspects:

Breakout session 1: Skills for big data

Lead Discussant: Dominik Rozkrut, President of Statistics Poland and Chair of the UN Global Working Group Task Team on Training, Competencies and Capacity Development

Guiding Questions:

  • What are the necessary skills to effectively analyse and use big data?
  • How do we develop greater data literacy?
  • What can NSOs do to bridge the gap in big data skills particularly in developing countries?

Breakout session 2: Big data visualisation

Lead discussant: Jonathan Schwabish, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute.

Guiding Questions:

  • What makes for good or useful data visualization?
  • How can visualization make complex data digestible and decision-making holistic?

Breakout session 3: Big data for policymaking

Lead discussant: Philip Thigo, Senior Adviser, Data, Innovation and Open Government, Office of the Deputy President of Kenya

Guiding Questions:

  • What are the use cases of big data for policymaking, in which policy area they are used and what are the experiences?
  • How is big data being used by Governments to respond to the COVID pandemic?
  • What are the challenges and blind spots?
17.00 – 17.15

Summary and conclusions

Each lead discussant  will be invited to report back to the plenary on 2-3 concrete ways that the Geneva-based community can contribute to the action agenda at the World Data Forum:

17.15 – 17.30

From Geneva to Bern (virtually)

Concluding remarks of the 4 Dialogues, ahead of the UN World Data Forum session on 19th October 2020.

Jean-Pierre Reymond, Chargé de mission, Head of Innovation Partnerships, Permanent Mission of Switzerland in Geneva
Jovan Kurbalija, Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform

If you wish to attend, please register here no later than October 9, 2020


Ambassador Jean-Pierre Reymond

Jean-Pierre Reymond

Read more

Dominic Waughray

Read more
Dominik Rozkrut

Dominik Rozkrut

Read more

Ronald Jansen

Read more
Prof. Jovan Kurbalija

Jovan Kurbalija

Read more

Tariq Khokhar

Read more

Doreen Bogdan-Martin

Read more

Steven Ramage

Read more

Jonathan Schwabish

Read more