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The OODA Loop 2022 Research Primer on Digital Self-Sovereignty, Digital Rights and Digital Identity


We are emerging from a tracking phase on a research topic of high priority here at OODA Loop:  Digital Self-Sovereignty, Digital Rights, and Digital Identity, which is an area of research concerned with the security of personal data, transactional or otherwise, and the individual’s right to ownership of their personal data.

Our fundamental strategic insight is that “personal data ownership” will be the crucial design element of a future systems architecture (supported by an investment ecosystem for innovation) which would move towards solving issues like misinformation through realigning bad incentive systems designed into current social media platforms and the potential for cryptocurrency regulation (that starts with the individual ownership and the individual’s relationship to their financial ‘dataset’), amongst other future use cases.

Yes, this includes the broad promise of web3, but you will see in our approach to the research that we are specifically, technically concerned with the design of value creation mechanisms for personal data  – and the role of blockchain, digital autonomous corporations, and smart contracts to enable this innovation in and transition to a world of digital self-sovereignty, digital rights, and digital identity – again, all premised on the individual’s rights to ownership of their personal data.

Following is a chronological primer on the evolution of the digital sovereignty idea and further framing of the concept from early OODAcast conversations, the OODA Almanac 2022, and external research resources which have assisted us in further forming a working hypothesis for our research. At the very least we will be surfacing our research as posts on the subject when appropriate.  We are also exploring the potential for another final deliverable content format on the topic.

And, of course, we will have an important in-person touchpoint on the topic as the OODA Community in October at OODAcon 2022 – The Future of Exponential Innovation & Disruption  – with a Fireside chat with Futurist and Author Karl Schroeder entitled Disruptive Futures: Digital Self Sovereignty, Blockchain, and AI.  The OODAcon Agenda describes the fireside chat in the following manner:

“You are big data. Every day the technology you own, use, and otherwise interact with (often unintentionally) collects rich data about every element of your daily life. This session provides a quick overview of how this data is collected, stored, and mined but then shifts direction to look at what technologies might empower users to better collect, access, and authorize the use of their own data through blockchain, digital autonomous corporations, and smart contracts.”

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Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira is research director at OODA. He is a foresight strategist, creative technologist, and an information communication technology (ICT) and digital media researcher with 20+ years of experience directing public/private partnerships and strategic innovation initiatives.