Consortium Vision: Building Value from Data Sharing

Hong Kong has a vibrant community of social purpose organizations (SPOs) with a growing number of impact intermediaries and incubation programs joining the social innovation industry. As everyone focuses on doing good for society in their respective areas, we recognize that information often grows silently in separate silos and that the act of getting everyone together to share, collaborate, and innovate has been more important than ever. IDCC builds on the idea of bringing different stakeholders in the social sector together to create an ecosystem that promotes a culture for knowledge and data sharing. To achieve this vision, IDCC, through its Impact Capacity Building (ICB) program, leads Hong Kong’s major intermediaries through initiatives that build impact data literacy while facilitating them through their digital transformation process.

As exciting as this ultimate goal of knowledge and data sharing sounds, a solid foundation built upon a set of collective visions among all intermediaries is needed. This is a crucial first step because as a consortium we will need to move forward in the same direction with a high level of understanding and trust in the ecosystem we are co-creating. To achieve this, in our second session of the ICB workshop (after our first introductory session — click link to review), we work with our intermediaries to establish their own visions for data sharing so that we can later align all our visions to come up with a set of collective visions for IDCC.

To establish visions for data sharing, the approach we use is to first get our intermediaries to think about the problems they face along their business operations. To achieve this, we first have participants identify their business goals, the start and end points of the business processes as well as the activities in between, including decision points. Along the business processes, participants write down all the major challenges they face in each and every step.

Then they analyze the root cause of these problems using a method called “5 whys”.

Figure 1. Challenges presented along the business processes and root cause analysis using the 5 whys method

From the feedback given by participants, this root cause analysis exercise may be the most time consuming throughout the workshop because this involves a lot of thoughts and assumptions. Some intermediaries also said that they too are unsure about the root cause of certain problems as they can be multi-dimensional. Analyzing root causes is particularly difficult for some as it also requires a higher level of knowledge on and familiarity with the organization’s work process. In hindsight, despite having spent a lot of time on the analysis of root causes (which may not be 100% accurate), participants have become more familiarized with their own work process and understood how IDCC can help assemble their basic building blocks of work. This exercise is highly valued by our intermediaries.

Having laid out the root causes, we then categorize the root causes into what can (or cannot) be solved by IDCC (step #1 in the diagram below). These “IDCC-solvable” root causes then become the basis of the workshop as addressing these fundamental challenges will become major value-added. As we focus on the “IDCC-solvable” root causes, we further categorize them into three groups (step #2), i.e. solvable by

  1. blockchain solutions
  2. digital applications
  3. data sharing

All these three types of root causes are then also prioritized by the intermediaries themselves according to the importance and the urgency of solving the problems (step #3). At the end, by knowing what our intermediaries think need to be solved now, next, and later, we can better prioritize our technology development into a roadmap which we will prepare for them in future workshops.

Figure 2. Categorizing and prioritizing root causes to be solved by IDCC’s solution, i.e. blockchain infrastructure, digital application, and data sharing
ICB Workshop Highlight

And then it comes to the last part of the workshop (step #4) where we facilitate the discussion with our members about what benefits they think data sharing can bring not only to their own organization, but also to other intermediaries and stakeholders within this ecosystem.

Figure 3. Identifying the public values to be gained from data sharing

Here we identify what types of information we would need to solve these root problems. As we can understand what values the information can bring to us as an organization, we also realize most of these can also create public values for other members and stakeholders in the ecosystem (e.g. an intermediary understanding more about the market reality will lead to the creation of a social product that has competitive advantage over others [own benefit], which can the high product adoption rate to bring about social benefits to the society more quickly [public value]).

At the time of this writing, we have facilitated three pioneering intermediaries through the very first ICB process of co-creating digital automation workflows for IMM and to have them start thinking about their individual and collective data sharing vision for the benefit of Hong Kong. In the near future, the IDCC team will continue to facilitate in future workshops with other intermediaries to go through the same process, but slightly better each time.

To reach our ultimate goal to establish collective visions for data sharing, it will no doubt take time to change minds, build trusts, and reach consensus. This process is not easy to say the least, but by at least by kickstarting this initial conversation, we are bringing the Hong Kong impact community one step closer to establishing a collective vision for its own impact data consortium.

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Impact Data Consortium Chain (IDCC) Hong Kong

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