Welcome Adam, Astra and Waldo!

by SF Team, 3 August 2015

We are excited to welcome three new Shuttleworth Fellows on 1 September 2015: Adam Hyde, Astra Taylor and Waldo Jaquith.

Adam Hyde has a particular talent for helping experts codify processes into manuals for the benefit of a wider audience. His started with technologists through Booksprints and has now turned his attention to academics. As someone familiar with, but not ingrained in, the way academic output is captured and shared, he is questioning the journal publishing process at both the conceptual and practical level. How can we increase the value of scientific output to benefit society as a whole? By getting more findings out faster, accompanied by the supporting data and tools, so others can replicate findings and build upon the advances made. However, this will require a significant change in the way academics, researchers, administrators, funders and publishers work together. At the policy level there are significant efforts under way. Adam’s unique contribution is at the practical level, building the tools and community necessary to support the process of scholarly communication in its re-imagined form.

Astra Taylor is on a mission to help individuals take back control of their own debt data and financial futures. Predatory lending and exploitative debt practices cripple borrowers. Astra has honed her investigative and story telling skills in documentary film making. She is now putting these to work as an activist, investigating the debt market for individuals, especially around education and health care in the US. And then she goes the extra mile to find ways to unblock pathways for individuals to resolve debt and establish more equitable lending practices. Her success with the Rolling Jubilee campaign was the beginning of a much broader initiative, the Debt Collective, working towards individual and systemic change.

Like Astra, Waldo Jaquith received a Shuttleworth Flash Grant in 2014. He impressed us with the way he leveraged the relatively small award of $5000 to liberate company registration data for the entire state of Virginia. This is just one example of Waldo’s ability to identify and seize opportunities to expand the pool of immediately useful open government data by tapping into the key motivations of both government and business. While his focus is on unlocking data from the supply side, he also has keen insight into how open data can then benefit users on the demand side. It is Waldo’s insightful, strategic and cleverly opportunistic approach to open government data will help realise its potential for broad social and commercial benefit.

We look forward to working with and learning from Adam, Astra and Waldo.

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