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Unlocking the Potential Value of Data: An Emphasis on Public Data

May 25, 2022


The data revolution is transforming the world. Today’s governments are adopting data-driven approaches to meet the expectations of their citizens, improve public services, diversify economies, and make better-informed decisions.  

While it is acknowledged that data is foundational to new value creation in an increasingly digitized economy, there is little consensus or evidence about how to maximize and assess this value of data. The COVID crisis propelled digital transformation and demonstrated that the value of data goes beyond financial transactions. The 2021 World Development Report: Data for Better Lives calls for a new social contract that would enable the use and reuse of data to create economic and social value, while ensuring equitable access to the value realized, as well as fostering participants’ trust that they will not be harmed by data misuse. Realizing the full value of data will depend on substantial commitment and enabling efforts by various stakeholders within the data ecosystem. Improving the integration and use of data by the public sector can create transformational impact in how governments design policies and deliver services to improve people’s lives. 

  • The World Bank and the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) are co-hosting this webinar to raise awareness on unlocking the potential value of data. The webinar provides an opportunity to explore, present and discuss various practices from across Estonia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and the European Union on how governments are enabling the realization of value of data generated and managed by governments and public institutions.

    The discussion will shed light on the following questions:

    • How can governments unlock the potential value of data through a combination of open by default and targeted approaches?
    • What use cases are emerging to illustrate various partnerships between public authorities, civil society organizations and businesses?
    • What policies, institutions and laws are necessary to enable data collaboration within the public sector and with private sector for shared value creation?  
  • TIME (DC / Riyadh Time)



    9:00 – 9:10 am

    4:00 – 4:10 pm


    (10 min)



    •   Majid Altuwaijri, Chief Executive Officer, National AI Center, SDAIA


    • Issam A. Abousleiman, Country Director of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Middle East and North Africa, World Bank


    9:10 – 9:35 am

    4:10 – 4:35 pm


    (25 min)



    • Alex Pentland, Founder and Director of MIT Connection Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


    • Vivien Foster, Chief Economist, Infrastructure Vice-Presidency, and Co-Lead, 2021 World Development Report: Data for Better Lives, World Bank


    9:35 – 10:25 am

    4:35 – 5:25


    (50 min)

    Panel Discussion

    Moderated by

    • Malar Veerappan, Program Manager and Senior Data Scientist, Development Data Group, World Bank

    Honorable Panelists:

    • Ott Velsberg, Chief Data Officer, Government of Estonia 
    • Yoon-seok Ko, Vice President, Data Department, National Information Society Agency, and Chief, Data Dam Project, South Korea
    • Lars Nagel, Chief Executive Officer, International Data Spaces Association, Germany
    •  Majed Alshammari, Chief Data Governance Officer, National Data Management Office, SDAIA


    10:25-10: 30 am

    5:25 – 5:30 pm

    (5 min)

    Closing Remarks

  • Majid AlTuwayjiry, Chief Executive Officer, National AI Center and Head of Strategy, SDAI

    Majid Altuwaijri

    Chief Executive Officer, National AI Center, SDAIA

    Dr. Majid Altuwaijri is Chief Executive Officer at the National Center for AI (NCAI) at Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA). He worked for 7 years as a Managing Director of Health & Public Services in the Middle East, North Africa & Turkey at Accenture. He worked for 9 years at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences as a Professor and VP for Technology & Board Member. He worked for 16 years at National Guard Health Affairs as a CIO. He is the Co-Founder of the Saudi Association for Health Informatics (SAHI), established in 2005, and was the president for two terms. Education: Harvard Business School, General Management Program (GMP), 2012; University of Houston-Clear Lake, MCPM Master’s Certificate in Project Management, 2006; University of Louisiana at Lafayette, M.S. & Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), 1990-1995.


