The Web Foundation

The World Wide Web Foundation was established in 2009 by Web inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Our mission? To advance the open Web as a public good and a basic right.

Thanks to the Web, for the first time in history we can glimpse a society where everyone, everywhere has equal access to knowledge, voice and the ability to create. In this future, vital services such as health and education are delivered efficiently, access to knowledge unlocks economic value whilst access to information enhances transparency and strengthens democracy. To achieve this vision, the Web Foundation operates at the confluence of technology, research and development, targeting three key areas: Access, Rights and Participation.

We seek to harness the potential of open data as a tool for tackling society’s most pressing challenges, ensuring people are able to access, understand, and engage with the data directly affecting them. Our work on open data connects across these themes, working to support inclusive approaches to open data impact across the globe and covers:

  • Co-leading the International Open Data Data Charter since inception to promote the adoption of global principles for the release of data and co-chairing the accountability working group.
  • Co-chairing the Open Data Working Group of the Open Government Partnership (200 members – 80 governments and 120 civil society organisations).
  • Being a member of the Open Data for Development – OD4D – Network to scale effective and viable open data solutions for economic and social development.
  • Harnessing the Data Revolution for inclusive growth and sustainable development through the formation of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data together with more than 100 other organisations.
  • Building the Open Contracting Data Standard to make contracting information more useful and accessible, enhancing and promoting disclosure and participation in public contracting.
  • Using a combination of research, incubation, training and engagement in our Open Data Labs concept, where our goal is to accelerate progress and ensure that open data rapidly becomes a vital tool to tackle practical problems in developing and emerging economies.
  • Running the Open Data Research Network – 17 organisations plus 11 expert mentors from 25 countries. Key outputs include the Open Data Barometer and the ongoing Open Data in Developing Countries Research.