Taking on the Tech Titans: Reclaiming our data commons - webinar recording


Big Tech has emerged as one of the bigger winners of the global pandemic. A global panel of activists and researchers gathered to analyse the nature and source of Big Tech's power and how communities, movements and cities might reclaim ownership and control of our data.


  • Anita Gurumurthy, Founding member and director of IT for Change, India, where she leads research collaborations and projects with a focus on governance, democracy and gender justice
  • Nanjira Sambuli, Researcher, writer, policy analyst, advocacy strategist on tech and governance, Kenya
  • Ben Tarnoff, Tech worker, writer and founding editor of technology magazine Logic and author of the forthcoming Voices from the Valley: Tech Workers Talk About What They Do—And How They Do It (Sept 2020), US
  • Caroline Nevejan, Chief Science Officer, City of Amsterdam & Chair of Designing Urban Experience at the University of Amsterdam
  • Vahini Naidu, Trade negotiator, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, South Africa

Moderated by Ben Hayes, TNI Associate, Founding director of AWO, a new data rights agency. Researcher and consultant on security policies, counter-terrorism, border control and data protection.


Ben Tarnoff
Logic Magazine
Ben’s thinking is captured well in this piece ‘From Manchester to Barcelona’
Ben’s contribution to Progressive International on COVID-19 and the Cloud 

Vahini Naidu
Trade and Development Report, UNCTAD, 2018 – Power, Platforms, and the Free Trade Delusion 
Trade and Development Report, UNCTAD, 2019 – Financing a Global Green New Deal 
Digital Economy Report, UNCTAD, 2019 
Rising Product Digitalisation and Losing Trade Competitiveness, UNCTAD, 2017 
South-South Cooperation at the time of COVID-19: Building Solidarity Among Developing Countries, UNCTAD, 2020 
Some preliminary implications of WTO source code proposal, Third World Network, 2017 
Growing Trade in Electronic Transmissions: Implications for the South, UNCTAD, 2019 
Knowledge production in international trade negotiations is a high stakes game 
Anti-development Impacts of Tax-Related Provisions in Proposed Rules on Digital Trade in the WTO, Deborah James 
Rwanda’s National Data Revolution Policy

Anita Gurumurthy
Anita’s bio 
Read Anita’s piece on ‘The Intelligent Corporation’ in TNI’s State of Power report 

Caroline Nevejan
Cahier 1 Values for Survival (online)
Separate chapters (How you can order a hard copy of the Cahier will soon be explained on this page)
City Rhythm (available for download) 
International Exploratorium for 21st Century Values for Survival (Cahier 2) 

Important networks and knowledge base:

Waag Society 
Institute for Network Cultures, including Money Labs 
Flying Money 2018: Investigating Illicit Financial Flows in the City [MO1]
Major player in technology and investigative journalism, including a great summerschool and conference to attend to learn to use crypto and work with data to unveil truth.
Centre for Investigative Journalism: [MO2]
4 Logan Symposia on secrecy, surveillance and censorship
On Law and information: Lawrence Lessig [MO3]
Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam 
City of Amsterdam Openresearch platform 
City Science Initiative (EU) 
Tada (for a responsible digital city) 
City of Amsterdam Innovation (CTO) 

Nanjira Sambuli
Nanjira’s writings can be seen here: https://nanjira.com/category/general-musings/
Twitter: twitter.com/ninanjira/

Ideas into movement

Boost TNI's work

50 years. Hundreds of social struggles. Countless ideas turned into movement. 

Support us as we celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2024.

Make a donation