    Issam A. Abousleiman

    Country Director, GCC region, World Bank

    Issam Abousleiman has been the Country Director of the GCC since August 1st, 2018. Mr. Abousleiman, a Lebanese national, joined the Bank in 1989. His most recent assignment was Country Manager of Colombia in the Latin America and Caribbean Region. Having started his career at the World Bank in the Loans Department, he has since held various positions across the institution, including Head of Financial Advisory and Banking at the World Bank Treasury and Principal Investment Officer in the Banking & Debt Management Department. His regional expertise includes Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East regions. Mr. Abousleiman is a graduate of the Harvard University Executive Management program and holds an MBA in finance and investment from George Washington University, as well as an MBA in management from the American University of Beirut. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).


    Alex Pentland

    Founder and Director of MIT Connection Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

    Professor Alex 'Sandy' Pentland directs MIT Connection Science, an MIT-wide initiative, and previously helped create and direct the "MIT Media Lab and the Media Lab Asia in India. He is one of the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and Forbes declared him one of the "7 most powerful data scientists in the world" along with Google founders and the Chief Technical Officer of the United States. He is on the Board of the UN Foundations' Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, co-led the World Economic Forum discussion in Davos that led to the EU privacy regulation GDPR, and was central in forging the transparency and accountability mechanisms in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. He has received numerous awards and prizes such as the McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review, the 40th Anniversary of the Internet from DARPA, and the Brandeis Award for work in privacy. Recent invited keynotes include annual meetings of OECD, G20, World Bank, and JP Morgan.

    Vivien Foster

    Vivien Foster

    Chief Economist for the Infrastructure Vice-Presidency, and Co-Lead, 2021 World Development Report: Data for Better Lives, World Bank

    Vivien Foster is the Chief Economist for the Infrastructure Vice-Presidency of the World Bank; which covers the areas of Digital Development, Energy & Extractives, Transport and Infrastructure Finance. During her 20 years at the World Bank she has played a variety of leadership roles, including: Global Lead for Energy Economics, Markets and Institutions (2016-18); Practice Manager of the Global Energy Anchor (2012-16); and Lead Economist for Infrastructure in the Africa Region (2006-11). Throughout, her focus has been on the intersection between network infrastructures and economic policy. She has contributed to client dialogue, as well as advisory and lending engagements, in more than 30 countries across Africa, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Vivien has spearheaded several major policy research initiatives including: Water, Electricity and the Poor (2005), examining the distributional impact of utility subsidies; Africa’s Infrastructure (2009), a path-breaking analysis of the continent’s network infrastructure challenges; Building Bridges (2009), detailing China’s growing role as infrastructure financier for Africa; The Energy Progress Report (2013, 2015, 2017, 2018), a global dashboard for tracking progress towards the achievement of SDG7 goals for energy; Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) (2016, 2018), monitoring worldwide adoption of good practice policies to support sustainable energy; and Rethinking Power Sector Reform (2019), a knowledge program that evaluates developing country experience with the adoption of Washington Consensus policy prescriptions for the electricity sector. Furthermore, she was Co-Director of the World Development Report 2021 Data for Better Lives. Prior to joining the World Bank, Vivien worked as a Managing Consultant of Oxford Economic Research Associates Ltd in the UK, advising private and public sector clients in the water and energy industries, both in Europe and Latin America, with focus on the economic regulation of utilities. She is a graduate of Oxford University, and also holds a Master’s from Stanford University and a Doctorate from University College London, both in Economics.


