Projectskeyboard_arrow_rightThe Potential of Social Media Intelligence to Improve People’s Lives

The Potential of Social Media Intelligence to Improve People’s Lives

How can we leverage private social media data for public good?

Project Websitelink
    Governance Area
  • National Governance Regional Governance
  • Institution Type
  • Public Sector Corporate/Business Nonprofit Academic
  • Innovative Capability
  • Data Collaboratives Agile Research Big Data
  • Product Category
  • Case Studies


The twenty-first century will be challenging on many fronts. From historically catastrophic natural disasters resulting from climate change to inequality to refugee and terrorism crises, it is clear that we need not only new solutions, but new insights and methods of arriving at solutions. Data, and the intelligence gained from it through advances in data science, is increasingly being seen as part of the answer. However, a vast amount of valuable data is held by private companies.






In this report, we focus on an approach to extract public value from social media data that we believe holds the greatest potential: data collaboratives. Data collaboratives are an emerging form of public-private partnership in which actors from different sectors exchange information to create new public value. Such collaborative arrangements, for example between social media companies and humanitarian organizations or civil society actors, can be seen as possible templates for leveraging privately held data towards the attainment of public goals.

Results & Impact


Stefaan Verhulst

Andrew Young