The digital age is leading to a surge of data creation and collection. And with the internet of things and smart city infrastructures, this trend will only continue to rise, permeating datafication further into our daily lives. Of course this presents threats of exclusion, privacy and the loss of rich qualitative information. It also presents opportunities, as more information is available which can be used for better understanding and more informed decision-making, if the data can be made actionable. The question then is, how? How can the growing flows of data be used for social good? How can they lead to more insightful information and ultimately push for more freedom of choice.

The Citizen Data Lab takes these complex threats and opportunities heads on, by developing participatory practices that involve the collaborative collection, visualization and interpretation of data. It is crucial to this approach that all those affected, and all those with needs and interests in a specific issue are involved, on site. Co-creation is key. This is what we call Participatory Data Practices – methods, approaches and tools for co-creation to learn about and through data. We want to work ourselves out of the job, become redundant by transferring knowledge and tools to empower bottom-up initiatives and individuals alike.


Maarten Groen
Researcher and Programmer

Wouter Meys
Researcher and Lab Coordinator

Sabine Niederer
Researcher and founder

Ruurd Priester
Research Fellow

Martijn de Waal
Affiliated Researcher