All too often big data and data science can look like solutions searching for a problem. By starting with problems and issues we can think about what is important (and why) and then ask how ICT, big data, and data science might help address those problems. The biggest problems are social and societal rather than commercial. For example, the obesity epidemic that is resulting in an alarming rise in type 2 diabetes will devour available health service resources if it continues unchecked. However, if people take more exercise and eat better then they will be healthier as individuals, as will society.
Working with colleagues in Australia I’m investigating how ICT can be used to promote behaviour change for individual and societal benefit, i.e., to encourage Pro-Social behaviours using ICT (ProSIS). This is the keynote presentation I gave at the IADIS conference in March 2013 describing the ProSIS framework.