CDCS Annual Lecture 2021

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Our second CDCS Annual Lecture 'Data as Power: The Next 100 Generations of Indigenous Data Sovereignty' will be given by 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 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.

[Read the full abstract with references]



Dr. 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. 

Dr. 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. 

Booking Information

The CDCS elves will be sending out a limited number of festive gifts to those who register early! To receive your gift, please register before 30 November.

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

Event Information

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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