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Professor Keolu Fox presents 'Data as Power: The Next 100 Generations of Indigenous Data Sovereignty' for the CDCS Annual Lecture 2021

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The Centre for Data, Culture & Society is delighted to announce the 2021 Annual Lecture:

Data as Power: The Next 100 Generations of Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Speaker: Professor Keolu Fox (University of California, San Diego)

According to The Economist, in 2018 oil was the most-traded commodity in the world. But in 2019, the demand for oil had been surpassed by the demand for data, including digital sequence information (DSI) of genetic resources. Despite increasing enthusiasm for historically marginalized communities’ participation in biomedical research and a recognition of the potential for next-generation precision medicine, concerns around control and access of data derived from these populations remain.

During this lecture, Professor Keolu Fox will highlight the emergence of new tools to enable equitable Indigenous data futures. This lecture will explore key paths forward that are not only rooted in Indigenous Data Sovereignty (IDS), but circular economic systems, and place-based innovation. It will also highlight the potential for vertical integration and control of “stacks of technology,” including dynamic consent, data trusts, digital ledger systems, and cloud computation to empower Indigenous communities for generations to come.

If aggregated and controlled by Indigenous communities, these data and technologies can be harnessed to reclaim our past, revitalize our culture, restore our lands, and empower the next one hundred generations of Indigenous communities around the world. From Indigenous control of satellites to reduce the digital divide, to recognizing the emergent value of biodiversity data under the custodianship of Indigenous communities, our goal is to educate Indigenous peoples around the world on the potential use and misuse of evolving big data ecosystems in 2021 and into the future.

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Professor Keolu Fox is the first Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) to receive a doctorate in genome sciences and is an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego, affiliated with the Department of Anthropology, the Global Health Program, the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute, the Climate Action Lab, the Design Lab, and the Indigenous Futures Institute.

Professor Fox's work focuses on the connection between raw data as a resource and the emerging value of genomic health data from Indigenous communities. He has experience designing and engineering genome sequencing and editing technologies, and a decade of grassroots experience working with Indigenous partners to advance precision medicine.

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The CDCS elves have a limited number of festive gifts to send to those who register before 30 November! Please keep an eye out for a link to a form in your order confirmation email that will ask you to fill out your address if you would like to receive a gift in advance of the seminar.

Upon booking, all attendees will receive an automated confirmation email which will contain a link to the online event page. This event will take place on Zoom. Attendees will receive a second email closer to the event booking which will also provide the link to the online event page. Please use the same email for registering with Eventbrite and when logging into Zoom.

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This is a webinar, which means that attendees’ microphones and cameras will be off. There will be opportunities for participants to turn their microphone on and ask questions during the discussion.

This event will have live captions. Please inform us of any access requirements by emailing

The event will be recorded and uploaded onto the CDCS website afterwards for public viewing.

Further details about how CDCS uses your information obtained from booking onto our events can be found at in our Events Privacy Statement.

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Organiser Edinburgh Centre for Data, Culture & Society

Organiser of CDCS Annual Lecture 2021

The Edinburgh Centre for Data, Culture & Society is based in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the Univerity of Edinburgh. It aims to create an environment in which data-driven research can grow and thrive.

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