    Malar Veerappan

    Program Manager and Senior Data Scientist, Development Data Group, World Bank

    Malar is a Program Manager and Senior Data Scientist at the World Bank. More recently she served as the report manager of the 2021 World Development Report – Data for Better Lives. She oversees data governance, data management and technology implementations for many development data initiatives. She works with countries and other organizations to find solutions that use data and technology to solve development problems. She has led large scale data initiatives with a focus on building data systems that have global reach and impact. As part of these efforts, spearheaded the modernization of the World Bank’s statistical data management and dissemination systems and processes, supporting the production of key data products such as the World Development Indicators,, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and the Bank’s data catalog. She was part of the task team that launched The World Bank's Open Data Initiative in 2010 and during this time, she created the World Bank’s first comprehensive data APIs. She was part of the team that was instrumental in creating the World Bank’s first Data Council, the data governance body set up to prioritize the institution's key data priorities. As part of this work, she created the Bank’s data management architecture and established the Development Data Hub, the Bank’s first integrated data hub, that streamlines data sharing and helps eliminate data silos by provisioning consistent tools, policies and data curation teams. She is co-leading efforts to make the evidence on gender data gaps more accessible, usable and salient through compelling narratives and data visualizations. She represents the Bank in several inter-agency data working groups and partnership programs. She is an engineer by education and is pursuing an advanced degree in Applied Data Sciences.


    Ott Velsberg

    Chief Data Officer, Government of Estonia

    Ott Velsberg is the Chief Data Officer for the Estonian government. He oversees strategic coordination and implementation of the data ecosystem in Estonia, including domains like artificial intelligence, data governance, data analytics and open data, and initiatives such as Bürokratt which is a government virtual assistant. He also holds a Ph.D at Informatics from Umeå University, where he is currently an associated researcher in the department of Informatics. His research concentrates on the use of information systems in the public sector, with a special focus on the use of the Internet of Things (IoT).


    Yoon-seok Ko

    Vice President, Data Department, National Information Society Agency, and Chief, Data Dam Project, South Korea

    Yoon-seok Ko is Vice President at National Information Society Agency (NIA), and he has been working for NIA from 2003. Yoon-seok majored in Computer Science for undergraduate at the University of Georgia in the U.S. and got M.S. in Information Systems at Yonsei University in Korea. His specialty is e-government, ICT convergence, and data. Yoon-seok has planned and managed nation-wide e-government projects such as the Government Business Management System Project and Government Information Data Center Project. He has also worked at PCGID (Presidential Committee on Government Innovation & Decentralization) to oversee presidential agenda, especially e-government projects. Yoon-seok also worked as a director of Convergence Planning Team at NIA from 2013 to 2019. He has developed a nation-wide ICT convergence plan, known as “The Vitamin Project” that is one of the key projects in Park’s administration. Currently, He has been in charge of “The Digital Government Innovation Project.” which plans to innovate not only the government itself, but also society. Most of the sub projects are based on AI technology by using big data. Recently, He works as a vice president and in charge of Department of data. As a part of “Korean New Deal” the Korean government launched “Digital New Deal” in 2020, and “AI Open Data Project” is #1 project for the Digital New Deal.

    lars Nagel

    Lars Nagel

    Chief Executive Officer, International Data Spaces Association, Germany

    Lars Nagel is CEO of the International Data Spaces Association since its foundation in 2016. He is also a member of the Executive Board of Digital Hub Management GmbH, where he manages innovation and technology transfer. Previously, Lars founded and led GlobalGate, a provider of learning environments for industrial and research institutions. Lars studied Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Dortmund and graduated with a diploma in Engineering.

    Majed Alshammari, Chief Data Governance Officer, National Data Management Office, SDAIA

    Majed Alshammari

    Chief Data Governance Officer, National Data Management Office, SDAIA

    Majed Alshammari is experienced in all aspects of data privacy, ranging from its theoretical foundations, engineering approaches, and support infrastructures, to its practical application in projects of different scale. His interests are in usable privacy, aimed at finding ways of striking a balance between data utility and privacy with a view to building and maintaining privacy-preserving and data protection-compliant systems in various domains.


  • WHEN : 9-10:30 AM (ET); 4-5:30 PM (Riyadh time)
  • WHERE: Live video will begin on this page automatically at scheduled start time.
  • LANGUAGES:  Discussions will be conducted in English. Arabic interpretations will be available.