How to change the world with data

With over 25 billion machines and devices expected to be connected to the internet by 2020, there is huge potential to combine and synthesize the data they collect and generate. However, many organizations hesitate to engage in this kind of large-scale connectivity due to security, liability and financial fears.

Gavin Starks, CEO of the Open Data Institute, encouraged the audience at the VERGE 2015 conference in San Jose, California, to move beyond these fears. It's all part of a broader cultural shift to a more open and networked society that views unconnected data as a missed opportunity for value creation, he said.

The Open Data Institute works to "connect, equip and inspire people around the world to innovate with data." They hope to create a large network of unaffiliated groups and machines in order to allow the combining of information that will inspire smart decisions. 

"Data in general, and open data specifically, is changing the nature of politics and business," said Stark. With the advent of G8 and G20 both signing open data charters, governments and companies all over the world have called for an open data movement.