The C’s in the Consumer Data Right

Mathew Mytka

Mathew Mytka

Moral Imagineer

To future proof the success of the Consumer Data Right we must reinforce the importance of community and the benefits of coopetition.

It’s been three years since the formal framework of the Consumer Data Right went live in Australia. During this time there has been extraordinary work to bring such an ambitious reform to life. So much energy from so many people. On this 3 year Anniversary we should continue to celebrate, but also take stock of where we are at and work on vision shaping in a direction that is beneficial to current and future generations.

In September 2021 I wrote a reflection piece that is still relevant today titled “Consumer Data Right as the catalyst for human and planetary flourishing”. In this I cover some of the lessons learned and provide a fiction story for future direction.

But today as I write this I reflect on the C’s in the narratives of the Consumer Data Right. Choice, Control, Convenience, Confidence and not least, Consumer. But here I want to introduce two more.

Community and Coopetition.

Last month many people came together as an emergent community to celebrate the Aussie innovation these reforms represent and explore the limitless potential together. At its heart the inaugural CDR Month was about these additional C’s. We had three partnering industry bodies work together to create a platform for this to happen. 10 events through June and over 20+ organisations coming together to make it all happen. Despite competition between some of these organisations they came together to cooperate. To manifest together.

This momentum we’ve garnered should not stop. We now have an opportunity to work in public and private partnership to realise the potential of this ambitious reform. As New Zealand embarks on this great adventure we must also work together better across the Tasman. Buttressing regional trade and innovation opportunities and evolving together in lockstep.

To do this we need an alliance. Across industries, government, academia, consumer advocates and civil society. A platform to harness competitive tension, amplify community, and align to what matters most in the public interest. FDATA is working to bring this into being in the Australian and New Zealand region with the creation of the Open Data Implementation Alliance and I invite you to reach out and get involved.

To go with the format and style of my previous article from a couple years back I’ve written a fictional story. It may or may not resonate with you but these stories help give me a sense of directional clarity. Whatever the role you play in this grand performance and CosPlay I hope it helps you too.

A future to work towards

The year is 2035, and the world around me has been forever changed by the Consumer Data Right (CDR) and the social and digital transformations it unleashed. Let me take you on a journey through my own experiences and the profound impact it has had on my life.

As I wake up in the morning, the sun gently filters through the smart blinds, signalling the start of a new day. My connected home hums with energy, seamlessly anticipating my needs. Energy drawn from my local community grid, where excess is sold back to the national market, fuels not only my home but also a plethora of community projects. This business model has sparked a sense of shared purpose and cooperation, where community challenges incentivise local social entrepreneurs with the support of profit from a platform cooperative business model. Powered by CDR.

The CDR has given rise to a symphony of personalised services that cater to every aspect of my life. From smart appliances that optimise energy usage to intelligent health monitors that keep me in peak condition, the technology envelops me like a warm embrace. Data is shared privately and securely, fostering a sense of trust and empowering individuals to take control of their lives. Much of the life administration and meaningless digital interactions that took up people’s time previously are automated away.

Stepping out into the city, I am greeted by a bustling metropolis that thrives on the power of data. Autonomous vehicles glide smoothly, guided by algorithms that orchestrate a ballet of efficient transportation. Public spaces buzz with life as people engage in vibrant exchanges, their interactions enriched by real-time data that fuels meaningful connections and experiences.

In my work, the boundaries of collaboration have been shattered. The CDR has fostered a culture of open innovation, where ideas flow freely across disciplines and geographies. Through virtual platforms and immersive technologies, I collaborate with brilliant minds from all walks of life, transcending the limitations of time and space. Together, we tackle the world’s most pressing challenges, fuelled by the collective wisdom of diverse perspectives and data-enabled insights.

But it’s not just in the professional realm that the CDR has made its mark. In my personal life, it has become the cornerstone of choice and empowerment. With a few taps on my mobile device, I navigate a sea of information and opportunities. I make informed decisions about my health, my finances, and my leisure activities, guided by the wealth of data at my fingertips. The boundaries between consumer and creator blur as I contribute my own insights, shaping the digital landscape and influencing the products and services that enrich my life.

Beyond the convenience and personalisation, the true beauty of the CDR lies in the transformation it has cultivated in our society. It has ignited a paradigm shift in how we view data, trust, and progress. It’s been aligned to the global Sustainable Development Goals and enriched societal progress. The fractured relationship between individuals and institutions has been mended, giving way to a new era of collaboration and shared purpose. Governments, businesses, academia, civil society and individuals work hand in hand, driven by a shared vision of a better future.

In this world, progress is not solely measured by economic indicators but by the well-being of individuals and the flourishing of our planet. The CDR has become the catalyst for a more sustainable, inclusive, and compassionate society. It has unleashed the power of data as a force for good, aligning our collective efforts towards a brighter tomorrow.

What was truly inspiring and brought a cascade of shifts in direction was that people come together as communities. Innovators in industry, academia, across government and civil society figured out how to align to what matters most. The sense of clarity and shared direction accelerated so much progress. Competitive tension spurred cooperation and many platform ecosystems owned and governed by the people and organisations that use and benefit from them emerged.

As I take a moment to reflect on the remarkable journey we’ve embarked upon, I am filled with gratitude for the transformative impact of the CDR and all the people over the past 2 decades that have worked to make it a success. It has given us the tools to shape our destinies, to dream big and realise our potential. It is a testament to the indomitable spirit of human innovation and cooperation, and a reminder that the power to create a better world lies within each of us.

In this new world shaped by responsible innovation and CDR frameworks, possibilities abound, and the radiant tapestry of human existence unfurls before us. It is a symphony of progress, a celebration of what we can achieve when we dare to dream, come together as communities and harness the power of data for the greater good. Together, we’ve co-created a world where technology serves humanity and is unlocking the full potential of human compassion and ingenuity.

This is just a story from my imagination. But ain’t our world built on stories and the power of human imagination?

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