New grants fund JMSC social media and censorship research
23 October 2014
Documentary by JMSC’s Ruby Yang raises over $900,000 for scholarships
29 October 2014

Building Businesses on Free Government Data

Envision a business resource that companies can use to deliver better healthcare,  for example, or provide energy more efficiently, or offer consumer services through mobile apps and the Web. Now imagine that this resource is free. That’s open government data: public data that anyone can access and use to create new ventures and opportunities.

Using examples from several sectors of the economy, Joel Gurin, Senior Advisor at the Governance Lab at New York University, will explain at the JMSC on October 30 how businesses are putting open government data to work.

He will describe these companies’ different revenue models, the kinds of data they have found most useful, and what both startups and established businesses can learn from them. He will share insights from the  Governance Lab’s Open Data 500 project, which is the first comprehensive study of U.S.-based companies that use open government data as a key business resource. The 500 businesses in this ongoing study range from two-person startups to billion-dollar enterprises.

Gurin will also discuss new findings from a series of Open Data Roundtables being convened by the GovLab. These roundtables bring federal agencies –  including the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, Labor, Transportation, Treasury, and Agriculture –  together with the companies that use their data. The talks are designed to identify the datasets that have the greatest business value, and find ways to make them more usable by businesses of all kinds.

Time: Thursday, 30 October, 1:00-2:00 pm
Location: Digital Media Lab, Eliot Hall, The University of Hong Kong

This talk is open to the public.

About the speaker

Joel Gurin, Senior Advisor at the Governance Lab at NYU and director of Open Data 500, has recently published a new book, Open Data Now, and additional material on the subject is available on his website, He was formerly Editorial Director and then Executive Vice President of Consumers Union and Consumer Reports. From late 2009 through early 2012, Gurin was Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. He also served as Chair of the White House Task Force on Smart Disclosure, which studied how the federal government can help consumers by providing information on complex choices in the marketplace. He tweets at @joelgurin.